Liturgical Changes, Part 6, the Confiteor

Liturgical Changes, Part 6, the Confiteor

Dear Parishioners,

If you are a liturgical nerd, this week’s letter is for you. For the rest of you, feel free to quickly skim this letter or go right to the very last sentence… and receive my apology for such a long letter about such a small part of the Mass. My intentions are to help clarify this small point that has baffled many, including myself, and to get some sense of direction prior to our upcoming workshop on the Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook(ALH)

When the Roman Missal (think the big red book the priest reads from at Mass) was updated and released for use amounts a decade ago, there were many changes to the wording of the prayers as well as to the rubrics (think instructions) of how to offer Mass. One that seemed clear to me was at the beginning of the Mass, the Introductory Rite, when we confess our sins. The first option for that rite is called the Confiteor (“I confess…”). In the previous (1970 ed.) Missal, it clearly instructed the faithful to recite, “through my fault,” once, and to strike the breast once at that moment. The current (2011 ed.) Missal returned to the three-time repetition of this phrase, yet the rubric did not clearly change to include three strikes of the breast. So, during those first months with the new Missal, I guided the faithful to maintain a single striking of the breast. Now, fast forward almost a decade: our new ALH instructs the faithful to strike the breast three times (1.13.1). So I inquired with Msgr. Gerard O’Connor, our archdiocesan Director of the Office of Divine Worship and principle author of the ALH. He reaffirmed the guidance from the ALH and sent me a link where this was addressed by a professor in Rome who was asked about this small issue. The moderator, Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University offered this response about the ambiguity of the new rubric in this regard:

The perceived lack of specificity is in the original Latin rubric which says, "[P]ercutientes sibi pectus," whereas the extraordinary form specifies that the breast should be struck three times.

There is, however, a slight but noticeable change in translating this rubric. The former translation, with only one admission of fault, said that the faithful should "strike their breast," thus specifying a single strike. The current translation says, "[A]nd striking their breast, they say:" before the triple admission of fault.

This use of the gerund indicates a continuous action, and so I would say that even if a number is not specified in the rubric, the use of a dynamic expression implies that the number corresponds to the times one admits to personal faults. I think that this is also what would come naturally to most people in any case.

This would be confirmed by the practice in Spanish- and Italian-language countries, which have always maintained the triple form in the "I Confess." The Spanish missal translates the rubric as "golpeándose el pecho, dicen:" which could mean either once or several times. In these countries it is also common practice for priest and faithful to strike the breast three times.

Although the Second Vatican Council requested the removal of "useless repetitions," it must be said that not all repetition is useless. Some forms of communication necessarily use what is technically called redundancy, that is, reinforcing the signal carrying a message more than would be strictly necessary in order to overcome outside interference and stress its importance.

The triple repetition of words and gestures in the Confiteor could be considered such a case. With the former translation it was fairly easy to omit the gesture of striking the breast or pay scant attention to its meaning. The triple repetition underlines its importance and helps us to concentrate on the inner meaning of what we say and do.

It must be admitted, though, that the above argumentation is not watertight, and a single strike could also be a valid interpretation of the rubric. (for an even more expansive response, go to ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur388.htm).

So, the rubric is not absolutely clear from what Fr. McNamara shares, though there are common traditions that lean us towards one option. This is where the ALH, General Instructions to the Roman Missal(GIRM), and our Director of the Office Divine Worship are helpful. Msgr. O’Connor shared with me an important section of the GIRM which offers guidance regarding liturgical postures in liturgy:

A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them (42).

 

And then Msgr. O’Connor concludes with the reason the ALH offers the guidance it does in this regard:

I think that given the centuries tradition (paying attention to the traditional practice of the Roman Rite) on the triple striking of the breast and the fact that it has been more or less universally adopted again in the English speaking world, we explicitly mentioned three times. Thinking back we should have left it as just ‘striking’. But I think in practical terms, desiring a common approach for the faithful “A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity”, we should encourage the three strikes.

So, while one striking of the breast once fulfills the rubric at the Confiteor, three times may be in more harmony with the intent of the rubric and tradition of the Church. 

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Liturgical Changes, Part 5, Postures at Mass

Liturgical Changes, Part 5, Postures at Mass

Dear Parishioners,

In the course of time, traditions grow up in parishes, sometimes encouraged by priests, nuns, or other lay leaders. Other times, they come from experiences on retreats and other events. All these are part of the life of a parish. Sometimes, these are laudable for they reinforce or remind the people about the norms of the Church Universal. Sometimes, however, these traditions are not what the Church intended or are problematic expressions of faith that confuse the proper roles of those at Mass. Over time, I have been asked by various parishioners about the proper posture/gestures that are part of the Mass, specifically, the “Our Father” and the “Rite of Peace.” In this regard, the new Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook (ALH) offers some clarification. Below, I have included salient paragraphs to help clarify:

Our Father
1.57.2  During the Our Father, the Roman Missal instructs the priest to “extend his hands” assuming the Orans posture (GIRM 152). This posture is prescribed only for the priest and although it has been adopted by the faithful in some countries after the approval of the Holy See, in the United States it is still a posture assumed only by the priest.

1.57.3  The faithful holding hands during the Our Father is another posture not envisioned or prescribed by the Roman Missal. While this has been adopted within families with small children it should not be considered a normal posture of the Sacred Liturgy. Indeed some may feel uncomfortable if this posture is imposed upon them.

Rite of Peace 
1.58.2  The sign of peace is not an act of reconciliation, which has already occurred in the Penitential Act at the beginning of the Mass, nor is it a neighborly greeting. This misunderstanding of the meaning of the sign has led to abuses, such as extended or protracted exchanges of handshakes, hugs, and kisses, which delay the Lamb of God and disrupt the flow of the celebration of the Eucharist.

Understanding these guidelines, it is important to be charitable in all we do. Please, if someone does not follow these guidelines, do not chastise them. Be very careful in your pastoral advice so as not to offend. That being said, the above guidelines are from our Archbishop and the ALH.

Related to other gestures, I have noticed that some faithful lower their heads and strike their breast when the Body and Blood are shown/elevated and the priest says, “do this in memory of me.” According to Fr. Paul Turner, STD::

There has never been a rubric for people striking their breast during the elevation, nor for them to lower their heads. The rubrics are quite scant when it comes to what the people are supposed to do. Devotions have evolved apart from the rubrics.  If the people stand for the eucharistic prayer they are supposed to make a low bow while the priest genuflects at the elevations (GIRM 43). (paulturner.org/striking-the-breast-and-bowing)

The General Instructions to the Roman Missal (aka GIRM) in Latin uses the word, “to show,” which then implies that the faithful are to be looking or gazing at the mystery before them. Bowing one’s head, therefore, would seem to be in contradiction to that which is intended by the action in Mass at that moment. So, please, look! Gaze! Let your hearts be filled with the great mystery before you when the priest shows you the precious species of the Eucharist. Do nothing other, for this is primarily a moment of wonder and awe, not of repentance.

Again, charity is first in all we do. Please refrain from being the. “liturgical police” and hunt everyone down that does not follow every gesture perfectly. It is my hope that all will read this letter and come to understand that uniformity in our gestures at Mass offer a more noble and simple liturgy which the Church prescribes. May the Holy Mass be ever more efficacious in our lives, as we all strive to be “led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Pet. 2:9, 4-5) have a right and obligation by reason of their baptism.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium 14).

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Good News in 2018

Good News in 2018

Dear Parishioners,


Each year, I encourage our staff to write a bulletin letter about what good news happened in this past year. Looking back and counting our blessings is a way to remind us that God is very much involved in our lives and our community.  So, please take some time to read the articles from our staff and pray for the ministries in which they have been participating.  Who knows, maybe God is calling you to join in the good news too.

The most significant moment in this year and possibly in the last several decades was the construction of our new church building. September 1st, Archbishop Sample, Bishop Peter, some 15 priests, 6 deacons, and some 820 laity gathered to bless our new church. It was one of the highlights of my priesthood thus far. How our community gathered together to help make it all happen is simply miraculous!  It serves as a testimony to God’s grace working in our midst. I can hardly wait to see how beautiful the church will be adorned on Christmas and how our first Catechumens will be baptized on Easter.

The new building is a perfect example of what the Church documents call, “Noble Simplicity.” It mixes the traditional with the modern. More good news is still coming in the form of new stained glass windows and Stations of the Cross. We are working hard to get our video system online so families can see what is going on from the Cry Room and Day Chapel. When baptisms occur, we will be able to watch it live on our new 16 ft. projection screen.

Our Lord inspired us to raise the needed funds and dedicate ourselves to the ongoing work of sharing what he has done in our midst. This new building, like an ark, I pray, will guide countless people toward their heavenly home where Christ dwells with his Father and the Holy Spirit. May God be praised and given the glory through our new church.

Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Reconciliation Services this Week

Reconciliation Services this Week

Dear Parishioners,

Advent is a time of preparing for the celebration of Christ’s First Coming (Christmas) and Christ’s Second Coming (The Final Day). What better way to prepare than to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation? This next week, locally, we will be offering two different days for our Communal Reconciliation Services:

St. Patrick of the Forest on Monday, the 17th.  
St. Anne on Thursday, the 20th. 

If those days/times do not work for you, please know that there are two other Communal Reconciliation Service in our Vicariate this week:

Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point on Tuesday, the 18th
Sacred Heart, Medford on Wednesday, the 19th

All of these services start at 7 PM and will have multiple priests available to hear your confessions. Please mark your calendar and make an effort to prepare yourself for this sacrament of being forgiven of your sins, as we draw closer towards Christmas and Christ’s Second Coming in glory.  May these mysteries bring us joy and move us ever closer to our Savior. 

Blessings,

Fr. Wiliam Holtzinger
Pastor

Blessed Advent!

Blessed Advent!

Dear Parishioners,

Blessing to you as we begin the Advent Season (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to"). This time of year is a preparation period for the solemnity of Christmas. Advent colors are traditionally violet, expressing the penitential sense of the season. Advent is also marked with a sense of joy and expectation. 

Along with these underlying currents, the prayers and readings speak about the Israelites hope and expectation for the coming of the Messiah (savior), the Christ (anointed one) who will lead them out of their misery and shepherd them as a great nation. For us Christians, we know that these prophesies revealed that the Father was soon going to give the world his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. This would be Christ’s First coming. So, we are preparing for the celebration of Christ’s First Coming (Christmas) in the Advent Season. But, we are also being prepared for his Second Coming at the end of time.

As a church community, we will be changing our liturgical environments via color and a wreath, omitting the Gloria, adapting our music, and hosting reconciliation services. In addition, please see the Advent/Christmas Calendar that is part of our bulletin this week as well. I pray that this Advent will be one of conversion and joy for us all.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

The End is Near!

The End is Near!

Dear Parishioners,

The end is near! Not likely the end of the world, rather the end of the Liturgical Year. I hope the title of this letter didn’t alarm you, but simply drew your attention.

For those of you who may not know, our liturgical year always ends with the Solemnity of Christ the King and begins with Advent. The Solemnity of Christ the King is an appropriate way to remind us of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It caps off our liturgical year with a recognition that God is in control and he has power and dominion over all creation. As such, it is rightful that we give him our praise, worship, and obedience. Knowing that each of us will someday come to our earthly end in this life, we can turn to the One who has power to save us from eternal death and give us eternal life.

Each Advent begins one of the three Sunday Lectionary cycles. There are three Lectionary Sunday cycles, A, B, and C, which are built around the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke respectively. This is a marvelous addition to the Liturgy as a result of the Second Vatican Council whereby we can hear more of the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass than ever before. “Formerly, Catholics heard 1% of the Old Testament and 17% of the New Testament. Now they hear 14% of the Old Testament and 71% of the New Testament” (At the Supper of the Lamb: A Pastoral and Theological Commentary on the Mass. Paul Tuner. LTP. 2011. p. 26.). This year, we will be in Sunday Cycle C. So, that means we will hear much from the Gospel of Luke during this liturgical cycle.

May the coming end of this liturgical year and beginning of a new one assist you in your walk with Jesus knowing that he will come again with power and might to bring his faithful to himself. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger

Pastor

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Dear Parishioners,


The end is near!  Not likely the end of the world, rather the end of the Liturgical Year. I hope the title of this letter didn’t alarm you, but simply drew your attention. 

For those of you who may not know, our liturgical year always ends with the Solemnity of Christ the King and begins with Advent. The Solemnity of Christ the King is an appropriate way to remind us of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It caps off our liturgical year with a recognition that God is in control and he has power and dominion over all creation. As such, it is rightful that we give him our praise, worship, and obedience. Knowing that each of us will someday come to our earthly end in this life, we can turn to the One who has power to save us from eternal death and give us eternal life.

Each Advent begins one of the three Sunday Lectionary cycles. There are three Lectionary Sunday cycles, A, B, and C, which are built around the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke respectively. This is a marvelous addition to the Liturgy as a result of the Second Vatican Council whereby we can hear more of the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass than ever before. “Formerly, Catholics heard 1% of the Old Testament and 17% of the New Testament. Now they hear 14% of the Old Testament and 71% of the New Testament” (At the Supper of the Lamb: A Pastoral and Theological Commentary on the Mass. Paul Tuner. LTP. 2011. p. 26.).  This year, we will be in Sunday Cycle C. So, that means we will hear much from the Gospel of Luke during this liturgical cycle.

May the coming end of this liturgical year and beginning of a new one assist you in your walk with Jesus knowing that he will come again with power and might to bring his faithful to himself. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Thank You

Thank You

Dear Parishioners,

Last weekend was a wonderful time for our parish. We received hundreds of people on our campus where they were warmly greeted many times by parishioners. The main reason? Our annual Church Bazaar. With the encouragement and guidance of Fr. Arjie to reconstitute the Bazaar Guild and the leadership of Karen O’Brien, it was a great success. Despite the short time frame put it all together, we can all be proud of what was accomplished. Thank you to all who gave of their time and talent to organize the different aspects to set up, organize, serve, and take down. Thank you all!

Thank you also to our Knights of Columbus and our Hispanic and Filipino Communities for cooking and serving such wonderful food. I heard only raves about how good it all was. This was a great example of how we can work together for single purpose.

While the Bazaar was clearly the main draw, people also came to St. Anne for our Church Open House. Thank you, Evangelization Team, for your stewards’ care of our new church. I was very proud of how well you accompanied people through the church, answered questions, and shared your faith. The Bazaar and Open House were a wonderful duo of fellowship and fun.

Last weekend’s events reminded me of how our St. Anne community can step up and share love with our community at large. Thank you, again, to all who participated in last week’s events!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Offering the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer

Offering the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer

Dear parishioners,

As was announced last week and you should notice this weekend, we have begun the recitation of the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of our weekend Masses and Masses which fall on holy days of obligation. As for our weekday Masses, this prayer was recently added as part of the ending of the Rosary which follows our daily Masses, so we won’t be duplicating the prayer by adding it at the end of the daily Masses. 

All priests received this request from Archbishop Sample last month. Here’s an excerpt from that letter explaining why he has made the request:

We find ourselves in very distressing times with continued revelations about the failures of our brother priests and bishops. It seems to me that the evil one has intensified his war against the Mystical Body and its members.

There are many things we can do as a local church to play our part in the purification of the Church at this time, however prayer will also be the foremost and most appropriate response, on which all other efforts will build.

I would like to strongly encourage you therefore to pray the St. Michael Prayer after each parish Mass and in turn encourage your parishioners also to personally say this prayer daily.

I think that after the final blessing and at the foot of the altar would be the appropriate time and place, after which the recessional hymn, could begin.

The St. Michael Prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII, is a forceful weapon in our armory of devotions, and St. Michael the Archangel is an intercessor of great power. 

Pope Leo XIII wrote this prayer in 1886 and it became a mainstay at the, now called, Extraordinary Mass. Later, other prayers were also added, called the “Leonine Prayers”.  They were officially suppressed via Vatican II’s Instruction Inter Oecumenici, which went into effect on March 7, 1965. The faithful were never prohibited to offer this prayer on their own, but the obligatory recitation at the end of Mass ended at that time.

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is easily found on the back cover of our music book in the pews. As for our Spanish Mass, we will be placing the prayer in the inside cover of the Spanish music books, Flor y Canto.

In addition to this prayer of protection, I would like to also add that we all engage at home in prayers for the victims of abuse by anyone working in the name of the Church. We are a hospital of sinner in need of healing and grace, and what hurts one of our members, hurts the entire body. Let us join together in solidarity for this important healing mission of our Church.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Letter from the Archbishop Regarding Measure 106

Letter from the Archbishop Regarding Measure 106

October 10, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Praised be Jesus Christ!

With your help, Oregon voters were able to get an important, state-wide citizen initiative on the November ballot. Measure 106 is the Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion measure.

Through the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon taxpayers fund ten abortions every day. It is heartbreaking to know that our public taxes are used in a way that not only results in the death of a child in the womb, but also harms women and families.

Catholics have a special responsibility to be involved in political affairs. While the church is non-partisan, we do speak out on matters that impact the good of our neighbors and the larger community. Following the example of Jesus, we reach out especially to assist those who are struggling with life’s difficult burdens and protect those who are vulnerable.

In the case of abortion, the Church understands the difficult choice a woman may face if she has an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion can seem like an easy solution, but ending the life of a newly conceived child is a costly choice. Every child is a precious gift. In addition to killing a child in the womb, abortion causes devastating emotional, spiritual and physical harm to women, children and families.

Our public tax dollars should be used to truly support women and families in need and not to pay for the irreversible and harmful effects of abortion. Oregonians should no longer be forced to pay for elective, late-term and even sex-selective abortions. Please vote Yes on Measure 106.

We know that the majority of Americans oppose using taxpayer money for elective abortions. In fact, thirty-two states and the District of Columbia already prohibit the use of public funds for abortion. Oregon can join them by voting YES on Measure 106.

Voting YES on Measure 106 will not stop all taxpayer money from funding abortions, and it will not prevent women from continuing to choose abortion, but it will limit the use of public money that can be used to pay for abortions. By voting YES on Measure 106, we will let Oregon legislators know we do not want public funds used to pay for elective abortions.

Please vote YES on Measure 106. As Catholics, in good conscience, we have a responsibility to work through the legislative process to reduce and even eliminate abortions whenever possible. Measure 106 gives us that opportunity. Please join me in voting YES on Measure 106. May God bless you and your family.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,

Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample
Archbishop of Portland in Oregon