The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has published a free resource for the Lenten season. This preparation aid includes:
- the full text of the Rite of Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution;
- music suggestions;
- an Order for the Reception of the Holy Oils;
- a liturgical calendar advisory for Lent, the Triduum, and the Easter Season; and,
- preparation worksheets for the celebration of the Triduum.
This resource may be downloaded in both English and Spanish from the Liturgy Office website and distributed freely with the permission of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine, the USCCB, and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
The Liturgy Office often receives questions during Lent concerning the blessing, use, and disposal of paschal candles, particularly in large parishes and merged parishes with several worship sites. At the outset, it should be noted that, in normal circumstances, there is to be only one paschal candle blessed at the Easter Vigil. This ensures that the candle’s symbolism of Christ, the sole Redeemer and the Light of the World, is clearly manifested throughout that liturgy.
In larger parishes where there are many baptisms and funerals celebrated on a regular basis, it can be challenging to maintain a single paschal candle for the duration of the year. Parishes in this situation should be reminded that the paschal candle need be lit only in the “more solemn liturgical celebrations” during the Easter season (Roman Missal, “Easter Vigil in the Holy Night,” 70); that is, it is not necessary to light the paschal candle at the celebration of every Mass (e.g., weekday Masses) during this period. A careful observance of this option can help to conserve a paschal candle and keep it in use throughout the year.
In 2010, the USCCB’s Divine Worship Secretariat offered some suggestions to those parishes that might require the use of more than one paschal candle for multiple worship sites, as in the case of merged parishes. At that time, the Secretariat recommended the following:
- Additional paschal candles may be prepared in advance of the Easter Vigil and blessed alongside the primary candle, with deacons or other parish representatives holding them.
- In the lighting of the paschal candle at the blessed fire and at the beginning of the procession which follows, only the primary paschal candle should be lit.
- After the deacon intones Lumen Christi for the second time in the middle of the church, the supplemental paschal candles may be lit when the congregation’s small candles are taken up and lit; however, supplemental paschal candles should not be held high at this time, so as to keep the principal candle prominent in the view of the assembly.
- Supplemental paschal candles may be extinguished along with the congregation’s small candles at the conclusion of the Exsultet.
- At Masses on Easter Sunday, supplemental paschal candles may be brought to the other worship sites, where they can be lit and carried to the sanctuary in the entrance procession at the first Mass in those locations.
Lastly, it should be noted that a new paschal candle should be blessed and used each year (Congregation for Divine Worship, Paschale Sollemnitatis , 82). As with all blessed objects, old paschal candles should not be thrown away, but either buried in blessed ground or burned in a devotional manner. Sometimes, candle suppliers will accept old paschal candles and offer in return a discount on the future purchase of paschal candles. These suppliers will then recycle the older candles when making new paschal candles, which is considered an acceptable practice.
The USCCB’s Divine Worship Secretariat has recently announced the forthcoming publication of the Misal Romano, Tercera Edición. This ritual text is the first Spanish-language Roman Missal to be approved specifically for use in the United States. The base text of this book 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, and this book may begin to be used as of Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Inasmuch as parishes within the Archdiocese may have been using a Spanish translation of the second typical edition of the Missale Romanum up to this time, several changes which appear in the third edition are worthy of mention:
- The many greeting options at the beginning of Mass which had appeared in the previous Misal Romano will now be given in an appendix, rather than within the Ordinario de la Misa. As well, optional tropes for use within Penitential Rite C will be placed in an appendix.
- The optional texts formerly given for the Orate fratres, the introduction of the Lord’s Prayer, and the invitation to exchange the Sign of Peace will no longer be included in the Ordinario de la Misa.
- Several prefaces which had appeared in other Spanish Misals will not be present in the US version of this text. These include: Prefaces III and IV for Advent; Preface V for Lent; Preface after the Ascension; Prefaces IX and X in Ordinary Time; Prefaces for Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick; Preface for Angels; Preface for Saint Joseph; Preface II of Holy Martyrs; and, Common Prefaces VII and VIII.
- Within the Eucharistic Prayers, the proper forms of the communicantes for Holy Thursday and the Solemnity of the Ascension will not appear in the revised Misal Romano. In Eucharistic Prayers II and III, particular intercessions will be provided only in the case of the celebration of Baptism and in Masses for the Dead. As in the current English translation of the Roman Missal, the Eucharistic Prayers for Children will not be included in the US Misal Romano.
In addition to these changes, some highlights of the new Misal Romano include the following features:
- Publishers of the Misal Romano have been asked to arrange the text and music so that it matches the layout of the current English Roman Missal. This is intended to be of help to celebrants who may not be as familiar with the Spanish text.
- In an effort to encourage the singing of the Ordinary of the Mass, the US Misal Romano will include more musical notation than any other Spanish-language Misal Romano currently used throughout the world.
- The use of ustedes rather than vosotros, with the corresponding declinations of accompanying verbs, will be observed throughout the new text.
- The phrase por ustedes y por muchos will appear in the Words of Institution.
- The full endings of the presidential prayers (collects, prayers over the gifts, prayers after communion) will be given in each Mass formulary.
- Orations for the patronal feasts of Latin American countries will be included in an appendix. As well, a proper preface for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe will appear in the Mass formulary for that day.
The USCCB’s Divine Worship Secretariat has announced that there will be two publishers of this ritual book: Catholic Book Publishing and Liturgical Press. These companies have indicated that the ritual edition of the Misal Romano will be available for purchase as of May 1, 2018. Orders for these books may be placed through ICS.
Lastly, the Liturgy Office and the Office of Hispanic Ministry will be co-hosting a series of workshops for both clergy and musicians on the new Misal Romano at Fordham University on Tuesday, June 12, from 1:00-8:00pm. These workshops will be led by representatives from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). More information regarding these workshops may be found on the FDLC’s website.
In 2018, the feast day of Saint Patrick (observed as a solemnity in the Archdiocese of New York) falls on a Saturday in Lent. Evening Prayer I of Pastors should be celebrated on Friday evening. However, Evening Prayer I of the Fifth Sunday of Lent should be prayed on Saturday evening, and Saturday evening Masses should be celebrated using the texts for the Lenten Sunday.
Inasmuch as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God falls on a Monday in 2018 and is, therefore, not a holy day of obligation, the Feast of the Holy Family should be celebrated at evening Masses on December 30, 2017. For more information, see the commentary in the September 2017 issue of Liturgy Update.
The Vigil for Christmas, and not the Fourth Sunday of Advent, should be celebrated at evening Masses on December 24 this year. The USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship has noted that, in the opinion of most canonists, each of these days of obligation must be fulfilled with a separate Mass.
The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has published a free resource for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. This preparation aid includes: the full text of the Rite of Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution, music suggestions, sample penances, the text of the Christmas Proclamation (to be sung before the Mass at Midnight), and the text of the Proclamation of the date of Easter (to be sung before the Mass on Epiphany).
This resource may be downloaded from the Liturgy Office website and distributed freely with the permission of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine, the USCCB, and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
The Office of Liturgy will be hosting a seminar at Saint Joseph’s Seminary on Friday, February 16, from 7:00-8:30pm, entitled,“‘I Am With You Always’: The Liturgy of Eucharistic Adoration.” This presentation will discuss the ways in which Eucharistic adoration arises from the Mass and ultimately leads the worshipper back to the Eucharistic celebration. Beginning with a description of the Old Testament antecedents of Eucharistic worship, this seminar will explore the development of the rites of Eucharistic exposition, benediction, and processions of the Blessed Sacrament from the eleventh century to today. The rites of Eucharistic worship associated with the liturgies of Holy Thursday and Corpus Christi, as well as the customs of a holy hour, the Forty Hours devotion, and perpetual adoration will be presented. Local practices from Spain and Latin America, Portugal, Poland, Germany, and Italy will also be introduced. Additionally, this presentation will address the pastoral and theological dimensions of these observances and offer answers to practical questions that can often arise in parishes.
This seminar will be presented by James Monti, historian and author of In the Presence of Our Lord and Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages. Registration is $10 and may be accessed on the Liturgy Office website.
Guidelines for the worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass have been published by the Office of Liturgy. These guidelines are intended to serve as an aid to clergy and others within the Archdiocese of New York who are entrusted with fostering the faithful’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament through eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community. The document offers a description and commentary on the Rite of Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic processions, Eucharistic exposition and prayer services for healing, and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. These Guidelines may be accessed and downloaded at the Liturgy Office website.
Liturgical Q and A: Inserts for the Deceased in Eucharistic Prayers and Funerals in the Presence of Cremated Remains
From time to time, the Liturgy Office receives inquiries from pastors asking when the special inserts for the commemoration of the deceased in Eucharistic Prayers II and III may be used. This question may arise from the phrasing of the rubric which precedes the inserts in these Eucharistic Prayers: “In Masses for the Dead. . . .” This wording could lead a celebrant to believe that these inserts can be used only when celebrating one of the Masses for the Dead from the Roman Missal (e.g., funeral Masses, Masses on the anniversary of death, etc.).
In response to this question, it should be noted that when the new Eucharistic Prayers were introduced in the late 1960’s, the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship indicated at the time that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM] allows for these inserts to be used at any Mass which is celebrated for a deceased person or in which a deceased person receives special remembrance (Notitiae 5 : 325, n.5; cf. GIRM, 365b). In its commentary, the Congregation explained that this feature of Eucharistic Prayers II and III is intended to foster the traditional practice of having Masses offered for the deceased while still allowing priests to celebrate the Mass of the day. The GIRM indeed indicates that Masses for the Dead should be celebrated “in moderation, for every Mass is offered for both the living and the dead, and there is a commemoration of the dead in the Eucharistic Prayer” (355).
The question as to whether the Church permits funeral Masses to be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains is also frequently asked of the Liturgy Office. While the Church strongly prefers that the body of the deceased be buried or interred, it also allows for cremation, so long as this practice is not chosen for reasons that are contrary to Catholic teaching (CIC, 1176 §3.) When a body is to be cremated, family members should be informed by the parish priest and the funeral director of the Church’s preference that the funeral Mass (or funeral Liturgy outside Mass) be celebrated in the presence of the body prior to cremation. The Order of Christian Funerals explains the reasons for this practice:
The Christian faithful are unequivocally confronted by the mystery of life and death when they are faced with the presence of the body of one who has died. Moreover, the body which lies in death naturally recalls the personal story of faith, the loving family bonds, the friendships, and the words and acts of kindness of the deceased person. . . . The body of the deceased [also] brings forcefully to mind the Church’s conviction that the human body is in Christ a temple of the Holy Spirit and is destined for future glory at the resurrection of the dead.
When the body has been cremated prior to the funeral, a funeral Mass or Liturgy outside of Mass may still be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains. In this case, the appropriate texts in Appendix II of the Order of Christian Funerals should be used. Lastly, family members should be reminded that cremated remains are to be buried or entombed in an appropriate container and should not be scattered, kept at home, divided up, or worn as jewelry for any reason.