An Explanation Of The New Instructions For Holy Mass - March 2009

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An Explanation of the New Instructions for Holy Mass

“Why are we implementing new instructions for Holy Mass?”

The second Vatican Council stated that the Eucharistic sacrifice “contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself, our Passover and living bread. Through his own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men.”  Each new instruction is for the purpose of bringing a greater consistency and a greater reverence to the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice of Holy Mass. Pope John Paul II states that, “priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms (instructions) and communities that conform to these norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church.”

These are the new instructions implemented with immediate effect at St Francis of Assisi

Prayer before the mass shall be omitted. The Rosary before mass will help us to prepare to receive the Lord at Holy Mass

We will observe a period of silence before Mass begins. After the moment of silence, the commentator will announce the entrance song and invite the assembly to stand. This period of silence gives us a moment of quiet to bring ourselves into the presence of God.

During the entrance song, when the procession of priest, altar servers and lectors reach the altar and stand before the altar in a line, ONLY the ministers are to bow. The congregation does NOT bow.

The assembly will stand when the priest says, “Pray, my brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.” We will stand as we respond to the priest’s invitation to join together in prayer.

During the profession of the Nicene Creed - A bow of the body (a profound bow) is made to the altar and during the Creed at the words, “by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.”

The Lord's Prayer - During the Lord’s Prayer there is no holding of hands (the priest with hands outstretched and with the congregation pray the Lord’s prayer) (237 GIRM)

Immediately prior to receiving Holy Communion each communicant will pause with a reverent bow. A bow of the head is a sign of our reverence as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Those receiving the Eucharistic Bread in their hand must offer their hand in such a way that the consecrated host will not slip away. The left hand is placed slightly cupped over the right hand. Once the host has been received in the cupped hand, use the right hand to pick up the host with fingers and place on tongue. It is NOT proper to reach for the consecrated host to take it out of the hand of the minister. The Eucharistic Bread must be consumed immediately. It is not proper to walk away from the minister without consuming the Eucharistic Bread.

RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION - THE SACRED CONGREAGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP STATED THAT THE FAITHFUL SHOULD EXTEND BOTH HANDS MAKING WITH ‘THE LEFT HAND A THRONE FOR THE RIGHT HAND, WHICH RECEIVES THE KING’. THE PERSON THEN STEP TO THE SIDE, FACES THE ALTAR AND CONSUMES THE SACRED HOST. THE RECIPIENT MUST BE MINDFUL OF ANY PARTICLES. THE PRIEST AND THE EXTRAODINARY MINISTER MUST BE MINDFUL THAT THE PERSON RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION DOES SO PROPERLY AND CONSUMES THE SACRED HOST.

IF THE WORSHIPPER USES THE WRONG HAND (THAT IS THE RIGHT HAND) TO RECEIVE THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE PRIEST AND THE MINISTER OF THE HOLY COMMUNION HAS THE OBLIGATION TO CORRECT THE RECIPIENT IN PROPER WAY OF RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION. (DOMINICAE CENAE NUM 11 – ON THE MYSYERY AND WORSHIP OF THE EUCHARIST FEB 24TH 1980.POPE JOHN PAUL)

WE MUST ALL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROPERLY TEACHING OTHERS ABOUT THE SACREDNESS OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST THROUGH OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS. IN DOING SO, WE WILL BE FAITHFUL GUARDIANS OF THIS PRECIOUS GIFT.

Reminders: Our celebration of Holy Mass is a sacred celebration. Please help create a sacred time before Mass begins by entering the church in silence. Use this quiet time to prepare yourself to fully, actively and consciously participate in Holy Mass. Remember to turn off all pagers and cell phones. Please respect those who are arriving for the next Mass by leaving the church in silence. (There is no prayer after mass)

Dress Code - The Church is a sacred place and liturgy a sacred celebration, therefore due reverence to the sacred place and Eucharistic celebration is required from one and all.
Proper Attire - The goal in dressing for Mass should be not to attract undue attention to oneself. It must be considered that some people, out of necessity, come to Mass wearing the clothes required by their profession, however, under normal circumstances attire should reflect the solemnity of the Mass. Please refer to the dress code notices placed at the church entrances. What we wear says a great deal about what we value. If you are a public minister in the liturgy, a lector, a Eucharistic minister, a cantor or a worshipper, you should dress with extra care, so that your appearance does not pose a distraction to the worshippers. As we dress well at occasions that are important to us, as Catholics, attending Mass is the most important thing we will do each week. The manner in which everyone dresses is part of the reverence that is shown to the Lord present in the Eucharist as well as respect shown for God’s holy people. “Bodily demeanor (gestures,clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of the moment when Christ becomes our guest.” CCC 1387b
 
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