Instruction on Cremation and Burial of Ashes

Funeral incensingThe 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.)

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Liturgical Calendar 2017

Liturgical calendar 2015The 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.

Posted in Liturgical Year

90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen

Queen in turquoiseThe 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.

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Liturgy Day with Fr Ed Foley

Ed FoleyA reminder about the Liturgy Seminar for parish liturgists, clergy and seminarians with Fr Ed Foley
on Monday 6th June from 11am – 3.30pm
at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, Guildford GU5 0QX.
Cost £25 (includes lunch).

Talk 1: “Ritual Studies: A contemporary handmaid to the Liturgy”
Talk 2: “The Catholic Imagination”

To book email and send a cheque (payable to St John’s Seminary) to the Pastoral Director, St John’s Seminary; or call 01483 892217.

This a is a rare opportunity to hear Fr Ed speak in this country.
Fr. Ed is Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He holds graduate degrees in music, ministry and theology including the PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. An award winning author, he currently has 21 books to his credit.

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Fr Peter Jones RIP

Peter JonesWe have received the sad news of the death this morning of Fr Peter Jones after a long illness. Peter was a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, ordained on his 40th birthday – the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul – in 1991. He would have celebrated his Silver Jubilee this summer.
Many of us have sung his music over the years, especially the ‘Coventry’ Gloria (often referred to as the ‘Jones Gloria’), commissioned for the Mass at Coventry Airport celebrated by Pope John Paul II in 1982. More recently, Peter co-ordinated the music for the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at Cofton Park in 2010, during which Cardinal John Henry Newman was beatified. In addition to his role as a parish priest, Peter was also involved for many years in liturgical and musical formation, in his diocese and nationally. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

For tributes, including links to recordings of some of Peter’s pieces, see the Society of Gregory Forum and Pray Tell blog. A recording of part of the revised version of the Gloria is on OCP’s site.

Posted in Music | Tagged

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the Easter Vigil

RCIA symbols clip artAs use of the revised Order of Confirmation is mandatory from Easter 2016, this affects texts used at the Easter Vigil.
From the Bishops’ Conference Liturgy Office, here is the text of Appendix I from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Celebration at the Easter Vigil of the Sacraments of Initiation and of the Rite of Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church. The text is provided as a guide to celebrants.

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Reflecting on the Parables of Mercy

Prodigal Son (Rembrandt) detailBuilding on the Spirituality document Do You Love Me? the Bishops’ Conference Spirituality Committee is producing a series of resources to assist parishes explore the document. These include a number of follow-up materials which are intended for use in the Year of Mercy.

The three documents reflect on the parables of mercy in the Gospel of Luke: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. They are intended for use by individuals or small groups. Continue reading

Posted in Pope Francis, Scripture, Year of Mercy | Tagged

“How to Celebrate Holy Week Well”

Triduum symbolsWednesday 9th March at 7.30pm
at St Dunstan’s Church,
Shaftesbury Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 7DT.
Canon Alan Griffiths will speak about the great Paschal Triduum celebration of Holy Week: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday Night (The Easter Vigil).
On these three days we celebrate the heart of our faith – the Institution of the Eucharist, the Death and Resurrection of Christ our Saviour.
We have an opportunity to think more deeply about how the reality of these events is central to our lives and how, in celebrating this wonderful liturgy (over three days), we can come to a greater understanding and appreciation of what Christ did for each and every one of us.
All are welcome. No need to book; just turn up!

See also the Seasons page on this blog for information and resources to help plan and celebrate Holy Week and Easter.

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‘Merciful Like The Father’ – a reflective Lenten Scripture resource for the Year of Mercy

Merciful like the Father (Prodigal Son detail)In case you haven’t already seen this, here is a link to a reflective multimedia resource from the Bishops’ Conference for the season of Lent. Called ‘Merciful Like The Father’, it’s inspired by Pope Francis’ Jubilee of Mercy.
Fr Christopher Whitehead, Clifton Diocese, introduces the series and offers a guide as to how the resources might be used. The short film sets the vision and the mood for the weeks ahead; the guide opens up the possibilities of how Lent might be lived in prayer, in conversation, in thought and reflection.
Each session comes with resources that enable you to ‘voice’ the sessions – the opening prayer, reading, and final prayer are all available to download as audio clips and ready to use. Participants’ sheets outline the framework envisaged for each session – prayer, scripture, reflection, conversation from questions, prayer.
The individual sheets with prayers and reading are also laid out for you in case you would prefer to have someone in your parish or small group read them.
The reflections for the sessions come from the Benedictine Scripture scholar Fr Henry Wansbrough. and can be downloaded as MP4 files (video) or individual MP3s (audio).

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Year of Mercy: 24 Hours for the Lord

Confession with Pope FrancisThis weekend sees a worldwide celebration which is an integral part of Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy.
24 Hours for the Lord will run from Friday 4th to Saturday 5th March. Read more about it here.
In his Message for Lent 2016, Pope Francis, wrote: ‘By calling for an attentive listening to the word of God and encouraging the initiative “24 Hours for the Lord”, I sought to stress the primacy of prayerful listening to God’s word, especially his prophetic word. The mercy of God is a proclamation made to the world, a proclamation which each Christian is called to experience at first hand.’ He added: ‘Mercy “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe” (Misericordiae Vultus, 21), thus restoring his relationship with him. In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him.’

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is also offering a resource area about Confession, which includes information, prayers, video testimonies, stories, downloadable posters, invitation cards and more.

Posted in Pope Francis, Sacraments, Year of Mercy | Tagged ,