Worship News | July 2015 Worship News | September 2015

Quote from Pope Francis 

“It is indeed my wish that the jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible.” 


News from the Vatican

Two dispensations for the Jubilee Year
On September 1, Pope Francis sent a letter to the president of the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization. In this letter, Pope Francis writes of his concern that all God's people have an opportunity to experience the mercy and forgiveness of God. His magnanimity leaves no one outside of this mercy and forgiveness. He mentions those who visit the Holy Door in Rome as well as the Holy Door in each diocese. He enumerates ways in which the sick and elderly, the incarcerated, the deceased and all who perform a spirtiual and corporal work of mercy can obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. 

At the end of the letter, Pope Francis extends two dispensations:
  • to all priests, the discretion to absolve from sin of abortion those who have procured an abortion and now approach Reconciliation with a contrite heart seeking forgiveness
  • and to those faithful, who for various reasons choose to attend churches of the St. Pius X Fraternity, he establishes that during the Holy Year of Mercy those faithful who approach priests from the Fraternity of St. Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins. Ordinarily these priests do not have the faculty to forgive sins. This is a major concession to the Pius X Fraternity and Pope Francis hopes that full communion with this group will be restoed in the future.
Read the full Letter on Indulgences here.
Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition         
On June 29, 2015 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments confirmed the English translation of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition with a recognitio. There are a number of interesting changes, including:
  • an expanded Introduction with extensive theological commentary and pastoral instruction for the preparation of a couple for Marriage
  • the rubrics for the Introductory Rites indicate two forms for the procession
  • the Penitential Act is omitted
  • the Gloria is sung or said
  • an acclamation is included for the reception of the consent
  • sample versions of the Prayer for the Faithful, Blessing of an Engaged Couple and Blessing of a Married Couple within Mass on the Anniversary of Marriage
Also, three adaptations were accepted by the Holy See:
  • an alternate form of the consent formula
  • the blessing and giving of arras (coins) and the blessing and imposition of either the lazo or veil may take place before the Nuptial Blessing for use among Spanish-speaking communities
There are a number of liturgical publishers who are expected to produce ritual editions. The FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) will be planning some workshops around the U.S. - including Detroit - to introduce this new ritual to priests. More information will be forthcoming.

 For Pastors and Worship Commissions

Year of Mercy
The Archdiocesan Worship Commission will be meeting at the end of September. On its agenda will be the Archdiocesan plan for the Year of Mercy. These will be included in the October Worship News.

In the meantime, the attached file comes from the FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions). It provides general resources on the theology and history of a Holy Door, Sample Ritual for the Creation and Sealing of the Holy Door, Rituals for the Opening and Closing of the Holy Door, etc. It would be well for the Parish Worship Commissions to study, reflect and discuss the material. More >>

Schedule of Pope Francis' Visit to the United States

  • 4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
  • 9:15 a.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
  • 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
  • 4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception [Ed. Note: East Portico of Shrine – outdoor liturgy]
  • 9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress 
  • 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
  • 4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
  • 5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral 
  • 8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
  • 11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center 
  • 4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
  • 6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden
  • 8:40 a.m. Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 9:30 a.m. Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia 
  • 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia 
  • 4:45 p.m. Visit to Independence Mall
  • 7:30 p.m. Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops at at St. Martin's Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary 
  • 11:00 a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility 
  • 4:00 p.m. Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
  • 7:00 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation 
  • 8:00 p.m. Departure for Rome
Calendar Advisory for the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
This year the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, falls on a Saturday.  The Mass texts and readings for the feast should be used at all Masses celebrated before 4:00 pm. After 4:00 pm the Mass texts and readings for the Third Sunday of Advent must be used.

“The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar state that “because of its special importance, the Sunday celebration gives way only to solemnities or feasts of the Lord. The Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Lent and Easter, however, take precedence over all solemnities and feasts of the Lord” (GNLYC, no. 5). Accordingly, the Third Sunday of Advent takes precedence over the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The readings and the Mass formulary for that day will be those of the Advent Sunday.  Our Lady of Guadalupe may be appropriately honored in one or more of the petitions of the general intercessions, in the homily, and in perhaps one of the hymns during the liturgy.”  USCCB Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, March 1999

The image of the pregnant Virgin of Guadalupe is an apt reminder of the focus of this Sunday on the imminent celebration of the birth of Christ.  Particular attention to the preparation of liturgical space for this Sunday might, therefore, include an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Likewise, the rose colored vestments prescribed for the Third Sunday of Advent have also been associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe since the time of Pope Benedict XIV.  Many local traditions, including the re-enactment of the story of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe outside the liturgy may likewise enhance the celebration of the last weeks of the Advent season. Processions in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe may take place as well.

Commissioning Liturgical Ministers
This is the time of the year when many parishes seek to commission liturgical ministers.The Archdiocesan Office for Christian Worship has launched a new optional online webform allowing parishes to request commissioning for liturgical ministers… Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors.
To access the form go to AOD.org and enter “Commissioning Liturgical Ministers” into the search box.  The form is broken down into two pages. On the first page, a pastor or parish staff person would be required to read the guidelines for commissioning ministers and check the box stating that they have read and understand the guidelines before proceeding to the next page.  On the second page, simply select your parish from the drop-down list, add the name of your first Eucharistic Minister and click “Add another Eucharistic Minister” to add additional ministers. Follow the same process to commission Lectors

Archdiocese of Detroit ~ Synod on New Evangelization
Committees in the Archdiocese are working on preparations for the 2016 Synod on New Evangelization.  Three day parish missions are being planned throughout the Archdiocese. The first four of these are as follows:
Come, Encounter Christ

  • St. Genevieve-St. Maurice, Livonia  
    • Sept. 30 – Oct. 2
    • Speakers:  Bishop Michael Burns, Rev Marko Djorovic
  •  St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families
    • Oct. 5 – Oct.7
    • Speakers: Rev. Patrick Gonyeau, Deacon Alex Jones
  •  Our Lady of the Lakes           
    • Oct. 5 – Oct. 7
    • Speakers: Msgr. Patrick Halfpenny, Rev. Steve Pullis
  •  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Troy
    • Oct. 18 – Oct. 20
    • Speakers: Rev. Jim Lowe, Deacon Steve Mitchell

 All are invited to attend any/all of these experiences. Look for more locations and times of these gatherings in future editions of Worship News. 

Rite of Election

In 2016 Lent begins on February 10th.  As is custom, the Rite of Election usually takes place on the first weekend of Lent.  Therefore, mark your calendar on February 13 and 14 for the Rite of Election.
May 29th will be feast of Corpus Christi in 2016. 
Once again Archbishop Vigneron will look forward to welcoming all those who were initiated at the Easter vigil to this celebration.  As Archbishop, he looks forward to completing their Mystagogy at this celebration.

A Reflection on the RCIA in the Archdiocese of Detroit
Since the time of Pope Paul VI to recent years the Church has continuously been urging Catholics to take seriously the command of Christ to evangelize: “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  In more recent years the call has been extended to reach out to those who have fallen away from the faith and Re-evangelize them.
For years in the Archdiocese of Detroit we have been talking, discussing, experimenting with all kinds of resources for New Evangelization.  We are now preparing for a Synod on the New Evangelization.  Many parishes have successfully awakened their communities to the need for each of us to develop a closer relationship with Christ as part of our spirituality. 
 As I was preparing for the recent RCIA Topics I re-read the Cara Report (2014) of a survey of 5000 parishes in the U.S. on their practices in the RCIA.  The survey was commissioned by the Bishop’s Committee on Divine Worship. Also I remembered some of the statistics from the survey of the RCIA in the 1990’s, particularly on the attrition in the process.  I would like to share with you some of my reflections on what I see happening here in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
According to the CARA report:

  • there is a general ignorance of the National Statutes which are the particular law for the United States (The statutes are found in the Appendix of the RCIA)
  • 53% of parishes do not fully initiate children of catechetical age (baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist)
  • 64% of children of catechetical age are being prepared for baptism in less than one year…how do we foster conversion, catechize, teach prayer, and form young people as missionary disciples in nine months)
  • 75% of parishes celebrate the Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate only once a year
  • 66% of parishes do not have Masses for Neophytes
  • 75% of parishes say formation is accomplished in nine months
  • few parishes are using a year-round model
  • only 15% of parishes use a lectionary based process; the Catechism is used as a primary source for catechesis
  • parishes focus on facts and a step by step curriculum, on pedagogy…”Classes” rather than the process of conversion…and ignore paragraph #75 of the RCIA
  • 22% of parishes have neophytes offering catechetical instruction to the next group of catechumens and candidates
  • 21% of parishes have no Mystagogy
  • 13% of parishes include Catholics in the process with catechumens
  • 94% of parishes mix baptized candidates with the unbaptized for instruction
  • the Rites seem to be used as “commencement steps” after knowledge is transferred, instead of hearts transformed….this certainly affects the rate of retention of our new Catholics

 In the Archdiocese of Detroit I see many parishes who are doing quite a bit better in many areas quoted above and other parishes that are falling into some of the same areas of concern.  As I reflected a fear overcame me:  Are we as a nation initiating those who will need to be re-evangelized in the years to come?  Are we in Detroit doing the same?  When the RCIA was promulgated it presented a liturgical rite of the Church that was different from every other liturgical rite.  Because the process that made up the rite was so unfamiliar parishes interpreted it using the only method they knew and understood well thus turning a liturgical rite into a pedagogical method…a school model.
When I studied the full text of the RCIA I discovered that the school model for the RCIA does a great job at providing our catechumens with knowledge about what we believe.  But is that enough?  The RCIA is challenging us to provide our catechumens with the time, challenge, and help to come to believe what we believe.  Knowing is not sufficient.  Believing is the gift. 
Believing does not come because I have heard a lecture, read a book, or came to classes. Adults usually retain only 5% of what they hear in a lecture and only 10% of what they read.   But they retain 75% of what they actually practice.  Believing comes when I take the time to practice what I have heard not once or twice, but so often that it has become a part of the fabric of my being.  Believing happens when I am truly apprenticed and take the time to struggle to change my behavior….come to a true conversion and realize that this journey of conversion will be a lifetime experience and challenge.
Is your model of the RCIA inviting catechumens to know what we believe or to believe what we believe?


Resources Available from AOD Print Office
The following resources are available for purchase at the Print Shop.  You can locate the Print Shop on the Archdiocese of Detroit website, at the very top of the page…click on printing.
  • Handbook for Lectors (English and Spanish)
  • Handbook for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (English and Spanish)
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (English and Spanish)
  • Nicene Creed
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Communion to the Sick Card for Patient
  • Layperson's Manual for Communion to the Sick
Lectionary Bulletin Inserts by Paul Turner
Paul Turner has created well written bulletin inserts, reflections on the first and second readings of the Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist.  They are available for Year A, Year B and Year C.  You can view a sample at the link here.  

Jesus Christ: Priest, Prophet, King by Fr. Robert Barron
Catholic Word Publisher Group offers this DVD series and study program by Bishop Barron, the popular creator of Christianity program that has aired on National TV.  You can view a trailer of the series at the link here. (Please note: Bp. Robert Barron has been ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.)
Sacrament Series
The USCCB has created a small volume which provides the reader with a jumping off point for reflection and prayerful study of each of the sacraments.  Aimed toward families and those interested in increasing their knowledge of the faith, these booklets will bring you and those you love into deeper understanding and relationship with Christ and his Church.
 More >>

Audio Lectionary
An audio version of the Lectionary for Mass is available on the USCCB website.  This is ideal for persons with vision disabilities or for lectors who simply need to rehearse those difficult words.  
More >>


September 2015

In this Issue


In Service of the Sacred: A Mini-Conference on Music and Liturgy
Sept. 28, 29, 30
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

A Mass for Persons with Special Needs
Sunday, Sept. 20
9:30 a.m.

Church of the Divine Child, Dearborn

Journeying as One, Praying as One: Pilgrimage to Historic Churches of Monroe with Bishop Reiss
Saturday, Oct. 24
Departing from Dearborn and Warren

We Are Called to Love One Another: Christian Service Coordinators Fall Assembly
Tuesday, Sept. 22
9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Engaging the Young Church Conference
Oct. 2 - Oct. 3
St. Anastasia, Troy

Wake Up the World: An Afternoon of Reflective Sharing for girls 12 - 16 years
Sunday, Sept. 27
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
St. Paul of the Cross Retreat House

A Pregnancy and Infant Loss Mass
Sunday, Oct. 25
11:00 a.m.
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

The Encounter: An 11 Week Journey of Discovery
Monday Evenings beginning Sept. 14
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
St. Scholastica (Gym)

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