Worship News | October 2016 Worship News | February 2017

News from the Vatican

Synod 2018: 
Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

In October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place at which the bishops of i78f0z7otxvdxpm9fg6lnkqrjjqf6ou8the Church will seriously address the life, of young people…16 – 19 in our changing world.  “The Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today.  By listening to young people, the Church will once again hear the Lord speaking in today’s world.” (Preparatory Document for Synod 2018)

The first step in the preparation process for Synod 2018 has begun.  Synods and councils of the Eastern Catholic Church, the Roman curia, the Union of Superiors General and Bishops’ Conferences around the world have received a questionnaire “to express their understanding of the world of young people”.  The results of this questionnaire will form the content of working document for the Synod.  In addition, all young people will be invited to submit their answers to a questionnaire that will appear on a website to be announced.

Attached is a letter from Pope Francis to Young People.  Please share this with young people in your parish.  

Message for World Day of the Sick

In his message for the 25th World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis announced that this year’s theme is “Amazement at what God has accomplished: “The Almighty has done great things for me…” Since Saint John Paul II instituted this day in 1992, World Day of the Sick has been an opportunity to reflect on the needs of the sick … of all who suffer and on those who care for them.  “The sick and those who are disabled, even severely, have their own inalienable dignity and mission in life.”  That mission is to be an authentic missionary disciple of Christ.  Read the full message here

On February 12th, Archbishop Vigneron will celebrate 11 am Mass at Most Blessed Sacrament Cathedral for the sick and health care providers.  The Mass will include an anointing of the sick and a blessing of all health care providers.  See flyer for more information.

Beware of scammers trying to sell papal audience tickets, Pope Francis says. Click here for the full message.

News from the USCCB

The Corporal Works of Mercy

In November we completed the Jubilee Year of Mercy during which, as an Archdiocese, we prayed, made pilgrimage to the Cathedral for a plenary indulgence, and learned that as Catholics we are called to be the presence of Christ in our world.  Christ calls us to feed the hungry, to give drink to irmigu49s402drzaym09ljx53aj32zt7the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned and to bury the dead.  He calls us to welcome the stranger as well.  Now the time has come to be what we have become, to do what the Year of Mercy was empowering us to do.

Much of the news we hear and read today is disturbing.  It is contrary to the essence of the corporal works ofda6fl3ipx7swo6ijw7uwldytm83xb76m mercy.  We find ourselves asking …who are the ones we should be ministering to?  Where do they come from?  Do we have a choice?  Or, are we being called to minister to whomever Christ sends into our lives?  Recent events are testing us.  Are we ready to be the people that Christ has been forming us into every time we receive the Eucharist? 

People are fleeing for their lives from countries around the world.  These are families, men and women and children who are carrying what little they possess and walking away from poverty, from a war torn and destroyed land.  Are we willing to welcome them into our lives and minister to them?

On January 25th Pope Francis blessed a special sculpture for the tiny island of Lampedusa Port.  Due to its geographical position, the tiny island is one of the main points of entry for African migrants. Tens of thousands of desperate men, women and children have landed on its shores in the past years. Tragically, hundreds have perished during the dangerous crossing.  Pope Francis said that the sculpture for Lampedusa celebrates the example the Island is giving the rest of the world with its welcome for migrants.  

The Bishops of the United States have raised their voices and have issued a statement on migration.

Archbishop Vigneron has also spoken in support of immigrants.  

How will we respond?

For Pastors and Worship Commissions
Holy Communion at Mass: Following the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
by Dan McAfee
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal is the introductory document that explains the theological background and gives the rubrics (rules) for the celebration of the Mass.  Every so often, presiders and those who prepare liturgical celebrations should read this important document to remind themselves of the profound theology contained in the celebration of the Mass. Reading the General Instruction can also provide a way to evaluate the way we celebrate Mass.  A number of the laws that govern the celebration of Mass are frequently ignored. One very significant regulation that is most often ignored regards the distribution of Holy Communion from the tabernacle at Mass. 
The General Instruction states quite clearly:
It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the Priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in places where this is foreseen, they partake of the chalice, so that even by means of signs, Communion will stand out more clearly as participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.” (#85)
This directive of the General Instruction is based on The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy which states:
That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the Lord’s body from the same sacrifice is strongly commended.” (#55)
I know from frequent attendance at Mass that this is not what usually happens, in fact, it rarely happens. At some Masses the priest is the only one who receives the sacrament consecrated at that Mass.

Some might think that this is splitting hairs.  After all, the reserved sacrament is as much the Body and Blood of Christ as the sacrament consecrated at the Mass being celebrated.  Why would the rules make such a big deal over it?

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy states that the “full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else.” (#14) This participation by the people is expressed in the two great processions of the faithful at Mass.  The first is the presentation of the gifts where the people give the bread and wine for the sacrifice.  These gifts also represent the gift of their lives.  These are the very gifts offered to the Father by the Priest and returned to the people as the Body and Blood of our Lord when they come forward in the second procession to receive Holy Communion.  They are our gifts that are offered along with our lives that we receive, not the gifts offered by someone else at another time.

Receiving Holy Communion from the tabernacle disconnects us from the Mass that we are actually participating in.  It is tantamount to having a communion service in the middle of Mass. The Priest is required to receive the Body and Blood of Christ consecrated at the same Mass and the General Instruction states that the people should as well. This raises the question: “why do we reserve hosts in the tabernacle?”  It is not for the convenience of distributing Holy Communion during Mass. 

Another Church document, Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, gives us the reason for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. “Consecrated hosts are reserved in the tabernacle for the administration of viaticum (communion to the dying), the communion of the sick and the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist outside Mass.” (#49) Notice that there is no mention of using reserved hosts for the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass.  Similarly there is no mention in the General Instruction regarding the use of reserved hosts for the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass.

This is not a new Church teaching. In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV urged the frequent reception of Holy Communion and he highlighted the reception of Holy Communion consecrated at the same Mass the “one and the same sacrifice is shared” by the Priest and the faithful. (Certiores Effecti, #7)  This teaching was reiterated by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical on the Liturgy Mediator Dei commending those who: “when present at Mass, receive hosts consecrated at the same Mass, so that it is actually verified, ‘that as many of us, as, at this altar, shall partake and receive the most holy Body and Blood of thy Son, may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace.” (#121)

Can we practically achieve this theological directive in a pastoral way?  First we must accept that the active participation of the people in the Mass actually being celebrated is an important ideal. Once we do that we must train sacristans, ushers, greeters and other ministers to help in determining the size of the congregation at a particular Mass.  This is not very difficult since the number of people attending a particular Mass is fairly steady except at Christmas and Easter.  If a few more hosts are needed at Mass, the ministers can break the remaining hosts for communicants.  If too many hosts are consecrated, they may be consumed or placed in the tabernacle. [GIRM #163]

By distributing Holy Communion from hosts consecrated at the same Mass in which the people are actually participating we are following both the letter and the spirit of the law as found in the General Instruction. We are also following the example of Jesus who when he fed the crowd took, blessed, broke and gave the bread that was given him by the people. 

Influenza and the Liturgy

The flu season is upon us once more and some of our parishioners are very concerned about the spread of germs especially from some of the liturgical practices at Mass.  Hopefully the following suggestions will help with these concerns.

General suggestions:
  1. To reduce and/or eliminate contracting the flu be sure that you get your flu shot in a timely manner.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and soap frequently and/or sanitize them using a hand sanitizer.  “Correct” hand washing is the single most important habit that can help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
  3. Be sure you get sufficient rest, and if you are sick: coughing, sneezing, sniffling or generally not feeling well stay home.
During Liturgy:
  1. Priests, deacons and all liturgical ministers should carefully wash their hands and/or use a hand sanitizer before and after Mass.
  2. Communion should be distributed in the hand during this season to avoid contact of the minister’s hands with the mouth and saliva of communicants.
  3. All who are sick: coughing, sneezing, sniffling or generally not feeling well should not approach the Chalice to receive the Precious Blood out of a sincere concern for the health and well-being of others.
  4. If someone is sick, please refrain from holding hands during the Our Father.  All should be encouraged to pray the Our Father with hands raised to God …the Orans position.
  5. If someone is sick do not hesitate not to shake hands at the Kiss of Peace.  It might be prudent to tell your neighbors before the start of Mass that you have a cold and will not be shaking hands only because of that.  Perhaps a bow of the head and the greeting “Peace be with you”, could be shared with those around instead.
Obtaining Low-Gluten Hosts

Recently the Office for Christian Worship became aware that CM Almy: Outfitters to the Church and Clergy has been advertising Gluten-Free Communion Bread.  Please note this gluten-free bread is not valid for use in the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist

The bread for the Eucharist is to be made only of wheat flour and pure water, without the addition of other ingredients. . .  According to Vatican Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (1980), addition or substitution of other substances can affect validity of sacrament. 

In the dioceses of the United States, there are four approved distributors of low-gluten hosts.
  1. Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
    Altar Breads Department
    31970 State Highway P
    Clyde, MO 64432-8100
    Phone: (800) 223-2772
    Web: www.BenedictineSisters.org
  2. Parish Crossroads
    P.O. Box 2413
    Kokomo, IN 46904
    Phone: (800) 510-8842
    Web: www.ParishCrossroads.com
  3. GlutenFreeHosts.com Inc.
    100 Buckley Road
    Liverpool, NY 13088
    Phone: (800) 668-7324 ext. 1
    Web: www.GlutenFreeHosts.com
  4. Cavanagh Company
    610 Putnam Pike
    Greenville, RI 02828
    Phone: (800) 635-0568
    Web: www.CavanaghCo.com
Ash Wednesday

Self-imposition of ashes is not permittedAttached is a copy of the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes (from the Book of Blessings) that may be used by a priest or deacon who may be assisted by lay ministers for the distribution of ashes.

This service may also be used by a lay person when bringing blessed ashes to the sick of the parish….  On Ash Wednesday it would be well to schedule this service at various times during the day for those who were not able to attend Mass in the morning.   

Blessed Sacrament Cathedral will be offering a unique opportunity this year for all in the diocese who would like to start Lent focused on the personal love story between Christ and each of us. See the flyer for more information.


Rite of Election

The Rite of Election is about a month away.  Thank you to all who have submitted their registration forms.  If for some reason you have not been able to submit your form please call Maggie Bickerstaff at 313-237-5932 and she will send the form you need.

In about two weeks I will be sending each parish the following by mail:
  • Directions for the Rite of Election to share with your catechumens and candidates to prepare them for the celebration
  • An updated copy of the seating plan for your parish
  • Invitations from Archbishop Vigneron for each of your catechumens and candidates to join him at the celebration of Corpus Christi at the Cathedral on June 18th
  • A memo asking for your kindness to distribute these invitations after the Easter Vigil
Lent for Elect is:
  • a spiritual season
  • a time to face the darkness within and expose it to the light
  • a season to confront our demons and pray to be delivered from the power of sin and Satan
  • a time to wrestle honestly with failings, trusting in the merciful love of God
  • a time of re-focusing, of re-entering the place of truth, of reclaiming our true identity
The Elect enter 40 days of retreat with an emphasis on prayer, purifying their intentions, deepening their conversion and a rejection of a lifestyle not consistent with the discipleship they will soon be initiated into.  There is no more formal teaching. They join the rest of the community in fasting, penance and almsgiving.  The Church provides special celebrations called Scrutinies for the Elect.  These are scheduled to be celebrated at Mass on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent.  These celebrations are never combined with any other rites.

Calendar Alert
February 3 Feast of St. Blase
Traditionally the Blessing of Throats is given today.
February 6 St. Paul Miki and Companions
Paul Miki was a Jesuit scholastic who, together with 25 companions, was crucified at Nagasaki
February 8 Memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita, first Sudanese saint
February 11 Our Lady of Lourdes
Pope John Paul II designated this day as World Day of the Sick
February 12     World Marriage Day
February 22 The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle

You Have Been Asking

1. We have a young girl in 6th grade who has been attending our Catholic School for 6 years. She recently asked to be baptized. Can we bring her to the Rite of Election?

No. You need to remember that the catechesis the child has already received in school is probably what led to the request for baptism…Evangelization.  Now, the full process for the catechumenate adapted for children needs to begin.  Please refer to #252 – 329 of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults ritual.  Attached is a chart with sections highlighted that would apply to the child you described.

2. Most baptisms in the Catholic Church are of infants. The garment I have ssen used is a white 'bib' usually made by the ladies of the church, purchased, or handed down within families. However, more and more baptisms are toddlers, children and adults needing an adult-sized garment. What garment does the Church want these individuals to wear? Can a stole be used?
It is traditional that a white garment is given to someone who has just been baptized signifying that he/she “has put on Christ”.  For infants the white Christening gown serves as this white garment.  Yes, as you described some parishes will give a small white garment as well.

The white garment used for children and adults is the Alb…a long, loose fitting tunic.  A stole is NEVER given.  The stole is the proper garment for a priest.

I have attached 2 patterns for the Alb so that you can see what that might look like and perhaps the ladies in your parish could create something similar for adults and older children.

3. I have a few questions: 
a. At what point should my candidates & catechumens step back from the RCIA process if their annulment paperwork is not completed. In the past, it was my understanding that it was before the Rite of Election. Is that correct?

Why would they step back?  They are still Catechumens and Candidates.  True they will not be prepared for the Rite of Election at this time.  But once they are in the catechumenate process they remain in the process until full initiation or reception into the Catholic Church is complete.  To ask them to step back from the process is an injustice to them.  They continue their process as catechumens:
  • catechumens continue being dismissed from the Sunday Liturgy to their own group separate from the Elect
  • both catechumens and candidates continue to learn
  • to do Christian service
  • to pray…now in a special way for the New Elect
  • to reflect on scripture each day
  • to learn the Christian way of life…particularly during Lent how the community uses Lent as a      time of conversion
  • to actively work with others to spread the Gospel and build up the Church by the witness of their lives
  • During Lent they would participate in any and all special devotions.  They could be part of the community group that participates in the process preparing the Elect for the Scrutinies (contact Sr. Georgette for a copy of the materials for this process).
b. Once the annulment decision is received (after the Easter Vigil), I am aware that candidates can receive the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation from the Pastor during  a Mass. Or, if they are seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation, they may attend the Pentecost/Christ the King celebration at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

When you receive notification from the Tribunal that the annulment has been granted the candidates are Received into Full Communion, Confirmed and receive Holy Communion for the first time in the Catholic Church.  The pastor has permission to confirm them and must use it.

Catholic Candidates who are preparing only for Confirmation are not usually part of the RCIA process.  They receive a review of the faith as preparation for reception of this sacrament sometime before the celebration of Confirmation at the Cathedral on either Pentecost or the Feast of Christ the King. 

c. What do we do about the unbaptized in the situation above? Wait until Easter 2018?

Yes, catechumens remain in the process until the next Easter Vigil.

d. Lastly, please give me direction on Convalidations. Is it correct that a Convalidation should take place before the C/C receives the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil if there are no previous marriages (annulments) that stand in the way?

I have attached a pdf that is a good explanation of the process for Convalidation.  I hope it is helpful.

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



National Day of Prayer for the African and African American Family
February 5

Infertility Support Mass
February 11
Ste. Anne de Detroit

World Day of the Sick Mass
February 12
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

Valentine's Day Mass and Fellowship for Single Women
February 14
Ste. Anne de Detroit

Sacramental Record-Keeping Workshops

February 15
St. Alfred

February 23
St. Hugo of the Hills
Bloomfield Hills

February 24
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
March 1

Lenten Evening of Reflection for Alumni
March 15

Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Symposia at the University of Notre Dame

Encountering Jesus Christ in the Bible and Liturgy
June 19 - 23

The Senses of the Scriptures
June 26 - 30

The Word, Music, and the Saint John's Bible
July 17 - 21


Visit the worship events page



To Receive Worship News: If you received this email, you are on my distribution list.
If any member of the parish Worship Commission would like to be added to the list to receive these updates, please e-mail us at worshipoffice@aod.org or sign up on our website.


Click to view this email in a browser

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Archdiocese of Detroit
12 State Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Try Email Marketing with VerticalResponse!