Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Music and Hospitality

Carmel Bulletin, 14 August 2016

The Second Vatican Council’s instruction on music said: “One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song” (Musicam Sacram, no. 16).  That, of course, is easier said than done!

While it may take effort to encourage everyone in the church to sing, it can also be easy to discourage singing.  Different factors can contribute to people feeling that they are not encouraged to join in the music that is being led by the music ministers.  In turn, we now have in the Church plenty of statistical and anecdotal evidence that proves that people’s engagement and connection with the music in liturgical celebrations is a key factor in them wanting to return to a particular parish community.

Parish Vision StatementAs part of our parish vision that all families feel supported, connected and valued as they live and grow in their faith, and our strategy to welcome all who come to worship, our Liturgy Committee and music leaders have been working on a way to develop a more focused and consistent music repertoire.  As it is developed and implemented, we hope this repertoire will help everyone in our parish know what we’re singing.


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Liturgy Committee Meeting Report

Carmel Bulletin, 23 March 2013

Liturgy, Our Lady of Mount Carmel WentworthvilleThe Liturgy Committee met on Tuesday evening.

This year is the first that a weekday evening Mass has been provided during the season of Lent.  The initial attendance has been promising, and feedback suggests that the Stations of the Cross preceding Mass have been well received.  Over the coming Sundays, the Scrutinies will be celebrated as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  The first will be celebrated at 9:00 am Mass this weekend.

The committee reviewed and considered the ritual preparations for the Easter season.  Sunday Masses will again be marked by the celebration of the Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water as a reminder of our baptism, our sharing in the death and resurrection of Christ which we particularly celebrate in the fifty days to Pentecost.  This will take the place of the Penitential Act.

Since his arrival in the parish, Fr Paul has gone to some length to ensure the more regular provision of music at our Sunday Masses.  Some Masses are blessed with music on a weekly basis, while at other times, this is a goal still to be realised.  Progress, however is being made, and we thank Fr Paul for his efforts, as well as the music ministers who have agreed to take up new or different roles in order to best meet the needs of the parish.  Parishioners are always welcome to assist as new music ministers at any of our Sunday Masses, either with singing or musical accompaniment.

Progress continues to be made within the new scope of work in the Church Renewal Process, with investigation of various matters essential to the broader master plan underway.  Both the sacramental processes for adults (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA) and children are continuing under Paola Yevenes’ leadership, with the current focus for each being Initiation at the Easter Vigil and the Sacrament of Confirmation respectively.

Comments, questions and feedback about our parish’s liturgical life and practice are always welcome.  Please send a message to the committee in writing, care of the parish office, or email litcomwenty (at) gmail (dot) com.


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Parish Mass Settings Workshop

This morning, music ministers from our parish gathered together to learn more about some of the Mass settings that are available and recommended for use.  This is an integral part of the formation we’re providing in our parish as we implement the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

Our parish has generally been using the revised edition of Mass Shalom since the beginning of this year.  After being introduced to several other settings this morning, they can now move ahead with using more settings with their liturgical assemblies.

While our workshop attracted a relatively small number, we had at least one representative from each of our various music groups.  This means that these representatives can take the music back to their groups and start work.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this morning.  I hope you found it to be informative and productive.  Thanks also to Frank, who took a few pics with his iPad.

Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011

Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011

Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011

Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011


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18/7/10 – Unity, Hierarchy, Order and Ministry

At present, we are exploring the liturgical principles which underpin our work in the Church Renewal Process.  Having considered active participation, we now consider the third principle, namely:

Unity, hierarchy, order and ministry

This principle is a reminder to us that every person has a role; a part to play in the life of the parish community, especially in its liturgical celebrations.

The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (see article 28) insisted that in the liturgy, each of us should do all, but only those things that our role requires us to do.  In other words, there should not be one or a few people doing everything.  Furthermore, as we’ve emphasised recent weeks, the celebration of the Mass is not task of the priest, but is an action of Christ and his Church (AKA: us!)

This means that our parish needs to have a full range of ordained and lay ministers who are properly formed and prepared to carry out their duties.  To celebrate the Mass, we require a large number of people – sacristans, art and environment ministers, altar servers, acolytes, music ministers and projector/computer operators, ministers of the word, collectors and ushers, people to present the gifts, extraordinary ministers of communion and the like.  These are a very significant way in which lay people can participate in the life of our community.

It also means that when someone is engaging in one of these ministries during Mass, they should not be doing any other ministry.  In our parish, for example, a number of Ministers of the Word are also Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  It is fine for these people to carry out these ministries on different occasions.  Yet, when they are required to read or commentate at Mass, they cannot minister communion during that same celebration.

The various liturgical ministries of our parish are necessary for the effective celebration of the Mass.  They reflect our belief that we, the entire assembly gathered to worship, celebrate the Mass in unity with Christ and with each other.  We all have particular ways in which we participate in the celebration of Mass, and we need to encourage others to find ways in which they can serve the community through liturgical ministry.


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30/5/10 – Our Music Ministry: Still More Helpers Needed

Music MinistersLast weekend, we began an initiative to encourage more parishioners to join our music ministry.

It has been great to see people already volunteering their support.  There is still time for you to volunteer – there are more forms available from the parish centre.

In particular, there are some Masses that need particular support:

  • We have a new organist, Astrid, at 10:30 a.m. Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month.  Astrid needs, however, the help of a small group of singers to lead the music with her
  • Our Sunday evening Mass also needs musicians and singers so that we may provide live music on a more regular basis.

Our team of music ministers is only too willing to help and support people who are interested in joining them.  If you believe your gifts and talents lie in areas other than music and singing, then help our music ministry by looking for musicians and singers within our parish.  An encouraging word from others may be all that’s needed for them to give it a go.


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23/5/10 – Join the Music Ministry

The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few…

This weekend, we are appealing to you as we look to improve our parish’s music ministry.  The first part of this is working to ensure that all our Sunday Masses have live music.  This requires the participation of more singers and instrumentalists in our ministry.

You may ask why we members of the Liturgy Committee consider the provision of music to be so important?   Music has been an integral part of our Church’s prayer since its earliest days.  In St Paul’s letters to both the Ephesians (5:19) and the Colossians (3:16), he implores them to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.

Furthermore, the bishops of Second Vatican Council remind us that “liturgical worship is given a more noble form when celebrated in song.”  They remind us that music allows our prayer to be expressed in a more beautiful way, and that our sense of worshipping together as one body in Christ is strengthened through the action of us all joined together in sung prayer (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 113).

Our music ministers are a relatively small group who show a great deal of commitment.  They appreciate the positive feedback they receive from parishioners on special occasions when our music is of a very high standard.  They will be the first to tell you, however, that they need more people to help them provide quality music Sunday after Sunday.

Perhaps you enjoy singing, and maybe people have even suggested to you that you should?  Perhaps you can play a musical instrument?  If you fall into either of these categories, we ask you this weekend to consider joining one of our existing music groups, or forming one of your own.  The music ministers here in Wenty provide a great deal of support to each other, and are always willing to help new ministers in whatever way they can.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, St Paul urges Christians to use their spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church and the kingdom of God.  This Pentecost Sunday, please take some time to consider how you may use your gifts for the good of all.


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16/5/10 – Music Ministry

Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday.  Over recent years, we have focused each Pentecost Sunday on the various liturgical ministries in our parish.  This year, we are going to focus on one liturgical ministry in particular.

Music should be an integral part of every liturgical celebration, particularly on Sundays.  Music can give our prayer greater richness and help raise our minds and hearts to God.  The role of music ministers is crucial to enriching the liturgical celebration in a unique way.

It doesn’t mean, however, that Music Ministers need to have decades of experience and professional music training!  While we’re lucky to have some music ministers who do, others may be music students, or just sing because they enjoy doing so.

Our parish needs more music ministers at each of our Sunday Masses.  You may be able to assist by playing an instrument or joining a group of singers.  We’ve had a good number of parishioners who have served our parish for many years and find their ministry very rewarding.  Hopefully more parishioners can join them.

Next week, we’ll share more with you about the music ministry here in Wentworthville and how you can participate in it.