By Simone Brosig
While the secular Christmas season began in early November, the liturgical Christmas season doesn’t begin until the evening on December 24. One way you can extend the liturgical Christmas season into your domestic life is with the blessing of your home.
The ritual of blessing homes is connected to the Solemnity of the Epiphany that falls in Christmas season. Epiphany means ‘manifestation’, that moment when we suddenly understand something that previously was hidden. Three mysteries mark this holy day:
By Simone Brosig
The ministry known and loved for many years as the Office of Worship in the Archdiocese of Adelaide has been renamed Community Life and Worship.
The support people in our parishes, schools and communities have been accustomed to receive will still be available. The difference is that we have an explicit mandate to integrate liturgy and community life. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy described the liturgy as the summit and font of the Church.
There is a constant flow of nourishment and power moving from the liturgy to the life of the community and back again to the celebration of the Eucharist.
Our newly expanded team aims to provide accessible training and resources that will help people to implement practices that strengthen this relationship of mutuality between worship and community life.
By Lauren Bierer
The Archdiocesan Pastoral Services Team recently hosted a retreat at the Henley Beach parish hall for liturgical musicians. An invitation to take time in prayer, reflection, and renewal in the company of other musicians.
The day was led by David and Emma Kruse, who work for the Brisbane Archdiocesan Office for Evangelisation. In 2022, the Kruses launched Enemy Love Records as a platform to produce and promote high quality Catholic music and to support a ministry to musicians and artists. The retreat brought together choir members, professional musicians, cantors, guitarists and accompanists who volunteer their time and talent to their parish.
There is a great need for those in the music ministry in our parishes to be renewing ourselves each year. Reflecting on the music we know, the music we’d like to introduce and what can be put on the shelf to rest for a while. The breadth of repertoire available to us can be equally a blessing and a hindrance; with beloved hymns and chant from long ago as well as new music continuously being created as our congregation evolves.
By Kathy Horan
After attending two preparation sessions, 21 adult candidates from throughout the Archdiocese received the Sacrament of Confirmation recently. Of those, 16 candidates also received their first Communion during a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Saturday July 29.
Throughout the liturgical year we celebrate many feast days in honour of Mary, days that acknowledge important events in the life of Mary and Jesus, and in the early days of the Church. They remind us of many of the admirable qualities of Mary while also reminding us that Mary was an ordinary woman who placed her faith and trust in God at all times.
At the heart of our Catholic faith is Jesus Christ, born of Mary, at a particular moment in human history amid troublesome and challenging times. Luke’s Gospel gives us a glimpse of the extraordinary role of Mary in becoming Mother of Jesus and Mother of God. Mary is described as blessed among women, and the child she bore is also blessed. (Luke 1:42) In Luke’s account of the Annunciation, we hear that God looked with favour on Mary, and that she responded favourably and wholeheartedly to what God was asking of her. Mary’s close relationship with God resulted in her placing her trust in God’s words and responding: ‘Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ (1:38)
By Kathy Horan
In our Christian story, down through the ages the idea of vocation is centred around the notions of being called to be, to listen and discern, and to respond by acting out of a particular view of life or context that is grounded in the life of Christ. Often in the past, the term ‘vocation’ was understood by many to refer to a particular calling to priesthood and religious life; these callings are still an important part of the Christian response to God, and they continue to be important expressions of vocation, or call and response to God, for today.
Following the Second Vatican Council, the Church reminded us that we are all called to the fullness of life and holiness in whatever role we undertake in life. Since the time of Jesus we have heard of many who were called by Jesus to ‘come and see’ what Jesus was on about. He called particular individuals to discipleship, including them in his ministry of hope, healing and liberation: a challenge to all of them to be willing to stand alongside the poor, the marginalised, the outcast.
By Kathy Horan
The season of Easter that we have been experiencing for several weeks is known in Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) terms as a time of Mystagogy – a time for post-baptismal catechesis.This is a time for both the local parish community and the ‘neophytes’, or new Catholics, to engage together in savouring the wonders and mysteries of our faith and deepening our understanding of what it means to be followers of Jesus in our world today.
It is a time for appreciating a renewal of our faith and hope, and our love for the risen Lord. Throughout this season of Easter, our gospels call us to reflect again on images taken from daily life that impress on us the nature of what it means to be identified with Christ. Some of the images used are the vine and branches, the good Shepherd who knows the sheep, Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, and Jesus who is the bread of life, broken and given for us.
By Dr. Jenny O'Brien
According to Luke’s Gospel, it is immediately after her conversation with the Angel Gabriel that Mary sets off ‘with haste’ to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth in the hill country of Judaea. The beautiful image chosen for this year’s Marian Procession features the encounter between the two women – the older woman heavily pregnant and the younger still in the earliest stages of pregnancy.
The meeting between these two women is quite extraordinary at more than one level. First, the voices in this story are purely female. Even though the women are meeting in Zachariah’s house, Elizabeth’s husband is not present and even if he were he would not be able to speak, having been struck dumb after doubting the angel’s message that his aged wife would bear a son. No, here are two women who are both playing central roles in the story of redemption – Elizabeth preparing for the birth of the precursor of the Messiah, known best to us as John the Baptist, and Mary carrying within her the very son of God.
By Lauren Bierer
One Easter, not long after moving to Australia from the United States, my husband and I made a big mistake. We bought our children bikes so that they could play outside but they took it as a sign that Easter was a time for receiving gifts. Every Easter since they have provided us with a wish list and we find ourselves in an unwanted battle.
As church musicians, my husband and I have never used the Easter long weekend as a time for vacation as these days are the most important in the liturgical year and the busiest weekend for musicians. The sacred triduum is a three-day liturgy that begins at dusk on Holy Thursday and ends at dusk on Easter Sunday. Our children have experienced a few Holy Thursday Masses and remember the story of the Last Supper and the ritual of the foot washing. They have seen the altar stripped and flowers removed in preparation for the starkest liturgy in our Church calendar.