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The Liturgy Worship

Our Public

Prayer 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 Lord Jesus Christ, you gave us the Eucharist as the memorial of your suffering and death. May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood help us to experience the salvation won for us and the peace of the kingdom where you live with God forever. Amen.

Theme

The Liturgy—Our Public Worship Prayer is talking with and listening to God and reflecting on God's actions in our lives. The Liturgy is the public prayer/worship of the Church. The Mass has two main parts: • The Liturgy of the Word • The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Scripture

We—the community—gather together. Matthew 18:20. We proclaim the Word of God. 1 John 1:1-4. We continue the memorial meals of the past. • Exodus 12:24-27 • Exodus 24:9-11 We celebrate the fulfillment of the covenant and memorials. • Luke 22:14-30 • Mark 14:22-26 1 • Acts 2:43-47 • John 6:51-58 I In the liturgy, the Church proclaims its faith, offers worship, gives praise and o thanks, accepis the gifts of Divine Life and the commission to live a life of Christlike witness and service. 4

Questions to What has been my experience of worship? 4 Ponder What do I get from praying with a group? What do I give? 4

Reflections i

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What is in the lectionary? The lectionary is divided into six parts: 1. The Temporal Cycle: This contains the readings for the Sundays and weekdays of the church year. This section, particularly the Sunday cycle, will be the focus of this Update. 2. The Proper of the Saints: This section contains the calendar of the saints' days and any specific readings selected for those days. For example, on the Feast of St. Matthew on September 21 we read the story of Matthew's call to follow Jesus from Matthew 9. This is a good example of how the Scriptures are selected to highlight some moment or aspect of the saint's life. 3. The Commons: Many saints do not have specific readings assigned for them. On these occasions the lectionary offers a variety of common readings from which one can select an appropriate reading for the specific saint's life. These are grouped under headings such as the Common of Martyrs or the Common of Doctors of the Church. For example, on October 18, the feast of St. Isaac Jogues, the lectionary does not recommend any specific reading. The priest may then turn to the common of martyrs to select an appropriate passage. 4. Ritual Masses: The Council called for a renewedi use of the Bible not only at the Sunday Eucharist but tdsl, at all sacramental celebrations. This part of the lectionary contains suggested sets of readings for baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc. S. Masses for Various Occasions: This part of the lectionary contains sets of readings for occasions such as a Mass for the unity of Christians, or for the sick. 6. Votive Masses: The final section of the lectionary contains readings for "Votive Masses." These are Masses which can be celebrated on days when there is no special commemoration or for special occasions. For example, on the first day of school one might celebrate the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit; or a parish named after an apostle might celebrate the anniversary of its founding by using the readings from the Votive Mass of the Apostles.

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How is the Responsorial Psalm chosen? The psalm, which follows the first reading, is also usually chosen because it complements the first reading. When, for example, the first reading describes Adam and Eve's sin, the psalm recounts God's mercy (lbnth Sunday, Year B). Sometimes if the Gospel quotes a psalm, it is used as an anticipated response to the Gospel. When Satan tempts Jesus to throw himself from the temple height, Satan quotes Psalm 91: "He will bid his angels to watch over you." On this day (First Sunday of Lent, Year C) Psalm 91 is the responsorial psalm. Some psalms have a long tradition of use on a particular day and the lectionary continues this tradition. That is why, for example, on Easter Sunday the responsorial psalm is Psalm 118, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." Since there are often a number of psalms which could serve as a fitting response, the compilers of the lectionary sought to incorporate as many psalms as possible. On Sundays more than 80 different psalms are used. The lectionary as a whole uses 130 of the 150 psalms.

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The Sunday Lectionary Each Sunday there are three readings and a psalm. These readings are not selected by the priest or by the parish. All Catholic churches throughout the world use the same Scriptures. In fact, not only Catholics, but Protestants too. The Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Canada all use a lectionary modeled after the one developed by Vatican II. Although there are some differences, most of the readings, especially the Gospels, are the same. The lectionary has not only helped Catholics become more familiar with the Bible, it has also brought the Churches closer together. The first reading is from either the Old lbstament or, during the Easter season, from the Acts of the Apostles. After the reading is completed, the community responds by reciting or singing the responsoritd psalm. The second • - ••\ reading is always from one of the New Tbstament letters ( )written by St. Paul or another early Christian writer such as St. John. The third reading is always from one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

How are the Sunday Gospels arranged? The Sunday Scriptures are organized in a three-year cycle (A,B,C). Each year, on the first Sunday of Advent a new cycle begins. During year A the Gospel of Matthew is read; during year B, the Gospel of Mark; and during year C, the Gospel of Luke. Although it does not serve as the basis for a particular cycle, the Gospel of John is not neglected. In fact it is saved for the seasons of Lent and Easter. This is an ancient tradition and is because of the rich theological nature of John's Gospel, "in which the mystery of Christ is sounded out to greater depths" (CSL, Introduction 1969, 7). John's Gospel is also used on the second Sunday of each year and five segments from John 6 are inserted during the Marcan (B) cycle.

How is the first reading selected? The first reading, which is usually from the Old Testament, is selected to complement the Gospel. Sometimes there is a common theme in both readings. For example, on the fifth Sunday of year C the Gospel from Luke 5 tells the story of Jesus calling Peter. Jesus tells the disciples to put down their nets one more time, and they catch a huge number of fish. Peter falls at the knees of Jesus and says, "Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man." The

first reading on this Sunday is from Isaiah. Isaiah receives his calling in a vision of God's glory. He cries out, "Woe is me! For! am a man of unclean lips...Yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!" So in both readings we fmd the theme of the Lord calling us in spite of our sinfulness. A different way in which the first reading may complement the Gospel is when something from the Old Testament foreshadows or suggests something in the New. Often an event in the life of an Old Testament figure is seen in parallel with an event in the life of Jesus. For example, Jonah preaching in Nineveh is paired with Jesus preaching in Galilee (Third Sunday, Year B). Moses teaching the Israelites about the covenant is paired with Jesus teaching the two great commandments (Fifteenth Sunday, Year C). Or the cure of Naaman the Syrian of his leprosy by the prophet Elisha is paralleled with Jesus' cure of the Samaritan leper (Twenty-Eighth Sunday, Year C). The third reason behind the selection of a particular Old Testament passage is that the Gospels often quote from the Old Testament. So, for example, when Jesus.says to the people of Capemaum, "A people living in darkness has seen a great light," he is quoting from Isaiah. On that Sunday (Third Sunday, Year A) the first reading is this passage from Isaiah.


How is the Epistle selected? The second reading is called the Epistle. An epistle is a letter. In the New Thstament there are 22 epistles, 13 of which are written by or attributed to Paul. The remaining epistles are attributed to other apostles such as John, Year James or Peter. Sundays2-8 Renians A1 Sundays9-24 Unlike the other two Cerie PhilipPlaris Sundays25-28 readings or the psalms, the Sundays29-33 thian 1Thessalonians second reading is not usualsYear 140 1 COrihthlans 6-11 Sundays2-6 ly chosen to complement the others. Thus it may ofSundays7-14 ten seem to float there withEphtslees Sundays15-21 out any real connection. James Sundays22-26 The exception to this occurs Sundays27-33 Hebrews2-10 during the seasons of AdYear C 1COrhithlans 12-15 Sundays2-8 vent, Christmas, Lent and dalatiins Easter. But for the rest of the Sundays9-14 Colossians Sundays15-18 year, which is called OrdiHebrews11-12 Sundays19-22 nary Time, the second readPhilemon Sundays23 ing is chosen simply. to help Christians become familiar 1Timothy Sundays24-26 2Timothy Sundays27-30 with the epistles of the New 2Thessalonians Testament. Sundays31-33 Over the three-year cycle portions of 16 of the 22 epistles are read (see the accompanying chart). During Lent or the other seasons, parts of three others are read. Only the second and third letters of John and the letter of Jude are not read on any Sunday of the year.

The seasons of the year Throughout the year, the Church recalls and celebrates the events of our salvation in Christ. At the center of the liturgical year is Easter. A second central event is the celebration of Christ's birth. Both of these feasts are extended over a number of weeks. The Christmas season lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Easter season until the celebration of Pentecost. There is also a time of preparation for each of these seasons: as Lent prepares for Easter, so Advent prepares for Christmas. The liturgy expresses the spiritual character of each of these seasons in various ways: through the prayers of the Mass, through music, through the color of the vestments and through the flowers and banners that decorate the church. One of the richest and most important ways to understand the meaning of a season is through the readings for that season. Through prayer and reflection on the readings of the season, we can come to a deeper appreciation of Christ's continued presence with us and respond more fully to his call as it is expressed in the season of the Church's year.

The widening use of the lectionary More and more, the lectionary's cycle of readings becoming an important framework for Church programs and activities. It's hard to improve on the rich variety and sequence of Scripture readings, arranged in the lectionary according to the rhythm of the Churches year. The lectionary cycle thus provides a good structure for spiritual activities like the following. 1. Personal Bible reading and prayer. Some read and pray over the Sunday Scripture selections during the week. The use of the lectionary in prayer both puts one in touch with the universal Church as it listens to the Scripture each week and gently leads one's private prayer to the community gathered for the Eucharist. For those who have the opportunity to pray over the Scriptures on a daily basis, the weekday lectionary provides an even greater variety and richness of biblical readings. 2. Bible study in groups. Many Bible study groups use the Sunday readings as the basis for their study. This approach is expecially helpful as a systematic way to explore the Gospels, because, as we have seen, the threeyear cycle focuses on Matthew, Mark and Luke in turn and provides an ongoing opportunity to read the Gospel of John. 3. Parish RCIA programs. Ideally, parishes base their RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process on, the lectionary cycle. Catechumens thus use the Sunday (_ readings as the basis for their prayer, study and reflection as they prepare for Baptism. This focus on Bible readings, arranged according to the liturgical cycle, is a helpful way of introducing new members to the Church's worship and teaching. Indeed, the lectionary is increasingly being used as a resource in teaching both adults and children about the faith. And a variety of popular editions of the lectionary exist to facilitate such prayer and study. St. Jerome once said, "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." Through the lectionary we are discovering anew that knowledge and love of the Scriptures is knowledge and love of Christ.


MY OWN STORY

0 K=Jesus is someone to KNOW about 0 F=Jesus is someone to FOLLOW

OL=Jesus is someone to LEARN about 0A=Jesus is someone to AVOID

CHILDHOOD TEENS COLLEGE YOUNG MIDDLE RETIRE- SENIOR AGE ADULTHOOD AGE MENT CITIZEN 2. How would you compare where you are in

your spiritual journey to a ball game?

a. b. a a benchwarmer c. playing on the offensive team sp d. playing defense econ the injury list e. tat 3. How or would you describe your response to Jesus' call to deny yourself, take up your — and follow him? cross in a. I'm not ready for this b. I've got a long way to go th c. I've come a long way ed. there's a lot more to it than I bargained gr for e. ask me tomorrow an ds ta nd

4. For you, what would taking the next step in your spiritual life mean? a. remedial work in the basics—prayer, Bible reading, etc. b. turning to Jesus for guidance in daily decisions c. deeper commitment to the people in my small group d. reevaluating my goals and priorities 5. How can other members of your group help you? a. give me a kick in the pants when I need it b. pray for me c. keep quiet on discipleship while I think it through d. give me the support I need e. hold me accountable


Books of the Bible Puzzle Happy hunting everyone! How well do you know the books of the Bible? Take a few minutes to find out. In the following paragraph there are sixteen books of the Bible. See how many you can find. One preacher found fifteen books in 28 minutes... but it took him three weeks to find the sixteenth one. Have fun!

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible it was a lulu, a rel it was kept .. names of the books were not capitalized, but the truth finally strucklome to number l of readers. To peopl L.gio others, it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes there will be e Some really easy ones to spot,. others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes lookin were in a g so a minister to find one of them, and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. One woman says* jam, hard she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate especially better. See how well you can compete. Relax now, for for sinceinthe there really are sixteen books of the Bible the story. facts, for and will quiddy find all sixteen books of the Bible. For added We know our readers are all true Bible but scholars others fun, time yourself or make this a family activity and see who, finds them all first. If you have exhausted all efforts and need help, you can send a self-addressed stamped envelope (no phone calls please) and we will promptly send you a list of the sixteen hidden hooks of the Bible.


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