Discussing the rituals of life and the rituals of the Catholic Church – a little something for everyone!

Posts tagged ‘Catholic TV’

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” – The Liturgies of Holy Week and Triduum: The Chrism Mass

For the first ten years of my ministry in the Church, I functioned as a Cantor at Cathedral liturgies and learned early on to appreciate and love those rituals that are particular to the diocesan Mother Church. The yearly Chrism Mass is one of those forgotten or unseen by most regular Catholics because it it is only celebrated at a Cathedral and usually at a time deemed most inconvenient for working folks.  Originally meant for the morning of Holy Thursday, at least in the United States it is usually moved to an early time during Holy Week to allow all clergy in a diocese to attend without having to hurry back to their parishes for the evening start of Triduum.  Of the six Dioceses that are within an hour of my home, two of them (Providence & Springfield) celebrated this ancient rite on Monday evening while the other four (Boston, Fall River, Norwich and Worcester) chose various times on Tuesday for their rituals.  This year, due to my work schedule, I was unable to attend in person but thanks to those wonderful folks at CatholicTV (you really should sign their petition to bring that great channel to your cable system or, better yet, watch them on the web) I was able to record and playback the Mass yesterday while I was home practicing for the three days ahead.

The Chrism Mass serves a dual purpose in the life of the Catholic Church – to renew the promises made by priests at their ordination and to bless and consecrate the Holy Oils (Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens and Sacred Chrism – the latter from which is ritual takes its name) used by parishes during the year. Unfortunately, because it is probably the largest clergy gathering of the year (in my estimations it usually surpasses most ordinations – your mileage may vary) it has and continues to become a lightening rod for supporters of women’s ordination.  Ok, here’s my rant of the day (please feel free to scroll down if you’re not interested – thanks) –> Ladies, as one of you who can understand your pain, let’s be rational here – the Church is not going to change its mind on this issue any time soon so picketing, shouting and processing down the middle aisle at any point during this celebration just serves to make things worse.  I learned early on that no one – male or female – has a RIGHT to ordination.  It is a CALL to service and while it is not open to us at this time we as women ARE called to service in this Church and in more areas now than ever before in its history.  Let us focus on that, do our very best at what God is calling each of us to do and wait upon the Spirit to move in its time, not ours.  This is a time in our Church where we need to be united with our clergy, not heaping more coal upon their heads as they try to do what they are called to do. (“Have I said too much? There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you…”) Rant complete for today.
Back to the ritual – After the Homily, the Bishop asks the priests to stand and renew their priestly commitment before the assembly, who he then asks to support himself and these priests in their ministry.  This exchange takes the place of both the Creed and the General Intercession.  After this, the Procession of the Oils and the Gifts of Bread and Wine takes place so that the oils may be blessed and consecrated at this time.  There is a little known (and hardly ever used in these parts) tradition that has the Oil of the Sick blessed at the end of the Eucharist Prayer while the others are blessed and consecrated after Communion but I believe most dioceses in this country prefer the ritual after the Liturgy of the Word and before the Eucharistic Prayer.  So, once the procession reaches the sanctuary, those who are carrying the vessels with oil – and there are usually two bearers for each container because they are usually large, ornate and decently heavy once filled – wait to be called forward to place their vessel on the table setup somewhere appropriate in the space.  Both the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens are blessed, while the Sacred Chrism is first mixed with balsam which gives it its distinctly sweet smell and then breathed upon by the Bishop in a calling down of the Holy Spirit. Then all the priests extend their right hands toward the Chrism in solidarity to finish the prayer yet it is the Bishop who actually consecrates this most sacred of oils.  Once this is done, the Mass continues as usual.
Of all the Masses I’ve ministered or attended in my adult years, this one is up there as one of my favorites and I try my best to attend when I can.  Since this blog appears on Thursday afternoon, I hope my humble musings will make you think about possibly attending your own diocese’s ritual next year. Put a reminder in your iDevice now with an alarm set for the beginning of Lent so that you can give yourself a chance to visit your Cathedral and experience this sacred tradition.

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot…Fire Away!” – Catholic Media Promotion Day 2011

Some of the best ideas in this life start out as throwaway asides – you know, the “yeah, like that would really work” or “wouldn’t it be funny if we could…” type of statements made casually to friends or colleagues. However, it takes a lot of chutzpah to actually follow through with what seems like a cockamamie notion and turn it into something that could help others find Christ and His Church. Well, folks, about 10 days ago Greg Willits of The Catholics Next Door fame (Sirius 159/XM 117 — gregandjennifer.com) started musing about a day set aside to have everyone who possibly could promote Catholic New Media across the vast Internet universe. What may have started as an off handed comment on their radio show has now turned into a full-fledged media event complete with a contest to win a free iPad 2 (how totally New Media/Internet-ish!). Seriously, on this day 3/15/2011 all of us who either produce Catholic Media, consume Catholic Media or desire to know more about Catholic Media are being commissioned to “use Facebook, Twitter and blogs to promote all the great Catholic content that is out there on the internet.”

Tall order? You betcha! But according to Greg, “there’s strength in numbers – let’s get the word out on one day about Catholic New Media.”

Ok, Mr. Willits, you have thrown down a mighty heavy gauntlet but as someone who is not afraid of a challenge, I am picking it up and running with it! The assignment is to “list their favorite 3 blogs, 3 podcasts, 3 other media, 3 random Catholic things online, and their own projects” (and the number 3 is very Trinitarian, Greg – good touch!). I tried to think of sites and media that are not as well known but then I suppose what will be very common to some may be very new to others. No matter – it’s the “getting the word out” part that important so here are my selections with a little bit of commentary on the side:

Blogs —
Let Us Walk Together: Thoughts of a Catholic Bishop – this is a relatively new endeavor by an old friend who recently was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Bishop Chris Coyne, a definite overachiever, has also started a podcast to go with it – how many bishops do YOU know would even try something like that in their first few weeks?

Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray – Dr. Jerry Galipeau from World Library Publications shares reflections on current events in the Church and in the world that may be of particular interest to those serving the Church, including a focus on the upcoming translation of the Roman Missal every Tuesday and Thursday.

Whispers in the Loggia – who doesn’t love a good Vatican insider? Rocco Palmo has kept us all informed about the goings on in Rome and at home here in the US for quite some time. His blog was my first taste of Catholic New Media and one I read constantly.

Podcasts — (can all be found at iTunes)
The Break with Fr. Roderick (www.sqpn.com) – my first and favorite Catholic podcast!

Busted Halo Cast (www.bustedhalo.com) – Fr. Dave Dwyer, Brittany & the intern du jour answer questions from young (and not so young) faith-seekers.

Word on Fire (www.wordonfire.org)- one of the best preachers on the planet, Fr. Robert Baron, explains it all for you! Best 15 minutes of your week!

Other Media
The Catholics Next Door (Sirius 159/XM 117 The Catholic Channel from 10am – 1pm EDT daily) – I signed up for Sirius Satellite Radio just to hear them on the Catholic Channel after discovering their Rosary Army podcast. Best money I spend every month, that is, when I can find the time to listen. Darn parish job… 😉

The Catholic Guy Show (Sirius 159/XM 117 The Catholic Channel from 4-7pm daily) – I must admit I didn’t like Lino Rulli at first but he has grown on me (hey oh!). Best surprise I discovered on the Catholic Channel (it’s a celebration!). Maybe someday I’ll call in and take on Fr. Rob at “Do you watch more TV than a Catholic Priest?”

Grace Before Meals – Fr. Leo Patalinghug is reaching families through their stomaches – sorta like Jesus did. Check out his website, buy his cookbook, invite him to your parish. You won’t be disappointed – we certainly were’t!

Random catholic things — since I’m a Mac girl then how about APPS!
My 3 must have apps would be:

Divine Office – an audio with text version of the daily Liturgy of the Hours beautifully done and great for half hour commutes.

iCatholic – Catholic TV’s Digital Magazine complete with series listings and informative articles (do YOU have Catholic TV on your cable system? If not, sign their petition!)

iMissal – all the readings for everyday of the liturgical year and now includes Mass videos from Catholic TV! (looks really great on the iPad)

Now, I’m supposed to toot my own horn as well so toot I will! The Rite Stuff is a new blog dedicated to all things liturgical, ritual and sacramental — including and particularly the upcoming changes to the Roman Missal. I’ve also toyed with the idea of a podcast to go along with it (“anything you can do, I can do better…” – inside joke) but for now, given my real life restrictions, I think the blog will be all I can handle. If you’d like to see where I minister and what we do then point your browser to sstandctiverton.org and check out the dual parishes of St. Theresa and St. Christopher in picturesque Tiverton, Rhode Island. We’re neighbors to the iPadre himself, Fr. Jay Finelli (ipadre.net or holyghostcc.org) so go and check him out as well!

Well, I’ve certainly done my part – it’s up to you to check out some or all of my suggestions. Good luck and God Bless! (and ya’ll come back now, ya hear!)

If you missed the actual event…

…or want to watch the replay on Catholic TV with “color commentary” then click below!  It was a time of great praise & prayer as an old friend became, of all things, a Bishop!  Who knew?  Enjoy!

http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=8c7a77130b