Welcoming the Misal Romano Workshops – June 12

As announced in the March edition of Liturgy Update, the first Spanish-language Roman Missal approved specifically for use in the United States will begin to be published in May of this year. The base text of the Misal Romano, Tercera Edición is taken from the Misal Romano from Mexico. Included as well are the proper texts and adaptations for the (arch)dioceses of the United States. The mandatory implementation date for the US Misal Romano will be the First Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2018. However, this book may begin to be used as of Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018. 

In anticipation of the Misal’s publication, the Liturgy Office and the Office of Hispanic Ministry will be co-hosting a series of bilingual workshops for both clergy and musicians on the new Misal Romano at Fordham University on Tuesday, June 12. These workshops will be led by representatives from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). The sessions will examine the ritual text and also introduce samples of the 180 chants which have been added to the US edition of the Misal Romano. In addition, bilingual resources will equip clergy, lay leaders, and musicians to provide formation to parishioners. ICS will also be present to assist attendees in ordering the new Misal Romano at a substantial discount.

The workshop for clergy and lay leaders will be held from 1:00-4:00 pm, and a workshop for musicians will take place from 6:30-9:30 pm. The fee for each workshop is $35. Registration may be found online at either nyliturgy.org/workshops or www.fdlc.org/misalworkshops.

Announcement: Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

9owAAA9wAAMBu - Announcement: Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the ChurchOn February 11, 2018, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments inscribed a new obligatory Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, into the General Roman Calendar. This memorial will be celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost. 

The proper liturgical texts for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, are as follows:


The full Mass formulary for this memorial – including Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Preface, Prayer after Communion, and Entrance and Communion Antiphons – is taken from the Votive Mass for “Our Lady, Mother of the Church” as given in the Roman Missal. White vestments are worn. 


A set of proper (i.e., mandatory) readings has been assigned for this new memorial:

    • First Reading – Genesis 3:9-15, 20 or Acts 1:12-14
    • Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7
    • Gospel Acclamation – O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord; O blessed mother of the Church, you warm our hearts with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.
    • Gospel – John 19:25-34

It should be noted that these prescribed verses and acclamation are not found in any one place in the Lectionary for Mass. The readings may be downloaded together from the USCCB’s website: www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052118.cfm


In the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer, the psalmody of the day is used. Other elements may be taken either from the psalter of the day or the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The final prayer is the collect from the Votive Mass for “Our Lady, Mother of the Church.” 

Liturgical Q and A: Readings at Wedding Celebrations

9owAAA9wAAMBu - Liturgical Q and A: Readings at Wedding CelebrationsSince the publication of the revised Order of Celebrating Matrimony [OCM] in 2016, the Liturgy Office has regularly received questions concerning the options for Scriptural readings at wedding celebrations. The OCM foresees the possibility of proclaiming two or three readings within a Nuptial Mass and in celebrations of Matrimony without Mass, depending on the preferences of the couple and minister or the liturgical nature of the day (e.g., solemnity, feast, etc.). In the case of wedding celebrations between a Catholic and a catechumen or a non-Christian, the Liturgy of the Word may consist of either one or two readings. 

A full listing of Scriptural readings for the celebration of matrimony may be found in Chapter 4 of the OCM. The first reading should normally be taken from the Old Testament; however, during Easter Time, this reading is taken from the Book of Revelation. It should also be noted that, amongst the readings given for the celebration of matrimony, there are some which explicitly speak of marriage. At least one of these selections must always be chosen for every wedding celebration, and these are marked in the OCM with an asterisk (*).

In its Introduction, the OCM indicates that when a marriage takes place within Mass, the Ritual Mass for “The Celebration of Marriage” is normally to be used. However, on those days listed in nos. 1-4 of the Table of Liturgical Days, the Mass of the day is used with its own readings. Paragraph 34 of the Introduction additionally notes:

Nevertheless, since a Liturgy of the Word adapted for the celebration of marriage has a great impact in the handing on of catechesis about the Sacrament itself and about the duties of the spouses, when the Mass “For the Celebration of Marriage” is not said, one of the readings may be taken from the texts provided for the celebration of marriage. 

The USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship has recently clarified that this exception does not apply to Solemnities and other days listed in nos. 1-4 of the Table of the Liturgical Days (cf. OCM, 56). Rather, one of the day’s prescribed readings may be replaced with a marriage reading only in those rare cases where a wedding is celebrated at a regularly scheduled Mass with the parish community on Sundays of Ordinary Time and Christmas. 

Sometimes, couples ask that poems, song lyrics, or non-scriptural readings be read in lieu of the proclamation of Scripture in the Liturgy of the Word. This practice is not permitted by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which indicates that it is not “lawful to replace the readings and Responsorial Psalm, which contain the Word of God, with other, non-biblical texts” (61). When encountering these types of requests, it can be helpful to explain that the Liturgy of the Word is a privileged moment to encounter God’s teaching on the sacredness of marriage and to be filled with confidence and hope by the power of that Word proclaimed. Alternatively, non-scriptural readings, when appropriate for the setting of Christian prayer and the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, could be used as an introduction to the ceremony before the entrance procession, as part of the homily, or as a statement or commentary at the time of dismissal.

Lastly, couples will often request that friends or family members be invited to proclaim the pre-Gospel readings. Parishes typically welcome such persons to function in the role of reader; however, it is important that those chosen to proclaim the readings have the requisite ability and experience to carry out this ministry properly. Experience has also shown the wisdom of asking readers to practice aloud during the wedding rehearsal so that they can become comfortable with the acoustics of the space and the liturgical setting of the celebration.

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Eucharistic Processions

268 Blessing of the wheat fields in Artois 1857 300x197 - The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Eucharistic ProcessionsThe Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) finds its origins in the popular development of the worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass during the 12th and 13th centuries. At that time, the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament was being more precisely defined by Scholastic theologians through the use of the Aristotelian philosophical concepts of “substance” and “accidents.” The writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, in particular, influenced the Church during this period to use the term transubstantiation to describe the miraculous conversion of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration at Mass. 

These theological inquiries led to an increase in the reverence and attention given to the Eucharist outside of Mass. One of the manifestations of this heightened devotion was the introduction of Eucharistic processions, the first evidence of which comes from Cologne, Germany in the 1270’s. By the 14th century, the practice of processing the Blessed Sacrament on the feast of Corpus Christi had been adopted throughout Europe. In cities and towns, these processions took place in the streets, but, in rural communities, Eucharistic processions usually took the form of a procession through the fields. In this latter setting, four outdoor altars were often constructed, and the beginning of one of the four Gospels was sung at each altar, respectively. Petitions for ecclesial and civil needs followed, and benediction with the Blessed Sacrament concluded the service. In the Baroque era, Corpus Christi processions sometimes took on extra-liturgical characteristics and became akin to parades, with floats that depicted scenes that had no clear connection to the Eucharist (e.g., Saint George slaying the dragon). During this period, it was common for bishops to ask priests and faithful to redirect their attention to the gift of the Eucharist in Corpus Christi processions.

The Church’s liturgical books continue to encourage the carrying of the Eucharist in procession on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, describing this practice as “desirable” (cf. Roman Missal, Mass formulary for Corpus Christi; Ceremonial of Bishops, 386). The purpose of such processions through the streets is to give public witness to the faith of the Christian people and to manifest their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Consequently, processions solely within the body of a church are no longer permitted, and processions with the Blessed Sacrament should usually go from one church to another. However, if necessary, a procession may return to the same church from where it began.

The ritual book Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass indicates that it is for the local Ordinary to decide on the advisability of such processions and to approve a place and plan that will ensure that these movements are carried out with decorum and reverence (101). In addition, suitable arrangements should be made with public authorities and law enforcement officials in order to provide for the safety of those who will participate in processions.

Ideally, the Mass of the day will immediately precede a Eucharistic procession. Following the distribution of Holy Communion, a monstrance is prepared and placed on the altar. The Prayer after Communion is offered, the Blessed Sacrament is incensed, and the procession then begins. Eucharistic songs and hymns which are easily sung and memorized should be led by a choir during the procession. While not required, the traditional custom of stopping at stations in order to proclaim the Word of God and give a Eucharistic blessing may take place. A canopy or baldachin held over the Blessed Sacrament may also optionally be used. At the conclusion of the procession, benediction with the Blessed Sacrament should be given in the church where the procession ends. The Blessed Sacrament is then reposed.

19399711 1382361221846280 6426114451287788053 n 300x200 - The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Eucharistic ProcessionsThe Ceremonial of Bishops gives the following order for Eucharistic processions:

• Crossbearer with candlebearers

• Clergy wearing copes or vestments for Mass

• Deacon of the Mass

• Thurifer

• Priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament and accompanied by torchbearers

• Other members of the congregation [optionally carrying lighted candles]

• Persons holding suitable banners

• Musical instruments

Lastly, it should be noted that the practice of processing through the church with the exposed Blessed Sacrament at prayer services for healing in order that the faithful might touch either the monstrance or the humeral veil of the celebrant (in imitation of the hemorrhaging woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment in the Gospels) is not envisioned by the Church’s liturgical books. Pastors should remind sick members of their congregation that the reception of Holy Communion is the preeminent way for them to enter into union with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. As well, those who suffer from serious illness should be encouraged to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Lastly, the sick who are able may be invited to regularly spend time with the Lord in prayer during Eucharistic exposition and be present for benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.

April 9: Solemnity of the Annunciation

Since Palm Sunday falls on March 25 this year, the Solemnity of the Annunciation is transferred to the Monday following the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). The Mass texts for the Second Sunday of Easter should be used at evening Masses on April 8.

Archdiocesan Hymn Festival – April 16

Parish musicians are invited to attend a one-day festival of music on April 16, from 7:00-8:30pm, at Saint Joseph’s Church in Somers. Join fellow musicians from around the archdiocese in discovering and singing the “hidden gems” of Catholic hymnody as well as beloved favorites! The suggested donation for the Festival is $15, and participants are invited to keep all music that will be distributed. Registration information and a listing of the planned repertoire may be found at the Liturgy Office website.

Summer Courses in Sacred Music

Clergy, religious, and lay faithful are invited to attend two courses on sacred music this summer at Saint Joseph’s Seminary. Principles of Sacred Music will be taught in a “hybrid” format, with an online component taking place from June 4-July 22 and two in-class sessions held on July 23 and 24 at Saint Joseph’s Seminary. Principles of Chant will be offered entirely on the campus of Saint Joseph’s Seminary from July 25-28. Both classes will be taught by Doctor Jennifer Donelson, associate professor and director of sacred music at the Seminary.

Tuition Rates

First-time students: $250 (audit)/$750 (3 credits)

Parish musicians: $500 (audit)$750 (3 credits)

Others: $500 (audit)/$1500 (3 credits)

These courses are being offered in conjunction with the Saint Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians, a four-course, fully accredited program offered through Saint Joseph’s Seminary in the field of liturgical music for the purpose of introducing musicians to the history, theology, and pastoral principles of liturgy and sacred music. For more information about these summer music courses or the Saint Cecilia Academy, visit the Liturgy Office website.

Day of Recollection for Parish Musicians – March 3

On March 3, from 10:00am-3:00pm, at Maryknoll Seminary in Ossining, music directors, adult choir members, instrumentalists, and others involved in parish music ministry are invited to join Father Joel Warden, c.o., for a day of prayer, reflection, and music-making with fellow parish musicians from around the archdiocese. The day will include the celebration of Solemn Morning Prayer, conferences given by Father Warden, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and time for fellowship. The registration fee (to defray the cost of lunch) is $15. Attendees are invited to register at the Liturgy Office website.

Announcement: Archdiocesan Policies and Procedures for Constructing, Renovating, and Restoring Places of Worship

The building, renovating, or restoration of a place of worship is a unique opportunity for the renewal of a parish’s faith and liturgical life. This important work is more than an architectural solution to a spatial need or an exercise in building maintenance. In fact, it will have a direct impact on the celebration of the liturgy as the central action in the life of a Catholic community. Parishes and other institutions (e.g., schools, healthcare facilities, and retreat centers) planning the construction, renovation, or restoration of a church or chapel should consult the archdiocesan Financial Policies and Procedures Manual for guidance regarding the proposal and approval processes for these projects. This information is summarized below:


In the Archdiocese of New York, the following principles apply to the construction, renovation, and restoration of places of worship:

1. The Archbishop must approve the concept.

2. Both ARAMARK and the archdiocesan Office of Liturgy must be contacted for all projects that involve any change, modification, or addition to a church or chapel, regardless of the cost involved.


1. At the inception of the project, regardless of size or cost, the pastor/administrator should notify ARAMARK of his intent to modify a worship space. ARAMARK will assist the pastor/administrator in submitting a Request for Authorization (RFA) for conceptual approval to the Archbishop. The pastor/administrator should attach a letter to the RFA describing the proposed change(s) and the purpose of the change(s).

2. After receiving the Archbishop’s approval, the pastor/administrator should meet with ARAMARK and the Office of Liturgy to review the construction and liturgical aspects of the project. Both organizations will assist the parish in the selection of an architect or liturgical designer.

3. Schematic designs should then be completed and presented to the Office of Liturgy for review and approval. The Office of Liturgy is assisted by the archdiocesan Liturgical Art and Architecture Commission in this process. The designs, along with a recommendation from the Office of Liturgy, are then submitted to the Archbishop for further approval. This submitted portfolio should include a proposed floor plan of the existing and planned space, a drawing of all relevant liturgical appointments, an elevated drawing of the sanctuary and reredos, and a description of the liturgical change(s) to the worship space and the purpose of the change(s).

4. Further design work may not take place until approval of the schematic designs has been received from the Archbishop’s office. Any subsequent modifications to the schematic designs should be resubmitted to the Office of Liturgy and ARAMARK and approved by the Archbishop’s office using the same procedure.

5. After approval from the Archbishop’s office, the project follows the standard procedures for capital projects.

Additional information regarding these policies and procedures may be found in the archdiocesan Financial Policies and Procedures Manual. Questions may be directed to the Office of Liturgy.

Archdiocesan Distribution of Holy Oils

In the Archdiocese of New York, the distribution of Holy Oils during Holy Week will take place according to the following schedule:

At Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

Six-ounce bottles of Holy Oils will be prepared and distributed by the seminarians to clergy and official parish representatives at the conclusion of the Chrism Mass. Old oils will not be accepted at the Cathedral.

At Saint Joseph’s Seminary

During Holy Week, seminarians will distribute the prepared bottles of Holy Oils at the following times:

Wednesday, March 28 – 10:30am-4:30pm

Thursday, March 29 – 10:30am-2:30pm

Saturday, March 31 – 10:30am-2:30pm

Parishes with larger vessels of oil may fill them at the Seminary. Old oils will be accepted at the Seminary for proper disposal.

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