Liturgy Corner

The purpose of the Liturgy Corner is to provide education to parishioners about liturgy in brief and easy-to-understand articles, while encouraging people to be critical and think more carefully about the issues surrounding the celebration of the liturgy. Liturgy Corner articles are primarily written by Father Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, Missouri. Fr. Paul holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from Sant’ Anselmo University in Rome. Other articles will be written by numerous liturgists and priests from around the United States, and even some within the Diocese of Orlando.

El propósito de la Esquina Litúrgica es proporcionar educación a los feligreses sobre la liturgia en artículos breves y fáciles de entender, a la misma vez anima a la gente a ser críticos y pensar con más cuidado sobre los temas relacionados con la celebración de la liturgia. Los artículos de la Esquina Litúrgica están escritos por el Padre Paul Turner, pastor de la parroquia St. Munchin en Cameron, Missouri. El P. Paul tiene un doctorado en teología sacramental de la Universidad Sant 'Anselmo en Roma. Otros artículos serán escritos por numerosos liturgistas y sacerdotes de todo los Estados Unidos, e incluso algunos dentro de la Diócesis de Orlando.

The Reception of Holy Communion by the Catholic Faithful (Part I)

06-16-2019Liturgy CornerOffice of Worship, Diocese of St. Petersburg

On Easter 2002, Pope John Paul II was presented with the third edition of the Roman Missal, the book that contains the prayers and instructions on how Catholics celebrate the Mass. Each edition of the Roman Missal has an introduction, an instruction book on the Missal – this is called the “General Instruction on the Roman Missal” (or GIRM). The previous edition of the GIRM was from 1975 and has been used for nearly three decades. In March of 2003, a new English translation of the GIRM was approved by the Vatican. This revision is not something new; rather it builds up on the 1975 edition. Included within the revised GIRM are recent decision made by the United States bishops regarding the reception of Holy Communion by the Catholic faithful.

How does one receive Communion?
In 1969, Pope Paul VI gave permission to receive Communion in the hand. The reception of Communion in the hand is a return to a traditional practice of the Church. Quoting from St. Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 348), Pope Paul VI instructed that, ‘“When you approach Holy Communion, make the left hand into a throne for the right, which will receive the King.’ Then with your lower hand, take the consecrated Host and place it in your mouth.” The option to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue is left to the individual receiving it. Whether in the hand or on the tongue, it should be done with respect for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

La Recepción de la Santa Comunión por los Fielos Católicos (Parte I)

En la Pascua del 2002 se le presentó al Papa Juan Pablo II la tercera edición del Misal Romano, el libro que contiene las oraciones e instrucciones sobre cómo los católicos celebran la Santa Misa. Todas las ediciones del Misal Romano tienen una introducción con instrucciones sobre el Misal. Estas instrucciones se conocen bajo el nombre de “Institución General del Misal Romano” (o IGMR). La edición previa de la IGMR fue del 1975 y se estuvo utilizado durante casi tres décadas. En marzo del 2003 una nueva traducción de la IGMR en inglés fue aprobada por el Vaticano. Esta revisión no es totalmente nueva, ya que tomó como base la edición de 1975. En esta revisión de la IGMR se han añadido las decisiones recientes por los obispos de los Estados Unidos concernientes a la recepción de la Sagrada Comunión por los fieles católicos.

¿Cómo debemos recibir la Comunión?
En 1969, el papa Pablo VI dio permiso para recibir la Comunión en la mano. La recepción de la Comunión en la mano el regreso a una práctica tradicional de la Iglesia. El papa Pablo VI aprobó la comunión en la mano haciendo eco de la instrucción de san Cirilo de Jerusalén (ca. 348): “Cuando te acerques a recibir la Sagrada Comunión, haz con tu mano izquierda como un trono para tu derecha, donde se sentará el Rey.’ Después, con la mano que está abajo, toma la hostia consagrada y te la llevas a la boca”’. La opción de recibir la Comunión en la mano o en la lengua es de la persona que recibe. Así sea en la mano o en la lengua, se debe comulgar con el respeto debido a la presencia real de Cristo en la Eucaristía.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

06-09-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner, © 2002 Resource Publications, Inc.

On Pentecost we insert a hymn into the Scripture readings of the day. After the second reading and before the Gospel, we sing “Veni, Sancte Spiritus,” or “Come, Holy Spirit, Come!” – the sequence for Pentecost Sunday. A sequence is a hymn added to the Liturgy of the Word on special days throughout the year. Sequences are optional, except for those on Easter and Pentecost.

“Veni, Sancte Spiritus” was probably composed by Stephen Langton (1228), the archbishop of Canterbury, although some think Pope Innocent III (1216) was the author. Stephen Langton is also responsible for dividing the books of the Bible into the chapters we mostly observe today.

The sequence for Pentecost prays for the coming of the Holy Spirit to bring comfort and forgiveness to the faithful. It opens with many repetitions of the word “come” and closes with repetitions of the request to “give.” Along the way, it affirms various titles and attributes of the Spirit: father of the poor, source of all our store, comforter, refreshment, rest, coolness and solace. The hymn asks the Spirit to shine in the hearts of the singers and to grant healing, strength, forgiveness and salvation.

The original Latin poetry is quite elegant. Each of the 10 stanzas has three lines. The first two lines rhyme and the last word of each stanza always ends with the letter ium. This sequence once appeared in each liturgy every day during the octave of Pentecost. Now it is called for only on the day of Pentecost. The hymn now may be sung or recited but it was written for singing. The verses may be alternated between the choir and the assembly.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Cuando celebramos Pentecostés insertamos un himno en las lecturas bíblicas del día. Después de la segunda lectura y antes del Evangelio, cantamos “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” o “¡Ven, Espíritu Santo, ven!”. Una secuencia o himno es agregado a la Liturgia de la Palabra en días especiales durante todo el año. Las secuencias son opcionales, excepto las de Pascua y Pentecostés.

“Veni, Sancte Spiritus” fue probablemente compuesto por Stephen Langton (1228), el arzobispo de Canterbury, aunque algunos piensan que el Papa Inocencio III (1216) fue el autor. Stephen Langton también es responsable de dividir los libros de la Biblia en los capítulos que observamos hoy en su mayoría.

La secuencia de Pentecostés ora por la venida del Espíritu Santo para brindar consuelo y perdón a los fieles. Comienza con muchas repeticiones de la palabra “ven” y cierra con repeticiones de la solicitud de “dar”. En el camino, afirma varios títulos y atributos del Espíritu: padre de los pobres, fuente de todo, consolador, descanso, frescor y consuelo. El himno le pide al Espíritu que brille en los corazones de los cantantes y que otorgue sanidad, fortaleza, perdón y salvación.

La poesía en latín original es bastante elegante. Cada una de las 10 estrofas tiene tres líneas. Las dos primeras líneas riman y la última palabra de cada estrofa siempre termina con la letra ium. Esta secuencia apareció una vez en cada liturgia todos los días durante la octava de Pentecostés. Ahora se usa solo para el día de Pentecostés. El himno puede ser cantado o recitado pero fue escrito para ser cantado. Los versos pueden alternarse entre el coro y la asamblea.

Ascension on a Sunday

06-02-2019Liturgy Corner Fr. Paul Turner, © 2001 Resource Publications, Inc.

The Ascension of Christ, which traditionally falls on a Thursday, may be celebrated on a Sunday in certain parts of the world. The Ascension originated as a Thursday celebration because of the story of the event from the opening of the Acts of the Apostles. There, Luke says that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to believers for 40 days then ascended to the heavens. Even though the accounts of the ascension in the Gospels suggest it took place after a shorter period of time, the liturgy of the church has honored the chronology from Acts by celebrating the Ascension on Thursday of the sixth week of Easter.

The Solemnity of the Ascension is one of 10 days that may be a holy day of obligation. Not all countries have the same holy days. In those countries where the Ascension is not a holy day, the solemnity is transferred to the following Sunday. The United State is so large and its needs so varied that Rome has granted it permission to decide on the date of this one solemnity by region. It is possible within the United State for Ascension to be on a Thursday in one state and on a Sunday in another. Travelers are expected to honor the custom of the place where they are that week.

Those celebrating Ascension on Sunday will miss the Mass texts for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, filled with anticipation for the Spirit of Pentecost. Those attending weekday Masses may notice that the responsorial psalm on Friday and Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter is a seasonal psalm for Ascension, even if their community will not celebrate the solemnity until Sunday.

Ascension en un Domingo

La Ascensión de Cristo, que tradicionalmente cae en un jueves, puede celebrarse un domingo en ciertas partes del mundo. La Ascensión se originó como una celebración del jueves debido a la historia de la apertura de los Hechos de los Apóstoles. Allí, Lucas dice que Jesús resucitó de entre los muertos, se apareció a los creyentes durante 40 días y luego ascendió a los cielos. A pesar de que los relatos de la Ascensión en los evangelios sugieren que tuvo lugar después de un período de tiempo más corto, la liturgia de la iglesia ha honrado la cronología de los Hechos al celebrar la Ascensión el jueves de la sexta semana de Pascua.

La Solemnidad de la Ascensión es uno de los 10 días que puede ser un día santo de obligación. No todos los países tienen los mismos días santos. En aquellos países donde la Ascensión no es un día santo, la solemnidad se transfiere al domingo siguiente. Los Estados Unidos es tan grande y sus necesidades son tan variadas que Roma le ha otorgado permiso para decidir la fecha de esta única solemnidad por región. Es posible que dentro de los Estados Unidos se celebre la Ascensión un jueves en un estado y un domingo en otro. Se espera que los viajeros honren la costumbre del lugar donde están en esa semana.

Aquellos que celebran la Ascensión el domingo se perderán los textos de la Misa para el séptimo domingo de Pascua, llenos de anticipación para el Espíritu de Pentecostés. Aquellos que asisten a las Misas de los días laborales pueden notar que el salmo responsorial el viernes y el sábado de la Sexta Semana de Pascua es un salmo estacional para la Ascensión, incluso si su comunidad no celebra la solemnidad hasta el domingo.

Why do we Renew our Baptismal Promises?

04-21-2019Liturgy CornerMarlon De La Torre, MA, MEd. and Stephen Beale

Baptism is a crucially important sacrament. It’s the only sacrament mentioned explicitly in the Nicene Creed. Christ’s specially appointed forerunner was John the Baptist. And the first thing Christ did in His public ministry was to get baptized. Our human identity is intimately linked to the sacrament of Baptism. This may come as a surprise to some but the reality of our existence is intertwined to this first sacrament of initiation because it provides us with a rebirth as sons and daughters of God. The solemn significance of baptism is underscored by the fact that it can only be done once and is irreversible. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it, “Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, baptism cannot be repeated.”

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The Meaning of "Hosanna"

04-14-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner, © Resource Publications, Inc.

In today’s Palm Sunday Liturgy, we start with the Opening Antiphon of “Hosanna to the Son of David…”. Also, in every Liturgy of the Eucharist, we say or sing “Hosanna in the highest…” during the Holy, Holy in the Eucharistic Prayer. Even though we say it every week or every day, do we know what it means? The word’s origin comes from a Hebrew phrase for an exclamation of praise, especially for Jewish festivals, such as Passover.

The word Christians use today is the Greeks’ creation. They used Greek letters to create the pronunciation of a Hebrew phrase: hoshiya na, meaning, “Save, please!” The word “hosanna” came in liturgical usage to serve as an expression of joy and praise for deliverance granted or anticipated. When Jesus came to Jerusalem for his final presentation of himself to Israel, the expression came readily to the lips of the Passover crowds.

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Lent

03-10-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner, © 2002 Resource Publications, Inc.

Lent is the season that prepares us to celebrate Easter. The main reason Lent is important is that Easter is our most important feast. On Easter we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose passage beyond death into life offers redemption to believers. The resurrection is the cornerstone of Christian faith. The mystery of Christ’s rising from the dead is so deep that the church invites us to six weeks of preparation before we fully celebrate it. We call that period Lent.

For the faithful, Lent is a time of penitential practices and spiritual discipline. During this time we acknowledge our sins and seek God’s help to overcome them. Traditionally, we engage in acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Together these actions show our dependence on God, our renunciation of the fascinations of this world and our desire to better the lives of others.

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Luke

02-24-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2001 Resource Publications, Inc.

Every third year most of the Gospels at the Sunday Eucharist come from Luke. In Ordinary Time, we hear many passages about Jesus’ ministry in sequence. During Advent, Christmas and Lent we hear sections that accent the themes of those seasons.

Luke excelled in quantity and quality. As the writer also of Acts of the Apostles, he composed nearly a third of the New Testament. The most eloquent of all the evangelists, Luke includes in his Gospel the beautifully crafted stories of the Annunciation to Mary, the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Without his work, we would have no knowledge of those stories.

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Meaning of Alleluia

02-17-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner, © Resource Publications, Inc.

The word alleluia, or hallelujah, is used to express praise, joy, or thanks. The word first appeared around the 14th century in Hebrew scripture. The word “Hallelujah” is the Greek form of the Hebrew. It is often used as “Praise ye Jehovah”. It begins or ends several psalms in the Greek scriptures.

In the context of a liturgy, we use “Alleluia” most often as our Gospel Acclamation before the proclamation of the Gospel. Alleluia is often sung in hymns and psalms as well.

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Altar Servers

02-10-2019Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner, © 2004 Resource Publications, Inc.

Altar servers assist at Mass. They may carry the cross, candles, and incense in the procession (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 100). At the preparation of the gifts, they arrange the corporal, purificators, chalice, pall, and missal on the altar (139) and assist in receiving the offerings (140). They present the water to the priest or deacon (142), who adds some to the wine. Servers may incense the priest and the people (75). They wash the priest’s hands (145). They may ring a bell (150) and incense the Body and Blood of Christ during the elevations (179). They may exchange peace with other ministers (154). After communion they may remove the vessels (163). Servers have their own seats, and they show their reverence by their dress, by bowing and genuflecting when appropriate, and by singing and joining in the responses.

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