As those of us who are involved in the liturgy are aware,
each of the rites of the Church will undergo a translation. The implementation
date for the new Order of Confirmation is Pentecost, and the new Order
of Celebrating Matrimony may be used as of September 8 and has a mandated used
of December 30. To help parishes and dioceses prepare the liturgy for these revised
rites, Liturgy Training Publications is releasing new books in its Preparing Parish
Worship™ series. The Guide for Celebrating™ Confirmation, by Rev.
Paul Turner, and the Guide for Celebrating™ Matrimony, by Msgr. Richard
B. Hilgartner and Rev. Daniel J. Merz, walks pastoral ministers through the rites
and provides historical and theological context for the development of the rituals.
The book on Confirmation is available now, and the one on Matrimony will be available
during the summer.
With the spring, many parish ministers will find themselves immersed in wedding
preparation. In "Wedding Music Preparation as Ministry to Engaged Couples,' Eric J.
Bermani writes of the necessity of establishing a clear policy concerning the wedding
liturgy. A policy that sets out the appropriateness of liturgical music and norms at
the wedding can be pastoral and firm. When couples can consult the policy before
meeting with parish staff, disagreements can be avoided.
Two other features also focus on weddings. In the Q&A column, Dennis C. Smolarski,
SJ, explains the options when couples request a Nuptial Mass on a
solemnity. The downloadable bulletin insert "May the Bride and Groom Process up the
Aisle Together?" will help your parishioners better understand the Rite of Marrige.
The feature "Assisting the Baptized to Respond to Call to Ministry," by Stan Zerkowski,
will help parish staff consider how to tap into the gifts of an individual who wants to
serve the community. As the author relates, sometimes a person's gifts will lend themselves
to developing another ministry in the church.
Sometimes the parish initiation team is at a loss as to how to prepare for the Period of
Evangelization and Precatechumenate. Mary A. Ehle leads parishioners and staff through the
text of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, pointing out what is important
during this period fo the process.
Also in the Initiation section, Barbara Guenther writes about the importance of
learning to share one's faith story. In her article, "Evangelizing Encounters," she
suggests that parishioners be challenged to create an "elevator speech" that would
allow them to relate the importance of their faith.
Even during the summer, keep in mind ways to distribute the Living Our Faith article.
This month's topic, "Honoring Creation," will help families consider how they can encourage
their children to respect the environment.
In the Liturgical Environment article, "Taking Stock, Looking Forward," Jakob K.
Rinderknecht suggests that art and environment teams will want to take time to review
the year to ascertain whether the environment framed and served the worship space.
Finally, during these days of summer when visitors often are part of the congregation,
encourage your parishioners to cultivate hospitality. On the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary
Time, we hear Martha welcoming Jesus to Bethany. Your parishioners may want to model their
treatment of strangers and newcomers on Martha's welcome.
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!