Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Australia’s First Saint

Carmel Bulletin, 25 February 2018

Mary-MacKillopYou can find our new image of St Mary MacKillop near the entry doors at the back of the church.  It is carved by Engelbert Piccolruaz, who was born and learnt woodcarving in the traditional style of the Italian alpine region; the origin of our statue of St Joseph.

The decision on how St Mary would be represented came from a long period of consultation.  While at one stage we contemplated adopting the most common representation of St Mary, in the habit of the order that she founded, we saw an opportunity to present an alternative perspective.

St Mary’s love of God, and her desire to serve her God through service to those in need, began at a young age.  Her gentle concern, combined with enthusiasm and courage, saw the establishment and flourishing of a new religious order, the education of countless children in over one hundred schools, and the patient resolve to see through the challenges from those who disagreed with her.

In addition to considering how these characteristics could be best expressed, we also learnt about the growing range of representations of St Mary in other places, capturing different periods in her life.  The Sisters of St Joseph themselves look to recall and celebrate St Mary’s whole life – young and old, daughter, sister, governess, teacher and religious.  We also sought to reflect something of the Josephites today, without the habit of the past, but still with the order’s emblem.  The symbol of the cross also features prominently on the book in her hand, as it did in the religious life and spirituality of St Mary of the Cross.

We hope that this statue can be for all people a means of reflecting on the life and example of the patron saint of our nation and diocese.  May her life continue to be an inspiration to all of us to follow Christ.

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Getting to Know our Renewed Church

Carmel Bulletin, 24 December 2017

Welcome to our first weekend of Masses since our new altar was dedicated and new parts of our church blessed for use.  To help you become familiar with our renewed church, please take note of the following:

03 - Blessing of Font 1

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv blesses our new baptismal font, 17 December 2017

We bless ourselves with holy water as we enter the church to remind us of our baptism.  We encourage you to bless yourself directly from the baptismal font in the centre of the church.

The front pew in each section of the church is kneeler-free, which may be of help to those who are unable to kneel, and to those who need easy access in and out of their seat.

Many people use the devotional spaces around the church for their personal prayer.  Please feel free to pray at the shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but only before or after Mass.  Stopping at the shrine after receiving communion causes difficulties and disruption for others.  The seats in front of the shrine are the perfect place to stop and pray after Mass, while keeping walkways clear.  We look forward to the other devotional spaces around the church being completed early in the new year.


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30/9/12 – Liturgy Committee Report

Liturgy CommitteeThe Liturgy Committee met on Thursday 20 September.  As Advent is now only two months away, the committee considered the preparations that would be made for the upcoming liturgical season.  One of the challenges with the season of Advent is to ensure this short season of preparation (a little over three weeks this year) is not lost amidst the insistent Christmas promotion in the commercial world.  Advent remains an important time when we focus once again on preparing ourselves not only for the celebration of Christ’s birth, but also for Christ’s return at the end of time.  Additional elements of art and environment will be included in the parish centre this year to help sustain the Advent focus. Christmas decorations and the like may be included from the beginning of the Christmas novena on 17 December.  Taizé-style evening prayer will be celebrated weekly during Advent.

Work on revising the parish guidelines for the Liturgy of the Word for Children continues, with these guidelines to be finalised by the end of the year.  The implementation and evaluation of these guidelines will begin next year, beginning with a formation workshop for all ministers in early February.  The commencement of the Liturgy of the Word for Children next year will be delayed until the First Sunday of Lent (17 February 2013) so that ministers may participate in the workshops and be formally commissioned prior to commencement.

Parishioners are welcome to raise matters with the Liturgy Committee at any time by emailing litcomwenty (at) gmail (dot) com, or by speaking to Fr Paul or any member of the committee.  If you are corresponding in writing, please ensure your correspondence is signed and return contact details are provided, so that we can respond appropriately.


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4/3/12 – CommUNION

Recently, Fr Paul has written in Carmel reminding us of some matters concerning the celebration of Communion during Mass.

Communion ProcessionAsking all of us to be consistent in how we process to the front of the church and receive communion is not simply about efficiency, safety and the like.

A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 42

As Fr Paul has also reminded us, when approaching to receive communion, we are asked to bow towards the Blessed Sacrament being given to us as a sign of reverence.  This allows us to offer a common sign of reverence whilst maintaining the flow of the communion procession.

Once we have received communion, the procession continues as we return to our seats.  Everyone is encouraged to spend time in silent prayer after receiving communion, and people may choose to do this whilst kneeling or sitting.  It is only at our seat, however, that this silent prayer should take place.

Praying at the Marian Shrine or at the images of the saints, and asking for their intercession is something that many people find spiritually nourishing, but this is only appropriate before or after Mass.  During Mass, our focus is rightly upon Christ, whose death and resurrection we celebrate, and whose body and blood we receive in holy communion.


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26/2/11 – Fasting and Abstinence

This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the season of Lent.  Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence.  In the past, rules about fasting and abstinence in the Church were clear and very well known.  Nowadays they are often not as well known as they used to be.  Are we required to fast?  Who should fast and when?  The following statements are from the Church’s Code of Canon Law, and are the key point of reference on the matter.

The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Fish Market, © FreeFoto.comAbstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

Code of Canon Law, 1250-1253

Photo credit: FreeFoto.com


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Marian Shrine in Doncaster, UK

From the website of the British Province of Carmelite Friars comes news of the completion of the renovation of the Marian Shrine at St Peter-Chains-Church in Doncaster, UK.

The work looks quite impressive, with new stained glass windows installed, and older windows preserved.

You can read more about it, and see pictures, on their website.

The Doncaster Parish website currently has on its home page what appears to be a picture of the shrine prior to renovation.  They also have a full story and images of the completed work.


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5/4/09 – Altar of Repose

The Blessed Sacrament is carried through the church in procession, led by a cross-bearer and accompanied by candles and incense, to the place of reposition in a chapel suitably decorated for the occasion…

From the Roman Missal for Holy Thursday

On Holy Thursday evening, we are required to do something that does not occur at any other time during the year.  We remove the Blessed Sacrament from the body of the Church.

While parishes with a separate chapel for the Blessed Sacrament may continue to reserve hosts in the tabernacle there, churches such as ours need to have a chapel and tabernacle prepared elsewhere.  Given our current constraints and our previous experience, the best solution for us at present is to prepare the Altar of Repose in the parish centre.  It is a location which seems to work well and allows a large number of people to participate in adoration, even if they only choose to stay a short time.

The Altar of Repose is prepared before Mass begins as it is a required part of the liturgical space for this Mass.  We enter the church through the former entry doors, reserving the parish centre for its particular purpose on this evening.  The fact that the Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in this space means that on this evening, the parish centre is afforded increased reverence.  It is to be treated as a space that is due the same reverence as any other part of the church.

Solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament follows Mass and may continue until midnight.  In previous years, however, those who have remained for adoration after Mass have left before this time.  Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will end, therefore, when the last people who have stayed to adore the Blessed Sacrament after Mass depart.