On the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, use of the revised
Order for Celebrating Matrimony (OCM) will be mandated. To assist pastoral ministers in
understanding the differences in the first and second editions of the Marriage Rite, Paul Turner
has written "The Revised Marriage Rite: An Overview of Changes to the Liturgy" for this issue of
Pastoral Liturgy®. Your music director, deacons, liturgist, and priests will want to
discuss this article at a staff meeting.
As we near the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, author Stephen S. Wilbricht helps us reconsider
the way individuals are ministered to during the Rite of Penance. In "Celebrating Penance: Touching
the Grandeur of God's Mercy," Wilbricht urges confessors to examine their practices in the reconciliation
room. The article considers the hospitality shown to those who come to confession, how Scripture is integrated
into the sacrament, types of penances, and even the dismissal. He notes that the sacrament is for the healing
of the world. "Mercy is granted in order to be shared," Wilbricht writes.
It is good to take a step back sometimes to review the liturgies in our parish to see what is working well.
Elizabeth Simcoe does just that in her article "Liturgies That Nourish Faith." For the article, she draws on the
quote from Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship: " Good celebrations can foster and nourish faith. Poor
celebrations can weaken it." She then examines how hospitality, music, well-proclaimed Scriptures, and care with ritual
effect the assembly's participation. This article should prompt discussion at a liturgy commision meeting.
Parishes soon will be looking ahead to preparing for the rites of Christian initiation that occur during Lent. In her
final article supporting parishes as they read the text of the Rite of Christian Initiaiton of Adults, Mary A. Ehle
considers the Scrutinies, Presentations, and Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday. Through reading the "Rites Belonging to the
Period of Purification and Enlightenment," Christian initiation team members will see how the rites fit into the purpose of
Many parishes will take an opportunity during the coming year to prepare prayer services with Lutheran congregations to
observe the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. Humility will mark these services as together we seek forgiveness
for wrongs of the past and look toward proclaiming the Gospel as one. The downloadable article "Seeking Christian Unity," by
Kristopher W. Seaman, will help parishes spread understanding of the services.
You will want to be sure to distribbute the downloadable article "Keeping Christ in Christmas" to families in the parish
and at faith formation sessions. In this piece, Trish Sullivan Vanni prompts families to remove the clutter that is placed
before Christ during this season.
At this time of year, it is easy to feel hurried. Take heed of Mary A. Ehle's suggestion at the beginning of the article
"Awaiting, Celebrating Emmanuel": Take time to breathe in the sights and sounds of the seasons. No matter the hectic pace and
the numerous details of liturgical preparations that come your way, remember God is with us—Emmanuel is here.
May the peace of the seson be yours.
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!