Summer Newsletter 2018:
Welcome to the second in our series of Liturgy Office newsletters. Our section of the Diocesan website continues to grow and, among the many other resources, you will find some guidelines for the composition and preparation of the Prayer of the Faithful (also known as the General Intercessions or Bidding Prayers), along with suggested Intercessions for each of the weeks. Do remember to look at the Liturgy Office section of the website on a regular basis.
Having celebrated Lent, Eastertide and Pentecost since our first newsletter, we move into Ordinary Time – so called because it is ‘ordinal, i.e. ‘numbered’ and because it is when we listen to the ‘ordinary-ness’ of the Lord’s ministry. There are two periods of Ordinary Time: the first begins on the Monday following the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (the Sunday after Epiphany) and continues until Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The second period begins on the day after Pentecost and ends before Evening Prayer of the First Sunday of Advent. For more on Ordinary Time, take a look here.
In addition to the many resources you will find under Feasts, Saints and Seasons on the website here are some other articles which may be of interest.
Singing the Psalms
We have had a number of requests for help in singing the psalms, both at Mass and during the Divine Office. Martin Le Poidevin, from the Diocesan Music Service, has kindly put together a very useful resource for us on how to prepare for singing the Psalms here.
There is often a question on the use of Marian hymns, particularly the use of Marian hymns during Mass. Whenever we celebrate the Mass, we are celebrating the Paschal Mystery, the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. Selecting Marian hymns, therefore, when Mary is not part of the liturgical season or the readings of the day, would seem inappropriate. However, particularly in May or October, an argument could be made for singing a Marian hymn as a recessional hymn as, by the time we get to that point, the Mass itself has finished and we are being sent out. Songs about Mary may well be used on the many solemnities, feasts and memorials of Mary as well as when Mary is specifically mentioned in the readings of the day. There is an article on the use of Marian hymns in the liturgy, written by Julie Males, which you might find helpful here.
You will have heard about Adoremus – the National Eucharistic Congress taking place in Liverpool in September – which will immerse us in a deeper understanding of the real and abiding presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It will take place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday of 7-9 September, culminating in a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. It is 110 years since the last Eucharistic Congress in England – that was held in London and the intention was to hold a procession of the Blessed Sacrament around Westminster. However, the Prime Minister of the time, H. H. Asquith, would not allow the procession to take place. Please do pray for the success of the Congress and that it will bear rich fruit – and don’t miss out on a series that the diocese is putting on for us in preparation for it. You will find it here beginning with an introduction by Fr Christopher Whitehead.
2019 Liturgical Diary
Next year’s diary is now ready for proof-reading and we intend to go to print by 20 July. This will enable us to get it out to parishes in September. We are preparing it in-house for the first time this year so, please, be patient with us if you notice any errors – and we are always glad to be advised of these. We have moved some of the catechetical material so that it is all together, rather than being inserted throughout the Ordo section. If you think of anything you would find helpful to have in the diary, and it is not already included, please let us know.
Dates for your diary
The Diocesan Day this year will take place, once again at St Brendan’s, on 30 June. This year there will be two streams for Liturgical Ministers – Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. If you wish to be part of either of these formation opportunities please ask your parish priest to send in your name as soon as possible as only those who have registered, particularly as EMHC, will be able to take part in those sessions.
Day for Sacristans and Servers
As a new initiative this year we will have a fantastic opportunity to draw in some of our liturgical ministers who so easily get overlooked or forgotten. We will be holding a day of formation on 22 September specifically for sacristans and servers. Paul Moynihan, who is the Master of Ceremonies for Cardinal Vincent Nichols at Westminster Cathedral, will lead this day for us. Further details and confirmation of the venue will be available over the Summer break.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
All those interested in, or already seasoned practitioners of, the Liturgy of the Word for Children are invited to a formation day to be held at the cathedral, led by Fr Christopher Whitehead, on Saturday 13 October. More information about this day will be available nearer the time.
Our next newsletter will be sent out in September and, amongst other things, we will be looking towards Harvest and Remembrance with suggestions for the use of the Litany of Saints. New RCIA processes will be beginning so we will also think about the liturgies we will be using throughout that period. Meanwhile, do let us know if there is anything you would particularly like information on, or resources for. Equally, we would love to know what you would like to see/find on our website so, as we said in the beginning of this newsletter, do take a look at it, explore it, and let us know what you feel is missing.
Finally, we hope you all have a wonderful Summer!
We are here to support individuals, parishes and communities in everything that enables them to be more fully a Church of deepened prayer – so if there’s anything that might support you and your parish in its celebration of the liturgy, please do get in touch:
Telephone: 0117 902 5595.