Questions for Reflection and Discussion about Liturgy

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1 Questions for Reflection and Discussion about Liturgy Preamble The Office of Worship is providing these Questions for Reflection and Discussion at the recommendation of the Archdiocesan Worship Commission. The Commission s Committee for the Support of Parish Liturgy has devoted an extensive amount of time and energy developing this instrument based on a similar one designed by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. This questionnaire is intended to be an instrument of self-study and discussion for persons with an interest in the preparation and oversight of liturgical celebrations at parishes, campuses, and other Catholic communities within the. In using this instrument, please note that the correct answer is the one that honestly reflects what is going on in your worshipping community and that success should be measured by the constructive discussion and growth it inspires, rather than by attaining high marks. This is not a test to be handed in, and no one is being graded! Some questions may not suit a particular situation, while others may inspire a closer look at the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Pastors or other group leaders are more than welcome to contact the Office of Worship (415) or (415) for clarification or to answer any question that may arise in discussion. October 13, 2010

2 Particular Questions Liturgical Environment 1. There is an atmosphere of hospitality created by the ushers, greeters and members of the assembly There is an atmosphere of prayer created by those present The church is properly decorated for the liturgical season The lighting in the church is adequate for the assembly The sound system is effective for all the areas of the church The importance of the altar, ambo and presider s chair is clear by virtue of their design and the absence of objects cluttering the sanctuary The sanctuary area, as well as the entire church, is accessible to people with disabilities The configuration of the church invites full, active and conscious participation by the assembly in all the various rites of the Church Overall, the church is clean

3 Introductory Rites Particular Questions 1. There is an organized entrance procession from the back of church or sacristy to the sanctuary area In the entrance procession are at least three acolytes serving as the cross bearer and two candle bearers, a deacon or lector carrying the Book of the Gospels, and the presider The entrance song or hymn fulfills all of the purposes stated in the liturgical documents 1 and does not exclusively last for the duration of the procession of the priest and ministers The presider s greeting and introductory remarks are appropriate to the liturgical season and help the assembly to gather in anticipation of hearing the Word of God and joining in the Eucharistic sacrifice There is a marked period of silence prior to the proclamation of the Collect / Opening Prayer Cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), 2002, 47; USCCB, Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, 2007,

4 Liturgy of the Word Particular Questions 1. The readings are proclaimed at the ambo from the Lectionary for Mass The lectors have prayerfully prepared and are able to proclaim the scripture readings intelligently and with appropriate expression The assembly actively participates by attentively listening to the proclamation of the Word There is significant time for prayerful silence and reflection after each reading and the homily The Responsorial Psalm is sung from the ambo and is prayerfully proclaimed The Book of the Gospels is carried in procession to the ambo by the presider or deacon prior to the proclamation of the Gospel The presider or deacon preaches homilies based on the Scriptures or other texts of the liturgy that engage the assembly and encourage them to worship God and share their faith with others The Profession of Faith is recited or sung thoughtfully by the entire assembly The General Intercessions are general in nature, include timely issues of the day, and are of appropriate content

5 Particular Questions Liturgy of the Eucharist 1. The bread, wine and collection are brought forward at the same time by members of the assembly other than the ushers The priest and the deacon work in a complementary fashion, first in the preparation of the altar and of the gifts and then throughout the Liturgy of the Eucharist The priest leads the assembly through the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in general, and through the Eucharistic Prayer, in particular, in a prayerful, unhurried manner The acclamations for the Eucharistic Prayer (Holy, Memorial, Amen) are sung by the assembly The bread and wine used for Mass have the appearance of food, are palatable, and are not stale or spoiled in any way The people pray the Lord s Prayer in a reverent and unhurried manner The Rite of Peace is shared in an authentic manner by the assembly The Fraction Rite and the accompanying Lamb of God chant are celebrated with reverence The extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are well prepared to assist with the distribution of the Eucharist to the assembly The Communion song / hymn begins when the presider receives Holy Communion and continues for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful Both species (bread and wine) are offered to the assembly during Communion Only bread/hosts consecrated during this Mass are used for Communion Music ministers have the opportunity to receive Holy Communion Cf. GIRM, 86, Sing to the Lord, Cf. GIRM, 85. 5

6 14. When the distribution of Communion is finished, sacred silence is observed for some period of time, or a Psalm or another canticle of praise or a hymn is sung by the entire assembly Cf. GIRM, 45, 88,

7 Particular Questions Concluding Rites 1. Announcements are made following the Prayer after Communion from a place other than the Ambo. Announcements are brief and timely The blessing is given in a reverent and mindful manner

8 Music Particular Questions 1. The music ministers are prepared to begin Mass at the appointed time The cantor is clearly visible to the assembly There is proper understanding of, balance and distinction between the roles of the cantor / choir and assembly There are enough worship aids (hymnals/songsheets, etc.) for members of the assembly The various music ministers are competent in their musical skills and pastoral skills The music is singable for most members of the assembly The music chosen for worship is appropriate for the day or season The presider [and deacon] participate with the assembly in singing the Mass The music is prepared to assist the assembly in enacting the liturgical prayer rather than to entertain them as an audience The musical instruments are in good repair and of good quality

9 Overall Particular Questions 1. The vestments worn by the priest, deacon and altar servers are in good repair The various vessels used for Mass are in good repair All liturgical ministers are dressed neatly and with care, whether in secular clothes or liturgical vestments The presider s liturgical manner conveys a sense of prayerfulness The presider waits for the assembly to respond to the prayers and leaves adequate time for silence at the appropriate times The liturgy does not seem rushed or over-extended, but has a good pace The acolytes are well trained and reverent during Mass Persons performing the various ministries at Mass reflect the makeup of the assembly A good balance of men and women serve in various lay liturgical ministries The liturgical ministers at Mass do all and only those parts that belong to them. In other words, the liturgical ministers are not performing two ministries at the same Mass The parish schedule for Masses ensures that liturgies are adequately attended and that the assembly has enough time between Masses to gather for parish activities or to pray. The schedule serves the needs of the worship community Members of the assembly respond well to spoken prayers Members of the assembly arrive on time and stay until the end of Mass Overall, the assembly prays well, both in spoken words and in music, when it gathers to celebrate the Eucharist Overall, people are glad that they come to celebrate the Eucharist

10 10

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