St Michael Family,
Thank you for your enthusiasm to focus on increasing reverence at Mass during the Season of Advent. Understanding the importance of liturgy or Holy Mass unites us in rightly ordered worship and will bring us closer to Jesus. This week we continue with the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. At its heart, it is the Real Presence of the cruciﬁed, risen and gloriﬁed Lord, making available his saving work within us. This is the center of everything in the parish. If the center of our life and worship is something else, then our Catholic Identity is diminished.
SIT during the Oﬀertory and Preparation of Gifts and join in singing the oﬀertory hymn. As we oﬀer the bread and wine, we also oﬀer to God all our intentions and what we have in our hearts. Here we also give our love oﬀering to support the parish mission and our ministries. Please give generously. There are times when we pass the basket for the second collection.
STAND as the priest says, “Pray, brethren, that my sacriﬁce and yours…” and remain standing to respond, “May the Lord accept the sacriﬁce at your hands…” If incense is used, the congregation bows toward the thurifer when the deacon bows to the congregation both before and after he has incensed them.
REMAIN STANDING until the end of the Sanctus (“Holy, holy”), then
KNEEL for the entire Eucharistic Prayer. Please lower kneelers gently. If one cannot kneel due to knee problems and health reasons, one may SIT down and reverently behold the Precious Host and Blood of Christ in the chalice and when the priest kneels, one should bow while seated in adoration.
As a good holy practice, BEHOLD reverently the Sacred Elements when the priest elevates each one of them. After the priest kneels, make a simple bow. These are the words of Saint Thomas when he realized that it was truly Christ who stood before him (John 20:28): Jesus responded, “Because you have seen me, you believed. Blessed are they that do not see and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
STAND at the priest’s invitation to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Reverently fold your hands together and bow your head as you pray the Lord’s Prayer. Holding of hands or doing the ORANS position – outstretching hands - is not the proper gesture of the Faithful. This gesture belongs to the priest or concelebrating priests who prays to God on behalf of the people.
Remain STANDING to exchange the Sign of Peace, if the invitation is made. (The Sign of Peace may be either a handshake or a bow of the head towards those nearest you, accompanied by the words “Peace be with you”.)
Remain STANDING at the end of the Agnus Dei “Lamb of God…”
(See GIRM #43. Our Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland has decided that standing is customary.)
What is the proper way to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus?
Kneeling at the communion rail to receive Holy Communion is an option and a customary practice only at daily Mass from Monday to Saturday at St. Michael and at Traditional Latin Mass on the second Sunday at 8:00 am. At the Saturday Vigil Mass and on Sundays, those who receive Holy Communion process to the Communion Minister to receive the Body of Christ reverently either on the tongue or by hand. The communicant must audibly respond “AMEN” before receiving the Holy Communion. If a communicant desires to receive while kneeling, the person should not be denied receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.
Next week, we will discuss the Communion Rite in more detail.
Fr Carl , Pastor