Worship News | October 2016 Worship News | April 2017

The Easter Season, a time for Mystagogy

p8op51qclf2r9r64pl29fjn4byxm0nwlWe believe that Christ, the Son of God, took on human flesh, lived among us, taught us by his words and everyday life what the Father’s vision for humankind was…that he died obedient to the Father’s will and that God, raised him from the dead so that we would know that God will raise us from the dead also. 
Every year we come together for the celebration of the Triduum to grow in our understanding of this mystery of our faith.  For three days, we participate in liturgies filled with symbols…words and actions… that are meant to renew and deepen our faith in this great mystery.  We bring with us to these Triduum celebrations new disciples…those we will initiate into this mystery at the Triduum celebrations.  Together with these new disciples we hear Christ speak to us in the scriptures, in the prayers, and in the actions of these days.  But do we give ourselves the time to break open what we have experienced?
Often, I have heard words similar to these:  “I wish there was a way to gather with a small group to reflect together on the message of the liturgies we celebrate together.”  There is a way.  It is called Mystagogy.  It is the final stage of the initiation process…but it is the most neglected step of the whole process.  Mystagogy is not just for the newly initiated…it is for all of us…and it is not difficult to do.  There are three easy steps:
  1. Experience the liturgical signs and symbols. This means to see, to hear, and to feel the symbols. We need to work at keeping our senses, our whole selves, attentive during the entire experience.
  2. To gather and seriously reflect on the experience:
    • The scriptures we heard
    • The words of the prayers we prayed
    • The actions we did, the actions we saw others do
  3. To ask the question: How is my life shaped and formed in the pattern of Christ’s living, dying, and rising from the dead?
Simply expressed Mystagogy asks two questions: 
  • What did we do at the celebration?
  • What does it mean?
I offer you a meditation on the celebration of the Sacred Triduum to give you an example of Mystagogy.  I pray that it will give you food for thought and the courage to gather with a few others, including the newly initiated, for Mystagogy during the coming Easter Season.
The Sacred Triduum…A Reflection
vbg7ihkh2p8v2qz6ug28qa3fgtvsyzjcThe entrance antiphon for Holy Thursday sets the tone for the entire Triduum: 
We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.
In the Gospel we hear John’s memory of the Last Supper.  Jesus knew that his hour had comehis death was imminent.  He rose, took a towel, tied it around his waist, poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples and told them: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”        

Do this in memory of me.

    all that I have said
                         all that I have done
                         all the stories I have told
Do not live according to the values of the world.

It is possible to forgive, to seek peace, to respect the dignity of each person, to love your enemies, to offer friendship and presence to the lonely, the poor, the sick, the refugee and the prisoner, those who are different from you, to the outcasts of society.

pbrh16hruopb4s3b17k0zxm4g12idw7dGood Friday celebrates mystery not history.  It celebrates God’s taking possession of our hearts at their deepest core, recreating us as a new human community broken like bread for the world’s life…a community rich in compassion, steadfast in hope and fearless in the search for justice and peace just as Jesus was.
Do this in memory of me.
Die to your self
Die to your sins
Die to your addictions
Die to all that keeps you wrapped up in yourself rather than serving others.
Know that this dying will lead to a new life.
Take up your cross and follow me.

qci96jdjbqtjvwdpekisb1mrsmu7rernThe Easter Vigil begins outside in the darkness. 
It is Christ, the Light of the World, who dispels the darkness and destroys the power of evil which dwells in darkness.  Our vigil begins.  St. Augustine tells us:
keeping vigil means staying awake, ready, and alert; keeping vigil is preparing your heart for sacrifice with the certainty of receiving an incredible gift; keeping vigil is renewing the experience of the tomb, which becomes empty by the Resurrection of Christ.”(Sermon Guelpherbytanus 5)  During our vigil we hear the whole story of reaching out to save his creation

After the proclamation of the Resurrection, it is time for the Church to baptize the new disciples.

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
In a nutshell
Holy Thursday Do this in memory of me
Remember all that I did, all that I said, the stories I told you, it is possible to live as I have taught you.

Good Friday    Do this in memory of me
Take up your cross and follow me.  Give of yourself as I did, join your sufferings, your pain, to my sacrifice for the salvation of the world.

The Vigil Do this in memory of me
Just as I reached out to others and called them to be my disciples so too you must never cease to make new disciples…Go forth, teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit … I want everyone to know my message, and to be freed from the power of evil.

Do this in memory of me.  This is the message Christ leaves for us at every Triduum.  May it give us pause and food for contemplation?  


Corpus Christi

Archbishop Vigneron has invited all of the newly initiated, their sponsors and families to join him at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on the feast of Corpus Christi.  At this feast on which we hear …“we revere the sacred mysteries of (Christ’s) Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of (His) redemption…” (Collect for Corpus Christi) Archbishop Vigneron will break open the mystery of the Eucharist and lead the procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Detroit to give witness to what we believe about the Eucharist.  It will be important for each parish to share with the newly initiated how important their presence at this celebration will be and to help them with a reflection (Mystagogy) on the days after the feast. 


News from the Vatican

The Holy Father’s Message for the 32nd World Youth Day

The next World Youth Day is scheduled to be held in Panama in 2019.  Each year, until that world gathering, has been assigned a theme for reflection by the youth of the world.  For 2017 the theme is on the faith of Mary, who says in the Magnificat:  “The Mighty One has done great things for me.”  In his message for youth this year Pope Francis tells young people that Mary was no couch potato!  Her elderly cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John, needs help and Mary does not hesitate to go to her.  “Faith is at the heart of Mary’s entire story.  When God touches the heart of a young man or woman, they become capable of doing tremendous things.  Jesus is calling you to leave your mark in life, your mark on history…”  Read the entire message here and share it with all young people.

Pope recognizes miracle attribute to Fatima visionaries

xrnpyz3f78sgldwyotyc0r1xn5ezjrsnOn March 23rd Pope Francis approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of two of the children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto.  Both children died during an influenza epidemic in Europe…Franciso in 1919 and Jacinta in 1920.  Pope Francis will be visiting Fatima on May 12 – 13th to lead the 100th celebration of the Marian apparitions.  Many are hoping that these children will be canonized during the visit. The third child Lucia died in 2005 and her life is now under study.

News from the USCCB

Lectionary for Mass Supplements

The USCCB has announced that the Lectionary for Mass Supplement containing the readings not presently in the Lectionary for Mass will be available from three publishers; namely:

  • Catholic Book Publishing Co.  [CatholicBookPublishing.com, 877-228-2665]
    • Hardcover, 81/2” x 11”, $21.95
  • Liturgical Press [LitPress.org, 800-858-5450]
    • Classic edition: hardcover, 81/2” x 11”, $39.95
    • Chapel edition: hardcover, 7” x 9”, $34.95
  • Liturgical Training Publications [LTP.org, 800-933-1800
    • Softcover, 93/4” x 12”, $29.95
Christmas 2017
According to Canon Law, “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.  This year the 4th Sunday of Advent falls on December 24th. Christmas falls on Monday, December 25th.  Some people are beginning to ask:  Can I satisfy both obligations by attending Mass on the evening of December 23rd?
The prevailing view of canon lawyers is that each obligation must be fulfilled by attending a separate Mass.
“A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass. (#1248 no.1)
Parishes will need to be creative in the scheduling Masses over this weekend…perhaps cutting one of the Sunday morning masses.  Those Masses scheduled for the Fourth Sunday of Advent will need to honor the focus of this celebration…it is not Christmas.  The Worship Commission suggests that the lights not be lit on the trees for this Mass, that the flowers not be placed yet, in order to preserve the anxious waiting for the Christmas celebration.  

For Pastors and Worship Commissions

Reception of the Holy Oils
The holy oils that Archbishop Vigneron will bless at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday may be presented at the parish mass on Holy Thursday.  The script for the presentation is attached.  Sacristans will need to be sure that all of the old oil is burned.
Synod 2016
As we anxiously await Archbishop Vigneron’s Pastoral Letter on Pentecost 2017 we are asked to keep praying the Synod Prayer.

Q & A

Who can give permission for the baptism of an infant when the parents are divorced…legally separated?
Canon 868 states:  The parents or at least one of them, or the person who has legal custody of the child must consent to the baptism.  In other words, the willingness of one parent or a guardian or person who takes the place of the parent is sufficient to render the baptism lawful.
2. Is it permissible for the Leonine prayer to St. Michael to be used after the celebration of Mass?
The practice of reciting this and other prayers of Pope Leo XIII at the end of Mass was officially suppressed by St. John Paul II in 1965.  These prayers contain the formula of exorcism against Satan and the fallen angels.
In 1984, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded to a request for a clarification about assemblies that had been formed to pray for the liberation from the influence of demons responded:
Canon 1172 of the Code of Canon Law declares that no one may licitly perform exorcisms on those who are possessed, unless he has obtained particular and express permission from the local ordinary…
…the faithful may not employ the formula of exorcism against Satan and the fallen angels which is excerpted from prayer of Pope Leo XIII, and certainly not use the entire text of that exorcism…
…of course these norms should not stop the faithful of Christ from praying, as Jesus taught us, that they may be freed from evil… [cf. Mt 6: 13]

(From Ab Aliquot , September 29, 1984)
3. I was recently arranging for my mother’s funeral.  When I went to the parish to arrange for the Mass the very first thing I was told was that it would cost $500.  Are parishes allowed to charge for funeral?
There is no fee to be buried from the Church.  If the family has the means and wishes to make a donation to the parish, it would be appropriate and welcome, considering the parish resources that are used for the staff, building, etc. 
Some parishes do contract separately for the musician and or cantor and may ask the family to cover that cost.  Amounts given by a donor to a cantor and/or musician for their services during funerals are not considered parish receipts.  These transactions are between the donor and the cantor and or musician.  Accordingly, the parish should not allow the check in payment for these gifts or services, to be made payable to the parish.
There is never a direct fee for the parish priest, deacon or lay minister.  Given the financial challenges many of our parishes experience, a donation at the time of funeral is very much appreciated. 
4. A baptized Chaldean Catholic says he was never confirmed and never received first Eucharist.  He wants to join the RCIA process at the parish.  Is this permissible?
We have received information at the Archdiocese that there are instances when a child is only baptized in the Chaldean Church.  At other times a child receives full initiation. 
The baptized Chaldean may not automatically become a part of the RCIA process.  As a baptized Chaldean the Latin Church has no jurisdiction over this person.  It is necessary to refer him to his Chaldean Bishop for confirmation or for the Chaldean bishop to give the Latin Church permission to confirm him.  The person would receive Holy Communion at the same celebration at which he is confirmed


Sacristan’s Manualis a new, simple resource that will provide basic information to sacristans.  It outlines the general responsibilities, summarizes preparations for specific celebrations and special seasons and includes checklists.  For information contact Faith Catholic, at 1-866-76-FAITH.
Liturgy Training Publications: will be publishing many new resources for RCIA Teams and Coordinators, in English and Spanish.  Some will be ready by April, others  by the summer.  Here is the link for a full list.
The University of Notre Dame will be offering a series of Theology courses on-line beginning April 17th.  Check the attached announcement for details.

Parishes around the Archdiocese are offering workshops and other experiences for adults who are interested in growing their faith. These are advertised in Parish Mail. You may request to be placed on the list of those receiving this news at aod.org/parishmail

April 2017


Christian Service Association Retreat
April 26
8 am - 3 pm
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
Bloomfield Hills

St. Joseph's Youth Choir Festival
May 1
2 pm
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Divorce Recovery: Ministry Workshop Training
May 5
10 am - 3 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

The Black Catholic Women's Conference: Unleash the Gospel NOW!
May 6
9 am - 4:30 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Conferencia de Jóvenes Hispanos: Who Am I to Jesus? Who is Jesus to Me?
May 6
9 am - 7:30 pm
University of Detroit Mercy

School of Evangelization
Hosted by the Priests and Seminarians of the Companions of the Cross

May 12
6:30 pm - 9 pm
May 13
8 am - 4 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

The Amazing Parish Reboot
May 18
12 pm - 3:30 pm OR
5:30 pm - 9 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Symposia at the University of Notre Dame

Liturgy & Life: Encountering Jesus Christ in the Bible and Liturgy

June 19 - 23

Forming the Sacramental Imagination: The Senses of the Scriptures
June 26 - 30

Liturgical Music Ministers: The Word, Music and the St. John's Bible
July 17 - 21

National Gathering on Christian Initiation: Disciples Making Disciples
July 5 - 6
Chicago, Illinois

NPM 2017 Convention: Formed as One, Union of Voices - Unity of Hearts
July 10 - 14
Cincinnati, Ohio


Visit the worship events page



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