Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We have a new bishop!

Yesterday, the Archdiocese celebrated a beautiful occasion: the ordination of a new auxiliary bishop. Bishop Barry Knestout’s ordination was especially meaningful to our local Church because he is a native priest and son of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Wuerl was the main celebrant. There were several Cardinals, many bishops, over 100 priests, and many of Bishop Knestout’s family, friends, and former parishioners present. We wish our new bishop the best!

The program for the Mass explained many aspects of the liturgy. The description of Eucharistic Prayer I was especially pertinent because we hear it much during the Christmas octave (eight days of Christmas). Many of you hear me use this EP on solemnities during the year. I use it on each solemn feast not only because I find it to be the most solemn of the EP’s, but also because there are inserts in the prayer specific to the feast. I use it at many weddings, too, because there is an insert pertaining to the couple.

Here is the explanation from yesterday’s program:

“The text of Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman canon), based on even earlier Greek models, had assumed its present form by the time of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), though various popes through Blessed Pope John XXIII changed or added parts. It is essentially a series of short prayers, each of which once concluded with Amen, leading to the Great Amen that we sing to conclude the whole Prayer…

Speaking in the name of all of us (“We come to you, Father”), (the celebrant) prays that the gift we offer in sacrifice will be found acceptable because it comes ‘through Jesus Christ’. He then explains that we offer this sacrificial gift for the whole Church and for those particular people we wish to remember at (this) Mass. We offer them in union with Mary, the apostles, and all the saints…

Invoking the Holy Spirit…(the celebrant) asks God to let the bread and wine ‘become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord’. Then, using the words that Jesus used at the Last Supper, he consecrates the elements…

We then remember Jesus’ great act of sacrifice in his passion and the affirmation of his gift in the resurrection and ascension. Because we are united to that mystery in the Eucharist, we offer ‘this holy and perfect sacrifice; the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.’ We ask God to accept our offering as he accepted the pure offerings of Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedech. We ask that our offering may be taken to heaven, so that we may be united with Christ, the perfect offering, the Lamb ‘standing as if slain’ before the throne of God, to whom all creation sings (Revelation 5:6-14)…

Also, the program gave an excellent synopsis of the Communion Rite:

“The Communion Rite contains five key elements. The Lord’s Prayer unites us in the prayer that Jesus taught us. The rite of peace unites us as brothers and sisters in the Lord in response to the Lord’s command: ‘If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother (or sister) has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother (or sister), and then come and offer your gift’ (Matthew 5:23). The fraction rite prepares the consecrated elements for distribution to the faithful; symbolically, it is a reminder both of Christ’s Body broken on the cross and his Blood poured out for us. The procession to share in sacramental Communion is the heart of this rite. In coming to Communion, the faithful receive Christ and offer themselves to Christ. After a period of silence, the rite concludes with a brief ‘collect’ prayer that sums up our hope for full communion with God in Christ now and for all eternity.”


At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lawsuit was filed today to keep the Chief Justice from asking Obama to take his oath of office with the concluding words, “So help me God.” Give these people an inch and there will be no verbal expression of Christmas, no nation under God and no help from God in executing the duties of the presidency. I don’t get it- if those people were taking the oath and didn’t want to say that, fine- but why preclude others who profess to have faith in God and (presumably) welcome His help? Ironically, the group pursuing this is using Obama’s own position on the separation of Church and state to justify their position. I guess he should be careful about what he asks for- the President may find himself without any ability to profess his faith in a public way.

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon at 6:15 PM.... Please keep us informed as to how the lawsuit turns out. In the interim a lot of prayer is warranted.

I am very glad we have Bishop Barry Knestout. His ordination sounded impressive. I really love the First EP. I was under the assumption that it was not used because it is longer.

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m sporadic with Bible Study in general, but I missed this past Advent’s series, so PLEASE answer me- in response to today’s homily (12/31/09), where in the Bible does it speak about Mary’s prayer life?

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:46 P.M.

Check out Luke 1:68-79

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon of 11:46-
In listening to the homily last night, I asked myself the same question. Not a lot is said about Mary’s life. We have a basic timeline that we know and details on only specific events. Surely she was dutiful and obedient, but I can't remember anything written about Mary's prayer life.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger fran said...

The December 13th entry from "Mary Day by Day," prayer book:

"How sweet to my palate are your [words], sweeter than honey to my mouth!" -Ps 119:103

Reflection. "The seven words (or phrases) of Mary found in the Gospels are voiced in accord with a wonderful progression and order.
They impart to the devout soul the ardor of a holy love."
- St. Bernardine of Siena

Prayer. "O Mary, help me to emulate what each of your words imparts: virginal reserve (Lk 1:34); zealous service (Lk 1:38a); faithful obedience (Lk 1:38b); joyful praise (Lk 1:46-55); authoritative gentleness (Lk 2:48); tender charity (Jn 2:3) and firm faith (Jn 2:5)."

We would probably all agree, that whether or not the prayer life of Mary is documented, doesn't matter much. It is certain that she engaged in prayer frequently. How else could she have maintained a sin-free life and endured all that she did raising the Son of God?

That being said, I think the phrase from today's gospel reading infers prayer on the part of Mary when it says, "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."


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