Over the course of my time at St. Thomas More I have noticed a good deal of confusion about posture during Mass. I understand there has been an uneven practice at our parish in this regard. Quite a few people have asked me what they should be doing. Undoubtedly, many of you have noticed that our practice here is different from other parishes in the diocese. This isn't a good thing as we are to be in union with our entire diocese regarding the Holy Mass.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states, "With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the deacon, lay minister, or priest gives according to whatever is indicated in the Missal." (RM 43) Notice that the instruction does not give the priest the option to create his own practice, but to inform the people of what the Church instructs.
Thus I want to clear up for everyone what the Church teaches. There are three times during the Mass when we are not doing what is prescribed by the Church.READ MORE
I have given quite a bit of thought as to how we might minister more effectively to families. I think it is important that we do all we can to provide, not just religious education, but other services for parents and their children.
For instance, we now have some chairs in the vestibule for parents to sit if they need to take their children out during Mass. I realize this is a small gesture, but I also hope it may help parents to stay engaged in the Mass during those more challenging times.
We also have Children's Liturgy of the Word at the 9am and 1lam Mass for children ages K-3 to experience the Word being proclaimed more at their level. Then there is our Little Lambs ministry for our smaller children.READ MORE
Since I have been here there have been a number of questions about all sorts of things regarding Church teachings, liturgy, etc. Hopefully I can clear some of these things up for all of you. Today, let's look at some important principles regarding liturgy.
Regarding the Sacred Liturgy, the Church actually mandates most things within the Mass and leaves very little up to the discretion of the priest. From the Vatican II document The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy,"
22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.