Section VI of RDCA Chapter II covers, “Requisites for the Dedication of a Church.” We’ll take the first three of these numbered sections 21 through 25 today:
21. For the celebration of the rite the following should be prepared:
a) In the place of assembly:
The Roman Pontifical;
if relics of the saints are to be carried in procession, the items in no. 24a.
b) In the sacristy or in the sanctuary or in the body of the church to be dedicated, as each situation requires:
The Roman Missal;
container of water to be blessed and sprinkler;
container with the chrism;
towels for wiping the table of the altar;
if needed, a waxed linen cloth or waterproof covering of the same size as the altar;
basin and jug of water, towels, and all that is needed for washing the bishop’s hands and those of the priests after they have anointed the walls of the church;
brazier for burning incense or aromatic spices; or grains of incense and small candles to burn on the altar;
censer, incense boat and spoon;
chalice, corporal, purificators, and hand towel;
bread, wine, and water for the celebration of Mass;
altar cross, unless there is already a cross in the sanctuary or the cross that is carried in the entrance procession is to be placed near the altar;
altar cloth, candles, and candlesticks;
flowers, if opportune.
See anything of note, either an omission or inclusion?
This next bit includes an item I haven’t often seen in parish churches. But my parish does have four wall brackets for holding lighted candles. We light them on the dedication anniversary (8 April) and our patronal feast (28 January, or the nearest Sunday).
22. It is praiseworthy to keep the ancient custom of hanging on the walls of the church crosses made of stone, brass, or other suitable material or of having the crosses carved on the walls. Thus twelve or four crosses should be provided, depending on the number of anointings (see no. 16), and fixed here and there at a suitable height on the walls of the church. Beneath each cross a small bracket should be fitted and in it a small candlestick is placed, with a candle to be lighted.
23. For the Mass of the dedication the vestments are white or of some festive color. The following should be prepared:
for the bishop: alb, stole, chasuble, mitre, pastoral staff, and pallium, if the bishop has the right to wear one;
for the concelebrating priests: the vestments for concelebrating Mass;
for the deacons: albs, stoles, and dalmatics;
for other ministers: albs or other lawfully approved dress.
My wife loves mysteries on tv and in print. I find I’m drawn into the tv stuff kicking and screaming. But I’m occasionally impressed.
My wife has been following Sherlock on PBS, and I have to admit I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen–the last three episodes. This is riveting stuff: complex and attractive and almost breathless in its pace. I stumbled across Jana Riess’s review at RNS, critical of Holmes as 21st century antihero. And it got me thinking about how derivative and unoriginal this production is. I read most of the Sherlock Holmes stories in college. But that was a long time ago, and I’m not sure I have all the particulars still in my head. Ms Riess is right that Benedict Cumberbatch plays the 21st century incarnation as something of a CSI: Greg House. (Naturally, House himself is a medical derivative of the Baker Street detective.) Or maybe he’s just written that way. Probably something of both. And it’s all based on the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, so of course it’s derivative. And the scarf, but no hat for the tousled hair: just like the Doctor. Can a derivation be good? It can certainly engage. The end of series II last night was certainly psychotic. Yes, that’s the word. I’ll have to catch the earlier episodes, I think.
Sleepless the other night, I caught two Honey West reruns at 2am. A decade before Charlie’s Angels, Aaron Spelling gave it an early try. Anne Francis was sparkling with kicking butt and mobile phones and tear gas that doesn’t water the eyes. But that wasn’t enough to float another derivation from James Bond and Emma Peel. The network rendered judgment: cancelled after one season. Still, if this series were resurrected, with good writing and an actor who could pull it off like Anne Francis, I’d watch it. And that snappy jazz theme: you sure don’t hear that on tv anymore. But a half-hour show to solve a case? With the intrusion of our corporate masters into the television waves, that’s enough for a set-up, but not much more.
My favorite of all this year’s tv is Awake. (But admittedly, I don’t catch much.) Unlike the others, this series is almost totally original–only the detective character is derivative. But really, who can they cast to give such an interesting pair of lives: a doctor? a superhero? a singer? I’ve been catching the episodes “on demand,” which is another innovation of which I approve. I’m up to episode eleven, and as the conspiracy reveals, I’m finding it a bit too predictable.
Still, Jason Isaacs is a brilliant actor. The whole cast is great. The writing lags a bit behind the ideas. As a science fiction fan I love great ideas, and this is a great idea, of a police detective who wakes in alternate realities: one in which an accident kills his son, and the other in which his wife is dead. After six months of fictional time, the guy’s not REM-deprived, so he’s dreaming effectively somewhen. Overall, I’d say A on concept, A on casting and acting, a solid B on writing. And that writing grade would probably be an A-plus on tv’s curve.
Episode eleven was a little too transparent, but Mr Isaacs delivered a tour-de-force acting performance. This guy can do just about anything well: grim and hard-boiled cop, emotional crash, a smile for his son.
I hear the network is cancelling the series. Ah well, whoever said television was any good anyway? Just when I was thinking that maybe there was something good on tv, even detective stuff, maybe I’ll just go back to reading books. Corporate can’t cancel great fiction.
I confess my curiosity about the source of the leaks. Somewhat less on the outrage about it. Boredom on the Legionaries–they’re toast by now, right? Most curious about the “excesses of bishops.” What does that mean?
281. Following close study of the situation, it becomes necessary to proceed to the formulation of a programme of action. This will determine the objectives, the means of pastoral catechesis and the norms governing it with reference to local needs and be in complete harmony with the objectives and norms of the universal Church. The programme or plan of action should be effective since its purpose is to orientate diocesan or inter-diocesan catechesis. Because of its nature, it is usually drawn up for a specific period, at the end of which it is revised, taking into account new emphases, objectives and means. Experience confirms the usefulness of such a programme of action for catechesis. By defining certain common objectives it encourages various interests to work together with a common purpose. Thus realism should be the first characteristic of a programme of action, then simplicity, conciseness and clarity.
282. Together with the programme of action—focused above all on workable options—many Episcopates prepare, at national level, catechetical materials of a orientational or reflective nature which provide criteria for an adequate and appropriate catechesis. These instruments are called by various names: Catechetical Directory, Catechetical Guidelines, Basic Document, Reference Text, etc. These are mainly addressed to those responsible for catechesis and to catechists. They clarify the concept of catechesis: its nature, object, tasks, contents, method and those to whom it is addressed. These directories or general guidelines prepared by Episcopal Conferences or published with their authority are obliged to follow the same process of elaboration and approval as catechisms. That is, such documents, before their publication, must be submitted to the Apostolic See for its approbation. (Cf. General Catechetical Directory 117 and 134; Pastor Bonus 94) These catechetical guidelines are a source of great inspiration for catechesis in the local Churches and their elaboration is useful and recommended, because, amongst other things, they are an important point of reference for the formation of catechists. This kind of aid is closely and directly related to episcopal responsibility.
Bishop Leonard Blair has a brief commentary on the national directory. He zeroes in on a concept I think appropriate for Catholics of today: discerning God’s action in our lives, and where to go from there. An illustrative excerpt:
When I was prepared for Confirmation in 1960, I was taught by memorization the appropriate doctrines regarding God the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament. It was assumed that my classmates and I would try to live a good and holy life as a result, and would participate in the life of the Church and be witnesses to Christ in our close-knit Catholic world. However, all this was presented in very formal language and remained largely abstract. Today, on the other hand, when I ask Confirmation candidates what this sacrament is, they most often reply with a list of all the good things they are doing to show their commitment to their faith. This is a very positive development that was not part of my sacramental preparation. However, I find that today’s candidates often have a hard time expressing how this Sacrament is God’s work, not theirs, or speaking about some of the doctrines concerning Confirmation and the Holy Spirit that are found in the Catechism. Two eras of religious instruction are reflected here, and they need not be an “either/or,” but a “both /and.” As we shall see a little later on, the most recent catechetical directives envision an all-important balance.
That balance is a key aspect that’s not limited to Confirmation. Engaged couples focus on their love. Penitents on their sins. Those anointed on their sickness. I wonder if believers don’t focus on themselves and their surrounding world because it is what they know. Discerning God’s work–that’s another issue. I suspect that believers lack formation in discerning God’s presence. I think we “know” Christ is present in the Eucharist. I think that emphasis may be leaned on so strongly that people expect to find God in church–which they can and do. But they don’t always find God in the world.
If people aren’t coming to “adult ed,” and our efforts with children and youth are “tied to a curriculum,” then what do we do? If a parish priest thought that discerning God’s action (to give one possible example) was a weakness, what prevents a preacher from weaving a thread through multiple homilies over the course of months or a liturgical year?
I confess my unfamiliarity with the national directory. I’m not a “professional catechist,” so I’ve never had reason to read or study that document. For any of you reader who have, what are its main thrusts? What initiatives are needed today to get us on Bishop Blair’s “both/and” track?
Another seasonal hymn that outpolled two NPM top-25′s. Respighi’s arrangement of the tune in the second movement of Trittico Botticelliano runs from the 1:15 mark to about 2:56 here.
The last remaining number-one seed.
about Todd Flowerday
A Roman Catholic lay person, married (since 1996), with one adopted child (since 2001). I serve in worship and spiritual life in a midwestern university parish.
Neil has been a blogging collaborator for the past several years on Catholic Sensibility. He brings his unique experiences from theology, spirituality, and the ecumenical sphere. Pay special attention to each one of his posts.