In this edition:
19 November 2017
The Christmas Season
Welcome to this fortnight's edition of LITed: Liturgical Education News.
In this edition of LITed, we look ahead to Christmas-time. You will find articles celebrating Christmas with a spirit of evangelisation, liturgy committees' most commonly discussed Christmas conundrums and what to do with Christmas falling on a Monday. We also have our usual list of recommended resources.
An abundant Christmas
Our churches are often more full at Christmas time than any other time in the year. How does our liturgical preparation assist in authentic evangelisation: an opportunity to connect with family we rarely see?
A Christmas (Liturgy Committee) Story
A witty, imagined and (mostly) fictional account of a parish liturgy committee preparing for Christmas masses. You may recoginse some familiar characters and circumstances from your parish!
Of dates, Virgins and other things!
The liturgical calendar is always rather crowded around this time, but it becomes even more complicated when Christmas falls a Monday, because that makes two holy days of obligation in a row.
- “In switching on the light of the Nativity scene, we wish for the light of Christ to be in us. A Christmas without light is not Christmas. Let there be light in the soul, in the heart; let there be forgiveness to others; let there be no hostilities, which are dark. Let there be the beautiful light of Jesus. This is my wish for all of you, when you turn on the light of the crib.”
Advent Resources: Melbourne
Melbourne Archdiocese have produced a page of Advent resources including sign templates for Christmas mass times that can be printed at Officeworks.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
A new resource from Liturgy Brisbane. Featuring music from Michael Mangan, downloadable activity sheets and tools for authentic liturgy of the Word for kids on Sunday.
This free webtool allows you to record audio with a photo which can then be emailed or sent through social media. Consider using to develop quick 'how-to' guides for ministers.
The History of Christmas
This is a 3-minute clip from the History Channel's full-length documentary, 'The Real Story of Christmas'. The clip discusses how some elements from pagan traditions have been subsumed into Christianity's Christmas celebrations. Perhaps it is also the story of how people before us sought to remind themselves of the Divine's hand in creation in the middle of a cold and dark winter. They sought to bring light to the dark, as we do too.
Your Christmas Nativity Scene Is a Lie
'The Atlantic': There probably weren’t three kings. And Jesus wasn't blonde.
The perfect Christmas Gospel?
'Commonweal': We know about Luke and Matthew's narrative...but John?
A Nail in the Coffin of L.Authenticam
Conformity of original texts judged by Episcopal Conferences is a good step.
In the news
Liturgy Lines by Elizabeth Harrington
Parts of the Mass: Concluding Rites
The Concluding Rites is the shortest and simplest part of the Mass. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, it consists of brief announcements (if necessary), the priest’s greeting and blessing, the dismissal of the people, and the reverencing of the altar by the priest, deacon and other ministers. (#90)
The announcements offer the assembly opportunities for living out during the coming week the commitment which Eucharist entails, for example, assisting refugees in the community, gathering for evening prayer on Wednesday, offering transport for the elderly.
Although blessings had been used in the Church for many centuries, they were not incorporated into the Mass until the 1570 Missal of Pius V when a blessing was added after the dismissal. In the current order of Mass, the blessing comes before the dismissal. Three options are given for the blessing: Simple Blessing, where the priest blesses the assembly in the name of Father, Son and Spirit; Solemn Blessing, which includes three invocations that vary according to the season or feast and to which the people answer Amen; Prayer over the People, which consists of a collect to which the assembly responds Amen. Both the Solemn Blessing and Prayer over the People conclude with the simple blessing. The Trinitarian formula and the Sign of the Cross that accompany the blessing emphasise that God accompanies us as we continue life’s journey.
The dismissal is not just a way to end the celebration and say farewell to those who have gathered, although both of these are included. It is not so much an ending as a commissioning.
When Mass was celebrated in Latin, the words used as the dismissal were ‘Ite, missa est’. By the fifth century, the word ‘missa’ was used to describe both the dismissal, its original meaning, and the entire celebration. The fact that the word ‘Mass’ derives from the dismissal underlines the fact that this part of the Mass is very important. As the General Instruction puts it, the dismissal sends us ‘back to doing good works, praising and blessing God’ (#90c).
Some traditions refer to the dismissal as the ‘charge’, not because it is when we ‘charge’ out of the church (as some seem to believe!), but to reflect the fact that we who have united ourselves to Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist have a duty and responsibility to live the mystery we have just celebrated, to be the Body of Christ in our homes, communities and workplaces.
While a song is named as one of the key elements of the Introductory Rites, a hymn is not included among the Concluding Rites but has nevertheless become common practice. It may be more effective to do simply as one form of the dismissal calls us to do: go (in silence) and announce the Gospel of the Lord.The Concluding Rites of the Mass, though brief, remind us that we are all expected to do our part in carrying on Christ’s mission of proclaiming God’s word and serving others.
In the September issue:
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