Each week we come to participate in the "source and summit of the Christian life" (cc1325). We are then called to 'go forth and make disciples'. To help us become more familiar with the structure of the Mass, over the next few bulletins we will look to the specific parts of the Mass and their Biblical references. But first let's have a brief overview of the Liturgy itself.READ MORE
My parents raised me in the Catholic faith, providing me with a Catholic education; but apart from Sunday Mass we did not focus much on faith. Despite this, I always had a desire to know and love the Lord. I can remember reading St. Therese's "Story of a Soul", and becoming aware that God was always with me. In high school, I remember having an assignment to read about Moses in the Old Testament, (where God delivered the Israelites from slavery), and thinking that if this story were really true, God must have deeply loved His people.READ MORE
Treasured ancient rites, familiar rituals. Wouldn't you like to know where it all comes from?
The Mass has been at the very center of Christian worship since the time of the apostles. To examine its history and development, we look to the New Testament and the account of the Last Supper. It is because Our Lord told us to do what he had done, in memory of him, that our Liturgy exists. A definite pattern, or format, of the Eucharistic celebration developed within decades of the death of our Lord. The earliest and most detailed account of the Eucharist is found in St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, which predates the Gospels – written in Ephesus between 52-55 A.D. By the time of St. Gregory (d. 604), we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement – aren't we so privileged to partake in this most sacred tradition? Minimal changes, moving certain elements to different places, took place with each century, but by 1570 and the Council of Trent, we have the finalized edition of the RomanMass.
In weeks to come, we will walk through the main parts of the Mass, and ponder them in light of their Scriptural background. With this understanding, the more we will come to appreciate the splendor of the rich treasure of the Liturgy. We will be better prepared to give ourselves to Jesus in every prayer and gesture; and the more we will be prepared to encounter Jesus.
I can't pinpoint a particular moment when I first came to know Jesus as my savior and friend; it has been a journey. Yet, there have been moments throughout my life when this realization has been more clear. For example, early in my marriage I found myself in Michigan, living in a community where I didn't know anyone; however, our local Church had a perpetual adoration chapel. Spending time with the Lord was the one thing I "knew" and I found comfort in His presence. I asked the Lord while I sat before Him in the Blessed Sacrament to "increase my faith", and I felt like He really filled me with His strength.READ MORE
In pondering the title of this column – LIVING LITURGY – it led me to reflect on:
The Liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time, it is the font from which all her power flows. The Celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy is the formal structure for us to worship, give praise and thanks, ask forgiveness, pledge fidelity and render service. Aaah – render service - this is where the remaining 167 hours comes in to play!READ MORE
The Young Adult group of St. Magdalen's encountered the Lord in a very particular way on Holy Thursday, this past year: in both adoration and in the traditions of the Church.
The Holy Thursday Mass commemorates two great gifts in the Church: The Eucharist and the Priesthood. At the end of Mass the altar is stripped bare and the tabernacle is left empty—signifying the fact that Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer, and to begin the Passion. The empty tabernacle, is like the tomb, it tells how God handed over His Sprit and died for us. The Blessed Sacrament is placed in a side chapel—called a repository. It is a custom in many cultures to visit seven churches, praying in those side chapels—heeding Jesus' request to "stay awake and watch" with Him. The side chapels are decorated with beautiful flowers and plants to signify the Garden of Gethsemane.READ MORE