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:
- 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Joint Liturgical Group of Great Britain is an ecumenical body with members appointed from across the denominations. It has been in existence for over 50 years and has provided a forum for the sharing of news, the development of texts for use by member bodies and reflection on common issues.
In October 2016 it is hosting a Conference in Leeds on Shaping our Worship taking as its starting point the quotation of Winston Churchill ‘We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.’ This idea will be used to reflect on various aspects of liturgy and liturgical formation.
- Shaping our Worship
- 25 – 27 October 2016
- Hinsley Hall, Leeds
- Further details
The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2017 has now been published. As with each iteration of the calendar the year has its uncommon features. As the Epiphany of the Lord falls on Sunday 8 January, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on Monday 9 January. The current Lectionary does not make clear that when a Feast of the Lord is celebrated on a weekday there is only one reading before the Gospel, in line with other Feasts — either first or second reading may be chosen. Therefore, this year, when the Transfiguration of the Lord does fall on a Sunday it has 2 readings before the Gospel. Two Solemnities are transferred: St Joseph to Monday 20 March, St George to Monday 24 April.
Draft Calendar Notes for 2018 (pdf) are available.
The Congregation for Divine Worship recently published a list of additions to the Lectionary, mainly those Saints which have been added to the Universal Calendar. An English version of the list is available with references to the current Lectionary.