On February 2nd we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast is also known as “Candlemas”. We will bless candles at the morning Mass that day for both liturgical and home use. If you would like your candles blessed, please bring them to the 6:45 morning Mass, where there will be tables set up in the Narthex for you to place your candles upon. The candles will be blessed prior to our entrance procession and you can take them home once the liturgy is concluded. The Feast of the Presentation is also a time in which we pray for those in consecrated religious life. We keep in mind and heart our own Dominican sisters!
We have some great volunteers in our parish who work in many diverse areas. On the liturgical side, I am grateful for our volunteers’ willingness to adopt the various liturgical changes I am introducing. Some of these changes are simple and easy to implement. Others require a bit of retraining for the people involved. Our good ministers have responded with “elan!”
The most significant retraining is with the altar servers. For now, we will be working with those servers who were trained previously. Perhaps by late spring we can add a new class of servers, starting with fifth graders but including older students as well if they desire to join. I am also considering developing an additional ministry of young sacristans. My thought is to promote desperately needed priestly and religious vocations through these two ministries, as has been customary, by offering girls and boys distinct yet equally important tasks of service. More to come on that later.
I have been very encouraged by our well-trained Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. In this area of service, we will make only one small change starting in Lent. This change has to do with when the EMHCs come forward from the congregation to receive and then distribute the Blessed Sacrament. The rubrics call the ministers forth after the priest has completed his reception of Holy Communion. This is the timing we will follow starting on Ash Wednesday. The altar server will ring a bell at the time the priest receives the Precious Blood, and that will signal to the EMHCs that it is time to come forward. Otherwise, everything else regarding the role of the EMHC will remain the same. Thank you, again, for all your hard work in helping our sacred liturgies resemble a little bit of “heaven on earth”.