Liturgy Corner

Who Do People See As They Come to Our Church?

Carmel Bulletin, 27 October 2018

In the Gospel reading at Mass today, Bartimaeus is healed of his blindness.  He has the faith and courage to ask Jesus to do what would be impossible for mere mortals like us.  It seems likely that the first thing that Bartimaeus sees is the face of Jesus – a face of love, mercy and compassion.

Each of us is called to be that same face of Jesus to everyone we encounter in our lives.  And as we call ourselves Catholics, it seems only fair that we should start “in our own backyard”, or more precisely, at our own church doors.  A simple smile, a word of welcome, being there to answer a question or help with an issue can be crucial to ensuring that when people come here for Mass, they see in us the same Jesus that Bartimaeus saw.

Do you want to help people feel like they belong when they come to Mass?  We’re looking for people who can spend some time before Mass serving as welcomers, greeting people as they arrive and helping them to join in our gathering and celebration.

If you are interested in joining a team of people who provide hospitality to those who come to Sunday Mass, we invite you to attend an introductory workshop on

Wednesday 7 November at 7:00 pm in the Parish Centre

Register for the workshop now

If you have any questions, contact us.

Help Us Build a Welcoming Community

In the Gospel reading at Mass today, Jesus sets the challenge for the disciples: living in the likeness of Christ requires us to place ourselves at the service of others.

When we gather for Mass, that service to others begins from the moment people walk in the door.  Our vision as a parish is that families feel connected, supported and valued as they live and grow in their faith.  Making people feel welcome when they come to Mass is crucial to beginning that relationship.

We’re looking for people who want to make a difference to making feel welcome when they come to Mass by joining our hospitality ministry.  In particular, we’re looking for people who can spend some time before Mass serving as welcomers, greeting people as they arrive and helping them to join into our gathering and celebration.

If you are interested in being part of our welcoming ministry at Sunday Mass, we invite you to attend an introductory workshop:

Wednesday 7 November at 7:00 pm in the Parish Centre

Register for the workshop now

An Opportunity to Serve

Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. (Mark 9:35)

Washing of the FeetToday’s gospel reminds us of the centrality of service to Jesus’ identity, and thus the centrality of service to our living the mission of Christ.  Sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we share in the work of the one who knelt down and washed the feet of his disciples.

One way that we can place ourselves at the service of God and our neighbour is through engagement in liturgical ministry.  The Second Vatican Council reminds us that “in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.” (Constitution on the Liturgy, no. 7).  Every one of us has a role in offering worship, in union with Jesus, to God the Father.  From the assembly of all the baptised, people are called to help lead our prayer through particular ministries.

14642123_10154646129558256_4872787870172841618_nEach year, we seek to support people in these ministries through formation opportunities.  This year, we would like to gather all liturgical ministers together for a workshop to clarify and refine our practice at Sunday Masses, so that we are supporting the assembly in its prayer as effectively as possible.  Parishioners who are thinking about joining a ministry are also most welcome to come.

Please claim these dates in your diary now!

Ministers can choose from one of two times:

  • Wednesday 17 October at 7:00 pm or
  • Saturday 20 October at 10:00 am.

You can register online now.  Paper sign-up will be available in the parish centre from next weekend.

We will also asking people soon to consider joining a renewed ministry of hospitality; welcoming people as they come to Sunday Mass.

Keep reading over the coming weeks to find out more.

I Am the Bread of Life

Carmel Bulletin, 5 August 2018

The usual semicontinuous reading of Mark’s gospel during Ordinary Time in Year B is always put on hold at this point of the year while we listen to chapter 6 from John.  John chooses not to repeat the recount of the Last Supper that we see in the other gospels.  Instead, John the chapter 6 reflection on the Eucharist that begins with the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.

The connection of this event with Jesus’ teaching that he is the bread of life reminds us that the Eucharist is a meal.  Like the miraculous feedings of the gospels, the Eucharist is for us food and drink given to us by God.  It is both thanksgiving and nourishment for those who follow Christ.  It shows us that there is no limit to God’s giving – we will all receive what we need, with plenty to spare.

Jesus also explains to the people, however, that the manna their ancestors ate, however, did not give eternal life.  Eternal life is the gift offered to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.  Sharing in the Eucharist, therefore, is also to share in the sacrifice of Jesus.  Jesus ends the sacrifices of the Old Testament by offering the one new and eternal sacrifice of his own body and blood.

14 - Anointing of Altar 3
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv anoints our new altar at its dedication, 17 December 2017

The design of our new altar seeks to reflect both the twofold nature of our Eucharistic celebration.  The shape makes it recognisable as a table; a table which the entire community of the baptised are called to gather around to feast at the meal that leads us to the heavenly banquet.  Its stone fabrication alludes to the sacrificial altars of the past, and communicates to us that the altar represents Christ himself, who sacrificed his own life for the redemption of all humankind.

None Equals Thee

OLMC Statue landscape 2Sometimes people of other faith traditions think that we worship Mary.  While they can clearly see that Mary holds a special place in our faith, all our worship is directed toward God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Collect Prayer for our celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel reminds us of this:

All gracious God,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel, protect us,
and bring us to your holy Mountain, Christ our Lord…

(Carmelite Lectionary)

Mary is certainly the most blessed of all women, and a person without equal.  As our mother and sister in faith, she intercedes for us, and leads us to the divine mystery in which we believe.  This echoes through a number of the prayer texts we use on our feast day today.

While we certainly honour Mary at different times throughout the liturgical year, the liturgy is still focused on giving thanks to God for the Paschal Mystery – the life, death and resurrection of Christ in which Mary played a crucial role.  It is why, for example, that prayers to Mary (such as the Hail Mary) don’t form part of the proper texts for Mass.  It is also why Marian devotions, such as the rosary, or private prayers at the Marian Shrine, have their own time and place.

So as we give thanks for Mary’s patronage and protection, let us remember her first and foremost as a woman with deep faith who embraced the will of God.  Let us pray that by her prayers and example, our faith and love will become like hers.