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Catholic Liturgy - Dramatic Readings at Mass (And More on Processions, and Extra Hosts)
Zenit News Agency ^ | June 14, 2005 | Father Edward McNamara

Posted on 06/14/2005 4:28:35 PM PDT by NYer

ROME, JUNE 14, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.

Q: If a reader at the Mass proclaims the passage with appropriate facial expressions, sufficient gestures of hands and right modulation of voice, only to bring out different characters and emotions concealed in the passage, would it go against the spirit of liturgy? -- M.G., Bangalore, India

A: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal touches upon this subject in No. 38 regarding "The Vocal Expression of the Different Texts":

"In texts that are to be spoken in a loud and clear voice, whether by the priest or the deacon, or by the lector, or by all, the tone of voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, a commentary, an acclamation, or a sung text; the tone should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. Consideration should also be given to the idiom of different languages and the culture of different peoples.

"In the rubrics and in the norms that follow, words such as 'say' and 'proclaim' are to be understood of both singing and reciting, according to the principles just stated above."

Thus the text refers above all to tone of voice and makes no mention of accompanying a reading with facial expressions or gestures.

This would be in conformity with the traditional sobriety of the Roman Rite and with the ministerial nature of such services as reading.

The fundamental criterion is, I believe, that of service to God's Word. The task of the lector is to bring out and proclaim the sense of the divine message to the best of his or her ability while avoiding drawing attention to the person doing the reading either by dress or manner.

There is also perhaps some danger of a reader imposing his or her interpretation of the emotions concealed in the passage rather than allowing God's word to speak heart-to-heart to each member of the assembly.

Hence some variation in intonation is desirable in order to clarify the sense of the text, distinguish a question from an admonition, a cry for mercy from its granting, etc.

Using an unvarying deadpan tone, or monotonous drawl for every passage is a disservice to God's Word and to the assembly. But any hint of acting, whether by facial expressions, gestures, changing intonation or voices for different characters, should be avoided as they tend to draw attention away from the text and toward the reader.

The traditional Latin tones for singing the readings could suggest a model for reading the sacred texts, or even compose new vernacular tones for singing the Scripture as has been successfully achieved in some languages.

Singing the texts, at least on solemn occasions, reminds us that this is no ordinary text but God's Word to us. It also fixes the attention very much on the Word itself.

The traditional tones come in several variations. There are slightly different tones used for the Old Testament, the epistles and for the Gospels. Within the reading, slight variations of rhythm and intonation bring out questions and different characters so as to highlight the meaning of the text.

At the same time, the need to submit oneself to singing a simple but common tone eliminates most of the reader/cantor's personal traits while emphasizing the attitude of service to something greater than oneself.

* * *

Follow-up: Who's First in a Procession

An Ohio reader has made an interesting point with respect to my interpretation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal regarding the possibility of non-instituted lectors carrying the Gospel in the entrance processions (see May 31).

He asserts that sometimes the word "lector" is used in an expanded sense to include the commissioned reader as in GIRM, No. 135: "If no lector is present, the priest himself proclaims all the readings and the Psalm, standing at the ambo."

If this were the case it would remove all doubt as to the legitimacy of having readers who were not instituted lectors from carrying the Gospel. I think our reader's close reading of the GIRM has a high degree of probability but, even if this were not so, I still believe that it would be allowable as a custom interpretative of law.

I may be beyond my ken in venturing into canonical epistemology but, as mentioned before in our final follow-up on blessings, that is how I see the interpretation of this kind of law.

A Canadian correspondent asked about the following directive given, in the name of a bishop, by a pastor in the United States: "Ordinarily, lectors (readers), unless carrying the Book of the Gospels, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, whose ministries are limited to specific moments, do not process, nor are they seated in the sanctuary." The correspondent asked for a possible reference to this directive.

The GIRM simply mentions "other ministers" who may participate in the procession without specifying who they are or any degree of obligation as to their participation.

No. 294 of the GIRM does indicate that, if possible, lectors should have a place in the presbytery. But that does not necessarily mean participation in the procession.

I believe that this is a prudential decision to be made at the local level in accordance with the demands of space, logistics and pastoral needs.

A bishop would be perfectly within his rights to determine which of these "other ministers" enter in procession so as to ensure a broad uniformity of practice within the diocese.

Likewise, it falls within the range of responsibilities of a pastor, in organizing the liturgy in his parish, to decide how to apply the liturgical norms to the concrete situation of his church, especially with regard to aspects where the law allows for various possibilities.

* * *

Follow-up: 2nd Batch of Hosts, Continued

Thanks be to God for our careful readers who manage to keep me orthodox in spite of myself.

In our follow-up regarding adding water to the chalice after the consecration (see May 31) I said that the corruption of the species of wine "would be practically certain to have happened if the quantity of water were more than half. In such a case, those who received this mixture would have received only Christ's Body during Communion."

The point I, maladroitly, tried to make was that the mixture no longer contained Christ's real presence. However, the phrasing could easily be understood that one did not receive the whole Christ: body, blood, soul and divinity, under the species of bread alone. Likewise, in those special cases where, for medical reasons, a person receives only the Precious Blood, he also receives the whole Christ. I apologize for any confusion or distress I may have caused.

Although receiving Communion under both species is more perfect from the point of view of the sign, and Church law now gives fairly wide leeway to bishops to grant this permission, the distribution of the Eucharist under the species of bread alone remains the ordinary mode of Communion in the Church.

I will take the opportunity to answer some other questions that arose in this context.

A Virginia reader asks: "Regarding 'homemade' bread with additional matter (other than flour and water), it is my understanding that because it is invalid matter it cannot be transubstantiated into Jesus' Body and Blood. I assume the Mass is also invalid. Is this correct?"

While there is no absolute prohibition on using homemade bread that respects the conditions for valid matter, it is usually not very practical. The making of hosts is something of an art and homemade hosts are often flaky and brittle.

If, in addition, other elements are added (for example, sugar, molasses or honey), the probability that it is no longer valid matter is very high although one would have to examine each case on its merits. As "Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 48, says:

"The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools."

The Church requires certainty and not probability as to the validity of the sacraments. Thus, doubtful matter may never be used in any circumstances whatsoever. A priest who finds himself in such a situation should not proceed with the celebration until all doubt has been removed.

A Scottish priest asks: "Is reception under both kinds necessary for validity for clergy to have said Mass at a concelebration? Linked to that, if a priest has not received under both kinds at a Mass at which he is a concelebrant, may he still take a stipend?"

Strictly speaking, except in the case of a priest who, due to illness, has been granted special permission from the bishop to receive under one species, reception of Communion under both kinds is necessary for all concelebrants for a licit celebration. But it would not normally be required for validity as the Mass -- that is, the full consecration -- was celebrated and at least the main celebrant consumed both under both species.

Thus, if due to some accident, a concelebrant was unable to receive from the chalice, he may receive a regular stipend if this is his only Mass that day. A priest may never receive a stipend for a concelebrated Mass if he celebrates another Mass on the same day -- for example, at his parish and at a funeral. He may offer the concelebrated Mass for any intention he wishes but without receiving a stipend.

The situation of an invalid participation in a concelebration might arise if a priest where to join in, so to speak, as an uninvited guest, and where from the beginning there is no possibility of full and licit participation.

I have unfortunately seen this happen at papal Masses where attending priests pull a stole out of the pocket and pronounce the words of consecration. There are several liturgical and theological reasons to doubt the validity of this procedure although the question has not yet been addressed officially.

* * *


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: lector
Readers may send questions to news@zenit.org. Please put the word "Liturgy" in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and your state, province or country.
1 posted on 06/14/2005 4:28:36 PM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
There is also perhaps some danger of a reader imposing his or her interpretation of the emotions concealed in the passage rather than allowing God's word to speak heart-to-heart to each member of the assembly.

This is a very important aspect and one that many of us rarely discuss. I serve as a lector in my parish. We ask for Father's blessing before proceeding with the reading. The parish administrator also provides us with a copy of the reading well in advance so we have time to read it through several times at home, out loud. Father insists that we take our time, adjust the microphone and enunciate the text. He often speaks about a personal experience of hearing a lector deliver their reading in a manner that truly reflected the text. In the Maronite Tradition, the priest blesses the lector with the words: "May Almighty God bless you as you read the (Letter, Epistle of St. Whoever and open the minds and hearts of the listeners". It is an awesome responsibility.

The lectors in our parish are also responsible for providing that week's Liturgy Intentions. Personally, I invest a good amount of time in researching that Sunday's Gospel and my reading, and try to reflect it in the Intentions. This past Sunday, I tossed in a prayer for our pastor and "all who have devoted their lives in love to God". To my great surprise, I later learned that a visiting family was accompanied by their son who will be entering Seminary in the Fall.

Do any of you serve as lectors? What has been your experience? How do you approach this responsibility?

2 posted on 06/14/2005 4:41:48 PM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer
Thank you for the post. It is illuminating.
3 posted on 06/14/2005 5:11:22 PM PDT by Robert Drobot (Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.)
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To: NYer
In my parish we have lectors and commentators. The lectors do the readings while the commentators read the intentions and the announcements. I am a commentator. I am also responsible for making sure I have two readers, that the ushers know if we are having one or two collections and that the intentions for the Mass are placed on the alter for the priest.

My biggest problem is that the readers will sometimes show up less than 10 minutes before Mass starts. Many times I have to get "back-up" readers in place just in case, and these people barely have time to look and reflect upon the readings. Starting in the fall, the retiring head commentator has asked me to take over the duties. I have told her that we need to get the readers there prepared and on time. She agrees with the changes I'd like to make.

The only other problem we have is the manner of dress on the alter. When I first started commentating, the pastor asked that all women on the alter wear skirts or dresses. Although some days I may be more comfortable in pants, I respect his wishes and always dress accordingly. However many of the lectors wear what I would call some very casual playwear. The priest that usually says our mass (not the pastor) thinks whatever people wear is fine. He believes that we have them here to change the heart, what they are wearing doesn't matter.

Because of this, I am hesitant to say anything to my lectors in the fall when I take over. However I may send a general email on lector guidelines and put a comment about the dress code in anyway.

I like your idea about writing your own intentions for the mass. I think these prayers would be much more meaningful and timely when written like that. I use the standard prayers of intentions in the book and sometimes I feel a real disconnect. At our mass we do open up the floor for anyone to add their own intentions and this makes the intentions seem much more personal.

I am looking forward to reading everyone's input from their own parish.

And lastly I can't thank you enough for this ping list. Although I don't respond often, I have gained a real knowledge from everything I read. You have been very helpful as I've had to defend Pope Benedict to all of the lapsed Catholics at work.
4 posted on 06/14/2005 6:09:22 PM PDT by twin2
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To: twin2

I am not a lector. I will make one quick comment though about what the Eucharistic Ministers( what are we supposed to call these people now?) wear. I make an effort every Sunday morning to get myself and my children cleaned and dressed in "Sunday clothes". They are not comfortable but I have always thought it was important to dress appropriately at Mass. It's very frustrating then to get to church only to have the people handing out communion in jeans and t-shirts or short skirts with tops that show the woman's stomach. I hate the lack of respect!


5 posted on 06/14/2005 6:19:14 PM PDT by samiam1972 (Live simply so that others may simply live!)
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To: samiam1972

I'm an EOM at my parish and a lector at the chapel I attend during the week.

Our Priest recently addressed the dress habits of parishoners. Many were displeased. Bummer. The general rule for me is if I can't wear it to work, I can't wear it to Mass. There has been the rare exception.

I became and EOM the beginning of the year. We had many new EOMs. Enough for the rotation of 10 to be every 3 weeks at the Mass I go to. After only 4 months there were people who didn't show up and didn't get people to fill in. I prefer the Blood. I have never distributed the Body. I've dropped the purificator twice. I know I'm not worthy to be there but I'm not as worried about making mistakes. Serving is the only thing that matters. Well, what matters the most.

The chapel is a little bit more lax. Normally I go for the Communion Service at 1:00. It's not attached to a parish, just a space downtown. There is one assigned priest and many that come in to fill in during the services. Usually there are less than 15 people at the Communion service. There are 4 of us who read. It's first come, first serve or you're it. The first time I read, I got tapped by the priest. He was really great about what I didn't know, I was absolutely mortified. I don't usually get to read before hand and practice. I still trip over some of the names.


6 posted on 06/14/2005 7:04:56 PM PDT by Jaded (Hell sometimes has fluorescent lighting and a trumpet.)
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To: samiam1972
I agree. I have seen this problem mentioned on FR.

Luckily in my parish, the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (that's the official name here)are very respectful. Last month one came to mass and was asked to serve (not her usual week). She declined because she had not expected to be on the alter and had worn a sleeveless blouse.
7 posted on 06/14/2005 7:13:31 PM PDT by twin2
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To: NYer; koolbeens18

ping


8 posted on 06/14/2005 7:36:08 PM PDT by visualops (visualops.com freeper stuff)
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To: NYer

both my husband and I are lectors at our parish. The parish is Roman Rite, so lectors do not receive a special blessing from the priest beforehand. That does sound like a good idea though! I always pray silently before I go up to read for the Holy Spirit's guidance....I'm a little nervous about public speaking. However the more I lector, the easier it's become. Mr sassbox has lectored before at a previous parish, so it's much easier for him.

Our priest also requests that female lectors wear skirts or dresses, and that male lectors wear jackets and ties. The female EM's can wear slacks. So far all the laity who assist at Mass have been properly dressed. No immodest clothes and no overly casual clothes. Among the congregation there is sometimes a problem with teen girls wearing skimpy outfits - especially now that it's summer. But one sees too casual clothing more often than immodest stuff. I notice it, but it really doesn't bother me. Some folks at our parish don't have alot of money and it's just not my place to judge them because they aren't dressed to the nines on Sunday morning.


9 posted on 06/14/2005 7:49:27 PM PDT by sassbox
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To: twin2

I serve from time to time as a lector, and also as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (called, in Anglican Usage style, the "clerk") at our AU parish.

As Father McNamara seems to imply, I believe it is important that the lector not introduce his or her own dramatization of the readings, but instead that one read with a reverent tone that at the same time avoids being a monotone. As lector one is supposed to present the Word of the Lord, and not become the lord of the Word.

At our church, the clerk, if the deacon is not present at the liturgy, assists the priest in distribution of Holy Communion. The clerk is always dressed at least in choir dress (cassock and surplice), so the question of attire is not an issue.

On the subject of attire for assisting at Mass, I personally like to follow the practice of dressing in more or less the attire (usually coat and tie) that I would wear if I were going to meet the King (who, for Texas, would be King Juan Carlos, of course). Because in assisting at Mass, not to mention receiving Holy Communion, one does meet the King--Christ the King.


10 posted on 06/14/2005 9:04:41 PM PDT by Theophane
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To: Jaded
I think it is wonderful that you are so focused on Serving.

I'm an unreconstructed Catholic, so Extraordinary Ministers are not my cup of tea. But it is wonderful that the priest at the little Chapel has you to rely upon. May God make us all more pliable in His hands, and more willing to serve Him wherever and however He sends us.

11 posted on 06/15/2005 1:10:16 AM PDT by Siobhan ("Whenever you come to save Rome, make all the noise you want." -- Pius XII)
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To: Theophane
...who, for Texas, would be King Juan Carlos, of course

That is splendid!

But for you Anglican Use Catholics wouldn't it be the Duke (King) of Bavaria -- the rightful Jacobite claimant to the English throne? (stirring the pot...)

12 posted on 06/15/2005 1:17:46 AM PDT by Siobhan ("Whenever you come to save Rome, make all the noise you want." -- Pius XII)
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To: twin2
And lastly I can't thank you enough for this ping list. Although I don't respond often, I have gained a real knowledge from everything I read. You have been very helpful as I've had to defend Pope Benedict to all of the lapsed Catholics at work.

When I first arrived at FR nearly 5 years ago, I discovered the Religion Forum. Like you, it proved to be such an education. Over the years I had absorbed many misperceptions and misunderstangings about the catholic faith.

One of the first posts I read commented on meatless Fridays. It stated that Canon law had not changed. That was not my understanding so I looked it up. The poster was correct!

This is what the new Code of Canon Law brought out in 1983 says about the matter:

Canon 1251
Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Canon Law still requires that Catholics not eat meat on Fridays!

Of course, most Episcopal Conferences have determined that, instead of abstaining from meat, Catholics may perform an act of penance of their choosing. But, do you ever remember to abstain from a particular food or do some other penance on Fridays? And, at any rate, the main rule is still to abstain from meat on Fridays, the performance of another penance instead is an optional alternative.

That was incentive to start the ping list. There are many lapsed and misinformed catholics right here at FR. At work ... well, they probably consider me a 'religious fanatic' ;-D.

13 posted on 06/15/2005 2:38:53 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: Jaded; samiam1972
The first time I read, I got tapped by the priest. He was really great about what I didn't know, I was absolutely mortified. I don't usually get to read before hand and practice. I still trip over some of the names.

Do they provide you with a copy of the reading in advance? If not, you may want to suggest this. It gives you plenty of time to prepare yourself and to check on the proper pronunciation of names and places. Indeed the role of lector is "open the minds and hearts of the listeners".

14 posted on 06/15/2005 2:45:36 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: Theophane
As lector one is supposed to present the Word of the Lord, and not become the lord of the Word.

I like that!

On the subject of attire for assisting at Mass, I personally like to follow the practice of dressing in more or less the attire (usually coat and tie) that I would wear if I were going to meet the King (who, for Texas, would be King Juan Carlos, of course). Because in assisting at Mass, not to mention receiving Holy Communion, one does meet the King--Christ the King.

We are at the feast - the Lamb's Supper!

15 posted on 06/15/2005 2:51:41 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

I'm not a lector and I don't play one on TV. But I've heard quite a few over the years and the best lector I've ever heard was a woman who was in her 60's, I guess, mother of 6, all of whom are older than me and grown. She read the long passages from the Old Testament as if she was reading a bedtime story. No greater emphasis on passage or interpretation, but phrasing and timing. The pauses were just right. She pronounced the words so that we could understand them. It was just really good. God rest her.


16 posted on 06/15/2005 4:45:15 AM PDT by Desdemona (Music Librarian and provider of cucumber sandwiches, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary. Hats required.)
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To: twin2

You should never apologize about correcting people's dress. That is a topic that should be taught at the knee but isn't.

I looked up the guidelines for modesty that various saints and popes have stressed and preached for milenia and they aren't that hard to do. That might be a place to start. Although, being buxom, the neckline at 2" below the pit of the throat is a little frumpy.


17 posted on 06/15/2005 4:49:47 AM PDT by Desdemona (Music Librarian and provider of cucumber sandwiches, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary. Hats required.)
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To: Desdemona
*She read the long passages from the Old Testament as if she was reading a bedtime story.*

Wanna bet she this from habit :-).

18 posted on 06/15/2005 8:49:47 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: twin2
The priest that usually says our mass (not the pastor) thinks whatever people wear is fine.

Indeed? Is this because he has contempt for the office of lector? Ask him if his casual approach to clothing applies to the vesting of the priest as well. If he says yes, you're in the wrong parish.

My guess is that he's speaking reflexively about a thing he's never thought through systematically.

19 posted on 06/15/2005 9:13:14 AM PDT by Romulus (Der Inn fließt in den Tiber.)
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To: samiam1972
what are we supposed to call these people now?)

They are called Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. they are not Eucharistic Ministers, because their ministry does not extend to the Eucharist, which is the thanksgiving and sacrifice, performed by the priest on behalf of all the people.

20 posted on 06/15/2005 9:16:31 AM PDT by Romulus (Der Inn fließt in den Tiber.)
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To: Siobhan

Well, I say King Juan Carlos based on territorial considerations, but you are right, emotionally I would be for the Jacobite claimant.

I do belong, as one of the scruffy Catholic auxiliaries, to the Society of King Charles the Martyr, the Catholic patron of which is Fr. Jean Marie Charles-Roux, IC, whom you may remember as one of the priests who said the TLM for Mel Gibson on the set of the "Passion", and later gave a couple of very interesting interviews to "Inside the Vatican". He had been stationed at St Etheldreda's in London for quite some time before going back to the mother house of the Rosminians in Rome, where he met up with Mel.


21 posted on 06/15/2005 10:49:13 AM PDT by Theophane
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To: Theophane

Is his cause open? I was thrilled when Blessed Karl was beatified, but I had not heard of the cause for King Charles the Martyr being open. Please enlighten me.


22 posted on 06/15/2005 11:57:44 AM PDT by Siobhan ("Whenever you come to save Rome, make all the noise you want." -- Pius XII)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
The Good Friday fast is the Paschal fast—a fast of anticipation and longing for the Passover of the Lord, which should continue, when possible, through Holy Saturday.

Didn't the Good Friday fast used to be pentitential -- not "anticipation and longing" (how does that relate to fasting -- "I was too excited to eat"? -- like a little kid on Christmas Eve?) Where did they get the notion of a "Paschal fast"? The reference to Passover would seem to indicate it has Jewish roots, but that would be a new one on me!

Fridays During Lent—In the United States, the tradition of abstaining from meat on each Friday during Lent is maintained.

The "tradition" is maintained. Does this mean it's not obligatory?

24 posted on 06/15/2005 2:43:48 PM PDT by maryz
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole; maryz
In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

Point is .... how many catholics - be honest now! - do you know who consciously substitute something else for meat on Friday?

I'm old enough to remember when this amended view was introduced. The media coverage of it, even back then, projected the notion that "catholics may now eat meat on Friday". That's the sound bite most catholics grabbed and retained. I don't recall the priests addressing this in their homilies - possibly they did - I was too young to be a 'motivated' listener back then. Actually this change came about, driven by catholics who would go to a sports game on Friday and have to forfeit eating a hot dog. Viewed from that perspective, it makes perfectly good sense that one could 'substitute' some other form of self denial on those Fridays when they went to the ball game.

Naturally, over the decades, most catholics have neglected to read up on these Canon laws and most pastors are more interested in keeping their parishioners 'happy'. This is a now a personal decision. Once you know the law, ignoring it puts you in a state of sin.

26 posted on 06/15/2005 3:42:00 PM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
If I'm looking around my mind can develop a pharisaic thought track

Lol ... that used to happen to me at the RC parish. I would sit there in judgement of others, their actions, their words, their attire. The pastor was an especially strong source of distraction. He had this silly habit of leaving words out of the Creed or singing along with the choir during certain parts of the liturgy when he was supposed to be praying silently. Since there was no crucifix in the Sanctuary, my mind fixated weekly on whether or not we had one or two acolytes. One meant they would carry the processional cross; two meant the crucifix remained in the closet and the acolytes carried candles. No crucifix in the Sanctuary during Mass, was a violation of the GIRM. It got so bad that I would simply keep my eyes closed throughout Mass.

In all honesty, however, I constantly reminded myself of all those years when I was apathetic, ignorant and indifferent towards the Mass. And they were many. It became a humbling experience to recall those years, make penance for them and seek ways to help others to avoid them. Even now I reflect on these experiences to prevent myself from becoming prideful. I have sinned and am in no position to judge others.

28 posted on 06/15/2005 4:03:08 PM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer
I'm old enough to remember when this amended view was introduced.

Me, too. Luckily my Irish grandmother didn't live to see it -- she heartily and loudly disapproved of the routine dispensation given by the archbishop for the day after Thanksgiving and refused to serve meat anyway! Of course, I seem to recall my mother telling me that the custom in Ireland when my grandmother was growing up was to restrict oneself to black tea and dry bread on Fridays.

Given a lot of new food trends, though, I wonder if abstinence packs the punch it used to. People who actually -- and apparently by choice -- eat such things as Pop Tarts, canned tuna mixed with mustard (!) and seedless watermelon (the developer should be shot without trial IMO) must not have any taste buds or nerve endings in their mouths. ;-)

30 posted on 06/15/2005 4:04:05 PM PDT by maryz
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole; maryz
The problem is that the USCCB hasn't substituted "other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety" in place of abstinence and fasting on Fridays outside of Lent. (Under the text of the canon, they are the ones who would have to substitute, not us.)

My 19 year old daughter is good at that game too! "But 'they' didn't tell me ..... or 'they' changed the rules ....

Let those with eyes, see; let those with ears, hear. This is a personal responsibility. The secularist world is quick to point the finger of blame ... don't cave in. You have eyes and ears; you can read and hear. This is your decision, and should not be based on the USCCB's interpretation. The option of following their written directives is, of course, your option.

Over the past few decades, we seem to have lost touch with personal sacrifice. Personally, I can't find anything more beautiful in my life than the challenge of making a personal sacrifice each day and every week, for the Person who gave up all for my salvation.

“The Son of God became man in order to restore all creation, in one supreme act of praise, to the One who made it from nothing.” ... John Paul II

32 posted on 06/15/2005 4:58:05 PM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Marcellinus

That is a wonderful thing to read.


36 posted on 06/15/2005 11:33:02 PM PDT by Siobhan ("Whenever you come to save Rome, make all the noise you want." -- Pius XII)
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To: seamole

I know. I'm afraid I was being a tad, well, let's say "disingenuous" in my earlier post -- so much nicer than "sarcastic." Our bishops (God keep them!) don't seem to bring out my best side, for whatever reason. ;-)


37 posted on 06/16/2005 4:46:52 AM PDT by maryz
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To: NYer; twin2

I'm not a lector and I don't play one on T.V. ;-)

In the Ruthenian rite (Byzantine Catholic) church I've taken to of late, they take the Lector's duties very seriously. Lectors are actually ordained minor orders in the church. So they wear vestments, and have specific duties in chanting the readings.

Our lector as a person is an incredible resource of information and history about the church.


38 posted on 06/19/2005 6:06:50 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Eastern Catholicism: tonic for the lapsed Catholic)
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To: Jaded

**The general rule for me is if I can't wear it to work, I can't wear it to Mass.**

Good rule!


39 posted on 06/19/2005 6:51:51 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Jaded

And readers and lectors at my church have been admonished to be "dressed up" and looking like they are part of the ceremony --- because they are!


40 posted on 06/19/2005 6:52:42 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sassbox

**Our priest also requests that female lectors wear skirts or dresses, and that male lectors wear jackets and ties.**

The instructions at my parish too.


41 posted on 06/19/2005 6:53:57 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

**Do they provide you with a copy of the reading in advance?**

Absolutely at my parish! A workbook with pronunviations, instruction and theology behind the reader. However, not all lectors or readers prepare well. Oops, guess I'm being judgmental there.

We are proclaiming the Holy Word -- so I believe that preparation is very important -- no important................mandatory!


42 posted on 06/19/2005 6:57:30 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Romulus

**Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion**

I had heard this! Thanks for the heads up.


43 posted on 06/19/2005 6:59:31 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: seamole

We are asked to make a bow to the tabernacle which is still in the sanctuary! Thank you, for that reminder!


44 posted on 06/19/2005 7:01:46 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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