Today, at the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis will preside at Vespers in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
The Sistine Chapel Choir will be joined by the choir of Westminster Abbey.
You can follow the live feed at 4.25pm (or watch it later), and there is also a lovely interview on Vatican Radio with the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, and Mark Spyropoulos, the only full time English singer with the Sistine Chapel choir (who was at school at Worth).
The collaboration of the two choirs grows out of recent years of deepening Anglican-Catholic relations, in particular following Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to London in September 2010.
Here are details of dates and venues for the Rite of Election, Chrism Mass and other diocesan liturgies and events during the coming year.
All are welcome to join the diocesan choir!
As last year, there will be an opportunity to gather on the morning of the Chrism Mass rehearsal (Saturday 1st April) to look at repertoire, including music for the Easter season, Psalms and Communion chants.
Please make a note of the day organised by the Society of St Gregory at St Dunstan’s, Woking, on Saturday 13th May, and the Pentecost Vigil Mass with New Catholics at Arundel Cathedral on Saturday 3rd June.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the months ahead.
“In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included … so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.”
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 69)
Bishop Richard has just issued revised guidelines for the Prayer of the Faithful to assist those who prepare and read the Prayer of the Faithful, and to help foster liturgical formation and promote good practice.
Further information is available on the Liturgy Office site.
On the second Sunday of Advent (4th December 2016) parishes in England and Wales are invited to celebrate Catholic Bible Sunday. This year’s theme is ‘Welcome One Another’, taken from Romans 15:7.
Catholic Bible Sunday provides an opportunity for everyone to give thanks for the gift of the Bible, and also invites a deepening engagement with the Scriptures.
A downloadable booklet has been provided for Catholic Bible Sunday with homily notes, reflections for Advent and Christmas, Children’s Liturgy ideas, social action challenges, prayers and more. Further information on the Bishops’ Conference site.
We wish you every blessing during this joyful season of stillness, waiting and expectation.
Have a look at the Seasons page of this site for links to resources for Advent and Christmas liturgies.
CAFOD’s interactive online Advent calendar has a reflection and prayer for every day of the season to help us reflect on issues of global justice as we prepare for the coming of Jesus.
The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
These words of St Teresa of Calcutta are a reminder of the importance of silence. The Liturgy Committee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship has produced a document The Place of Silence, which explores how silence is an integral part of any liturgical action. It looks, in particular, at the celebration of Mass and how silence is expected in different ways.
The Liturgy Office site also has other resources about silence in the liturgy.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released an Instruction on Cremation and the Burial of Ashes. The document, Ad resurgendum ad Christo (“To rise with Christ”), reiterates Church teaching about death and resurrection, in particular the preference for burial, but allowing the practice of cremation.
In England and Wales the majority of funerals lead to cremation – and the figures suggest that this is the pattern for Catholics too. The concern of the Instruction is the need for the cremated remains to be ‘laid to rest’. In England and Wales this will usually mean burial. The Instruction notes that it is not part of Catholic tradition or practice for ashes to be scattered, nor to be preserved in jewellery or mementos.
The Department for Christian Life and Worship previously issued guidance on the Burial of Ashes in 2008 and also placed the liturgical texts for the interment of ashes on the Liturgy Office website. (This page on the Liturgy Office site also gives other information about funerals liturgies.)
The new liturgical year began on the First Sunday of Advent.
The Calendar notes on the Liturgy Office website provide information about feasts and seasons and the Cycle of Prayer intentions. The monthly pages for the liturgical year 2017 are now available. As well as the web pages there is a downloadable calendar which can be printed to A6 size and inserted in breviaries or missals.
Further details from the Liturgy Office site.
The Bishops’ Conference establishes that, at all Sunday Masses on 11–12 June 2016, each parish prays for Her Majesty the Queen to mark her 90th birthday by including such an intention in the Bidding Prayers and by reciting at the end of Mass (after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing) the Prayer for the Queen.
Parishes may also wish to sing the chant Domine, salvum fac and/or the National Anthem.
The Prayer for the Queen and additional resources are available here.