Worship News | July 2015 Worship News | February 2016

Lent_GraphicO God, who desire not the death of sinners, but their conversion, Mercifully hear our prayers and in your kindness be pleased to bless + these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes and shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for sins and newness of life after the likeness of your Risen Son.  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen. Roman Missal, Ash Wednesday

Historically, Lent was the retreat-like preparation period for catechumens being initiated into the Church and into the Paschal mystery at the Easter Vigil.  It naturally became a renewal period for the already baptized faithful, who were inspired by the conversion of the catechumens and spent Lent as a time of examining how they had lived their own baptismal commitment.  Eventually, it also became the time of penance for those enrolled in the order of penitents, an early form of the Sacrament of Penance.

Today, Lent has this same twofold focus of baptism and repentance.

For the Elect
Lent is the final preparation for their initiation at the Easter Vigil.  At the Rite of Election the Archbishop/Bishop receives testimony from their sponsors that they are prepared and the whole community present pledges support of those presented to the Archbishop/Bishop.  The catechumens also announce that they wish to enter fully into the life of the Church.  The Archbishop/Bishop receives the names of the catechumens and then solemnly declared:  “I now declare you to be members of the elect, to be initiated into the sacred mysteries at the next Easter Vigil.  At the dismissal the elect are invited to join the community during Lent in spiritual preparation for their initiation.  

Lent for these elect becomes a forty day retreat experience.  During this retreat they are prepared for and celebrate the Scrutinies on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent.  They hear proclaimed on these Sundays the readings of the Woman at the Well, the Man born Blind, and the Raising of Lazarus from Year A and the whole community prays that they be delivered from the power of sin and Satan, protected against temptation, and be given the strength of Christ.  The Elect themselves are freed from the effects of sin and from the influence of the devil in the rite of exorcism which follows the intercessions. 

The Elect are encouraged to spend more time in silence and prayer.  There are no formal classes; only time for reflection, prayer, and spiritual preparation.

For the Baptized
Lent is a time of reflection and repentance for all the baptized.  This includes those preparing for acceptance into full communion and those returning to the church after being away for a while.  It is fitting that they, as well as, all the faithful receive the sacrament of Reconciliation to prepare themselves to renew their baptismal vows at the Easter celebration.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Lent

1. May Baptisms and Weddings be celebrated during Lent?
Yes. Sacraments cannot be denied to the faithful during Lent. However, it would be well to share with parents of children for baptism and couples preparing for marriage the spirit of the season of Lent. More>>

2. Who can impose ashes?
The ordinary minister for the blessing of ashes is a priest or deacon. Others may assist with the imposition of ashes where there is genuine need, especially for the sick and Shut-ins. 

3. What are the formulas used?
"Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." Or "Remember, man you are dust   and to dust you will return."

4. Is it permissible for people to self-impose ashes on Ash Wednesday?
Ashes are never self-imposed.  Ashes are meant to be received, not taken and self-imposed. More>>

5. Is it proper to empty baptismal fonts during Lent?
  Removing the holy water from the baptismal font during Lent is an innovation based on custom not liturgical law. The practice shows a lack of understanding of the season of Lent. More>>

6. May the Stations of the Cross be prayed during Eucharistic Adoration? May the Stations be ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament?
Benediction is part of the Order for Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist. This order of prayer is part of the Church's official liturgy. It is no longer permitted for benediction to be added to end any other service or devotion. The USCCB has a more complete explanation on their website.

7. The husband of one of our catechumens has been coming to the RCIA sessions. He has been away from the Church and is accompanying her in hopes of growing in his faith. Can he make a profession of faith at the Easter Vigil?
NO. The Easter Vigil is reserved for those who are being fully initiated.  Lent, the season of repentance, is for all the baptized, including those baptized who have been away from the Church. More>>


Rite of Election

Rite of ElectionThe letters have been sent, with directions and seating plans; the program is being printed, host parishes are surfacing liturgical and hospitality ministers; everything is being readied for the arrival of our catechumens, candidates and RCIA Team members for the Rite of Election. 

There are a few parishes from whom we have not received any information.  If you are one of these please know all information must be received no later than Wednesday, Feb. 10th.

May 29th will be the feast of Corpus Christi in 2016.  
Archbishop Vigneron is inviting all those who will be initiated at the Easter Vigil 2016 to join him and other pilgrims at the celebration of Corpus Christi.  He looks forward to completing their Mystagogy at this celebration honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, on May 29th at 2 PM. and sending them as our Church’s newest disciples to spread the Good News of the Gospel.

News from the Vatican

I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice: The Works of Mercy on the Jubilee Path
This is the title of Pope Francis Message for Lent 2016.  He has asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy”.

Francis divides his message into three sections: “Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelized”, “God’s covenant with humanity: a history of mercy”, and “The works of mercy”.  Read the full message here.

Holy Thursday Mandatum

maundy_thursday 2On January 21st the Vatican Information Service announced that Pope Francis has issued a decree changing the rubric for the Washing of Feet on Holy Thursday in the Roman Missal “with the intention of improving the way in which it is performed so that it might express more fully the meaning of Jesus’ gesture in the Cenacle, His giving of Himself unto the end for the salvation of the world, His limitless charity.”   “After careful consideration”, Pope Francis continues, “I have decided to make a change to the Roman Missal....so that from now on the Pastors of the Church may choose the participants in the rite from among all the members of the People of God.”  Pastors may choose a group of the faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God.  This group may consist of men and women, and ideally of the young and the old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated persons and laypersons.  All the people of God are called to give of themselves, to serve others following the example of Christ.  Read the official decree here 

Year of Mercy: Letter to Young People
Mercy Logo
Pope Francis has also written a letter to young people, aged 13 – 16, inviting them to be part of the Year of Mercy.  He addresses them as those who are “preparing to be Christians capable of making courageous choices and decisions, in order to build daily, even through little things, a world of peace”.  It would be a wonderful idea to share this letter with all the young people in your parish.  

News from the USCCB

For Pastors and Worship Commissions

“When liturgy is prepared and celebrated according to the mind of the Church with prayerfulness and beauty it becomes one of the ways by which we hold and teach the Catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles” (Bishop Braxton at FDLC 2015).   

The work of the Pastor with his Worship Commission is especially important as the Church prepares to celebrate the central feast of the Liturgical year, the Triduum.  To assist in this work of preparation please find attached the rubrics from the Roman Missal for each of the days of the Triduum.  These rubrics and the readings from the Lectionary ought to be the first sources for reflection during the preparation process: Holy Thursday | Good Friday | Easter Vigil

Calendar Alert

February 10 Ash Wednesday
  This is a day of universal fast and abstinence. 
February 11 Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
  World Day of the Sick, a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the Church, and of reminding us to see in our sick  brothers and sisters the face of Christ who, by suffering, dying, and rising, achieved the salvation of the human race.
February 13 & 14     Rite of Election
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
February 14 First Sunday of Lent
  World Marriage Day
February 28 Third Sunday of Lent    
  If there are elect present at this Mass the First Scrutiny is celebrated.  
  The scrutinies should take place within the ritual Masses “Christian Initiation: The Scrutinies,” which are celebrated on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent; the readings with their chants are those given for these Sundays in the Lectionary for Mass, Year A.  When, for pastoral reasons, these ritual Masses cannot be celebrated on their proper Sundays, they are celebrated on other Sundays of Lent or even convenient days during the week. (RCIA #146.)

Because the Gospels for Year A are of major importance in regard to Christian initiation, they may also be read in Year B and Year C, especially in places where there are elect present. (Lectionary for Mass, Introduction, Chapter 5, #3.)

Archdiocese of Detroit

The Holy Door
The Door of Mercy is open to the public on the first Friday of every month 9:00am – 2:00pm and every Sunday afternoon 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  Groups of 15 + may make an appointment for other times on the Cathedral website.

What has to be done to gain an indulgence when visiting the Holy Door?
  1. In order to be capable of gaining an indulgence one must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least at the completion of the prescribed works.
  2. To gain a plenary indulgence, in addition to excluding all attachment to sin, even venial sin, it is necessary to fulfill the following three conditions:
    1. sacramental confession
    2. Eucharistic Communion
    3. prayer for the intention of the Holy Father [one Our Father, one Hail Mary, or any other prayers]
A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once in the course of a day.
Prayer Card for the Year of Mercy
Prayer cards for the Jubilee Year of Mercy are available from the Archdiocese of Detroit Print Shop.  The double-sided prayer card features the logo of the Year of Mercy, and the prayer for the jubilee composed by Pope Francis.  You can place your order at: 

Come, Encounter Christ
Parishioners across the Archdiocese have received the “Come, Encounter Christ” experiences with great enthusiasm.  These evenings of inspirational preaching, live music, Eucharistic Adoration and Confession will continue to be hosted by various parishes in the Archdiocese and are open to all in the Archdiocese.  Bring your whole family, invite your neighbors, invite those you know who have been away from the church.  The full schedule of remaining experiences is attached here.


Resources Available from AOD Print Office
The following resources are available for purchase from the Archdiocese of Detroit Print Shop:
  • 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
  • RCIA Inventory and Envelope (a form to collect the necessary information from each person in the RCIA process with an accompanying envelope to keep information confidential).
    • ​Call the Print Shop at (313) 237-5967 to order copies of these
Altaration: The Mass as Teens Have Never Seen it Before by Mark Hart, Ascension Press. The goal of Altaration is not to fill teens' heads with information but to pierce their hearts with transformation. The program contains a 3 DVD set, a Leader's Guide, and a Student Workbook. More>>

SPARCSSpiritual Program for All Returning Catholics. The online video sessions in SPARCS are designed as an accessible way to give a better understanding of the Catholic faith. Watch this brief introduction to SPARCS!

How You Can Find God in Your Rearview Mirror by Ron Ward
This new book is about Evangelization and answers some of the questions that parish Evangelization Commissions have about how to get started.

Elements of the Catholic Mass, by the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake.  This free video series is a collection of 2 – 5 minute videos on different aspects of Catholic liturgy.  Every episode can be viewed on the series’ website. 

Share the Message of Mercy: Five Homilies with Bishop Robert Barron. This CD produced by Catholic Word may help parishioners understand better the Church's mission to be a witness of compassion. More>>

February 2016

In this Issue


Singing the Psalms
February 6, 2016
9:00 am – 1:30 pm
St. Thomas a ’Becket Parish, Canton
Annual Mass for World Day of the Sick
February 7, 2016
11 am
Cathedral of Most Blessed Sacrament
Called and Gifted Workshop
February 13, 2016
10 am – 6 pm
SS. Cyril & Methodius, Fr. Mikus Hall 
Dementia Workshop
February 17, 2016
9:30 – 12:15 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Evangelization Made Easy
February 23, 2016
7:30 – 8:30 pm
St. Constance Church, Taylor
RCIA Topics 1 & 8
February 27, 2016
9:am – 4 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Nightfever: Detroit Informational Meeting
March 2, 2016
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
The Jubilee Year of Mercy
Holy Trinity Apostolate 19th Annual Lenten Symposium

March 12, 2016
7 am – 4 pm
SS Cyril & Methodius Church, Sterling Heights
Be Merciful as Your Heavenly Father is Merciful
Conference for Priests, Religious and Laity

March 31 – April 2
Our Lady of Grace Educational Center
Alma, MI
In the Footsteps of the Saints: A Discernment
Pilgrimage in France

May 24 – June 4 2016
Scholarships available
Notre Dame Center for Liturgy Symposium
Liturgy and the New Evangelization

June 20 – 23, 2016
Center for Liturgy, Notre Dame IN
World Youth Day for those unable to travel to Poland
July 30 -31, 2016
St. Mary’s Orchard Lake

Visit the worship events page


In the January 2016 issue of Worship News the names of Cardinal “Dearden” and Bishop “Untener” were misspelled.  Please forgive the error.  In addition we have been informed that the prayer quoted by Pope Francis and printed in the Worship News was indeed written by Bishop Untener.   

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