Dubbed “A Night of Unbelievable Fun,” the Aug. 10 game against the Amarillo Sox will include an auction of players’ special “Aints” jerseys, fireworks and a ceremonial first pitch by David Silverman, president of American Atheists.
The letter “S’’ in all Saints signs and logos around the stadium will be covered, and there are planned references to Big Foot, UFOs and other targets of the skeptical community, team officials said.
Interesting. The president of Minnesota Atheists, August Berkshire:
We want to show that atheists can have fun.
I think we could have some fun with this. Chicago Cubs fans would actually have to give up all hope … without prayers.
The Dodgers would be from Lost Angels. Or Lost Devils if the satanists stepped up to sponsor. Just down interstate 5, the Sandy Ego Partiers. The city by the bay? New Mexico’s state capital: that would be a hard one.
Fair play might suggest Christians could turn names around in their favor. Any suggestions for Christian night?
Pope John Paul II is certainly aware that the primary musical instrument of the liturgy is the human voice. That said, other musical instruments are used to accompany singers or to stand on their own as part of an effort of spiritual edification.
The pipe organ (not the electronic organ or the synthesizer) is mentioned first:
14. Again at the practical level, the Motu Proprio whose centenary it is also deals with the question of the musical instruments to be used in the Latin Liturgy. Among these, it recognizes without hesitation the prevalence of the pipe organ and establishes appropriate norms for its use[TlS 15-18]. The Second Vatican Council fully accepted my holy Predecessor’s approach, decreeing: “The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up people’s minds to God and to higher things”[SC120].
There is a pragmatic side to this favor. Organs really have no single parallel in terms of one instrument being able to lead a singing congregation. As for the reasoning in SC 120, there’s nothing to suggest that the individual wind instruments imitated by the organ cannot provide “splendor” or “power” or the uplifting of minds.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that contemporary compositions often use a diversity of musical forms that have a certain dignity of their own. To the extent that they are helpful to the prayer of the Church they can prove a precious enrichment. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that instruments are suitable for sacred use, that they are fitting for the dignity of the Church and can accompany the singing of the faithful and serve to edify them.
In fact, I’ll say that ensembles might even demonstrate a higher example: as a symbol of the Church that utilizes communities of people and their varied gifts to spread the Gospel.
If you’re in a parish that has long announced the liturgical music for people to sing, perhaps you find it a difficult locus for renewal. In my current parish, a choir member invites people to stand and greet. After about a minute, the music is announced, usually with an invitation to “Please join in singing …” and then the song is announced: number, title, number.
During Lent, we’ve encouraged minimal announcements. There is no invitation to greet. I tried to convince the music announcers to just go with number, title, number.
There is talk about a hymn board, but it remains talk. At least until a sound system upgrade surfaces, and we can get the other essential items addressed.
So … sit in the liturgist’s chair and render judgment. How would you make sure the essential information is communicated?
The final chapter of the RDCA (Dedication of a Church and Altar) provides for the blessing of the vessels used in the celebration and distribution of the Eucharist. First, a brief introduction:
1. The chalice and paten for offering, consecrating, and receiving the bread and wine have as their sole and permanent purpose the celebration of the eucharist and are therefore ‘sacred vessels.’
2. The intention to devote these vessels entirely to the celebration of the eucharist is expressed in the presence of the community through a special blessing, which is preferably to be imparted within Mass.
3. Any priest may bless a chalice and paten, provided they have been made in conformity with the norms given in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal nos. 290-295.
4. If only a chalice or only a paten is to be blessed, the text should be modified accordingly.
There’s not much to delve deeply into the rite itself. The celebration of the Eucharist is preferred above a word service. If the Mass of the day (5) falls in section III, numbers 10-13 on the Table of Liturgical Days, there are some readings which may be inserted into the Liturgy of the Word (6-8): 1 Cor 10:14-22a or 1 Cor 11:23-26; Psalm 16 or 23 (antiphons referring to “cup”); Matthew 20:20-28 (Jesus challenging the disciples: can they drink the cup) or Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 (Last Supper).
The homily (9) and general intercessions (10) follow, then the vessels are brought to the altar and placed there by ministers or members of the community. This antiphon may be sung:
I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.
No psalm is given here; this procession is not imagined to be very long. The blessing prayer (11) follows, with a response “Blessed be God for ever” instead of an Amen. The preparation of the altar and gifts proceeds as usual (12). A slightly altered antiphon is given:
I will take the cup of salvation and offer a sacrifice of praise (alleluia).
This time, with Psalm 116:10-19. The gifts and altar may be incensed (13). An interesting rubric is given:
14. If the circumstances of the celebration permit, it is appropriate that the congregation should receive the blood of Christ from the newly blessed chalice.
The wording here is interesting: that the assembly “should” receive.
I’m aware of the tradition of clergy having their own chalice. This blessing rite seems to locate “possession” with the local community. How can and does that harmonize with traditional practices of the clergy having the chalice reserved to themselves?
The blessing outside of Mass (15-23) is not terribly remarkable. The general intercessions take place after the blessing of the vessels. A sample set of intercessions are provided here, but not for the Mass. That was slightly curious. Not very different from the official form in the 1977/78 rite, here is the 2003 ICEL draft:
Let us humbly make our prayer to the Lord Jesus, who continues to give himself over to the Church as the bread of life and cup of salvation, by saying
R. Christ, the bread of heaven, give us eternal life.
Savior of us all, who obeyed the will of the Father and drank the cup of suffering for our salvation, grant that we may be made worthy to share in the mystery of your death and to reach the kingdom of heaven. R.
Priest of God Most High, who are present yet hidden in the sacrament of the altar, grant that we may discern by faith what is concealed from our eyes. R.
Good Shepherd, who gave yourself to your disciples as food and drink, grant that we who are nourished by you may be transformed into you. R.
Lamb of God, who commanded your Church to celebrate the paschal mystery under the signs of bread and wine, grant that the memorial of your passion and resurrection may be for all the faithful the summit and source of the spiritual life. R.
Son of God, who wonderfully satisfy our hunger and thirst for you by the bread of life and cup of salvation, grant that we may draw from the mystery of the Eucharist a love for you and for all people. R.
Two points here. First note they address Christ. And second, this style of petition is similar to what was composed in the funeral rites: a bit wordier than the usual brief petitions we hear on Sundays, and each petition more explicitly addressing God. What do you make of that?
This brings the RDCA to a close. Last comments, anyone?
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.