As the warm weather of the summer
wanes, our thoughts turn to liturgies and
events in the coming year. Many of our parishes
paredown schedules during the summer as we leave
time for our staff and congregation to enjoy the
weather and vacation with family and friends. But now
it is time to look ahead, knowing the need for careful
It is not too early to consider ways to help
families grow closer to the Lord as their children
prepare for their first reception of the Eucharist.
In "First Communion Preparation: Forming Children and
Families," Jo-Ann Metzdorff states, "Since Catholics
can always grow in appreciation of the Eucharist, the
time when children are being formed for First Communion
also is an opportunity for formation of families and
nurturing the parish's Eucharistic spirituality." The
author discusses not only how to help children understand
the Eucharist but assist in teaching parents how to pray
and read Scripture with their children. Your staff will
want to read this article to further their understanding
of how preparation for First Communion can be an opportunity
for evangelizing the family.
The team that coordinates the Rite of Christian Initiation
of Adults will appreciate the insights of the article,
"Purification and Enlightenment: Fashioning the Elect in the
Likeness of Christ." Author Donna Eschenauer explains that the
elect are called to a deeper spiritual experience during Lent.
This is a time of contemplation for them, for they are nearing
a participation in the sacred mysteries. During this time, the
hidden meaning of God's mercy is revealed in the gestures and
actions of ritual prayer.
Some parishes may have noticed that the assembly's voice
can be heard throughout the Gloria, while others find that
parishioners join the cantor or choir only during the refrain.
In "Singing the Gloria," Rev. Paul H. Colloton explores what
lends "singability" to a piece of music. This article will
help parishes become more aware of the qualities in music
that their congregation will embrace.
In each issue, Pastoral Liturgy® provides
formation articles for your parishioners. In the downloadable
"Baptismal Symbols at Funerals," Kristopher W. Seaman explains
that the sprinkling of holy water on the coffin, the light of the
Paschal candle, and the white pall at funerals draw on baptismal
symbols to signify the eternal life that awaits those baptized
in Christ. You will want to provide this article in faith formation
sessions and in your bulletin. The Living Our Faith article,
"Honoring Creations," will help parish families concretize the
thoughts in Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Sí.
May the peace of Christ be with you as your staff plans
for the months ahead.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Using the liturgy as its source, Pastoral Liturgy® has been intentionally designed to be of service to the whole parish with resources for leaders and parishioners, those who are just beginning to learn about liturgy, and those who are seasoned volunteers and professionals.
The six 32-page, full-color issues follow the course of the liturgical year to provide guidance for liturgy preparation, faith formation, liturgical art and architecture, and the many areas of parish ministry that flow from the liturgy to witness the Gospel and build the kingdom of God.
Pastors, parish staffs, liturgy committees, catechists, musicians, architects, and everyone seeking to learn more about how the liturgy forms and informs all of parish life will find this resource a valuable support to understanding the liturgy more fully and incorporating it as the source for all they do. That's why Pastoral Liturgy® magazine is the liturgy magazine for the whole parish!