Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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3/3/13 – What is the Purpose of Children’s Liturgy of the Word?

Children's Liturgy of the WordChildren’s Liturgy of the Word has been a part of life at Our Lady of Mount Carmel for about two decades now.  What is the purpose of these specific celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word at Mass?

The Liturgy of the Word for Children has, as its name suggests, a threefold purpose.  It is a time to:

  • engage in the public, communal rituals of the Church (Liturgy)
  • listen to, break open, and respond to the scriptures (Word)
  • celebrate the word in a way that children may understand (Children).

It is expected that Children’s Liturgy of the Word will mirror the general structure and purpose of the Liturgy of the Word celebrated by the adult assembly, but with the proclamation and breaking open of the scriptures adapted to meet the developmental stage and abilities of children.

Consequently, it is not intended to be a Sunday school or scripture class.  It is not a time for religious education or catechetical instruction.  It is, furthermore, best suited to children of primary school age, who generally have the capacity to listen to, and gain some understanding, of God’s word.


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10/2/13 – Liturgy Committee Meeting Report

Liturgy CommitteeThe Liturgy Committee met on Wednesday evening.

The committee began by finalising details regarding preparations for the season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday.  Feedback was also given regarding the recently completed formation workshops for Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  We look forward to more parishioners taking part in this worthwhile ministry in the future, and to be able to provide continued support and formation to all ministers.  Parishioners who regularly attend 9:00 am Sunday Mass will notice some small changes to the celebration of Children’s Liturgy of the Word over the coming weeks, particularly in developing a common practice for dismissing the children, and acknowledging their return for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  These will be trialled and evaluated in coming months.

Also addressed at the meeting were the preparations for Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.  Existing practices were evaluated and reviewed, with many being continued this year.  Some new initiatives from last year, such as the celebration of Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday, proved to be effective, and will also be maintained.

Reports were received on the first meeting of sacristans held last Saturday, and on the Guild of St Stephen Altar Servers Conference, which two of our junior servers attended.  The committee began some initial consideration of matters it wished to explore in further detail during the year.

Parishioners are always welcome to raise matters with the Liturgy Committee at any time by emailing litcomwenty@gmail.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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3/2/13 – When is Children’s Liturgy of the Word Celebrated?

Children's Liturgy of the WordSince Children’s Liturgy of the Word was first proposed in the Directory for Masses with Children, many parishes have decided to adopt the practice.  Some parishes will not choose to celebrate Children’s Liturgy of the Word at all, but others may do so on special occasions, and others (such as ours) will celebrate it at a fixed time more frequently.

As for the exact scheduling of Children’s Liturgy of the Word, this is a decision each parish has to make.  Often parishes will find that the celebration is very beneficial, encouraging the participation of children in the Mass and helping them to understand the scriptures.  As such, they will be eager to have regular celebrations of Children’s Liturgy of the Word.

It is also important, however, that children have opportunities to observe, and begin to participate in the regular Sunday Mass.  Our knowledge of how we celebrate Mass in the Catholic Church is typically built upon an apprenticeship model, where we learn by doing with the support of more experienced ‘experts’.

As such, choosing how and when to celebrate Children’s Liturgy of the Word is about trying to find a good balance so that children may fully, consciously and actively participate in the liturgy now, and be well-formed so that they can continue to do so well into the future.


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27/1/13 – Where Did Children’s Liturgy of the Word Come From?

Children's Liturgy of the WordLast year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, a time of significant change in the Church.  Among other things, it started to put into effect a number of liturgical reforms that had been developing for some time.

Part of this reform, which has continued in the years since the council, was the realisation of the need for the liturgical rites to better meet the needs of children.

In 1973, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship published the Directory for Masses with Children.  It was the first document of its kind in the history of the Church.  It proposed a number of general principles, then proposed liturgical adaptations for Masses with adults in which children also participate (such as on Sundays), and Masses with children in which only a few adults participate (such as a school Mass).

Amongst its proposals for Masses with adults in which children also participate, the Directory stated:

Sometimes, moreover, if the place itself and the nature of the individuals permit, it possibly will be appropriate to celebrate the liturgy of the word, including a homily, with the children in a separate, but not too distant, location. Then, before the eucharistic liturgy begins, the children are led to the place where the adults have meanwhile celebrated their own liturgy of the word.

Directory for Masses with Children, article 17


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20/1/12 – Children’s Liturgy of the Word Ministry Formation Workshops

Our parish’s liturgical celebrations depend on the generous service of our liturgical ministers.  One of our responsibilities as a parish is to ensure that we provide our ministers with support and resources as they engage in their ministry.

In February, we will be supporting our Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  Formation workshops will take place at the following times:

  • Saturday 2 February at 9:45 am in the parish centre, or
  • Tuesday 5 February at 7:30 pm in the parish centre.

Ministers are asked to register in the parish centre to indicate when they will be attending.  Alternatively, you can register online at www.olmcwenty.org.au/clow

At 9:00 am Mass on Sunday 10 February, we will commission our Ministers of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word to serve for the coming year.  Children’s Liturgy of the Word will then commence on Sunday 17 February.

We look forward to being able to support our parishioners in their service to our community.


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9/12/12 – Liturgy Committee Report

Liturgy CommitteeThe Liturgy Committee met for the final time in 2012 last month.

Final arrangements were made for the celebration of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  All parishioners are invited to join Fr Paul for Advent Prayer and Reflection on the next two Wednesday evenings.  Christmas Mass times remain the same as in previous years, and are available here in Carmel, on the posters at the church entrance, and on our parish website.

The revised guidelines for Children’s Liturgy of the Word that were recently drafted were approved by Fr Paul and the committee.  These can be found on our website.  To support Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word in their work, formation workshops will be held in early February next year, prior to the commencement of Children’s Liturgy of the Word on the First Sunday of Lent.

Initial preparations were also made for the Season of Lent in 2013, which will start on 13 February (Easter will be early next year on 31 March).  The scriptures of the season were considered, and existing practices were reviewed to see how the season could be best celebrated.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Liturgy Committee for its support and hard work during 2013: Fr Paul, Denise Alderman, Lyn Craddy, Janine Hanna, Lyn McQueeney and Natalie Stewart.

Robert Barden
Liturgy Coordinator


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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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26/8/12 – Liturgy Committee Report

Liturgy Committee, Our Lady of Mount Carmel WentworthvilleThe Liturgy Committee met this week.  The first matter the committee considered was last month’s celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  There were many positive aspects to the celebration of the Parish Feast Day.  We wish to continue with the practice of welcoming new parishioners on this special occasion, with improvements to be made with having new parishioners register with the parish office throughout the year.  The lunch remains a positive social occasion for the parish, but we hope that in the future, more can be done to include children, as well as a broader range of parishioners.

Fr Paul and the Liturgy Committee formally thank all those who contributed to the preparation and celebration of the day.

The second matter discussed at the meeting was the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word for Children at Sunday Mass.  This is a worthwhile and long-standing practice here in Wentworthville, which has been supported by hard-working, dedicated volunteers.  As it does with all aspects of the liturgy from time to time, the committee revisited for its own benefit the intended purpose and structure of the Liturgy of the Word for Children.  Reading material was distributed prior to the meeting to assist with our own learning and formation.  The committee then revisited and proposed revisions to the parish guidelines for these celebrations, which were first developed in 2006.  A draft of these revised guidelines will be prepared for consideration at the next meeting.  Once they are finalised, the committee will then consider how best to support and assist Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word through formation, training and resources.

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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20/6/10 – Report on Guiding Concepts Meeting

Church Renovation ProcessLast weekend, our parish held a second meeting with liturgical advisor Fr Stephen Hackett MSC to continue the work of our Church Renewal Process.  A good number of people were in attendance, and we thank those who came along and took part.

The purpose of this meeting was to begin the development of some guiding concepts for the project.  These concepts would form the parish’s own contribution to a design brief.  A design team will take our guiding concepts, as well as the existing plans of the building, relevant church documents, and diocesan and government policies.  Their task will be to develop a plan for our church building which not only meets the various requirements for church buildings, but also reflects our unique nature, beliefs and values as the parish of Wentworthville.

With this in mind, people began to identify areas of need within not only our church building, but within our broader parish community.  Those present were then invited to work in groups (based on their particular topics of interest) to consider these needs in greater detail.  Groups then reported back to all present on the fruit of their deliberations.

The topics discussed covered a range of needs within our community, including Liturgical Ministry, the Disabled and the Elderly, Building and Facilities, Community, Inclusion, Mission, Spirituality, the Liturgical Environment, Finance, Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Devotional Prayer Spaces in the Church.

Over the next few months, a committee formed of members from the Liturgy Committee, Parish Pastoral Council and participants at previous renewal process meetings will take the large amount of data collected and formulate these into the guiding concepts.  Once a draft has been produced, it will be presented to the Liturgy Committee, Pastoral Council and all parishioners for feedback and comment prior to completion.

Thank you again to everyone who supported the meeting and shared their ideas and hopes for our community into the future.