Carmel Bulletin, 13 May 2018
When we look back through the Bible at different people’s encounters with God, we come to see that some crucial encounters occurred in silence. Moses found the burning bush in a moment of silence and solitude. Elijah sensed God’s presence in the silence on Mount Horeb after retreating in fear of his life. Before beginning his mission, Jesus seeks the silence of the wilderness; setting him on the course to our salvation.
The Mass offers us a moment of encounter with God here and now, and silence remains a crucial part of that. It provides us time for reflection, for silent prayer, and for (as one Carmelite who used to live here in Wenty used to explain it) ‘allowing the word of God to find a place within our hearts’.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which explains how the Mass is to be celebrated, particularly calls for periods of silence before Mass, after the readings and homily, and after communion.
So that we can ensure that we have those silent moments of reflection, prayer and encounter, we’re asking all parishioners and liturgical ministers at Sunday and weekday Masses for your support with the following:
- Providing a brief period of silence after the first reading before beginning the responsorial psalm
- Starting the Gospel Acclamation only once the priest rises from the presidential chair to proceed to the ambo
- Waiting until the priest sits down in the chair again before starting the first collection on Sundays
We hope that everyone will be able to support us with these small things during Mass, which are all intended for your benefit. Hopefully by stopping for even a relatively brief period of time, we can give ourselves the chance to let God in and make himself known to us.