As we anticipate our preparations for Holy Week and Easter Time, we are grateful for all that God has given us, and we look to the future in hope. Among our blessings is our relationship with our Jewish brothers and sisters, which recent popes have nourished. In “Discerning God’s Grace in the Gospel of John,” Elena Procario-Foley offers guidance on how to preach and teach in a way that respects Jewish identity and is attuned to intra-Jewish relationships at the time of Jesus and also to relationships between Catholics and Jews today. This article offers much for fruitful discussions among parish staff.
With rejoicing we welcome the elect to the initiation sacraments at the Easter Vigil, and throughout Easter Time children approach the table of the Lord for first Eucharist and youth are confirmed. Oscar Castellanos cautions that our baptismal mission goes beyond ensuring that sacraments are prepared for and received. In “Sharing Easter Joy: Renewing Our Mission to Bring Glad Tidings and to Liberate Captives,” the author guides readers to the need for accompaniment and encounter long after the reception of the sacraments. (That article is available in both English and Spanish on the Pastoral Liturgy website.)
The liturgical spirituality essay, “Joy, Grief, Hope: The Paschal Context of Our Thanksgiving,” by Rhodora Beaton, opens up Preface I of Easter, helping us look anew at how God has entered into and transformed our human experience.
A well-cared-for worship space nurtures a sense of the sacred. In “Establishing a Process to Care for Worship Materials, Spaces,” Mary Patricia Storms guides art and environment teams to implement processes and set up timetables to ensure that all items that serves the liturgy receive proper attention.
Many consider the period of mystagogy a time for the neophytes to break open the mysteries. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), however, notes that the whole parish participates in the period, stating, “This is a time for the community and the neophytes together to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery” (RCIA, 244). In “Giving Thanks: A Mystagogical Series on the Eucharistic Prayer,” Paulette M. Chapman outlines a seven- session formation series that will draw the entire parish into reflection on our prayer of thanksgiving. Faith formation leaders and evangelization teams will appreciate the outline’s talking points, discussion questions, and word of the week.
In “Hope Accompanies Easter Joy,” Living Our Faith author Kathryn Ball-Boruff directs her letter to parents, but her words root all of us in the understanding that our invitation to a communion of love transforms sorrows.
Each year as Lent approaches, Catholics are prepared with the disciplines that they abide by annually during the season. Celebrating Easter Time may seem more difficult. After all, how do we rejoice for fifty days? Kathy Kuczka offers guidance in the insert “Embracing Easter Joy.” Your parishioners will be grateful for these insights on reflecting on the mysteries.
May your preparations be blessed.
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!