Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Sprinkling with Holy Water

IMG_6354One way in which we mark the Easter Season in the celebration of the Sunday Mass at Wentworthville is by using the rite of sprinkling of holy water.  When it is celebrated, it takes the place of the usual Penitential Act in the Introductory Rites.

As the texts used for this rite make clear, sprinkling holy water is intended to remind us of our baptism.  Through baptism, we are freed from sin and share in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate particularly during this season.

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Alleluia, alleluia

The Second Sunday of Easter brings to an end the Easter Octave; an eight-day period of particular celebration of the Resurrection.

The first eight days of the Easter season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord.

General Norms of the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 24

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Then-Bishop of Parramatta (now Archbishop of Sydney) Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP giving the final blessing at the parish celebration of Confirmation, 2014.  Photo © Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

One difference in the liturgy of the Easter Octave is in the dismissal at the end of Mass, which includes a double alleluia:

Go forth, the Mass is ended, alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.

The dismissal with double alleluia also concludes the Mass on Pentecost Sunday.


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Seeing the Face of Mercy this Lent

 

Lent is a time when we, among other things, celebrate the unconditional and boundless mercy of God.  This is evident throughout the season, but is probably epitomised for many in the parable of the Prodigal Son, which we will hear in a couple of weeks’ time.

Jesus presents the father in this parable as the merciful face of God the Father.  At the same time, we can relate to the father as one like us, called to respond compassionately; even though our natural response may be more akin to that of the older brother.

Year of MercyPope Francis has called us all during this Year of Mercy, not just to remember that Christ is the face of the merciful Father, but that all of us are called to be a face of mercy to the world.  This will be something that we will continue to reflect on over the course of Lent and Easter.

Mercy Has a FaceSpeaking of reflecting, many people have already noticed and commented on the mirror in the narthex, with the Diocesan Year of Mercy caption, Mercy Has a Face.  Mercy still needs a face in our world today, perhaps more now than ever, but who does God call to be that face of his mercy?  We guarantee that if you take a look in the mirror this Lent, you’ll find the answer.

 

OK, so if you’ve been to Mass at OLMC this weekend, you may be wondering why there is a mirror in the parish centre….

Posted by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wentworthville on Sunday, 14 February 2016


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When’s Easter This Year?

Lent and Easter are very early this year.  In fact, Ash Wednesday is only a week and a half away, on 10 February.

Easter Sunday, and consequently the weeks of Lent and Easter either side of it, is obviously not determined by a fixed date.  It is set by looking to the cycles of the earth and skies.

Full moonIn the Roman Catholic tradition, Easter Sunday is the Sunday that follows the first full moon after the autumn (for us, or spring, for those in the northern hemisphere) equinox, with the Church setting 21 March as the approximate date for that equinox.  This was determined at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (the same council that began to formalise the Creed we pray most Sundays).

That “first full moon” this year is on 23 March, so Easter Sunday will follow on 27 March.   It is often different to the date for Jewish Passover, which is determined according to the Jewish calendar.  It also varies often to the date for Easter in the Orthodox tradition, where the Julian calendar is still used (rather than the Gregorian calendar that is used in our Church and secularly in Australia).  On some occasions, however, we have the fortunate coincidence of two, or all three of those dates aligning.

Of course, an early Easter also means that our younger parishioners will have another two weeks at school after Easter before their next holiday break!

Image credit: Full moon by Jose Manuel Podlech on flickr, used under Creative Commons licence


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The Year of Mercy

Carmel Bulletin, 13 December 2015

Year of MercyThe Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis announced earlier this year, has now begun.  On Tuesday, Pope Francis opened the holy door at St Peter’s Basilica.

On Sunday evening (Sydney time), he will go to the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome, the Basilica of St John Lateran, to open the holy door there.

This weekend will also see holy doors open at cathedrals around the world.  The central ceremonial doors at St Patrick’s Cathedral at Parramatta, usually closed and reserved for the most special of occasions, will be opened by Fr Peter Williams (Diocesan Administrator).  People will be able to pass through these doors any time from now until the Solemnity of Christ the King in November 2016.

The document (formally called a “bull of indiction”) through which Pope Francis officially called for this Year of Mercy helps to remind us of the boundless nature of God’s mercy, which we can celebrate and experience in a multitude of ways.  One way is through penance and reconciliation.

As we approach the season of Christmas, we remember that John the Baptist calls us, just as he called the people of his time, to repent and prepare a way for the Lord in our lives.  We will pray for, and celebrate the loving mercy of God at our Penitential Service on Wednesday evening.  I invite you to join us for this celebration, or to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation next Saturday morning from 9:30 – 10:30 am.

Penitential-Service-2015-We


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Liturgical Ministers for Christmas

Carmel Bulletin, 29 November 2015

As the season of preparation for Christmas is now upon us, we are beginning to invite liturgical ministers to serve at our Christmas Masses.

Christmas Ministry Sign Up SheetYou will find sign-up sheets as usual in the parish centre today.  We need assistance in the following roles:

  • Greeters
  • Computer operators for the data projector
  • Head collection wardens
  • Offertory procession
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Altar servers can sign up to help on the sheet in the work sacristy, while Ministers of the Word should have received an email this week asking whether they will be available at Christmas time.

This year at our Christmas Masses, we will be posting a sheet on the whiteboard in the parish centre of all the volunteers who have signed up.  When ministers arrive at Mass to serve, we ask that you “sign in” on the sheet so that we can quickly check that ministers are present, and if we need to find replacements.  This will help us ensure that our Christmas Masses go as smoothly as possible.

I thank all our liturgical ministers for their continued commitment to our community.  Please consider serving at what is a very important time in the Church’s year, and a crucial time for welcoming parishioners and visitors alike.


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Saying Amen

Carmel Bulletin, 8 November 2015

It is the shortest response that we make at any time during the Mass.  It is the most common response.  It is also, I believe, the most important.

The word Amen is a word by which we give assent or affirmation to what has been said.  Often it is described as meaning “so be it”.

Priest leading the Collect Prayer

© Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

The response Amen allows the assembly to give its voice to its prayers that are led by the priest.  We confirm that we worship in the name of the Trinity.  We affirm our profession of faith.  The Eucharistic Prayer, with its praise, petition and thanksgiving, comes to its completion with the Great Amen; a response considered so important that it should be sung.

Receiving communion from the chalice

© Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

It is interesting, therefore, that some people seem reluctant to respond to the priest, deacon or Extraordinary Minister when they receive communion.  The declarations “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” deserve our heartfelt response.  To say Amen is to declare our belief that we are receiving Christ himself.  Not only that, but as St Augustine once explained, we declare our belief that Christ is present within us, and that we say Amen to both what the Eucharist is, and what we are.

To say Amen when we receive communion is a powerful expression of our faith.  So don’t be afraid to speak up!  Say Amen.