Diocesan Liturgical Commission
The role of the Commission is two fold:
1. To promote high standards of liturgical celebrations in accord with Church documents that concern the liturgy, chief among these documents is "The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy".
2. To coordinate the planning of all diocesan liturgical celebrations, chief among which are (but not exclusive to): Chrism Mass, Rite of Election, Ordinations, Jubilee Mass, and the Annual Diocesan Conference
The DLC, to promote higher standards of celebration, strives to do so through:
- Dissemination and explanation of the liturgical theology
- Instruction and catechesis for parish liturgy committees
- Providing a resource to parishes for questions and concerns
- Providing a model in all diocesan and episcopal liturgies
- Through on-going education, catechesis and training of member of the commission
Celebrating our Sacraments
We Evangelize when we celebrate Sacraments in a beautiful way. Liturgies in the parishes need to give these celebrations the dignity they inherently have.
Some reminders that are basic to all celebrations of the Sacraments:
1. USE the ritual book-- it is there for a purpose: it contains the theology of the ritual and the rubrics. There is no better resource.
2. SCRIPTURE is sacred--don't treat it violently by dissecting it to be read by a group of people and don't violate it with ill-trained or NON-trained readers. Do NOT skip it for the sake of time.
3. PARTICIPATION is not necessarily about everyone doing something, but about letting ourselves be changed in the Spirit by the mystery of the celebration
4. SUNDAY celebration of Eucharist is the norm for most celebrations of the Sacraments
Art & Environment
Art and Environment are an important aspect to our worship. They add beauty and accent to the beauty and power of the ritual that we gather to celebrate. Art and Environment speaks of a deeper meaning and should invite people into the mystery.
We need to create an environment conducive to prayer and worship, that does not mean that we "decorate" as we do in our homes nor do we "decorate" a lot. Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar.”(n 305 GIRM).
One of the key aspects of any art and environment scenario is that it must never take away from the ambo or altar. These two elements are essential to the liturgy. (n. 124 Built of Living Stones).
Avoid gimmicky types of decorations…the Symbols are already in place through the people, the priest, the altar, ambo, and crucifix.
How We Create Environment for our Church in General
“The altar is ‘the center of thanksgiving that the Eucharist accomplishes’” (n. 56 Built of Living Stones). “During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the altar must be visible from all parts of the church, but not so elevated that it causes visual or symbolic division from the liturgical assembly.” (n. 59 Built of Living Stones) Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the altar. Once Mass is complete, the Altar is to be bare.
Celebrating the Nativity of Our Savior December 25-Epiphany
The liturgical color is WHITE, The liturgy returns to fullness with the singing of the Gloria. Christmas songs must be approved by the USCCB and are to be sung throughout ALL of the Christmas season. Traditionally parishes will decorate with Christmas trees and a Nativity Scene. If a Nativity Scene is used, it is NOT to be placed in the Sanctuary space. The environment or decorations must NOT hide nor take away from the Altar or Ambo. The FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY There is an ancient custom of announcing the dates of the movable feasts for the coming year. This proclamation can take place after the gospel or within or after the homily. The proclamation can be found in the Roman Missal Appendix I.
The Start of the Liturgical Year
The COLOR is PURPLE. The third Sunday of Advent, the Priest may wear ROSE color vestments. Liturgically, the GLORIA is NOT sung, with exception on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The ADVENT WREATH may be placed in the gathering space or near the ambo. The blessing for the wreath can be found in the book of blessing, BB-1509-1540. It ought to be as big as to be seen clearly throughout the church, but NOT dominate the church, nor take away from the altar. The decorations ought to be toned down during the season advent.
Purficiation & Enlightenment
The COLOR is Purple. ROSE may be worn on the 4th Sunday of Lent Liturgically we remove the GLORIA, and the ALLELUIA is replaced as the Gospel acclamation. During lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers (n.305. GIRM) Concerning the Holy Water fonts, the Congregation for Divine Worship states: “that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the seasons of Lent is NOT permitted (emphasis added)…”
The Holiest of Seasons
Mass of the Lord’s Supper The Liturgical color is WHITE. The Gloria is Sung, but a toned down version. The Alleluia is still NOT used. After the service concludes, the church is to be stripped. Good Friday Ideally celebrated at noon, but can be celebrated in the evening. The Liturgical color is RED. Absolutely NO decorations or adornments in the church. Easter Vigil The Liturgy MUST START only AFTER SUNSET! It needs to be dark outside. The Liturgical Color is WHITE. Baptismal Font The Font needs to be in a significant place, preferably up front so that all can see. Readings + Gloria + Alleluia The ritual calls for 7 Old Testament Readings with a Psalm Response in-between each, 1 New Testament Reading separated from the Old Testament readings by the singing of the Gloria and followed by THE ALLELUIA, then the Gospel. If there is truly a necessity, some of the Old Testament readings can be omitted. At least 3 OT readings are to be read, with Psalm responses in between. The NT and Gospel are NOT to be omitted.