Tried and Tested: Marking Passover
Book Review: New Patterns for Worship
Readung the Reviews: National Bulletin on Liturgy; Worship; Catchumenate
Funerals & Burial :
what is their future?
Seminar organised by Churches’ Funeral Group. Speakers include Shelia Cameron, Revd Peter Speck and Canon Donald Gray.
Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham
20 February 2003
for further details and bookings
01908 233 121
Historic Churches Committee Conference 2003 Archbishop’s House, Westminster, Thursday 27th February2003.
The theme is ‘Aspects of Repair’. Speakers include Rory O’Donnell, John Fidler, and John Maddison. The day will be of great interest not only to members of HCCs but to members of Diocesan Art and Architecture Committees.
For further details contact
01628 637 759
Michael Vasey Memorial Lecture
Heaven our Homeland: Cranmer on Dying and Consolation
given by Bridget Nichols
7.30pm Wednesday 7 May 2003,
Leech Hall, St John’s College, Durham
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November meeting of Bishops’ Conference
General Instruction of the Roman Missal & Derogations
The ICEL translation of the General Instruction was approved by the Conference. 14 adaptations and derogations from the text which had been identified following the consultation earlier in the year were also approved. The translation of the General Instruction and the proposed adaptations and derogations have been submitted to the Holy See for recognitio.
Consultation on Celebrations of Word and Communion
Part of the Conference meeting was given over to discussion of the ‘shapes’ that parishes might take in the future, as the Church adapts to changing circumstances. One of the areas considered was how to best sustain and develop the practice gathering for liturgy and prayer, when, maybe, because of reduced numbers of priests, Mass could not be celebrated so frequently in a particular place. The Department has issued consultation papers for Bishops on the practice of Celebrations of Word and Communion, to establish and help evaluate what is the present practice, and look forward to seeing what might be most appropriate for the continuing and developing practice of the Church.
Serious thought is being given to preparing a new edition of the Lectionary for use in the Dioceses of England and Wales. The Department has appointed a working party to draw up an initial report on principles concerning the translation and presentation of the text for the Bishops to consider at Low Week, 2004.
A new Diocesan Undertaking
Disturbed that death has become a mere business for many undertakers, the Archdiocese of Paris is launching its own agency, the Catholic Funeral Service [SCF], to provide funeral services in a manner more in keeping with the Church’s values.
Christian de Cacqueray, director of the new Diocesan Agency observed that in Western society, increasingly, death is hidden. “Concealment, which banishes the reality of death from social life, favours the extreme professionalisation of funeral services. Given that relations among neighbours and religion no longer make it possible to respond to the needs of a family in mourning, funeral service companies occupy a place that has been left empty. This can be seen especially in the new places where the deceased and their families are received, for example, crematoriums.
In this connection, it may be said that death—our death—is turned into a confiscated reality. And, as you can imagine, this confiscation has particularly grave human and religious implications.” The new Agency seeks to restore something of the human and the familiar to the making of funeral arrangements.
De Cacqueray had previously worked for a commercial funeral services company, before being appointed Director of SCF by Cardinal Lustiger. The agency has three particular objectives. To give families a concrete sign of the Church’s solicitude in regard to the people in mourning. To assist the Church in her witness to the Christian view of death. To put a different model of working in front of the commercial funeral sector, with priorities of pastoral care alongside those of the commercial world.
40 years on
Heythrop College, in collaboration with the Department for Christian Life and Worship, is hosting a Study Day marking the 40th Anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium. The day will be held at Heythrop College on Saturday 6th December. Further details will appear in the next newsletter—but mark the date in the diary now!
Communicating the Liturgy
The Italian Bishops’ Conference has identified Communication as a priority in its current pastoral plan. The Conference’s National Liturgy Office is collaborating with the Lateran University in offering a course on communication and the liturgy Entitled “Gesture and Word: Communicative Resources of the Liturgy”.
The course offers 4 weeks of study over two years, enabling scientific and critical reflection on the typical forms of communication of liturgical action. Specific topics include: Liturgy as a communicative event; the cultural relevance of the ritual forms; and the importance of language, gesture and word in liturgical action. Students will study communication theories; the use of the Psalms in the liturgy; the plurality of liturgical codes; and musical accompaniment.
A Licence to Sing?
The Government has published a bill seeking to introduce regulation with regard to Public Entertainment Licencing. The provisions of the Bill have a direct impact on any performances of music in churches, outside of public religious services or meetings. The Bill as it stands says churches that are used for more than five performances a year will have to have a licence. The cost of such licensing arrangements are not included in the bill. However it has been feared that they could be substantial. The final effects of lobbying to mitigate the likely consequences for churches is still awaited.
A choir of over 270 singers from around the Birmingham Archdiocese swelled the congregation at the 5.00 pm Mass at Saint Chad’s Cathedral on Sunday 17th November. In his homily, Archbishop Nichols thanked the musicians for their ministry of enlivening the celebration of the liturgy with song —those who sing pray twice—and recalled the parable of the talents, suggesting that at the end of each day in our prayer, we might remember to offer to our Master the talents he has given us: “Here, Lord, is what I have done today with the talents you have given me.” He encouraged the congregation to note how generous God is: “Well done, good and faithful servant! come and join in your Master’s happiness.”
The music at the celebration included plainsong and polyphony, together with many contemporary pieces in varied idioms. The event was marked be a spirit of joy, reverence and prayerfulness. Parishes represented had been encouraged to spend time during the six weeks previous becoming familiar with the music to be used. The effect, when all came together, was outstanding.
RCIA Network provides an opportunity for all those who have an active ministry in this area (be that as catechist, liturgist, or other pastoral minister) to come together to reflect on what the Church asks of them, and on the renewal of life that RCIA calls the Church to.
A Conference is held every year—this year it is being held at Hinsley Hall in Leeds, from 3–5 September, and will focus on conversion. Membership is £10pa and free for those attending the Conference. The talks given at last year’s Conference by Bishop Brian Noble are available from the Diocesan website.
The 2003 Society of St Gregory Summer School is being held at Worth Abbey from 29th July to 2nd August. It celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium. The talks, workshops and liturgies are all coordinated toward the goal of reflecting on the vision of liturgical renewal set out in the Council’s teaching.
A residential Conference exploring the Pope’s call for dialogue “as a sure basis for peace” is being organised by the Committee for Other Faiths of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
The Conference will take place on Thursday 20th–Friday 21st March at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
It will be led by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Over the two days there will be an opportunity to explore together some of the issues involved in this work in the UK by means of workshops, group discussions, questions and sharing of experiences.
This Conference is organised as a service to all those with an involvement/interest in Inter-religious Dialogue .