VNO 10: For The Laity

When might a Mass “For The Laity” be celebrated? Remember that Mass for Various Needs And Occasions don’t just get dropped in on any old Sunday.

Maybe the collect gives us a clue:

O God,
who have sent the power of the Gospel
like leaven into the world,
grant that your faithful,
whom you have called to live amid the world and its affairs,
may be fervent with the Christian spirit
and, through the tasks they carry out in this present age,
may constantly build up your Kingdom.

If a parish mission ended on a weekday or night, and this “leaven” connected to a theme, it would be very appropriate. In fact, I can’t imagine a better topic for a parish’s renewal effort today than reviving a discipleship attitude in the laity.

The other prayers speak of God who does “not cease to call ” lay people to “the apostolate” and of the intention that lay people will “be tireless witnesses to the truth of the Gospel.”

Let’s have a look at the music:

Entrance Antiphon Mt 13:33

The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour, until the whole batch was leavened.

More yeast. On one hand, I like the expansive thinking behind looking to the New Testament for an antiphon choice. On the other, there’s the temptation to be too literal in matching a text for verses. The letter to the Ephesians might be one of the most discipleship-driven documents in the Bible. Some might like the lyrical quality of the canticle that begins with 1:3 there. The Liturgy of the Hours cuts it off at verse ten, but I think verses 11-14 and 17-23 might be a good text from which to draw inspiration.

The Missal gives two possible antiphons for Communion, a text with a very commonly-used Psalm and a verse from the Lord’s Last Supper discourse:

Communion Antiphon Ps 100: 2

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy, alleluia.

or: Jn 15: 8

By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples, says the Lord.

The first links with the psalm from which it derives. Or any psalm of praise. Perhaps a music director might look to a text in which the psalmist invites others to the encounter with God–the 34th for example. For either antiphon, an Old Testament text that alludes to the hoped-for universal salvation at the end of time: Isaiah 2 or 25 or 61.

Some years ago, we blogged on Masses And Prayers For Various Needs And Occasions. In the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on their use. You can check our brief comments here and here and here. The USCCB’s unannotated text on the matter is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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