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"Those whose lives his work has touched remain in his debt."
Peter J Scagnelli
Rev. Peter J. Scagnelli
(1949 - 2017)

"His work was always at the service of God and the Church."
Robert Taft
Rev. Robert F. Taft, SJ
(1932 - 2018)

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Reproducible Resources
The Church's Relationship with the World
by Kristopher W. Seaman

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Dear Friends,

During this Month of All Souls, the main feature in the magazine will help pastoral ministers consider the parish's ministry to family members as they grieve after a loved one dies. In "Called to Console: Bereavement Ministry in the Parish," author Robert Valle points out the need for the whole parish to understand their part in providing solace after a death. Noting that the Order of Christian Funerals (OCF) envisions a community of faith accompanying those who mourn, Valle shows how parishioners can be educated and encouraged to participate in bereavement ministry.

November, in which the Church especially recognizes our continuing connection with those who have died, is a good time for parents and grandparents to speak with children about how we keep in mind the dead. In the Living Our Faith article "Praying for the Dead," Kathryn Ball-Boruff discusses traditions of honoring the dead. Parishes will want to be sure to hand out this downloadable resource to parents.

Adults, too, need to be reminded that Catholics continue to consider those who have died part of the Body of Christ. In the bulletin insert "Honoring, Praying for the Dead," Kathy Kuczka notes that the Church prays for the dead during the Eucharistic Prayer at each Mass. She explains that our prayers not only seek God's mercy for the dead but keep in mind that they are still at one with the community of believers.

Fr. Ronald Patrick Raab's reflection on the Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent will help pastoral ministers reflect on how God reaches out to his people in love. In "The Journey of Advent: To Hasten toward God's Love," Raab explores the readings of Advent while showing that Advent offers the opportunity to open up to the love of God that is already present.

At parishes with well-celebrated liturgies, parish staff and liturgy committees periodically review the liturgies. Monsignor Joseph DeGrocco's Q & A in this issue concerns aspects of an evaluation of the liturgy. Parish staff and liturgy committees will want to look over this question and answer.

Since nearly universally the importance of music to the liturgy is understood, it is seldom that a Sunday Mass, a funeral, or a wedding is bereft of music. However, it may not be unusual for catechumens to walk down the aisle of a quiet church after being dismissed or for a rite of Christian initiation to conclude without the singing of an acclamation or hymn. In "Music Integral to Celebrations of Christian Initiation Rites," Eric J. Bermani provides an introduction to the ministry of Christian initiation while explaning that music is essential to initiation rites. "Music has the power to bring people into the sacred," he notes.

Finally, as Ordinary Time ends and our parishes begin to prepare for Advent and Christmas, try to keep from being overcome by "the anxieties of daily life," as Jesus states in the Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent. Rather, know that "the Lord is near," and bring your prayers, petition, and thanksgiving to God, as St. Paul tells the Philippians in the Second Reading on the Third Sunday of Advent.

May you be open to the joys of these seasons.

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!

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