18/10/09 – Renovation Concept, Consideration 11

The work of the Liturgy Committee to date, including consultation with parishioners, has resulted in the development of a renovation concept. This concept includes a number of matters we would like considered in plans for a renovated church. One consideration for our renovation plans is:

The establishment of a Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Those who have contributed to the conversation so far believe this is important because:

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral by Zeetz Jones
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral by Zeetz Jones

The place for the reservation of the eucharist should be truly preeminent. It is highly recommended that the place be suitable also for private adoration and prayer so that the faithful may easily, fruitfully, and constantly honour the Lord, present in the sacrament, through personal worship. This will be achieved more easily if the chapel is separate from the body of the church, especially in churches where marriages and funerals are celebrated frequently and churches which are much visited by pilgrims or because of their artistic and historical treasures. (Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, 9)

The tabernacle for eucharistic reservation is a reminder of Christ’s presence that comes about in the sacrifice of the Mass. But it is also a reminder of the brothers and sisters we must cherish in charity, since it was in fulfilment of the sacramental ministry received from Christ that the Church first began to reserve the eucharist for the sake of the sick and the dying.

In our churches adoration has always been offered to the reserved sacrament, the bread which came down from heaven. (Book of Blessings, 1192)

13/9/09 – Renovation Concept, Consideration 3

The work of the Liturgy Committee to date, including consultation with parishioners, has resulted in the development of a renovation concept. This concept includes a number of matters we would like considered in plans for a renovated church. The first consideration for our renovation plans is:

The establishment of a new baptistery at the threshold between the parish centre and church, placing it at the present entrance into the church

Those who have contributed to the conversation so far believe this is important because:

St Patricks Cathedral Parramatta chapel1 by judyvk
St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta chapel1 by judyvk

Baptism, the door to life and to the kingdom of God, is the first sacrament of the New Law, which Christ offered to all, that they might have eternal life. (Christian Initiation: General Introduction (CIGI), 3)

chapel font by professor megan
chapel font by professor megan

The baptistery or the area where the baptismal font is located should be reserved for the sacrament of baptism and should be worthy to serve as the place where Christians are reborn in water and the Holy Spirit. The baptistery may be situated in a chapel either inside or outside the church or in some other part of the church easily seen by the faithful; it should be large enough to accommodate a good number of people. After the Easter season, the Easter candle should be kept reverently in the baptistery, in such a way that it can be lighted for the celebration of baptism and so that from it the candles for the newly baptised can easily be lighted. (CIGI, 25)

LM-17 by kphung914
LM-17 by kphung914

The baptistery or site of the baptismal font is rightly considered to be one of the most important parts of a church. For it is the place for celebrating baptism, the first sacrament of the New law, through which those who firmly accept Christ in faith and receive the Spirit of adoption become in name and in fact God’s adopted children. Joined with Christ in a death and resurrection like his, they become part of his Body. Filled with the anoint­ing of the Spirit, they become God’s holy temple and members of the Church, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own peo­ple”. (Book of Blessings, 1080)

6/9/09 – Renovation Concept, Consideration 1

The work of the Liturgy Committee to date, including consultation with parishioners, has resulted in the development of a renovation concept. This concept includes a number of matters we would like considered in plans for a renovated church. The first consideration for our renovation plans is:

Church Interior, by Stephen O.Cist
Church Interior, by Stephen O.Cist

The review of the assembly seating and the sanctuary, with the aim of gathering the assembly around the two tables of the word and the eucharist as much as possible

Those who have contributed to the conversation so far believe this is important because:

… For in the celebration of Mass, in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated, Christ is really present in the very liturgical assembly gathered in his name, in the person of the minister, in his word, and indeed substantially and continuously under the Eucharistic species. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), 27)

The general ordering of the sacred building must be such that in some way it conveys the image of the gathered assembly and allows the appropriate ordering of all the participants, as well as facilitating them in the proper carrying out of their function… (GIRM, 294)

St. Patricks Cathedral, Bishop Manning, Evening Prayer by judyvk
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Bishop Manning, Evening Prayer by judyvk

The Church is nourished spiritually at the table of God’s word and at the table of the eucharist: from the one it grows in wisdom and from the other in holiness. In the word of God the divine covenant is announced; in the eucharist the new and everlasting covenant is renewed… (Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass, 10)

… The altar, moreover, should be in the place where it is truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns… (GIRM, 299)

… The dignity of the word of God requires that the church have a place that is suitable for the proclamation of the word and toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns during the Liturgy of the Word… (GIRM, 309)

23/8/09 – Liturgical Consultancy

As we have discussed for some time now, the Liturgy Committee has been establishing a process for the renovation of the church.

After an initial process of parishioner consultation, where we gained an insight into the vision and values of parishioners, we worked towards developing a renovation concept.  The concept provides us with a basis of the key elements to be considered in the renovation and the needs to be addressed.  From this, further consultation with parishioners will lead to a detailed design brief.

In accordance with Diocesan policy, this concept was submitted to the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.  They approved the concept and encouraged us to proceed.  Over the coming weeks, we will share with you this renovation concept and continue the consultation process.

Part of the continued development of the project involves the appointment of a liturgical consultant.  The consultant works with the parish to facilitate education and formation processes.  The consultant also liaises with the parish and the professionals it appoints to ensure the renovated space reflects its values and serves the liturgy.

This week, the Liturgy Committee will meet with Liturgical Consultant Fr. Stephen Hackett.  Stephen is a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) and the former Vicar General of Darwin.  He has provided liturgical consultancy for a number of renovation projects and is currently undertaking a PhD in liturgical architecture.  We hope that through engaging in discussion with Stephen about our community and our vision for the future, we can determine the most effective way forward in our renovation programme.

As always, the Liturgy Committee invites your feedback and comments about this project.  You can speak to any member of the committee, email us at litcomwenty (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au, or leave a written note at the parish office.