Ready for the master’s return?
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants
who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known
the hour when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Not a frequent choice at all for funerals. Perhaps not the wisest inclusion for the OCF Lectionary. Really: our loved one may indeed have been surprised by the moment of death. And all may have seemed right between the person and God. But do we really know?
Even though my own father re-engaged his Christian faith on his deathbed, one family member had doubts, and remained upset about the possibility that maybe his repentance wasn’t sufficient. In a situation like that, a reading like this one from Luke might cause more upset among the mourners. It certainly won’t make a different for the deceased.
That said, the message about being prepared is obviously a needful one for Christian believers. The serious question is: when to preach it?
Posted by catholicsensibility under The Blogosphere  Comments
Catholicsensibility.catholic? Not going to happen. And not because people on the opposite side of Catholic ideology think of me as a heretic. Father Z and Mark Shea and all the other usual suspects won’t get it either. No bloggers, says Msgr. Paul Tighe from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications:
The Vatican does not plan to allow individual bloggers or private Catholics to use “.catholic.” Use of the domain would be limited to those with a formal canonical recognition: dioceses, parishes and other territorial church jurisdictions; religious orders and other canonically recognized communities; and Catholic institutions such as universities, schools and hospitals.
The PCSC laid out about three-quarters of a million dollars to apply for the .catholic domain in four alphabets. Probably a good investment. If approved, the .catholic suffix could be leased out to those communities. I don’t, however, see a LCWR.catholic or an NCRep.catholic by 2013, the earliest when the new domain names would go into effect.
Is this a good investment? I’m not sure. My blog platform recently upped their fee to give me catholicsensibility.com from $17 to $18. I could be wrong about it, but the “personalized” web site seems to be a bit irrelevant. And even if some enterprising person wanted to do their own catholicsensibility, after nine years of blogging, I pretty much own Google for hits on my name and web site. Especially when it gets topical. I can’t remember the last time I actually typed in a domain name. Links. Search. Ctrl-C and ctrl-V.
Artistically speaking, “.catholic” seems a bit long to me. .rcc and .cat are probably more proportional to what I’m looking for. But again, people hardly type addresses anymore. What do you think? Would you want to be identified as .catholic? I think I’m okay with being out in the world. I don’t get many seekers here, but I’d like to think I’m as open to them as anyone.
Today, let’s look at the use of oil:
63. Then the bishop, removing the chasuble if necessary and putting on a linen gremial, goes to the altar with the deacons and other ministers, one of whom carries the vessel of chrism. The bishop proceeds to anoint the altar and the walls of the church, as described below, no. 64.
If the bishop wishes to associate some of the priests with him in the anointing of the walls, after the anointing of the altar he hands them vessels of sacred chrism and goes with them to complete the anointings.
However, the bishop may give that task of anointing the walls to the priests alone; in that case, he hands the vessel of sacred chrism to them after he has anointed the altar.
64. The Bishop, standing before the altar, says:
We now anoint this altar and this building.
May God in his power make them holy,
visible signs of the mystery of Christ and his Church.
Then he pours the sacred chrism on the middle of the altar and on each of its four corners, and it is recommended that he anoint the entire table of the altar with this.
When the altar has been anointed, the bishop anoints the walls of the church, signing with chrism the suitably distributed twelve or four crosses. He may have the assistance of two or four priests.
If the anointing of the walls is given to the priests, after the bishop has anointed the altar, they anoint the walls of the church signing the crosses with chrism.
Meanwhile, one of the following antiphons is sung with Psalm 84:
See the place where God lives among his people; there the spirit of God will make his home among you; the temple of God is holy and you are that temple (alleluia).
Holy is the temple of the Lord, it is God’s handiwork, his dwelling place
Or another appropriate liturgical song is sung.
65. When the altar and the walls have been anointed, the bishop returns to the chair, sits, and washes his hands. Then the Bishop takes off the gremial and puts on the chasuble. The priest also wash their hands after they have anointed the walls.
The 2003 draft makes a few changes to the language of the rubrics, but nothing to the instructions. The antiphons in number 64 are changed a bit more in language. Option one is a mouthful; option two is probably better for a one-time only setting of Psalm 84. This is one possible area for a specially commissioned composition, preferably something the people might return to sing on other occasions: the dedication anniversaries and the patronal feast, not to mention other more ordinary occasions. Psalm 84 is one of my favorites in the Psalter; it’s probably a significant lack that there’s not a ready piece or two in the Catholic repertoire with a more widespread appeal.
“Two or four priests.” Do we take that literally?