Nearly a year ago, Pope Francis announced that Amoris laetita Family Year would take place from March 2021 until the World Synod of Families on June 26, 2022. As the country has suffered through the pandemic for more than year and a half, many parishes have helped families pray as a domestic church. From the time a couple approaches their parish to prepare for their marriage throughout their lives together, they need members of the Church to walk with them. In “Accompanying Couples as They Form a Domestic Church,” author Andrew Lyke explores ways the Church can show hospitality to the newly engaged and support families. Parish staff will want to discuss this article.
As the faithful return to Mass, they will take up their roles in the liturgy to which their baptism calls them. But aftertime away from ritual song and actions, the assembly may need encouragement to again raise their voices together as the Body of Christ. “Leading the Faithful to Lift Their Voices with Joy in Song,” by Christian Paul Leaños explains the importance of selecting familiar hymns and songs and knowing the congregation to provide the music that resonates with them. Music ministers will find this article valuable.
In “The Unique Expression of the Lex Orandi of the Roman Rite,” John Baldovin, sj, relates both how our prayer at the liturgy portrays what we believe and the reasons Pope Francis issued the apostolic letter Traditionis custodes.
Books that have been reviewed in this issue may be particularly beneficial as parishes continue to minister to the faithful during the pandemic. Liturgy and Sacraments in a COVID World: Renwal, Not Restoration, by Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin, will assist in deepening our appreciation of the liturgy so that we can embrace its vibrant celebration. The Sacraments and Consumer Culture, by Timothy Brunk, will help readers rediscover the beauty of the sacraments. This book should stimulate fruitful discussions in a parish book club.
The two downloadable articles, “A Season to Learn about Hope,” by Kathryn Ball-Boruff, and “Praying the ‘O’ Antiphons,” by Kathy Kuczka, are designed to assist parishes with helping families gather as a domestic church. The first piece guides families in their prayer around the Advent candle and reflection on service in their community. “Praying the ‘O’ Antiphons” provides parishioners with a foundation in the images in the prayers and the scriptural texts so that they might make these a part of their prayer during the last week of Advent.
Finally, the back cover article, “Proclamations Herald Christ, Link the Incarnation and Resurrection,” by Kathy Kuczka, relates the importance of singing or reciting the Announcement of the Solemnity of the Birth of Christ at the beginning of the celebration of the Mass during the Night on the Nativity of the Lord and the Announcement of Easter and the Moveable Feasts on the Epiphany of the Lord.
As parishes continue to reach out to people during the COVID-19 pandemic, I thank you for your service to the Church. I pray that you continue to trust in the friendship of the Lord, and as the psalmist sings on the First Sunday of Advent, look to the Lord to guide you.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Using the liturgy as its source, Pastoral Liturgy® has been intentionally designed to be of service to the whole parish with resources for leaders and parishioners, those who are just beginning to learn about liturgy, and those who are seasoned volunteers and professionals.
The six 32-page, full-color issues follow the course of the liturgical year to provide guidance for liturgy preparation, faith formation, liturgical art and architecture, and the many areas of parish ministry that flow from the liturgy to witness the Gospel and build the kingdom of God.
Pastors, parish staffs, liturgy committees, catechists, musicians, architects, and everyone seeking to learn more about how the liturgy forms and informs all of parish life will find this resource a valuable support to understanding the liturgy more fully and incorporating it as the source for all they do. That's why Pastoral Liturgy® magazine is the liturgy magazine for the whole parish!