Liturgy Study Guide



The Study Guide to Catholic Liturgy, published by SCM Press, has been a project the Liturgy Formation Subcommittee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship. It was recognised that an introductory ‘text book’ to Liturgy would be useful in many areas of the Church’s life, including those preparing for ordination, priestly and diaconal, lay liturgical ministers, catechists and teachers in Catholic schools. The book is intended to offer a foundation in Catholic liturgy through a consideration of key principles and then an exploration of the Sacraments and other rites of the Church. The subcommittee drew together liturgists and theologians with academic and pastoral backgrounds. This is reflected in the text which offers both a grounding in the theology of each rite also looks at the celebration of the liturgy and some of the pastoral issues which arise. Each chapter contains Questions for Reflection and the book concludes with a Glossary and a Further reading list.

To support the text there is a dedicated part of the Liturgy Office website: Study Guide to Catholic Liturgy

There is also a podcast introduction to the book with Bishop Alan Hopes, Martin Foster and Peter McGrail.

The contents of the book are:

Part 1 Principles of Catholic Liturgy 

  • The Roman Rite – Peter McGrail
  • Catholic Theology of the Liturgy – Peter McGrail
  • Fundamentals of Liturgy – Martin Foster

Part 2 The Sacraments 

  • Catholic Sacramental Theology – Richard Conrad, OP
  • Christian Initiation of Adults – Caroline Dollard and Peter McGrail
  • Christian Initiation of Children – Caroline Dollard
  • The Celebration of the Eucharist – Stephen Dean and Martin Foster
  • The Theology of the Holy Eucharist – Richard Conrad, OP
  • Sacraments at the Service of Communion – Martin Foster and Peter McGrail
  • Sacraments of Healing – Martin Foster and Peter McGrail

Part 3 Beyond the Sacraments 

  • Funerals – Andrew Downie
  • Times and Seasons – Jonathan How and Martin Foster

Calendar 2018-2019

The monthly calendar pages for 2018 – 2019 are now available.

One particular date has been queried by a coupe of people and may be helpful to explain the reason behind. Next year the Solemnity of St George in England will fall on Tuesday 30 April. The rules governing the transfer of dates are explained in the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year – (pdf text). Next year the usual date for St George (23 April) falls in the Easter Octave. The eight days of the first week of Easter are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord and take precedence over other celebrations. This means that other celebrations, such as the Feast of St Mark (25/4), are not celebrated next year. Solemnities, because of their importance are transferred to the next available day.

This is explained in paragraph 60:

if several celebrations fall on the same day, the one that holds the highest rank according to the table of liturgical days is observed. however, a solemnity impeded by a liturgical day that takes precedence over it should be transferred to the closest day not listed under nos. 1-8 in the table of precedence, provided that what is laid down in no. 5 is observed.

Paragraph 5 9s about the pre-eminence of Sunday, particularly in Advent,Lent and Easter. Nos. 1-8 of the table of precedence are:


  1. The Paschal Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the lord.
  2. The Nativity of the Lord, the Epiphany, the Ascension, and Pentecost. Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter.
    Ash Wednesday.
    Weekdays of Holy Week from Monday up to and including Thursday. days within the Octave of Easter.
  3. Solemnities inscribed in the General Calendar, whether of the Lord, of the Blessed Virgin Mary or of Saints.
    The commemoration of All the Faithful Departed.
  4. Proper Solemnities, namely:
    1. The Solemnity of the principal Patron of the place, city or state.
    2. The Solemnity of the dedication and of the anniversary of the dedication of one’s own church.
    3. The Solemnity of the Title of one’s own church.
    4. The Solemnity either of the Title
      or of the Founder
      or of the principal Patron of an Order or Congregation.
  5. Feasts of the Lord inscribed in the General Calendar.
  6. Sundays of Christmas Time and the Sundays in Ordinary Time.
  7. Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Saints in the General Calendar.
  8. Proper Feasts, namely:
    1. The Feast of the principal Patron of the diocese.
    2. The Feast of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church.
    3. The Feast of the principal Patron of a region or province, or a country, or of a wider territory.
    4. The feast of the Title, Founder, or principal Patron of an Order or Congregation and of a religious province, without prejudice to the prescriptions given under no. 4.
    5. Other feasts proper to an individual church.
    6. Other Feasts inscribed in the calendar of each diocese or Order or Congregation.

So St George as the Solemnity of the principal Patron of the place, city or state.(4.1) is transferred to the next available day outside the Octave of Easter. Monday 29 April is the Feast of St Catherine of Siena, patron of Europe is ‘the Feast of the principal Patron of a region or province, or a country, or of a wider territory’ (8.3) and so the Solemnity of St George has to be transferred to Tuesday 30 April.

Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest & Calendar Notes

The Liturgical texts for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest are now available. The Feast, which is celebrated on the Thursday after Pentecost, is Proper to England and Wales.

The following texts are ready for download:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest

  • Full text
  • Missal Texts
  • Lectionary Texts
  • Office texts

Also available on the same page is information about the new Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. on the Monday after Pentecost.

This information is also included the annual Calendar Notes for 2019 and the draft notes for 2020.

Chrism Mass & Adoremus Resources II

Chrism Mass

The Bishops’ Conference has received confirmatio from the Holy See of a new translation of the Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism. The text has been sent to bishops and will be used at diocesan Chrism Masses this Holy Week. The oils are blessed before the beginning of the Paschal Triduum on Maundy Thursday evening so that they may be used for the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. As the main prayers are a rich resource for liturgical catechesis these texts are available for download, as is the translation of the hymn O Redemptor and some notes on the celebration.

Adoremus Resources II

Further resources to assist parishes prepare for Adoremus Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage and celebrate the Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass are now available:

  • Celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours as part of Adoration — the Office of Corpus Christi
  • Time before the Blessed Sacrament — a series of leaflets prepared by the Spirituality Committee reflecting the various ways we physically participate in adoration.

Adoremus – Resources

The bishops of England and Wales will hold Adoremus, a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in Liverpool 7–9 September 2018.

To assist parishes in their preparation for this event the Liturgy Office is preparing a series of resources both to help with the celebration of Exposition of the Holy Eucharist and to deepen people’s understanding. The first set of resources is now available, these include:

  • Exposition of the Holy Eucharist: the text of the rite, a guide to celebration, musical resources and a list of scripture readings on the Eucharist
  • How Holy this Feast: material for small groups with time for reflection and prayer.
  • Links to other resources is also given

Adoremus Resources

Bishops’ Conference November 2017 – Magnum Principium

The Bishops at the November 2017 plenary meeting made the following statement:

The Bishops’ Conference welcomes the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Magnum Principium and the affirmation of the role of the Bishops’ Conference in the oversight of the Liturgy.

We are grateful to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the guidance it has given to Conferences of Bishops that the Motu Proprio concerns future liturgical translations and cannot be applied retroactively. We look forward to the further assistance of the Congregation in its implementation.

We will continue to work with ICEL in preparation of the translations of the liturgical books so that the “sense of the original text is fully and faithfully rendered” and that the translations “always illuminate the unity of the Roman Rite”.

The Bishops’ Conference also approved the ICEL Grey book translation of Liturgy of the Hours: Lent & Easter.

See Catholic News for further Bishops’ Conference resolutions

Cycle of Prayer – Intercessions & Bible Sunday

Model Intercessions

The Cycle of Prayer is how the various days of special prayer are organised into a whole year’s calendar. When it was created in 1996 the hope was that parishes and communities would reflect, pray and act on the various intentions within a particular season. For many of the intentions there is a specific day and a Church agency which sends out material. To help promote some of the intentions which do not have as much prominence and also to offer for all the intentions a handy compilation of prayers the Liturgy Committee has prepared a couple of model intercessions for every intention in the Cycle of Prayer. These can be used or adapted in parishes and communities on the designated days and at other times.

Bible Sunday

In Pope Francis’ letter at the end of the Year of Mercy he commended the idea of a Sunday which focussed on the Scriptures. In England and Wales this is marked on the 2nd Sunday of Advent. This year the Scripture Working Group of the Bishops’ Conference has prepared a series of resources under the title of ‘Welcome the Word’. Rather than focus on one particular day there is material for the whole of the Advent – Christmas – Epiphany season. As well material focussed on the ministry of reader and psalmist, looking at the Lectionary for the Year of Mark; there are reflections on art and scripture and other aspects of God’s word.

The resources can be freely downloaded from the Bishops’ Conference website.

 

Holydays of Obligation

With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See. The days are:

  • The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)
  • The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter

The Holydays of Obligation for England and Wales are therefore:

  • According to a decision of the Bishops’ Conference (1984) Holydays which fall on Saturday or Monday are transferred to the Sunday.

The Bishops decided to retain the decision made in 2006 for the Body and Blood of the Lord to be transferred to Sunday as it allowed for Eucharistic Processions and other devotional practices to be celebrated.

For further information:

The place of silence

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

These words of St Teresa of Calcutta are a reminder of the importance of silence. The Liturgy Committee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship has produced a document The Place of Silence  which explores how silence is an integral part of any liturgical action. It looks, in particular, at the celebration of Mass and how silence is expected in different ways.

 

CDF Instruction on Cremation and the Burial of Ashes

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released on 25 October 2016 an Instruction on Cremation and the Burial of Ashes. The document is called Ad resurgendum ad Christo — To rise with Christ. It reiterates Church teaching about death and resurrection, in particular the preference for burial  but allowing the practice of cremation.

In England and Wales the majority of funerals lead to cremation – and the figures suggest that this is the pattern for Catholics too. The concern of the Instruction is the need for the cremated remains to be ‘laid to rest’. In England and Wales this will usually mean burial. The Instruction notes that it is not part of Catholic tradition or practice for ashes to be scattered, nor to be preserved in jewellery or mementos.

The Department for Christian Life and Worship previously issued guidance on the Burial of Ashes in 2008 and also placed the liturgical texts for the interment of ashes on the Liturgy Office website.

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