Liturgical Ministers for Christmas

Carmel Bulletin, 29 November 2015

As the season of preparation for Christmas is now upon us, we are beginning to invite liturgical ministers to serve at our Christmas Masses.

Christmas Ministry Sign Up SheetYou will find sign-up sheets as usual in the parish centre today.  We need assistance in the following roles:

  • Greeters
  • Computer operators for the data projector
  • Head collection wardens
  • Offertory procession
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Altar servers can sign up to help on the sheet in the work sacristy, while Ministers of the Word should have received an email this week asking whether they will be available at Christmas time.

This year at our Christmas Masses, we will be posting a sheet on the whiteboard in the parish centre of all the volunteers who have signed up.  When ministers arrive at Mass to serve, we ask that you “sign in” on the sheet so that we can quickly check that ministers are present, and if we need to find replacements.  This will help us ensure that our Christmas Masses go as smoothly as possible.

I thank all our liturgical ministers for their continued commitment to our community.  Please consider serving at what is a very important time in the Church’s year, and a crucial time for welcoming parishioners and visitors alike.

9/12/12 – Liturgy Committee Report

Liturgy CommitteeThe Liturgy Committee met for the final time in 2012 last month.

Final arrangements were made for the celebration of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  All parishioners are invited to join Fr Paul for Advent Prayer and Reflection on the next two Wednesday evenings.  Christmas Mass times remain the same as in previous years, and are available here in Carmel, on the posters at the church entrance, and on our parish website.

The revised guidelines for Children’s Liturgy of the Word that were recently drafted were approved by Fr Paul and the committee.  These can be found on our website.  To support Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word in their work, formation workshops will be held in early February next year, prior to the commencement of Children’s Liturgy of the Word on the First Sunday of Lent.

Initial preparations were also made for the Season of Lent in 2013, which will start on 13 February (Easter will be early next year on 31 March).  The scriptures of the season were considered, and existing practices were reviewed to see how the season could be best celebrated.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Liturgy Committee for its support and hard work during 2013: Fr Paul, Denise Alderman, Lyn Craddy, Janine Hanna, Lyn McQueeney and Natalie Stewart.

Robert Barden
Liturgy Coordinator

15/1/12 – What Happened to the First Sunday?

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  You may be noticing for the first time this weekend the change in the Church’s art and environment to mark the transition from the Christmas season.  You might also be asking yourself a question: What happened to the First Sunday in Ordinary Time?

The answer is there isn’t one.  The Christmas Season typically concludes on a Sunday, with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  As Christmas and Mary, the Holy Mother of God both fell on Sundays this year, this meant the Baptism of the Lord was celebrated on Monday, and Ordinary Time began on Tuesday – Tuesday of the First Week of Ordinary Time.

So to make sense of why there isn’t a First Sunday, it might help to think of today as Sunday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time, Sunday of course being the first day of the week.  It is from these numbered weeks that Ordinary Time gets its name (think ordinal numbers); not from any suggestion that it is not a special or interesting time.

 

5/8/07 – Holy Days of Obligation

On 15 August, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is a Holy Day of Obligation.

“I didn’t think we had those any more!” I hear you say.  Well, we still do.  What’s more, we shouldn’t see them as a burden, but rather an opportunity to celebrate some of the great mysteries of our faith.

Of course, every Sunday is a holy day of obligation.  We are called as Church to gather together to celebrate the Paschal Mystery (the death and resurrection of Christ) through the Eucharist.  We do have less holy days in the Australian Church calendar than we did before.  Also, many have now been moved to a Sunday so that we may more easily participate in celebrating these important feasts.  Only the Assumption and one other in the Australian calendar remain on fixed dates (can you guess the other one?).

If you look carefully, you’ll also notice that they celebrate different key elements of our faith.  Such examples include the mystery of the Trinity (Trinity Sunday), Christ’s Ascension (remember Ascension Thursday?  It now replaces the Seventh Sunday of Easter), the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the first revelation of Christ to the world (the Epiphany, now on a Sunday, formally 6 January).  The Assumption is the one holy day of obligation that is a Marian feast (New Years’ Day, or rather, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God is not a holy day).

The idea of a Holy day of obligation can, for some, remind them of a time when we may have been “guilt-tripped” to attend Mass for fear of committing a “mortal sin”.  Rather, we should take the opportunity to celebrate these great mysteries of our faith.

P.S. The other holy day of obligation with a fixed date is Christmas (25 December).