Last week, Fr Paul advised us that the timing of the collections would change from this weekend. Fr Paul’s main reason for doing this was to provide an uninterrupted period of time after communion. Some people may recall that Fr Laurie doing a similar thing during his time as parish priest.
One of the things we can do after communion is engage in a period of silent prayer and reflection. This is a very worthwhile practice, and I am sure that you will appreciate the opportunity to do this without having to stop for a collection. After communion, however, is not the only time we are called to pause for silent prayer and reflection during the Mass. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (article 45) says the following:
Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times. Its purpose, however, depends on the time it occurs in each part of the celebration. Thus within the Act of Penitence and again after the invitation to pray, all recollect themselves; but at the conclusion of a reading or the Homily, all meditate briefly on what they have heard; then after Communion, they praise and pray to God in their hearts.
Hopefully, as we get used to this change of collection times, our attention will be drawn again to the need to pause for silent contemplation during the Mass, and not just because the liturgical documents call for it. As a Carmelite parish, time for silent prayer and reflection is important as it is part of who we are.
Quiet contemplation has always been part of the charism of the Carmelites. Perhaps take some time before or after Mass to focus on our tabernacle and its artwork, inspired by the prophet Elijah’s encounter with God in the sheer silence on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:11-14)