Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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25/3/12 – Approaching Holy Week and the Easter Triduum

Palm SundayNext Sunday is Palm Sunday.  The Mass commemorates the actual “Palm Sunday” events in its unique introductory rites which include the blessing of palm branches, and the proclamation of a gospel account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  This typically takes place at the entrance to the church, or may even take a simple form with the priest leading from the sanctuary.  One Mass on the Sunday, however, should commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem by means of a procession from a location outside the church.

As such, we will celebrate Palm Sunday in a similar fashion as in previous years.  9:00 am Mass will begin with a procession beginning under the shade structures in the school playground (outside the parish hall).  All other Masses will begin with a solemn entrance beginning in the narthex.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which leads us to the Easter Triduum.  This will be the first time we celebrate the Easter Triduum according to the new English translation of the Missal.  There are some changes to texts that we may only use once a year, such as the showing of the cross on Good Friday and the Litany of the Saints.  Please be mindful of this.  We will do our best to prompt and assist you with any changes.

Please take note of the times of the various Holy Week and Easter Triduum celebrations, and make sure you pass the timetable on to others (perhaps there are people in your neighbourhood) who may be interested in participating, but don’t get a Carmel bulletin.

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8/1/12 – New Year’s Resolution

The New English Translation of the Roman MissalI hope everyone’s enjoyed the first week of 2012.  If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, I hope it’s managed to last at least the past seven days.  I’m typically not one to make resolutions, but I am going to ask all of us to make one together.

This year, I ask every one of us to work on getting the new responses to Mass right.  It’s clear that we’re trying to remember them, but there are still some parts where the assembly’s collective response is a mix of old and new, sounding something like “It is right and just to give you thanks and praise”, or “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you enter under my roof…”

It does take some effort to try and learn new words when we’ve used the old ones for decades, so we need to be proactive!  Pick up a pew card on you way into the church, keep it on hand in case you need it, and let’s work on making sure we’re speaking with one voice once again in 2012.


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20/11/11 – It’s On the Cards

Over the course of this year, we have begun to use the new English translation of the Roman Missal.  This began first of all with singing parts of the Mass, then the introduction of much of the Order of Mass from Pentecost Sunday.

To assist parishioners in becoming familiar with the new Order of Mass, we included the people’s responses that changed on the projection system for people to follow.

The danger with constantly putting everything ‘up on the screen’ is that it is easy to become reliant on it.  For many years we were able to respond and pray throughout the Mass from memory, and with time, we should be able to do so again.

For this reason, the changed responses and prayers of the Mass will not be included on the projection system from next weekend.  For those people who are still not completely confident with some of the longer texts (such as the Creed, Confiteor and Gloria), the pew cards of the Order of Mass will still be available at the church doors, and we encourage you to use them when needed.  Of course at some Masses our projection system is not used as frequently, so people are used to referring to the pew card.

There may be some occasions (such as Christmas this year) when there will be a large number of people present who are not confident with the responses during Mass, and we may use the projection system again for the purpose of displaying responses if we consider it necessary.

So from next Sunday, make sure you take a pew card if you think you’ll need it to get through Mass.


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30/10/11 – Roman Missal Seminars This Week

Tuesday 1 November.

Some of us will remember the date as All Saints Day.  This year it is also Melbourne Cup Day.  It’s also the date that’s been chosen for the mandatory use of the new translation of the Missal in Australia.

Starting Tuesday, the new translation of the Missal is the only English edition of the Missal that can be used.  The transition to this edition, however, started at the beginning of this year when we were encouraged to begin singing the new translations of the Mass texts such as the Gloria, Sanctus (Holy, Holy), and Memorial Acclamations.

Through material here in Carmel and video excerpts at Masses, we have tried to come to a deeper understanding not just of the new translations, but of the celebration of Mass as a whole.

We also invite you this week to learn more about the new Missal translations through the information session on Tuesday night or Saturday morning.

There are a number of reasons why those of us in parishes are not more directly involved in the process of preparing new liturgical translations such as the Missal.  One of the obvious ones is the practicality issues related to working within such a large organisation as the Church.  How we work with these new texts, however, is up to us.  As such, I encourage as many parishioners as possible to join us at the sessions this week.


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4/9/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part XVII: The Dismissal

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

After communion, all in the assembly are invited to engage in silent prayer, or a thanksgiving hymn can be sung.  The Liturgy of the Eucharist then concludes with the Prayer After Communion.  The Concluding Rites then bring our celebration of the Mass to a close, sending us forth to proclaim the gospel to the world.

The Concluding Rites of the Mass typically include a blessing and a dismissal of the people.  The dismissal contains some new forms which previously did not exist.  Before the latest edition of the missal, the Latin edition had only one dismissal, “Ite, missa est.”  In the new translation, this is conveyed in English as “Go forth, the Mass is ended.”  The current translation guidelines, which insist on a word-for-word translation, would have resulted in this one form of the dismissal being included in the new English edition.

In 2008, three new options for the dismissal were added to the Latin edition of the Missal.  This was one recommendation from the 2005 Synod held in Rome for the Year of the Eucharist.  The desire of the synod bishops was to communicate more clearly the fact that we are sent forth from the Eucharist to be Christ to the world.  These were added to the Latin edition, and subsequently translated into English for our new edition of the missal.  The four forms for the dismissal are now:

Go forth, the Mass is ended.
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Go in peace.

And then, motivated by the word, and nourished again by the Body and Blood of Christ, we can boldly and courageously move out into the world, responding fervently with the words, “Thanks be to God.”


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21/8/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part XVI: The Invitation to Communion

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

The Invitation to CommunionWhen the priest invites us to enter into communion, we respond by saying we are unworthy to receive Christ in the eucharist, but will accept God’s desire to heal us of our human frailty.  This response has been revised in the new translation, and probably sounds the strangest of the Mass texts to those who haven’t heard it before or are not aware of its origins:

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

While we are about to receive communion, the “roof” in this response has nothing to do with the roof of our mouths!  Like other texts that have been revised in the new translation of the Missal, this response bears a scriptural image that has been restored in this edition.

This response to the invitation to communion finds its origins in chapter 8:5-13 of the gospel according to Matthew.  A Roman centurion appeals to Jesus to heal his servant, who is ill.  Despite the centurion being symbolic of the “enemy” is this occupied Jewish territory, Jesus is willing to fulfil the request, and intends to visit the servant at the centurion’s home.  The centurion responds, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”

As such, when we respond to the priest’s invitation to communion, we echo the thoughts and the words of the centurion’s servant.  We are not worthy to receive the body and blood of Christ in holy communion.  Yet this is also a reminder and acknowledgement of the remarkable gift we receive.  We are truly healed, strengthened and nourished for the Christian journey.  As St Augustine once described it, we “become what we receive”, or “say ‘Amen’ to that which we are”, the body of Christ.

And as Jesus explains at the end of this encounter with the centurion, God’s will is done within us because of our faith.


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14/8/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part XV: The Communion Rite

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

After the Eucharistic Prayer, we enter into our celebration of the Communion Rite.

This begins with the Lord’s Prayer, the words that Christ himself gave us.  Amongst the petitions this prayer makes, we ask God to give us our daily bread, just as we are about to receive the bread that has become the body of Christ.

Following the Lord’s Prayer is the Rite of Peace.  Just as we are about to partake in the communion which binds us together as one body in Christ, we are reminded in this profound symbol of our unity as the people of God in this community.  The profound impact of this symbolic ritual comes when we truly commit ourselves to sharing a sign of peace to all those around us – not just those people who we consider to be our friends.  The peace that only Christ can give is offered to all, and the true challenge of the Christian life is to pray that this peace is experienced by all we encounter.

The FractionAfter the Rite of Peace is the Fraction (or the Breaking of the Bread).  Just as the bread of the last supper was blessed, broken and shared, so too is the consecrated bread and wine that is given to us as a gift.  Even though we (and most other parishes) use individual hosts for the sake of practicality, these should be shared out into the patens that are to be used, and a large host should be consecrated that can be broken up and shared amongst some of the gathered assembly.

Although it happens in many parishes, the Fraction Rite is not a time to be filling patens with hosts taken from the tabernacle.  In fact, the Missal and its introduction (the General Instruction of the Roman Missal) do not make any mention of going to the tabernacle before communion.  Rather, the General Instruction makes clear that the communion we receive should have been consecrated at that Mass.

It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the instances when it is permitted, they partake of the chalice, so that even by means of the signs Communion will stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal, article 85