Worship News | July 2015 Worship News | July 2016

News from the Vatican

New Vatican Office for Laity, Family and Life

As Pope Francis continues to reorganize the curial offices at the Vatican he has created a new Office for laity, family and life.  At this time Vatican News reports there is no official name for the new office but its mission has been defined as:

  • “to encourage the active and responsible presence of the laity in the advisory organs of governance present in the church at the universal and particular levels”
  • “to offer guidelines for courses preparing couples for marriage and for pastoral programs to support families in the education of young people in faith and in ecclesial and civil life, with special attention to the poor and the marginalized”
  • “to promote formation on the main issues of biomedicine and of the law regarding human life and the ideologies developing in relation to human life and gender identity”
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
July Worship News 1The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has raised the July 22nd memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to the rank of Feast rather than Memorial. The Decree issued by Congregation on June 10th titled:  “Apostolorum Apostola” (Apostle of the Apostles) was accompanied by an article by Archbishop Roche which provides a reflection on the Decree and on the biblical and liturgical texts of this Feast.  “Given that in our time the Church is called to reflect in a more profound way on the dignity of Woman, on the New Evangelization and on the greatness of the Mystery of Divine Mercy, it seemed right that the example of Saint Mary Magdalene be proposed to the faithful.”  The texts to be used in the Mass and Divine Office remain the same; a proper Preface is now in the process of being translated.

For Pastors and Worship Commissions

July Worship News 2Guide for the Preparation of the Confirmation Liturgy
Copies of the revised Guide for the Preparation of the Confirmation Liturgy have been mailed to each pastor in the Archdiocese. 

Additional copies of this guide will be available on the AOD website at the Print Shop site.  

Order for Celebrating Matrimony: Part 2
July Worship News 3 3Choosing a Day and the Mass Readings
One of the most frequent questions from parishes about weddings is:  Can a wedding Mass take place on a Holy day of Obligation? 

Answer:  A couple can get married on most days of the liturgical year with the celebration of Mass, however on our most holy days there are restrictions…Why?

According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar (#1), “Christ’s saving work is celebrated in sacred memory by the Church on fixed days throughout the year.  Each week, on the day called the Lord’s Day, the Church commemorates the Lord’s resurrection.  Once a year, at Easter, the Church honors this resurrection and passion with the utmost solemnity.  In fact through the yearly cycle the Church unfolds the entire mystery of Christ and keeps the anniversaries of the saints.  During different seasons of the liturgical year, the Church, in accord with traditional discipline, carries out the formation of the faithful by means of devotional practices, both interior and exterior, instruction, and works of penance and mercy”.

In addition, it is important to remember that the “celebration of the Eucharist is not a private function, but a celebration of the Church….” (SC 26)…every liturgical service “pertains to the whole body…manifests it and has effects upon it” (SC 26), and when Christ’s faithful are present at Mass, they should not be there as strangers or silent spectators” (SC 48).
The Table of Liturgical Days has been attached which should help parishes see at a glance which celebration has precedence when meeting with couples.  Also attached is a chronological list of days when the Mass for Marriage may not be used.

What are the restrictions?

  1. The Ritual Mass may not be used….the Mass prayers and readings of the day must be used without change :
  • from Holy Thursday to Easter
  • Epiphany  
  • Ascension
  • Pentecost
  • Corpus Christi
  • Holydays of Obligation
  1. The Ritual Mass may not be used …on the other days in the attached chronological list but, because the liturgy of the word as adapted to the marriage celebration is a highly effective means for the catechesis on the sacrament of marriage and its duties, one of the readings from the texts provided for the celebration of matrimony may be chosen.
  2. The celebration of Marriage on Friday of the Passion of the Lord and Holy Saturday is to be avoided altogether.  (OCM 32)
  3. When the Ritual Mass is celebrated during Advent or Lent the special nature of these liturgical seasons needs to be taken into consideration by the couple.  They should refrain from too much pomp or display.  
Rite II and Rite III
            Marriages which are celebrated without Mass ….Rite II or Rite III … have fewer restrictions.  While the Sacred Triduum should be avoided, the couple may get married on most days of the liturgical year using Rite II between the baptized, or Rite III if one or both are not baptized.

Other Considerations
  1. Wedding on Sunday (or Saturday evening)…. According to the revised Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Rite I may be used on Sunday at a regular Mass of the whole Community.  When the couple chooses this option they must realize that this is the community’s Mass at which they will receive the sacrament of Matrimony.  The prayers and the readings are those ascribed to the particular Sunday; however one of the readings may be taken from the Lectionary readings for Marriage.
  1. The Wedding Mass is allowed at times outside of the Sunday schedule of Masses in the parish but that does not always mean this celebration is possible.  Priests are not allowed to celebrate 3 masses on the same day.  In addition there may be restrictions in the Diocesan policies.
  1. There is particular Detroit Archdiocesan Policy on Sunday Wedding Celebration.  A copy is attached.
  1. The Celebration of several Marriages at the same time.  It is possible for more than one couple to be married at the same celebration of Marriage.   Our Catholic brothers and sisters around the world have been using this option for many years, particularly in those countries lacking sufficient clergy.  

New Adaptations in the revised Order

Blessing and Giving of the Arras and The Blessing and Placing of the Lazo and/or the Veil   
            These adaptations are important for Hispanic and Filipino cultures and have already been approved for use in the United States in Spanish since 2010.  They are now included in the Order for Celebrating Matrimony when:
  • one of the spouses has this cultural background but the other does not speak Spanish
  • both couples have this cultural background, but have become more accustomed to English than Spanish
Also, making them available in the English translation means that any and all couples may use them. That being said it is important that we understand the meaning of these customs.  Both have a long history in Catholic understanding of the sacrament of Marriage.
The Arras
            The word arras literally means “pledge.”  Usually, the arras consists of a small cask containing thirteen gilded or plated coins symbolizing prosperity.  The Priest blesses the arras, gives them to the husband who gives them to his wife; the wife then hands them over to her husband.  The words, which both bride and groom say to each other during the exchange of the arras, highlight their commitment to share together all the goods which they will receive during their married life.
The Lazo
            The lazo is a type of lasso or yoke to symbolize the marriage union.  Its most usual form is a double-looped rosary; one loop goes over the groom’s shoulders and the other over the bride’s with the cross hanging between them.  The two are now tied together for life, so to speak.  To use the biblical expression, they become “one flesh.”
The Veil
            The veil is placed on the head of the woman and over the shoulders of the man.  It is a symbol of the protection of God to the new family.  It is usually placed before the Nuptial Blessing. 
Resources for the Revised Order for Celebrating Matrimony
            The following organizations have prepared resources for parishes to use in preparing couples for marriage:

Calendar Alert  
July 6 St. Maria Goretti Feastday
She is the Patroness of teenage girls
July 14 St. Kateri Tekakwitha, first Native American to be declared Blessed
July 22 St. Mary Magdalene, Feast
July 25 - August 1 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland
July 26 Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of BVM
Saint Anne is the Patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit
Celebration at the Cathedral at 7 PM

You Have Been Asking
  1. When can a pastor administer the sacrament of Confirmation?
    The ordinary minister of Confirmation is a bishop but priests can administer Confirmation either by mandate of the law or by delegation by the bishop.  In the Archdiocese of Detroit priests have the following faculties:
  • To administer the sacrament of Confirmation to those persons who have attained the use of reason (adults and children) and whom they baptize in accord with the requirements of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  (RCIA 232, 305)
  • To administer the sacrament of Confirmation to those persons who have attained the use of reason (adults and children) who are already baptized in another church or ecclesial communion, on the occasion of their profession of faith and admission into full communion with the Catholic Church.
  • To administer the sacrament of Confirmation at the Easter Vigil to Catholics who, although baptized earlier, have not been reared in the Catholic Church, on the occasion of their reconciliation with the Catholic Church provided that such individuals have participated in the catechesis of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or its diocesan-approved equivalent. [Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of the Decrees of Vatican Council II, reply, Dec. 21, 1979, AAS72(1980)105]
  • To administer the sacrament of Confirmation during the Easter Vigil liturgical services to any persons who were baptized Catholic and raised Catholic but had left the practice of the faith and are now returning to the faith.  This faculty is limited to the Easter Vigil liturgical service and may be used only for those who have been part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or an Archdiocesan approved equivalent. [Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Decrees of Vatican Council II, reply, April 25, 1975, AAS67(1975)348,Dol2532]
  • The priest does not have the faculty to confirm those baptized Catholics who have been "faithful" but for some reason or other have not been confirmed.  If the priest wishes to confirm these adults he would need to request a special faculty. However, the ordinary way for these persons to receive the sacrament of Confirmation would be at the Cathedral on the feast of Pentecost or Christ the King.

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

July 2016

In this Issue


St. Anne Young Adult Pilgrimage
July 23

World Youth Day Home
July 30 - 31
St. Mary's Orchard Lake

African National Eucharistic Congress
August 5 - 7
Catholic University of America
(202) 541-3152 or diversity@usccb.org

Convocation of Lay Ecclesial Ministers
August 31
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

5K Race for Vocations
September 10
Clarkston, MI

Visit the worship events page



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