As Lent begins, our parishes will participate in a journey with the elect to the Easter sacraments. During
the many rites throughout Lent, parishioners will pray for the elect. They will pray that the elect will acknowledge their
sins, that they will open their hearts, and that they may find comfort in Christ. These liturgies do not have power only
for the elect, though. They should move the faithful to see where they need to own their sin and to be open to the newness
of life that God offers.
When that newness of life is celebrated during the Sacred Paschal Triduum, parishes often wonder how they might encourage
more members to attend the liturgy. In "Three Days for Transformation: Inviting Young People to the Triduum," Kyle S. Turner
considers ways to involve youth and young adults in the liturgies. His essay suggests that by helping young people connect
to the liturgy of these three days, we may be assisting them to become increasingly linked with others. Parish staff and the
liturgy committee will want to discuss this article.
During the Exsultet on Holy Saturday, we pray that the Morning Star will find the light of the Paschal candle undimmed. In
"The Light of Christ Beckons the Assembly to a Life of Faith," Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, reflects on how the
light of the Paschal candle leads us to condsider the light that we bring to others.
Often art and environment committees focus attention on the interior of the church. J. Philip Horrigan writes, though, that
the parish grounds should be carefully assessed. His article, "Exterior of Parish Invites Community to Worship," notes that the
exterior of the parish is a transition place from the worldly to the spiritual. It should be examined for how accessible and
inviting it is.
When Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs, Colorado, decided to restore its nearly century-old church, the parish and
community rallied behind the effort. The article "Community Joins Together to Restore 1922 Church" tells of the concerted
effort to restore the beauty to the church that had been built in a Spanish mission revival style.
As the director of liturgy and music in parishes, Mary Birmingham facilitated the Christian initiation process for more than
thirty years. She witnessed that the year-round catechumenate is a messy process but one that can transform lives. In "Forming
Catechumens to Become Bread for the World," the author of Year-Round Catechumenate tells of the difference that the process
makes in catechumens' lives.
Thoughout Easter Time, parishes will resound with "alleluias." Help your parishioners understand the meaning behind the word
with the bulletin, or faith formation, insert "Praising God with Our Alleluias," by Kathy Kuczka.
It is important to begin forming parishiones when they are young to celebrate the Sacred Paschal Triduum. "Days to Draw Closer
to Christ," by Kathryn Ball-Boruff, will help parents and grandparents explain the liturgy on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy
Saturday to children.
May your Lent be filled with blessings.
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!