Considering Themed Masses

I noticed PrayTell blogger pondering “Days of Prayer” here. From the essay, this lead-off:

Last Sunday was observed as Mission Sunday. Yet this is not, strictly speaking, a liturgical observance. I have often seen observances such as this take center stage at Sunday liturgies in parishes and I have always felt that this was wrong. (I have nothing in particular against Mission Sunday, I only give it as a recent example).

Readers here know the Roman Missal provides many “themed” Masses. We read all about them in the series on VNO, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. Mission Sunday is perhaps not the best example. It’s one of those Masses considered special enough to merit bumping an Ordinary Sunday’s readings and prayers.

That said, we know that liturgies like weddings and ordinations and maybe even First Communions tend to overshadow the Paschal Mystery and the celebration with Christ and of Christ. It can be hard to multi-task, I guess.

My comment at PT was that unless a diocese or parish is prepared to make VNO #18 an annual commitment, it’s probably more of a curiosity than a cause for celebration. It does get me thinking. Perhaps weekday Mass is a better landing spot for these Masses, especially in communities that celebrate weekday Masses, but the community gathered for them isn’t daily. It’s been years since I’ve been connected with a parish school. But if I were to go back, I’d think the mission/evangelization cause is a worthier one than some weekday in Ordinary Time. There are others. Parish dedication anniversaries and patronal feasts.

School liturgists, look ’em up.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Considering Themed Masses

  1. Joyce Donahue says:

    “Mission Sunday” is merely an opportunity for another diocesan collection here. Not really a theme. I suspect this is true in many places.

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