Worship News | July 2015 Worship News | July 2015

Quote from Pope Francis 

"The Gospel is the message of the love of God who, in Jesus Christ, calls us to participate in his life.  Therefore, this is new evangelization:  to become conscious of the merciful love of the Father in order that we may become pure instruments of salvation for our brothers. "
-- From "People Expect the Church to Walk with Them and Bear Witness to the Faith," Pope Francis, May 29, 2015


News from the Vatican

First married couple to be canonized together
On June 27th Pope Francis issued the decree approving the canonization of Louis Martin and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.  The canonization will take place at the Vatican on October 18th during the Synod of Bishops on the Family.  Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, said the couple lived an “exemplary life of faith, dedication to ideal values, united to a constant realism and persistent attention to the poor.” 

Fr. Simar, Rector of the Shrine of Alenҫon where the couple was married, reported that there will be many opportunities for pilgrims to Alenҫon beginning in July of this year.  For more information go to:  www.louiszeliemartin-alencon.com.

Year of Mercy          
The official website for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, www.im.va, has already been launched. On this site you will find official information regarding the calendar of major public events, information on how to follow, in real time, the major events as they take place.
The Year of Mercy will begin on December 8th, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will run until November 20th 2016, the feast of Christ the King.  The motto for the Year of Mercy is “Merciful like the Father” which is an invitation for all of us to follow the example of God who asks us not to judge or condemn but to offer love and forgiveness to all.  The recent tragedy in South Carolina and the response of that faith community…. I forgive you …... gives an example of what we are being called to by this Year of Mercy.  How will we respond?
How to Read:  “Laudato Si” on Care for Our Common Home
Over the weekend I overheard the following conversation: 
Have you read about Pope Francis’ new encyclical?
Yes, and it made me angry.  According to what the media is reporting he is just another liberal!
How unfortunate that anyone would use such a divisive term! 
This encyclical is not a political statement.  It is a teaching directed not just to Catholics but to every person living on the planet earth.  There were many rumors about the content of this encyclical prior to its release.  Based on these the Vatican had an increase in special interest groups seeking to exert pressure on Pope Francis not to address “climate change”.  But they did not know Pope Francis.  According to Austen Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, “Francis is allergic to lobbies and pressure groups, and sees it as his duty as pope not to let the church or the papal office be used for interests other than those of the Gospel.”
In this letter Pope Francis is once again speaking from his lived commitment to the poor.  He is asking all of us to consider how our behavior is affecting others particularly, the poor.  He is calling for global action and inner conversion…to live not just for the present moment for ourselves but to live and act to ensure future generations of all God’s creation.  Some of the issues Pope Francis calls us to consider are:
  • excessive consumerism and waste
  • needless consumption
  • respect for the beauty of all of creation
  • remember all of creation is connected
  • cultivate simplicity
  • who is responsible for ecological debt
  • who is suffering most from ecological debt
Laudato Si is a long letter.  It is best read in small chunks.  It would provide subject matter for much discussion.  You can download a copy of this encyclical here.   

For Pastors and Worship Commissions

Order of Confirmation
On May 25th, 2015 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments gave a recognitio decree for the Order of Confirmation, second edition.  This is the first major “retranslation” to receive the recognitio of the Holy See since the implementation of the Roman Missal in 2011.  The Order of Confirmation will be published solely by the USCCB Communications, and is expected to be available in the fall of 2015. The USCCB has set the implementation date as Pentecost Sunday, May 15th, 2016, although it may be used immediately upon its publication.  There are some notable changes.  The change that will draw the most attention is the use of the more traditional names for some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely:  counsel, fortitude, piety, and the fear of the Lord.
Liturgical Texts for the feast of Saint John XXIII
The Latin and Italian texts for the Mass on the feast of Saint John XXIII were promulgated on May 29th, 2014.  These texts are now being translated into various languages.  The feast of St. John XXIII this year falls on Sunday, October 11th.  Since this is the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the feast will not be celebrated in 2015, except by those churches named in his honor, who may celebrate the feast as their patronal feast day.  Until such time as the liturgical texts are approved and promulgated, the Common of Pastors: For a Pope may be used, inserting John the Twenty-Third at the appropriate places. The Mass readings of the day are used, or for a more solemn celebration, the following readings are assigned (all from the Common of Pastors):

First Reading – Ezekiel 34:11 – 16, no. (719-9)
Psalm 23: 1 – 3a, 4, 5, 6 (no. 721 – 2)
Gospel Acclamation – John 10:14 (no. 723 – 5)
Gospel – John 21: 15 – 17 (no. 724 – 12)

Calendar Alert
August 15th: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on a Saturday this year.  It is not a holy day of obligation
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. The new webform:

  • Streamlines the process for requesting commissioning of Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors
  • Reduces paperwork for both Parish and AOD Central Services
  • Improves accuracy of certificates
  • Speeds up the process of commissioning ministers

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.

The Preacher – Servant of the Word of God
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit this week issued his third pastoral letter since becoming the Archbishop of Detroit in January 2009. Titled The Preacher -- Servant of the Word of God, the new pastoral letter is directed toward priests and deacons on the subject of preaching, and is centered on efforts being undertaken in the Archdiocese of Detroit toward building a culture of New Evangelization.

“From the first hour of the Church’s manifestation of herself as the Lord’s witness to the world on Pentecost morning, preaching has been a preeminent expression of her missionary identity,” said Archbishop Vigneron. “As we enter into an era in which we will transform our pastoral energies toward the conversion of the faithful to become joyful missionary disciples of Christ, our preaching as priests and deacons of the Church is a fundamental element of our personal efforts to evangelize. It is my hope The Preacher – Servant of the Word of God will prompt prayerful reflection and perhaps inspiration as we strive to more deeply engage the faithful to renew our holiness and prioritize our love of Christ, the Bread of Life.”

The pastoral letter may be found
 on the Archdiocese of Detroit website. 


Mark your calendar
RCIA Topics

Full set of RCIA Topics will be offered in August 2015.  These topics provide on-going formation for members of parish RCIA Teams, as well as, for parish Directors/Coordinators of RCIA.  The full schedule is attached here. Registration for these will begin soon
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.
Determining the process to be used for Candidates
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, although written primarily for those adults and children of catechetical age who are not baptized, may be adapted to include uncatechized adults who were baptized in another Christian Tradition and are now seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

The critical issue is who is considered catechized and who uncatechized and how does the catechumenal team help each on the conversion journey.  Read here an explanation of the difference


For Musicians

by Joe Balistreri

At a recent AOD Chorus gathering, a soprano named Judy remarked that congregational singing was particularly poor in the parish where she cantors. Several other singers agreed. I gently suggested that one of the biggest suppressors of congregational singing is excessive amplification of the cantor or choir. Our Protestant colleagues often scoff at the sound of an amplified voice leading a hymn that should be sung equally by all. I suggested that Judy experiment by backing off the microphone during congregational hymns at a Mass. A week later, she called me and was thrilled to report that the congregation, at first hesitant, got stronger and stronger throughout the Mass, gradually finding their voice and singing as one.
This got me thinking about a wonderful passage in Sing to the Lord, 38:

As a leader of congregational song, the cantor should take part in singing with the entire gathered assembly. In order to promote the singing of the liturgical assembly, the cantor’s voice should not be heard above the congregation. As a transitional practice, the voice of the cantor might need to be amplified to stimulate and lead congregational singing when this is still weak. However, as the congregation finds its voice and sings with increasing confidence, the cantor’s voice should correspondingly recede. At times, it may be appropriate to use a modest gesture that invites participation and clearly indicates when the congregation is to begin, but gestures should be used sparingly and only when genuinely needed.
Sing to the Lord 21 also suggests that:
In order to promote the corporate voice of the assembly when it sings, the priest’s own voice should not be heard above the congregation, nor should he sing the congregational response of the dialogues. While the assembly sings, the priest should step back from a microphone, or, if he is using a wireless microphone, he should turn it off. Interesting food for thought, no? I remember first reducing the amplification years ago at my parish. It felt so counterintuitive, but it really enabled the congregation to find their voice. This summer, while things are a bit more relaxed, give it a try! Let me know if it works for you!


You Have Been Asking

I have been told that it is not proper to make the sign of the cross at the end of the Penitential Rite.  Is this true?

After the Greeting at the beginning of Mass, the Priest and the assembly are invited to pause and reflect upon their sinfulness, asking for God’s mercy. In the years prior to the Second Vatican Council, these penitential prayers were said by the priest and altar boy at the foot of the altar. After the Council, it was decided to include a Penitential Act at the beginning of Mass in which all the participants would confess their sinfulness to God.  The Act of Penitence contains four parts: an invitation to recall our sinfulness, a period of silent reflection, a common proclamation of sinfulness (either a Confiteor or Kyrie) and the concluding prayer said by the priest. 
During the Penitential Act, we are invited to recall our sins of the past week and pray for God’s mercy. In so doing, we make ourselves better prepared and more receptive to participate in the rest of the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Act of Penitence the whole assembly, proclaiming itself sinful before a merciful and forgiving God, shows that it is a community ever converting, ever in need of reconciliation with God and others.  The people are not called to make an “examination of conscience” but rather a proclamation of faith in a God who is loving, kind, and the source of all reconciliation and healing.  The focus is not on us but on the merciful God.  The prayer at the end of the Penitential Act is not an absolution from sin such as in confession.  For this reason we do not sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross.

Why does the Mass have people exchanging a sign of peace?  This was never in the Mass before Vatican II.
In the Lord’s Prayer we ask the Father to forgive us “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The Church judged it appropriate to follow this prayer with a concrete liturgical action, namely the exchange of the sign of Peace. By greeting others with “Christ’s peace, all in the assembly can show that they are attempting reconciliation with others and that they are willing to extend the peace they beg God to grant our world.  In a sense the people with whom we exchange this sign represent all the people in our lives we want to be at peace with, particularly, as we prepare ourselves to receive Holy Communion. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal the Sign of Peace is done with reverence, should not be unnecessarily prolonged or   be given exaggerated importance. It is appropriately shared only with those who are nearest to us. This liturgical action is meant to be a time of prayerful sharing of Christ’s peace, love, and unity.  The sign of peace is a ritual action flowing from the Lord’s Prayer and anticipating the unity that we try to achieve through communion. 



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 Fr. Barron, the popular creator of Christianity program that has aired on National TV.  You can view a trailer of the series  the link here.
Sacrament Series
The USCCB has created this 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 >>


July 2015

In this Issue


Welcoming Persons with Same Sex Attraction
5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 through 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12
The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth

Seminary Day for
Altar Boys

Friday, August 13
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

Summer Nights: A Workshop for Choir Singers
August 24-27
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit


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