Monday, October 29th, 2012
29 October 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Liturgy
, Parish Life  Comments
October is the month for counting people in my archdiocese. We had a “storm surge” for the university’s homecoming observances this past weekend, especially at our later morning Mass.
Overall, with merging our Saturday liturgy into the other parish’s, numbers are down “in exile.” Our 8:30 and 7PM Masses are about the same. Last year, we had about 850 at our 10:30 Mass–yesterday it was 603. The auditorium where we’ve worshiped only holds 470. Instead of chairs in a narthex (our usual response to overflowing our 797 seats) we had video screens in the lobby. Far from optimal.
Anyone else out there responsible for counting heads? Do you do it in October, the high tide of church attendance (Excepting Christmas and Easter)?
29 October 2012
Let’s wrap up the discussion of sacred images.
§ 137 § The placement of images can be a challenge, especially when a number of cultural traditions are part of a single parish community and each has its own devotional life and practices. Restraint in the number and prominence of sacred images (SC 125) is encouraged to help people focus on the liturgical action that is celebrated in the church. Separate alcoves for statues or icons can display a variety of images through the year. Some parishes designate an area as the shrine for an image that is being venerated on a given day or for a period of time, such as the image of a saint on his or her feast day.
§ 138 § It is important that the images in the church depict saints for whom devotion currently exists in the parish. It is particularly desirable that a significant image of the patron of the church be fittingly displayed, as well as an image of Mary, the Mother of God, as a fitting tribute to her unique role in the plan of salvation. As time passes and demographics change, saints who were once the object of veneration by many parishioners may at another time be venerated by only a few. When this happens, these images could be removed, provided sensitivity is shown with regard to the piety of the faithful and the impact on the building.
The citation of SC 125 in its entirety:
The practice of placing sacred images in churches so that they may be venerated by the faithful is to be firmly maintained. Nevertheless their number should be moderate and their relative locations should reflect right order. Otherwise they may create confusion among the Christian people and promote a faulty sense of devotion.
Underused is the good option of rotating images in one location. Our sister parish in town displays a saint’s image in its narthex, depending on the feast or season.
Developing new devotions can be slow. In one parish in which I served, two alcoves for devotion existed–in addition to the ledges for statues in the main worship space. One houses the Holy Family. The other was fitted with doors and is now a closet for wedding supplies. I had not thought of rotating images at the time of renovation–that would have been my suggestion today.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
29 October 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Other Places
, Science Leave a Comment
A day’s worth of Atlantic coast meteorological menace in a thirty second video on Universe Today. Considering the 850-mile stretch of this storm, one can imagine the power. The cloud stretch over the inland, that must be the storm system riding in from the West.
I remember being on the fringes of Hurricane Agnes forty years ago. My uncle’s basement was flooded, but people to the south of us in Pennsylvania and in the southern counties of upstate NY were far worse for it.
29 October 2012
Affirming the role of the Bishop of Rome …
65. It was precisely in this sense that at the end of the last Synod we spoke clear words full of paternal affection, insisting on the role of Peter’s Successor as a visible, living and dynamic principle of the unity between the Churches and thus of the universality of the one Church.[Paul VI, Address for the closing of the Third General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (26 October 1974): AAS 66 (1974), p. 636] We also insisted on the grave responsibility incumbent upon us, but which we share with our Brothers in the Episcopate, of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the apostles. While being translated into all expressions, this content must be neither impaired nor mutilated. While being clothed with the outward forms proper to each people, and made explicit by theological expression which takes account of differing cultural, social and even racial milieu, it must remain the content of the Catholic faith just exactly as the ecclesial magisterium has received it and transmits it.
The point of contention usually centers on outward forms deemed needful by Rome. And in its reception (or lack thereof) by people, the modern distrust of authority and the cource of that authority being European/First World. Authority, of course, is tied up with the deepest notions of a bleiever turning herself or himself over to God. And to the authority figures within any branch of Christianity. With many individuals, and in certain strains of many human cultures, it is a far more difficult persuasion than it used to be a century or more ago. The challenge remains heavy on the pope and on the pastors and evangelists of the Church: what is essential to Christ, and what are aspects historical, human, and reformable?