Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

August 5, 2017 Column Father De Celles

PARISH PICTORIAL DIRECTORY. I am happy to announce that we will be publishing a parish Pictorial Directory sometime in the Fall. My main purpose in commissioning this directory is to help us all draw closer to the parish and to each other. The last time we did this was in 2008, and that directory still helps those who have it to match names and faces with folks they see at Mass: maybe someone they’re friendly with but never learned their names, or someone mentioned in the bulletin. In short, it helps us to know each other a little better. I always talk about the parish as a family, the local branch God’s larger family, the Church. But families should know each other’s names, and be able to contact each other. And the directory will help us do this.
But we can’t do this if you don’t come and have your (family’s) picture taken. So, please see the insert in this bulletin, or one of the signs around the church, and schedule an appointment for your picture.
CHANGES AT MASSES. For some time, I’ve been contemplating making a few changes at our Masses at St. Raymond’s. This summer I’ve had some time to seriously think, pray and consult about exactly what I want to do, and how to do it in way that is both beneficial and least disconcerting. Part of me would really like to make a lot more changes, but I know how hard change is on folks.
So, I’ve decided on the changes below, most of which go into effect on and after September 9. I will explain the more important ones in more detail in the coming weeks. Also, to help you with the extra Latin, we will publish a laminated pew-card with side-by-side Latin and English.
All Sunday and Saturday Vigil Masses:
— Communion to Disabled. Beginning this weekend, instead of waiting until the end of Communion to take Communion to the disabled sitting near the middle and back of the church, we will do so at the very beginning of Communion.
— Latin. Beginning September 9 and 10, we will sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy” (the “Sanctus”) in Latin at all Masses with music, in the same way we currently sing the Agnus Dei and Kyrie at those Masses.
Sunday 10:30 Masses:
— Music: Beginning September 9 and 10, the Choir will be moving permanently to 10:30 Mass.
— Latin. Beginning October 1, if the priest is able to, the 10:30 Mass on the 1st Sunday of every Month, will be celebrated “Ad Orientem,” that is, with the priest standing at the altar facing the same direction as the people (as we do at 8:45 Mass). I strongly agree with Cardinal Robert Sarah (the Vatican official in charge of liturgy for the whole Church) that occasional exposure to this form of praying will help us all to appreciate more profoundly several critical aspects of the Mass. Again, it will not be every Sunday, but only once a month on the 1st Sunday.
Sunday 8:45. With the exception of #6 below, the following changes will go into effect
beginning September 9 and 10.
— Music: The Schola (a chorus of 3 accomplished singers) will lead the singing at 8:45 Mass.
— Communion Rail: Before Mass we will set up portable altar rails/kneelers in front of the sanctuary so that the people will have the opportunity to receive Communion kneeling.
The people will come up the main aisle as usual, but then spread out at the altar rail, either kneeling or standing (their choice), to receive Communion. The priests will give Communion walking down the rail, from the outside to the center, and back again. (This is actually faster than the way we usually do it).
This will not affect the Communion lines in the transepts (the side pews by the Cry Room and the Groveland Drive entrance), where Communion will continue to be distributed in single-file lines as usual.
— Latin: A few more parts will be sung in Latin.
1) Opening Greeting: Instead of beginning Mass with, “In the name of the Father…,” the priest will begin saying, “In nómine Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti,” and then greet the people with, “Dóminus vobíscum” (“The Lord be with you”). The people respond to the first with “Amen” (as usual) and to the second with, “Et cum spíritu tuo” (“And with your spirit”). Basically, I think it would be good to start things off with Latin, a symbol of our union with the whole Church, both today and through the centuries.
2) Mysterium Fidei: After the Consecration, instead of singing, “The Mystery of Faith,” the priest will sing, “Mysterium Fidei” in Latin, but the people will still respond in English.
3) Per Ipsum: At the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, instead of singing “Through Him and with Him and in Him….,” the priest will sing the prayer in Latin, “Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso….,” but the people will still respond with the usual, “Amen.”
4) Pater Noster: Both the priest and the people will sing the “Our Father” in Latin, “Pater Noster.” I know this will be difficult at first, but I really do think that we should all be able to say this most important prayer in Latin, as our favorite saints of centuries past did.
5) Final Blessing: After the closing prayer, instead of saying “The Lord be with you,” the priest will say, “Dominus vobiscum,” and the people will again respond, “Et cum spíritu tuo.” The priest will pronounce the final blessing in Latin, “Benedicat vos, omnipotens Deus, Pater et Fílius et Spíritus Sanctus” (“May Almighty God bless you, the Father…”). Then, instead of saying, “Go in peace” (or some other dismissal), he will say, “Ite missa est” (“Go, you are sent forth”). The people will respond, as usual, with, “Amen.” Just as we began the Mass in Latin, now we end the Mass in Latin.
6) The Roman Canon. Beginning October 8, on the 2nd Sunday of every month (and only on the 2nd Sunday) the priest will pray the Eucharist Prayer in Latin, if he is able. This will be very different, but will not require you to say any Latin, other than the response to the “Mysterium Fidei,” which the Schola will lead you in. I will do this as an experiment for a few months. After that, I will consult the congregation for your thoughts on whether it is prudent to continue.
My dear sons and daughters in Christ, I beg you to please open your minds and hearts to these changes, approaching them with a positive and pious attitude. They are really very few and small, but, I think helpful and important. As you feel free to give me your respectful feedback, be assured I do not make them lightly, but motivated by profound concern for your spiritual benefit. Thanks for your patience and trust.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles