This week’s staff meeting prompted some healthy dialogue as to some of the changes that have been perceived at recent celebrations of the Mass. I was encouraged to share with you the reasoning and some catechesis behind some of these changes. Some are just how my classmates and I were formed and instructed during our liturgical and presiding skills courses as seminarians and transitional deacons. Others derive from new or updated instructions from the Roman Missal (the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite). This is the book with which you see the altar servers approach when the priest celebrant says, “Let us pray.” When he says this, it is an actual invitation for the entire assembly to pray in silence before he offers the Collect (kol-ect), from the Latin, collecta, more commonly referred to as the Opening Prayer. When he prays it, he is “collecting into one” the prayers of the individual members of the assembly. During the period of sacred silence, the faithful are to formulate in their hearts the prayers and intentions they bring to this particular celebration. The priest gathers these prayers of the assembly into one, addressing a formal, structured, and often, very ancient text to God. Toward the end of the Collect (as the doxology begins) the priest’s gesture of bringing his outstretched hands in and together expresses the reality of his “collecting” the prayers of the people. As for the Prayer After Communion when the celebrant says, “Let us pray,” the moment of sacred silence is generally omitted before he prays the prayer, as that period of time has often just been given.
It was explained to me that it has been a practice to simply recite the Gloria during Ordinary Time, and of this, I was merely unaware. However, I have asked Agnieszka and our music ministry to lead us in the singing of the Gloria when it is prescribed. The Introductory Rites take on a celebratory character on the occasions when it is sung. It is a most ancient and venerable hymn by which the Church, gathered in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb (GIRM, 53). It praises God and signals the festivity of the day. It is prescribed for Sundays, except during the seasons of Advent and Lent, and it is omitted on the rare instance when All Souls Day falls on a Sunday. It is to be sung or said for solemnities and feasts on the calendar, and it is appropriate for “special celebrations of a more solemn character,” i.e., ordinations, weddings, and the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is, in fact, a hymn and there is something that singing does, that the spoken word alone cannot convey. If we think of it this way: it would be like stating the Happy Birthday song at a party! Additionally, the Gloria follows the Penitential Act, where we have just expressed prayerful sorrow for having fallen short of our baptismal call, since the last time we gathered. We are then given a general absolution by the priest, moving from a moment of sorrow to one of joy! In gratitude for all that God has done for us, we express our joy with a hymn.
I will continue to offer catechesis in the weeks ahead and am happy to engage any inquiries and avail myself for further discussion as other questions and curiosities may arise.
On Thursday, August 15, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are reminded of our obligation and privilege to attend Mass on holy days of obligation. This year, Saint Noel Parish will offer the Vigil Mass on Wednesday, August 14, at 7:00 pm, and on the day, Thursday at 12:00 noon. In addition to our responsibility to attend Mass each Sunday, in the United States there are only six additional holy days of obligation, two of them being Christmas and Easter.
Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
The Resurrection of the Lord
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Solemnity of All Saints
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Patronal Feast Day of the United States of America); however, the obligation is lifted this year, as it falls on the Second Sunday of Advent and is transferred to Monday, December 9).
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
The familiar use of our word, “holiday,” derives from “holy day,” built-in days of rest from work to celebrate and feast! Previously, these feast days were greater in number, speckled throughout the calendar year. Not only to mark the importance of these days, but these celebrations were imposed by the Church in her effort to help keep the faithful refreshed from overwork, particularly in Medieval times, long before labor laws, and at a time when the Church had a much greater influence within the culture and society.
VBS MISSION COLLECTION – Our ROAR VBS participants collected money to bring clean water to people around the world through the efforts of Catholic Relief Services. Our grand total collected during VBS week was $641.50. Thank you for your generosity!!
LECTOR OR CANTOR – If you feel you are called to become a lector or a cantor, please contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek for an individual meeting. The best way to reach Agnieszka is to e-mail at [email protected] or to call her at 440-946-1128 ex.119.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – Next weekend, our ushers will be in the narthex to accept your donations to the Social Justice Fund.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For June 2019, we collected $1,025.32. Our expenses for June were:
|Meal at St. Augustine||65.97|
Thank you for your support.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – So far in 2019, the pantry has served 881 people with the equivalent of over 7,900 meals. Currently, we are in need of jelly, tuna, soup, and pasta sauce in jars. Thanks to all who support the pantry!!
CURIOUS ABOUT THE CATHOLIC FAITH? THINKING ABOUT BECOMING A CATHOLIC? – If so, RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) might be just for you! Adults from all faith traditions or those with no religious background at all are welcome to participate in our gatherings. In the first phase of the RCIA process, no commitment is required. We simply meet in an informal atmosphere of conversation and sharing, where you are free to ask any questions you have about the Catholic Church, its traditions and its worship, and explore where God might be leading you. Your questions, experiences and thoughts are the basis of these sessions. In addition, we will discuss what the Church teaches about the Bible, spirituality and ways of expressing our faith. If you or someone you know might be interested in inquiring about the Catholic faith, please call the parish office at 440-946-0887.
RECYCLE – Have you heard of the waste prevention techniques commonly known as THE 4 Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle? The more we REFUSE, the less items you will have to reduce and reuse. Some ideas are refusing straws at restaurants, taking your own reusable bags to the store, opting out of phone books, stopping solicitations, etc. Check out https://stnoel.org/social-justice/recycle/ for more information! It only takes a little effort to make a big difference!
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – has made a difference in the lives of the men and women who spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays between 1:00-9:00 p.m. Each holy hour that you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases his grace and power upon you, your family and your parish. We are looking for additional people to fill the 2:00, 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. time slots. If you are free and would like to experience this, please call Jan at 440-951-5593 or the parish office at 440-946-0887. If you are unable to make a definite commitment, please stop in anytime during Eucharistic Adoration and you will be richly blessed.
AUGUSTINE BENEFIT DINNER “SAVE-A-DATE” This year, St. Noel’s Benefit Dinner to assist St. Augustine Center will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2019, all are invited! This will be St. Noel’s 32nd year of letting our “light shine” by haloing those less fortunate than us. St. Augustine Benefit provides an opportunity to share a meal and help raise much-needed funding to continue the charitable work of the Center. The Center serves 500-600 meals daily, provides clothing, rental assistance, utility help, advocacy for disable people, and crisis intervention to families and individuals in need. In addition, the St. Augustine Center helps 7-10 other needy parishes in the area. Come be a part of this opportunity to help–more details to follow soon!
BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is scheduled for Sunday, August 25th. Make an appointment online at redcrossblood.org.
WHEELCHAIR DRIVE – Wheels for the World, a program by nonprofit Joni and Friends, is holding a drive for used wheelchairs August 10th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the St. Noel parking lot. All donations are 100% tax deductible, and receipts are available. Please NO walkers, canes, crutches or electric wheelchairs. The wheelchairs will be sent to inmates at correctional facilities to restore them to like-new condition. The wheelchairs are then donated to children and adults affected by disability worldwide. Please consider giving someone the gift of mobility! For more information, contact Bruce or Karen Fraley at 440-946-1605 or [email protected].
THE FEST! – Join us next Sunday, August 4th, for The FEST – our 19th Annual Catholic Family FESTival from 12 noon until 10 p.m. at the CPL (28700 Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe). Join thousands, from across the region, for a day of faith, family, and great fun! Listen to the energizing music of Jordan Feliz, Tenth Avenue North, Matt Maher, and Casting Crowns. There’s plenty of FREE close parking. There’s great affordable food thanks to Executive Caterers and Marc’s. There’s something for everyone at The FEST! The day concludes with a beautiful outdoor Mass at 8 p.m. with Bishop Perez, followed by an incredible American Fireworks display. Check out all the details online at www.theFEST.us.
BEDE CHURCH – will be hosting a GriefShare program on Wednesdays, July 31st-September 25th, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. This Christian-based program offers guidance, support and encouragement to those dealing with the death of a loved one. Workbooks are $20; scholarships are available. RSVP to 440-257-5544.
ANSELM YOUNG OF HEART – in Chesterland has a trip planned to Chicago, the “Windy City,” for September 23-26. Included are the Studebaker National Museum, a guided tour of Chicago, the breathtaking view from the top of the John Hancock Building, the Shedd Aquarium, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Navy Pier, a sightseeing cruise, and the Money Museum. Great dinners are included at Bob Chinn’s Crabhouse, one in Chicago’s Little Italy, and dinner and entertainment at Tommy Guns Garage (a 1920’s speakeasy), and lunch in Indiana’s Amish Country on the way home. Also included are three nights of rooms in the Chicago area, breakfast each day, and gratuities for all included events and meals. Cost is $675 pp ($687 for non-members). For reservations call Nancy Battenfield at 440-729-9684. Everyone is welcome on Young of Heart trips.
VOTE – The Willoughby-Eastlake Schools have a levy on the ballot Tuesday, August 6th. Please exercise your right to vote! Info available at: http://www.weschools.org/.
DIVORCE RECOVERY FOR CATHOLICS, AN 8 WEEK SUPPORT GROUP – designed to meet the needs of those who are divorced or separated will begin Thursday, September 5th and conclude on October 24th, at St. Gabriel Church, 9925 Johnnycake Ridge Road, Concord. The group meets from 7- 9 p.m. in the PSR Office of the School. Sessions are designed to offer direction, support, and the tools for coping and moving on. Each group is tailored to meet the needs of the participants. For more information or to register, please call Catholic Charities at 352-6191 or 1-800-242-9755, or email [email protected] There is no charge for this program, all materials are provided, and it is open to people of all faiths.
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