Encountering Christ Through Liturgy – New Initiatives.
The August 18, 5:00 pm Vigil Mass featured a new group of singers and musicians. The music selected was primarily based on the Sunday Scripture readings, but was performed in a more contemporary style. It was done in response to numerous requests for a type of music that would augment the excellent, more classical tenor that has been enjoyed by the St. Monica congregation for many years. Afterwards, the congregation was polled and asked to provide more detailed opinions of their experience.
The response was overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of people indicating that they would attend another Mass that featured such a musical style. Therefore, we have decided to offer three upcoming Masses featuring “contemporary” music:
- Saturday, October 20 @ 5:00 PM Vigil
- Saturday, November 17 @ 5:00 PM Vigil
- Saturday, December 15 @ 5:00 PM Vigil
We invite other members of the congregation – adults and young people – who have singing talent and/or play instruments to join! Rehearsal for each Mass begins promptly at 3:30 PM in the Music Room (Old School). Please show up earlier so that the rehearsal time can be fully utilized. If interested, please contact Stephanie Twohig (firstname.lastname@example.org ) so that we have an idea who, and how many, people will be rehearsing and playing This is especially important for musicians, since we need time to determine how we might provide music for particular instruments.
A second initiative is actually a re-introduction of something previously enjoyed at St. Monica. Our hope is to offer our young people an opportunity to join a classical youth choir, which will perform during the 4:00 pm Christmas Eve Mass. This was done several years ago and fondly remembered by many St. Monica parishioners. Details will be found in the bulletin and on the parish website in the coming weeks.
Finally, several months ago, I announced “Encountering Christ – Through Liturgy, Through His Word and Through Helping and Serving Others.” To better discern how we might Encounter Jesus through The Liturgy, A “Liturgy Committee” was formed. At our first meeting, the committee came up with over 30 ideas how we might enhance the liturgy. A “short-list” of ideas that we could implement soon was drafted.
Nationally we have seen that parishes with vibrant worship/liturgy really focus not only on hymnody (the music) but also on hospitality and homilies as well. How do you know if you’re doing something well? “What gets measured – gets done.” Over the next few weeks, we will be measuring how we are doing in those various areas.
Given the importance of this, in addition to the Liturgy Committee, I will soon be meeting with a group of dedicated parishioners to look at the long-term at the strategic aspects of liturgy/music/worship.
One of the first ideas proposed by the Liturgy Committee was to incorporate a series of “teaching points” within Mass itself. The idea would be to pause during certain moments of the Mass and briefly explain – in 30 seconds to one minute – something about what is occurring at that moment. Members of the Liturgy Committee recalled that I had done this previously.They had found it interesting and enjoyed the quick “catechetical moment.” So, over the next 30 weeks, I will be introducing these teaching moments into the Mass, but only at the Masses that I celebrate. Each week, we will also list the teaching point in the bulletin and on my website. Much of the information will come from the official Roman Catholic liturgical book entitled, “The General Instructions to the Roman Missal” (or GIRM). We will also include links to other resources for further study. I hope that this will help enhance the liturgy for you and help you “Encounter Christ Through the Liturgy “ in a fuller way.
So….. Let’s begin!
Why do people, celebrants and other ministers genuflect towards the tabernacle when they are near it?
As a sign of reverence for the tabernacle, celebrants and others (who are physically able) should genuflect at the beginning of Mass after celebrant(s) and ministers approach the tabernacle, as well as at the end of Mass just before they process out . Exceptions are those people/ministers who are holding something in their hand(s) like a cross, candles, book,… In such cases, a reverential head bow is called for. Why? If servers try and genuflect with something in their hand, they could drop it, trip or hurt themselves (Think hot, burning candle wax!).