Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moveable Dates

5 March
20 April
8 June
30 November
18 February
5 April
24 May
29 November
10 February
27 March
15 May
27 November
1 March
16 April
25 May
3 December
14 February
1 April
10 May
2 December
6 March
21 April
30 May
1 December
26 February
12 April
21 May
29 November
17 February
4 April
13 May
28 November
2 March
17 April
26 May
27 November
22 February
9 April
18 May
3 December
14 February
31 March
9 May
1 December
5 March
20 April
29 May
30 November

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Culture of the Liturgical Movement in the 20th Century

The culture of the liturgical movement is much bigger than we might imagine.  Listen (click on the word "listen") to Massimo Faggioli, PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology, Saint Thomas University, Saint Paul, MN talk about this issue as a result of his carefully researched presentation at St. John's University, Collegeville, MN.  Professor Faggioli worked in the "John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies" in Bologna, Italy, between 1996 and 2008 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Turin in 2002. He now teaches at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.  (Video from: St. John's School of Theology Seminary Lifelong Learning and Events of the Godfrey Diekmann, OSB Center for Patristics and Liturgical Studies.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Godfrey Deikmann, OSB, was a priest, a member of the committee in Rome that drafted and implemented the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, an advisor to the committee on the Lectionary charged with the design of the three year cycle of readings, member of the committee for implementing the Liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and a founding member of ICEL.  Even though he traveled the world and deliberated with the best of theologians in the Church, his students knew him as a passionate teacher and writer who was able to articulate theology in a most understandable manner.

In a collection of presentations on the Rite of Penance edited by Nathan Mitchel, Godfrey's discussion on sacramental theology and Penance in particular still rings with clarity for those of us involved in sacramental preparation and celebration on the pastoral level.  (Diekman, Godfrey, OSB. The New Rite of Penance:  A Theological Evaluation from The Rite of Penance Commentaries: Background and Directions, ed. Nathan Mitchell. Vol. III, p. 82-91)

In his article, Godfrey talked about the shift in theological understanding that occurred in the 20th century.  The shift, he said, was from deductive to inductive theology.

Illustrating the deductive method of theology, he said, "Certain declarations, such as those from the Council of Trent, were taken as a sufficient theological starting point; from these were deduced logical conclusions about what is essential, what is legitimate, what is permissible" in the celebration of sacraments.

The inductive method, he says, "is more sensitive to the theological changes and developments which have occurred in history.  It will take into account the recent scholarly investigations of scripture, as well as the historical development of doctrine itself."

He pointed out that scholars, in his day, "recognized that a council like Trent was deficient in its knowledge of the historical development in previous Christian centuries."

This distinction might shed light on our experience of theological tensions today.  As pastoral leaders celebrate the sacraments throughout the year and Sunday Eucharist, we might have in mind Godfrey's deductive and inductive approach to the way we celebrate.

The deductive method could suggest that because we had a priest, a cantor, and a lector who proclaimed the Word and celebrated the Eucharist with prescribed texts, gestures, and intent, the experience is complete. But as a People who benefit from the unfolding of the inductive method as well, we know that our sacramental experience involves the insights of recent scholarly investigation of scripture, the Eucharist, and sacramental understanding.

Godfrey's discussion about Penance in the above-mentioned article can inform us about the way we celebrate and participate in the Mass on Sunday.

Central to the sacramental celebration of the Eucharist is God reaching out to every individual to be reconciled to the Table of the Lord.   Participation in communion is an outward statement of faith in what the Eucharist is, in what we believe we ingest in order to become what we eat, the Body and Blood of Christ.  But, before becoming the presence of Christ for the world - temples of Christ through communion - we engage in the action of being reconciled to the Table of the Lord.  What does it mean to be reconciled to the Table?

The Catholic understanding of reconciliation, Godfrey says, involves God's continuous action of reaching out to us out of love to help us put right order in our lives according to God's sense of justice and compassion.  That action is an invitation, extended through the Church and its pastoral leaders, to respond to God who loves us first and always.  Yes, God already loves every person.

Our response is to God's love can change our way of life and shape it into a life that looks more like Jesus' life.  This kind of change is not a one-time change.  We "agree" to engage in the change by Baptism.  The resulting life-time action is reconciling or converting our lives according to the Word and the action of Holy Communion in the Eucharist.

Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, the sacraments of initiation, open the doors of the Church for us. Through the decades of our lives, we walk into this vast "warehouse" of faith.  We take in what we hear in the Word:  God's sense of justice, love, and compassion.  We practice our response to God's values articulated in the Word when we remember our ancestors, the new covenant (promise) made to God through Jesus, and "agreeing" to submit to the public recognition and faith in the covenant by joining other believers who become what they eat and drink, the Body and Blood of Christ.  Then, we bring that Word and that expressed faith into the world.

Godfrey often told is students that the Eucharist is the "chief and primal sacrament of ecclesial reconciliation; communion is the sign of the fellowship that is achieved . . . "

OK, so what are we to do when we become temples of the Body and Blood of Christ through participation in communion?

We stand as signs of a group or community of people reconciled (changed, converted) into a people called Christian, Catholic, God's Holy People.  We responded to God's love by gathering at the parish on Sunday to be renewed, every week, in this identity as a people reconciled or changed by Word and Sacrament.

Our experience reflects the kind of reconciliation and conversion that our brothers and sisters practiced from the first centuries through the ages to the present. We maintain our "fellowship" or our association with  God's people who share our faith, in order to strengthen our lives as people who live as Christ in the world.  When we do, the world can see Christ (in us) and ask, "Why is this person so different from others I know? 

It is Baptism, Eucharist, and Penance that give us opportunities to be reconciled and changed.  

We believe that change is a constant in our lives.  In other words, conversion happens over and over again to us because with each experience, we enter more deeply into a life that reflects the presence of Christ. 

What we experience in our lives - love, joy, and happiness -  happens within groups of people (social). We also experience hate, sorrow, and oppression within groups of people.  We believe that goodness and sinfulness are social and can affect the whole of the community.  We have recent shootings in the the USA that remind us of the power of evil ways (sin) in the social sphere.

As people who reflect the presence of Christ, we enter into the social experience of hate, sorrow, and oppression with a point of view that seeks to reconcile such events into events that are salvific like love, joy, and happiness.  It's hard work, sometimes, but most necessary.  

Our mission is to bring salvation - or order and harmony in peoples lives - to such events so that all peoples and behaviors may reflect the reconciling and loving presence of Christ.  Our mission is Christ's mission and its a tall order we are willing to salute to under our common "flag", the cross.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Part III: New Pope, New Archbishop, new attitude?

In the August 2-15, 2013 edition of NCR, John Allen wrote that Pope "Francis' humbler lifestyle is having a ripple effect.  Princes of the church today [in Rome] are more likely to be spotted wearing simple black clerical dress rather than the usual sartorial splendor, and some have begun to sign their names in official correspondence simply . . .  avoiding 'His Eminence' or other bits of court nomenclature."

To one who has lived through the last 50 years in the Church, this observation is refreshing . . . again, as it was after the Second Vatican Council.  Catholics know the power of symbol and symbolic gesture.  When its clergy meet the People of God face to face, shoulder to shoulder, instead of heralding in robes of splendor from the distance, the Church sees its Gospel values lived out.  An elderly priest once reported that when he was in the seminary during the 1940's, he was taught to never look a person in the eye.  He was to practice custody of the eyes and look away even if he was conversing with a person.  He confessed that he was grateful when the practice died out.  Engaging parishioners in conversation, eye to eye, so that the parish sense of community could grow was a joy for him.  And why not?  Jesus engaged people around him in conversation and relationship.  In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that the task may be important, but the quality of the relationship is primary.

My love for the pre-Vatican II liturgy grew into a deep love of the post-Vatican II liturgy.  The "task" was the same:  to give honor and glory to God.  What shifted was the quality of relationship between believers who remain the sacramental presence of Christ in the world.  RCIAteam   

The quality of relationship among believers urged us to grow spiritually.  We carried our Eucharistic spirituality into the world.  As people who pray in gratitude (Eucharistic), we began to see the connection between liturgy and life.  Spirituality was not confined to devotional behaviors and gestures but blossomed into careful, thoughtful relating with all God's people, especially the poor and marginalized people.  We call THAT charity.  It's the kind of charity that came from the heart, through the hands, in the speech, as believers do the Gospel each hour of the day. 

The documents of the Second Vatican Council did - and continues to - move believers to be people who pray, study, and act as the presence of Christ in the liturgy and in life.  (See for Dei Verbum (about the Word of God), Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations), Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), and Gaudium et Spes (the Church in the Modern World).   

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Part II - New Pope, New Archbishop, new attitude?

The Second Vatican Council created excitement and joy for us.  We read the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (hereafter, CSL) to learn what our Church leaders were saying about the Mass.  I can still remember reading paragraph 4.2 for the first time where the idea of using the "Mother tongue" in the liturgy was articulated. We welcomed the opportunity not only to speak the responses in the Mass (prior to that time, only the server was allowed to do that, in Latin) but also to sing the liturgy which up to then was done only by the choir. Now WE all could sing. The texts of the liturgy filled our imaginations and our hearts with new images and concepts.

It was like a sleeping giant had been awakened.  The Constitution told how to participate in the Mass in an active manner (CSL, 30).
We enthusiastically learned to engage in a ritual dialogue with the priest (The Lord be with you, and with your spirit., etc.)  We learned to sing psalms for the liturgy and were able to hear more of the text of a psalm than just the refrain, as was done before.  We learned to present the gifts, to greet one another, to practice reconciliation with the Sign of Peace, and we could say the Lord's Prayer aloud as a community. Since we were allowed to participate this way, we felt a sense of holiness.  It felt good to be honored, because of our baptism, to pray and sing the liturgy.

Our Church leaders began to refer to us as "holy people" instead of just, the faithful. (CSL, 26,33,43)  We heard the phrase often in the English Mass through the scriptures, music texts, and prayer.  "Liturgical services", the CSL told us, "are not private functions but are celebrations . . . [but] involve the whole Body of the Church. " (CSL, 26)  The Mass changed from texts spoken in Latin softly between the priest and server (that we could hardly hear) to understandable texts in English that were loud enough to be heard between the priest and people.  The whole Body of the Church sang acclamations and hymns that the choir embellished. It was wonderful to be part of a whole church singing!  What a celebration!

We could hear that "God is speaking to his people and Christ is still proclaiming his gospel" in the liturgy because of the use of English. (CSL, 33)

The declaration that "there is to be more reading from holy Scripture and it is to be more varied" powerfully transformed our awareness of the Bible. (CSL, 35).  Instead of one cycle of readings from the Bible, our leaders put together two more so that we had three cycles of readings to use over three years from the Bible on Sundays.  Catholics started Bible study sessions based on the readings of Sunday (CSL, 4) and prayed together on their own after the study.  This seemed amazing that we could do these kinds of meetings without the priest present!

More later . . .

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Pope, New Archbishop, . . . new attitude?

Those of us who were alive in 1958 witnessed a shift in Church life over the next five years that for a happy majority enflamed our faith and moved us to practice the mission of Christ.  Reflecting on that time, I can say that I saw people's hearts open up as their lungs were filled with the fresh air the Holy Spirit blew into our lives.  The nay-sayers of today, a great majority of whom were not even born at the time, want Catholics to believe that the Second Vatican Council was the curse of the 20th century.  I am here to witness to you that it was not.  It was joy, refreshment, and filled with and encouraging spirit. 

As a young Catholic of 10, I was one among many who heard about the hopes of the Second Vatican Council as it was four years into its life.  

We learned to understand ourselves as a Holy People of God and shed the attitude of doom that condemned us to see ourselves as sinners who were expected wear guilt on our sleeves day in and day out.  The fixation with sin (what kind, how many times, and the level of seriousness) which all of us learned from one another, allowed us to be judged by the priest or religious man or woman in our midst.  We gradually allowed that to fade as we considered the mission of Jesus and found ways to put energy into this mission instead.  

We learned anew that every woman and man, teen and child, was called to be the presence of Christ every day, to bring love, charity, and justice into the lives of our fellow citizens NOW.  

After years of warnings and shame not to dare to think that any person other than a priest could read the Bible and understand it, we learned that we could read the Bible and found the Word of God refreshing!  We found all kinds of encouragement from the voice of Jesus, in the Bible, on how to be missionaries in daily life.  Although we approached reading the Bible with a sense of shame and fear in the past, we read on in these "new days" with curiosity, care, and hope.  

And it helped when the language of the Mass was shifted from one that only a select few knew to the language all the people of a particular nation would understand.  We marveled at the beauty of the prayers, the psalm texts, and the story told as the priest offered the Eucharistic Prayer.  We made connections between the Bible and our Mass texts and our daily lives.  Spirituality, something that we judged evident in a person's life by their devotional behavior, became a way of life that immersed every person's spirit with the Holy Spirit.  

More reflections to come . . . 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Music in the Catholic Liturgy

"Liturgical musicians are first of all disciples, and only then are they ministers.  Joined to Christ through the Sacraments of Initiation, musicians belong to the assembly of the baptized faithful; they are worshipers above all else.  Like other baptized members of the assembly, pastoral musicians need to hear the Gospel, experience conversion, profess faith in Christ, and so proclaim the praise of God. Thus, musicians who serve the Church at prayer are not merely employees or volunteers.  They are ministers who share the faith, serve the community, and express the love of God and neighbor through music."  Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, #49

Some parishes have been worshiping with paperback hymnals and missalettes for years.  Many of the songs and hymns they have used in these resources are found in the hard hymnal.   The Gather hymnal includes well known music and many newly composed songs encompassing many musical styles.  The lectionary edition includes a full three-year lectionary, providing the reading citations and music for psalm refrains as well as the text of psalm verses.   There are twelve new or revised Mass settings of various styles within the hymnal to enrich the singing experience of parishioners. Mass cards are no longer needed in the pews because the dialogues and prayers are printed inside the front cover of the hymnal. A hymnal also helps a parish to be practice thoughtful 'green' stewardship of the earth by deleting the need to produce new paper books every year!  

The liturgy draws all into the paschal mystery deepening our understanding of Christ's model of suffering, dying, and rising to new life.  

The purpose of liturgical music is not to entertain but to help participants in the liturgy surrender to the transforming dynamic of the liturgy.  As a result, we need music that is consistent rather than constantly changing.  

We need to repeat acclamations we sing from the time of the Gospel acclamation to Lamb of God.  We need to repeat seasonal hymns, scriptural hymns, Eucharistic hymns, and psalms until they become beloved texts and sounds our people long to sing over and over.  And since we will sing them over and over, the music must be well written, substantial, and time-tried proving its last-ability.

Texts and music touch sense and memory, intellect and emotion, and form us as members of the Body of Christ who go into daily life to be Christ to one another.  Pastoral music will be effective when it is cultivated thoughtfully into memory and spirit.  Let us not be afraid to repeat the use of music.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

December 8th, 2012 is a holy day or solemnity even though it is on Saturday this year.  Why?  The Immaculate Conception of Mary is the patronal feast day of the United States.

By the way, you have access to this information through the book "Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist" or commonly referred to as the "ordo".   Every parish sacristy has a copy of it on the vesting table. 

You can have your own copy through your cell phone or computer application.  Go into your "App Store" and type in "ordo".  You want the Paulist Press ordo.  You will need to press the "region" button to get the appropriate dates for your Archdiocese.  It's a great resource.

Monday, November 26, 2012

English: Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 i...
Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 in Denver (Colorado) Papa Juan Pablo II el 12 de agosto de 1993 en Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blessed John Paul II will be remembered in the dioceses of the United States by an optional memorial added to the country’s proper liturgical calendar.

Until now, certain dioceses or sites had permission to celebrate this optional memorial, but that permission has now been extended to the whole country.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently approved this request from the USCCB, and the memorial may be celebrated with proper texts on October 22. (The announcement—on October 19—came a little late for some parishes this year.)

Proper texts for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours—in English, Latin, and Spanish—may be found at [ ] USCCB.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leer sobre La LITURGIA:

Sacrosanctum Concilium (P VI) sobre la sagrada liturgia. La primera documento sobre la Misa.
Dei Verbun (P VI) sobre la divina revelación y la Palabra de Dios. Como leer la Biblia.
Mystici Corporis Christri (PIO XII) sobre el cuerpo místico de Cristo
Instrucción General de la Misa, como celebrar la Misa

Leer sobre LA IGLESIA:
Lumen Gentium (P VI) sobre El Pueblo de Dios, la iglesia, su acción
Gaudium et Spes (P VI) sobre la iglesia en el mundo actual
Dei Filius (PIO IX) sobre la fe católica
Aspectos teologales sobre la teología de liberación (CEA)

Rerum Novarum (LEÓN XIII) sobre las riquezas de los obreros

Familiaris Consortio (JP II) sobre la misión de la familia
De los derechos de la Familia (JP II) OTRAS

Catecismo de la Iglesia Católic
Código de Derecho Canónico (JP II)
El laico católico testigo de la fe en la iglesia (CEA)


Y otros documentos ver,

The USA is blessed with people who believe in God and practice their faith through the prism of many religions. Freedom to express one's faith is a great gift in America. Check out a PBS documentary on religious freedom, "First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty," airing on PBS stations December 18th.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool is the first Catholic diocese in England and Wales to commission lay people to preside at funerals in order to relieve pressure on priests. The current 170 priests in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, England will decline to 100 by 2015. The move was explained in a brochure, Planning a Catholic Funeral, which notes that the "community's main celebration and prayer for the deceased" may be "a funeral Mass or a funeral service led by a lay funeral minister or a deacon." In some parts of the world where priests and deacons are not available, lay minsters already preside at funerals, but this is the first time that the priest shortage in England and Wales has been addressed in this way.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bishops Discuss Vatican II Documents

The USCCB has announced a new series of blogs on the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council in the following weeks. Two blogs per week will be written by bishops. The first blog is on liturgical reform, by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans and chair of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship. The next will be on ecumenism by Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary bishop in Baltimore and chair of the bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and interreligious Affairs. Click here for the blogs in English and here for Spanish.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Liturgical Musicians, Another Change!

Cardinal Timothy Dolan received a letter from Rome, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, requesting the bishops of the United States to adjust their liturgical music document, Sing to the Lord, published in June of 2008. Paragraph #188 will be altered to remove permission to use other Christological tropes in place of "Lamb of God". In many parishes in the USA, liturgical musicians accompanied the fraction rite with a litany form of the acclamation as the Body of Christ was broken and the Blood of Christ was poured out. Rome notes that this practice is not in conformity with #130 of the revised Order of Mass and requests the bishops to make the correction in their document. It will also add, "The Agnus Dei should not be prolonged unnecessarily (see GIRM, no. 83) nor may other texts be added to this chant." In addition to this change, there will also be minor changes to vocabulary, capitalization, and quotes from the GIRM and the revised Order of Mass.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Monday, October 1, 2012

On Sunday, November 25, the Feast of Christ the King, representatives from every parish in the Archdiocese will gather at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha at 2:00 pm to celebrate the Eucharist to conclude the 175th Anniversary Year of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Archbishop Hanus invites very parish in the Archdiocese of Dubuque to assign 5-6 representatives of the parish to come to the celebration. Let us celebrate the closing of the Anniversary Year with joy on the feast of Christ the King, November 25th!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Explaining Eucharistic Centered Spirituality

In his book, Speak the Word with Boldness, Walter J. Burghardt, SJ, says, "Eucharist means thanksgiving. But the Eucharist is a genuine thanksgiving only if we ourselves become eucharists for the life of the world. Four verbs in each consecration spell out the rhythm in Christian discipleship. What Jesus did to ordinary bread at the Supper, that Jesus does to ordinary flesh and blood, to you. Jesus took, Jesus blessed, Jesus broke, Jesus gave. In giving you life, Jesus chose you to follow him. In your baptism Jesus blessed you, consecrated you to be his disciple. In your suffering Jesus "breaks" you, burns out the damnable concentration on self, remolds ou to himself, shapes you as a man or woman for others. And so, wherever you are, Jesus gives you -- chosen, blessed, and broken -- gives you to a whole little world for its salvation. As the bread is transformed into Christ's body, do you feel your own flesh transformed into Christ, to share in his work of redemption?" Excerpted from Speak the Word with Boldness by Walter J. Burghardt, SJ. c 1994 by The New York of Province of the Society of Jesus. Used by permission of Paulist Press.

The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY

The Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley are hosting a four-part series on the Second Vatican Council. The series, entitled, "Celebrating Vatican II: Sharing the Vision" is free and open to the public. October 21, 2:00 p.m. Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, will speak on "What Happened at Vatican II? Keys to Understanding the Council," in the Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA December 2, 2:00 p.m. Dr. Zeni Fox, will speak on "The Laity after Vatican II: Collaboration in Ministry" at Clarke University, Dubuque, IA. February 24, 2:00 p.m. Dr. Massimo Faggioli will speak on "Liturgical Reform: the Crucial Impact and Legacy of Vatican II" at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids), IA. April 21, 2:00 p.m., Dr. marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA, and Bishop Daniel Turley, OSA, will speak on "The Church in the Modern World: Vatican II's Challenge for Our Time," at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Church, Clinton, IA. For directions to these events, please use Google maps. I hope to see you there!

Friday, May 25, 2012


The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments (CDWDS) in Rome has noted that the following adaptations are to be made in liturgical rites in light of the recent translation of the Roman Missal:

1. Every occurrence of "And with your spirit" including the dialogue between the confirmandi and the bishop in the Rite of Confirmation.
2. The "I confess to Almighty God" or Confiteor.
3. The invitation to communion, "Behold the Lamb of God" and "Lord, I am not worthy"
4. The dismissal dialogue of all rites
5. The prayers of the priest or deacon in preparation for the proclamation of the Gospel.

Additionally, adjustments may be made in the following celebrations:
- Baptism (the blessing of water and Baptismal promise text)
- Rite of Marriage (the Nuptial Blessing now appears in the Roman Missal, page 1034 in Catholic Book Publishing Co. RMIII and page 1186, Liturgical Press edition RMIII.)
- Funeral Liturgy
- Liturgy of the Hours

The Eucharistic Prayer for Masses with Children has been modified and is available for purchase through the USCCB Communications. There is no official word on the status of the revised Lectionary for Masses with Children approved by the USCCB in 2006 and sent to Rome for recognitio.

Permission has been granted to republish Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest with the new translations of texts. In the meantime, lay leaders of prayer are to write in the appropriately retranslated texts.

There is discussion about the use of the Glory to God during the celebration of Marriage, Confirmation, Ordination and other ritual Masses. The Ritual Masses in the revised Roman Missal call for a more frequent use of the Glory to God indicated in the rubrics of the Prayers (or propers) of the particular Ritual Mass. (Source: USCCB Committee for Divine Worship (BCDW) Newsletter, November-December, 2011)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Readings in Spanish Online

You will find that scripture readings in Spanish are available here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Suffering, Death, and Resurrection: Rev. Ev Hemann +2012

Yesterday, Father Ev Hemann, former director of the Office of Worship, Archdiocese of Dubuque, died as the result of pancreatic cancer. Father Ev's blog will continue to inspire us with his reflection on suffering, death, and resurrection ( One of the things he said about the Holy People of God was that "they think a priest has an extraordinary or superhuman quality. If there is, I don't possess it. I must have been out behind the barn when God was handing that out. Just because we don't marry, people thing we are more holy even though the Catholic teaching is very clear that a person who takes a vow of celibacy is no more holy than others." And: "The mark of maturity is to dissove into the bigger oneness of the community and gain a solidarity that is bigger than our private lives." Today, we offer the prayer he prayed for 40 years every night before bed, "Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people. . ." (Luke 2: 29-32)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dates for the Liturgical Year for the Next 40 Years

You can plan your Liturgical Year in advance with the help of Father Felix Just's Liturgical Year calendar table located at this link.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Practice the EXULTET for Easter Vigil

Offering the Exultet effectively has been made easier. Go to this ICEL link, scroll down the page to get the link to a copy of the Exultet in English. Other chant copies for the Triduum liturgies are also available.

A recording with the text of the EXSULTET is on the NPM page. It is titled, "The Paschal Proclamation". Go to this link NPM and scroll down to The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night.
You will see these two icons: One for the pdf file and another for a of the Exultet with the title, "The Paschal Proclamation." See

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Recordings of twenty-eight prefaces in the new Roman Missal are now available for listening and free download at the NPM website, Here you will find sung prefaces for celebrations occurring between the First Sunday of Advent on November 27, 2011, and the beginning of Lent in late February 2012. The location of prefaces on the NPM website follows the order in which they appear in the missal. Look for recordings on the web pages marked Proper of Time, Prefaces in the Order of Mass, Proper of Saints, Ritual Masses, and Various Needs and Occasions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Different Layout in the Revised Roman Missal

Fr. Paul Turner wrote an excellent article in this month's issue of "Pastoral Liturgy" magazine published by LTP. He made an excellent outline of new nomenclature from the Sacramentary to Missal regarding placement of texts. He discusses where the texts for certain days/feasts, etc. can be found since the structure of the revised Roman Missal now follows the structure of the Latin edition.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Distribution of Communion: The Body and Blood of Christ

The following appears at the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops web page at this link. The statement is adapted from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2011)

The distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds has been the norm for more than a millenium. It began during the first days of the Church's celebration of the Eucharist in fulfillment of the Lord's command to "take and eat . . . take and drink."

This practice continued until the late eleventh century when the custom of distributing communion to the faithful under of the form of bread alone began to grow.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council restored the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds at the bishop's discretion.

Support for this practice has grown even more strongly with the third typical edition of the Roman Missal:

"Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father." (GIRM, 281)

Please go to the USCCB web link here for more resources. You will find the following resources which will address specific issues related to the distribution of Holy Communion.

-A Short Introduction to Holy Communion and Celiac Sprue Disease
-Holy Communion from the Tabernacle
-La Recepción de la Sagrada Comunión En La Misa
-Preparation of Chalices for Holy Communion Under Both Kinds
Celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word
Communion Services?

Pastoral ministers are thoughtful of the needs of the "daily Mass crowd" who gather together each day to celebrate the Word and Eucharist. These faithful people are sometimes trained to bring Holy Communion from daily Mass to the people in nursing homes or in private homes in the community.

When parishioners lead residents of nursing homes in a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word from the liturgy of the day, it is sometimes followed by the distribution of Holy Communion. For the residents who can no longer move about with ease, this is a wonderful ministry. The parish brings Word and Sacrament to those in need.

In our catechesis, we are thoughtful to point out that there is a difference between the celebration of the Mass - Liturgy of Word and Eucharist - and a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of communion. The two words, "Eucharist" and "communion" mean two different things. Eucharist is what we celebrate together led by the priest. Communion is the action of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

As we all know, the Mass includes the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist with a particular act of remembrance and thanksgiving (the Eucharistic Prayer) and consecration done by the priest. This unique element is missing when a lay person leads a Liturgy of the Word with distribution of communion.

Rome asks us to remind one another when it is appropriate to celebrate the Rite of Distributing Holy Communion Outside Mass. It is celebrated when a priest is absent due to sickness or some other serious reason and when another priest cannot take his place. It may also be used in nursing homes if there has not been a Mass celebrated that day.

We are reminded that the rite should never be used in a parish church when the opportunity to participate in Mass that day is available at another time or in a nearby parish church.

Properly trained laypersons may serve as leaders of prayer at a weekday Word and communion service under the following conditions:

One, the pastor/pastoral administrator gives approval for the person to serve in the role of leader.

Two, the person is commissioned as an extraordinary minister of communion.

Three, the person has received prior training via the Office of Worship and is familiar with the proper rite for weekday Word and communion services (HCWEOM, #13-41).

Materials to assist in training weekday leaders of Word and communion services are available at the Office of Worship, 1-800-876-3546.

In time for Advent 2011, National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) has large-print formats of the official text of the Roman Missal Third Edition.

Offered in font sizes 24, 34 and 44, these large-print versions will equip priests with low vision to celebrate Mass using the revised language.

The Roman Missal, Third Edition will be available on CD (or in print if requested - for a price).

For more information contact NCPD at
202-529-2933 or visit
NCPD Large Print Roman Missal and Lectionary available free on charge.
Update on Children's Eucharistic Prayers

Fr. Rick Hilgartner, secretariat of the Office of Divine Worship, USCCB, has stated that we should have the revised translations of the EPs for Children by Advent of this year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Have you had the chance to listen to Father J. Michael Joncas' videos on the Notre Dame Liturgy site (here)? If you are going to talk about the Glory to God, Holy, the Lord's Prayer, or the Lamb of God, you will want to check out his presentation. It will inspire you and feed your presentation preparations.

You can also use these handouts:
1. The liturgical, musical, and pastoral judgments in the selection of music
2. Scriptural sources of "And with your spirit."
3. The parts of the Glory to God
4. An outline of Father Joncas' presentation on the Lamb of God mentioned above.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Here are some samples from the, a project of the Church Music Association of America:












Reprinted with permission: Chant Settings from the Roman Missal 3rd Edition (Ordinary Form), courtesy of the CMAA with sheet music from ICEL. These videos are published with permission.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Map of Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque in USA.Image via Wikipedia

Implementing the Revised Roman Missal
and The Parish Staff

In the Archdiocese of Dubuque, pastoral leaders, liturgical musicians, Catholic school leaders, and faith formation directors have reviewed the revised texts of the Roman Missal in various local workshop settings.

As these leaders gather back in their parish settings, it will be important for staff members to meet together and review an implementation plan for the whole parish and parish cluster. The value of this is that what the People of God see and hear in various parish and parish cluster settings a that is consistent. The vision for implementation needs to be harmonious for the sake of the pastoral comfort level of working with revised texts.

To review one resource that the Office of Worship gave to participants in workshops over the last new months, click here. It is an outline of how to negotiate a parish wide implementation from the staff meeting on out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prayer for New Evangelizers

The Pope's committee on evangelization will be holding a meeting October 15-16 entitled, "New Evangelizers for the New Evangelization." They have asked us to pray for them in our liturgies during the Prayers of the Faithful. Sample prayers were sent and appear below:
. Let us pray for the Church throughout the world to be animated by a renewed missionary spirit which will help it to advance on the way of the New Evangelization.
. Let us pray for the new Evangelizers who are meeting in Rome with the Holy Father, that strengthened by this experience, they may be faithful witnesses to Christ and the Gospel in today's world.

Parish leaders have been asking, now that the Roman Missal has been revised, what will happen to the "Children's Eucharistic Prayers".

In its August edition of the Newsletter, the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship (CDW) reported that the prayers were approved for the reprinting of the Roman Missal. They also said that, "Work has begun to prepare a supplemental text of the adapted Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, which will be available later this year."

As always, the use of these prayers has been restricted to Masses with children only "or at Masses at which the majority of the participants are children." (See, Directory for Masses with Children, forward to the prayers).

The CDW reminded its readers of the importance of catechesis before using the prayers.

What does that mean for parish and school leaders? It helps to have the children read through the prayer, paragraph by paragraph, in the classroom setting to raise the child's awareness of what each paragraph says. An expert teacher will know not to do the whole thing in one setting but to take parts of the prayer over a week's time. The child discovers how the prayer tells a "story" of salvation and how the institution narrative - the very words of Jesus - is central to the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Jesus. Using parts of the Eucharistic Prayer as gathering or dismissal prayer can also help the child to be attune to the text at Mass.

The CDW also reminds its readers that the Lectionary for Masses with Children, approved in 1991, is still approved for liturgical use today. In the future, we can look for a revision of this lectionary since the Bishops approved a new translation of it in 2005. That text is in Rome for review so we await its approval.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Accompaniment for the ICEL Chant

The chants in the revised Roman Missal will be printed in missalettes and newly revised hymnals. In the meantime, accompaniment for the Missal is available at

Recently, Father Richard Hilgartner, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship, clarified what “chant” means in the English translation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. In response to a recent question by Catholic News Service, he explained that “chant” is used in a “generic way, a translation of [the Latin] ‘cantus,’ ‘that which is sung.’ . . . [The General Instruction on the Roman Missal] is really talking about what texts are sung, not the musical form.”

He offered this explanation because some sites in the “blogosphere” are maintaining that “chant” means that only Gregorian chant is to be used, and only the processional antiphons provided in the Roman Missal (with appropriate psalms) are to be sung for the entrance, presentation of gifts, and Communion processions.

Hymnody is still among the options for processional music, so long as they are “suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, [and] approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop” (General Instruction, 48). He added the word "song" was removed from the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal because "it sounds secular, even when it's preceded by 'liturgical.'"

And what, if anything, preceded chant? "Likely, it was hymnody because it was memorable," Father Hilgartner said. "St. Paul does that whole great hymn to Christ -- 'though he was in the form of God.' Is that early hymnody? Is that used liturgically? We don't really know. As one of my liturgy professors used to say, we've lost the videotape."

The brief report is available on the Catholic News Service web page available with this link.

Monday, August 8, 2011


PRIESTS and LITURGICAL MUSICIANS may practice for November 27th on their home desk computer.  Click on this site:  NPM

The National Pastoral Musicians (NPM) have provided recordings of music from The Roman Missal.  You will see a PDF file of the revised texts and can click on a recording of the chanted version of the text you view.

The musical settings of liturgical texts in The Roman Missal were prepared by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).  The only exceptions for the United States copy of the Roman Missal are the Christmas Proclamation and the setting of the Our Father by Robert Snow, which will appear in the U.S. edition of the Missal as the primary version along with the ICEL settings. 

ICEL has prepared an introduction to the music of the Roman Missal that explains the principles that were used in preparing these settings. Their copies of the musical settings (which you also see at are located on their site:  ICELWEB.


The USCCB has authorized the gradual introduction of some musical settings (Mass settings) of the Order of Mass.  Starting September 1, the bishops have said that, the Glory to God, Holy Holy, the memorial acclamations, the Amen, and Lamb of God may be introduced.  Although this authorization means that these sung texts may be used during the Mass, when the spoken text is used, permission is NOT granted to speak the same revised texts. In other words, if the Glory to God, Holy, and the Memorial Acclamation are recited, the current translation must be used.

The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) will begin shipping CDs with the Roman Missal in large print for the visually challenged in September.  Here's the link:   NCPD Roman Missal.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

LTP Order for the Archdiocese of Dubuque

The order from to receive discount for books and resources from LTP are now online for Archdiocesan pastoral leaders.  The resources will be ordered through the Media Center.  See the Worship conference folder on First Class mail program through the archdiocese.  If you do not have access to First Class, please talk to your pastor, faith formation director, or principal of your Catholic School.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Resources for Liturgical Ministers







    Priests: Texts of Revised Eucharistic Prayers

    Many priests are practicing the revised Eucharistic Prayers in private.  I, II, III, and IV have been available (and have been for sometime) on the USCCB Roman Missal website (click here).  Click the Sample Texts button.  The priest can also review:
    -- Order of Mass
    -- Order of Mass Annotated (with biblical citations)
    -- Proper of Time (Advent and Christmas Time) Sunday and weekday. 
    -- Priests Parts with commentary notes for Eucharistic Prayers.

    In addition, the Church Music Association of America has a set of free videos of all of the Ordinary chants of the Mass online. You can access them here.  You will hear the audio as the notation runs in front of you.

    You can create CDs also via the NPM site (click here).  You will find recordings of each Eucharistic Prayer and the public can download the recordings and burn them to a CD.  There is an index page (click here) where you will find a list of all recordings made available by National Pastoral Musicians.

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Catechize the Whole Parish With Bulletin Paragraphs: Bread for the Journey

    The Archdiocesan Worship Board of the Archdiocese of Dubuque has put together paragraph sized catechesis on the Roman Missal to include in the parish bulletin.  Entitled, "Bread for the Journey", one paragraph may appear in the parish bulletin each week to catechize readers about the revisions of the Order of Mass.  Click bulletin catechesis for your copy. 

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    How to Dispose of Old Copies of the Sacramentary - And Bless the Revised Roman Missal

    In the March-April edition of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship NEWSLETTER, American bishops offer guidelines for disposing of liturgical books that have been updated.

    The the Book of Blessings, paragraph number 1343, says that the Roman Missal, the Lectionary, and other ritual books are to be blessed using the blessing texts, Order for the Blessing of Articles for Liturgical Use, paragraph numbers 1341-1359.

    Whether a liturgical book was previously blessed or not, we should treat it with respect as we dispose of it.  Old liturgical books may be buried on the parish grounds or in the parish cemetery.  Another option is to burn the book first but bury the ashes in an appropriate place on the church grounds or cemetery.  One copy of the present Sacramentary may be placed in a parish archive or liturgical library.

    The new copy of the revised Roman Missal is to be used for the first time, November 27, 2011, the First Sunday of Advent.  The pastor should bless the new copy with the blessing from the Book of Blessings, 1341-1359.  The USCCB Committee on Divine Worship suggests that the blessing "could take place during a Mass on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, at the last weekday Mass prior to the First Sunday of Advent, or outside Mass at a separate gathering of liturgical ministers or other parish leaders."

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Study About Mass Texts Revisions via Paul F. Ford Web Page

    Dr. Paul Ford has been presenting a number of workshops on the Roman Missal throughout the nation.  Known as an expert in theology, Ford holds a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. His primary areas of competence are ecclesiology, spirituality, and music and liturgy; his secondary areas are Mariology and chant. Cardinal Mahony honored him with the Laudatus Award for 1995 “for excellence in the promotion of the liturgical life of the parishes and the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.” Dr. Ford has posted his presentations on the text revisions of the Mass and powerpoint programs on his web page so that we may benefit from his research.  Take time to review and study his many online workshop materials at

    Dr. Ford is also preparing a movie version of his presentations so be sure to check back on his web page for exciting updates!