Issued Annually by the Worship Office of the Diocese of Buffalo, New
NB Following Pope Francis' call
that the Family be the Domestic Church salient suggestions from the USCCB Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers,
henceforth CHBP, 2007 are inserted
for your consideration.
The First Sunday of Advent November 27, 2016 to the Feast of Christ the
King, Sunday, November 26, 2017
reminders will assist you in planning your
2014 - 2015
liturgical calendar for your parish or congregation
Gospel Book / Lectionary
Weekdays - Cycle 1 (odd number year)
Following the 1991 decision of
the USCCB and with the 1992 confirmation of the Congregation for Bishops, when
the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, or the Solemnity of the Assumption, or
the Solemnity of All Saints falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the precept to
attend Mass is abrogated.
According to this decision:
- The Solemnity
of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas and the Ascension are holy days of
obligation and are not affected by the decision of the Bishops.
- Furthermore, the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston,
Hartford, New York (Diocese of
Buffalo), Newark, Philadelphia and Nebraska have retained the
celebration of the Ascension of the
Lord on the proper Thursday, May 25, 2017.
- The Solemnity
of Mary, the Mother of God, Sunday, the Octave of the Nativity, Sunday, January
1, 2017 remains a holy day of obligation.
- The Solemnity
of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tuesday, August 15, 2017 is a holy day of obligation.
FUNERAL MASS AND HOLY DAYS
are NOT permitted on
Solemnities, which are Holy Days of Obligation, from Holy Thursday morning and
through the days of the Easter Triduum. On these days, the body of the deceased may be
brought to the church and the Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass may be
Funeral Masses are permitted on Holy Days only when the precept to attend Mass is
- A Funeral Mass is NOT permitted on Solemnity
of the Immaculate Conception, Solemnity of the Ascension, and the Solemnity of
All Saints since the obligation to attend Mass remains in force.
A Funeral Mass is NOT permitted on the Sundays
of Advent, Lent and Easter (GIRM 2011,
Furthermore, in the Diocese of Buffalo, Funeral Masses are not allowed on any
ADVENT COMMUNAL PENANCE SERVICES
Every effort should be made to
schedule communal celebrations of the sacrament of Penance during the season of
Advent. See Rite of Penance, 20 for sample service. No
parish may schedule or advertise "general absolution."
In scheduling Masses, care must be taken not to multiply Masses
on Christmas Eve to the detriment of Christmas Day itself. Anticipated Masses on Sundays and holy days
(Christmas included) are to take place in the evening (see Canon 1248 § 1).
The Diocese does not allow Christmas Eve Masses to be scheduled
before 4 p.m.
pageants or Nativity Plays" for adults or children within Mass are to be
avoided. According to Vatican II, the assembly
of the baptized is to participate fully, actively, and consciously (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 41) in
various roles and functions and should never be reduced to passive spectators or an
audience. As is true for pageants, plays, and dramatic presentations.
"The Mass is not a
historical reenactment of the events
of salvation history and care should be taken not to give the impression that
the Liturgy of the Word is a play. This
is not to say that dramatic elements may not be used. However, in some circumstances, the need to encourage active participation over entertainment or a passive audience mode should be seriously considered. Care should
be taken, especially at Christmas, not to stage the various liturgies as plays. The Christmas Mass should not be presented as
a birthday party of Jesus, nor
should secular notions of Santa Claus (alias "capitalist elf"
December marketing ploy) be introduced into the Christmas liturgy."
(Lectionary for Masses with Children, 52).
LITURGY OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH: THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
The Feast of the Holy Family of
Jesus, Mary and Joseph falls on Friday,
December 30, 2016.
See The Book of Blessings, nn.
62-67 for "Blessing of a Family."
JANUARY: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
In all the Dioceses of the United
States of America, Sunday, January 22,
2017, shall be observed as a particular day of prayer and sacrifice for the
full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for
violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of
abortion. The liturgical celebrations
for this day may be the Mass "For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human
Life" (no. 48/1 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions),
celebrated with white vestments, or the Mass, "For the Preservation of Peace
and Justice" (no. 3A) Eucharistic Prayers
for use in Masses for Various Needs and Occasions I-VI), celebrated with violet
vestments (General Instruction of the
Roman Missal and GIRM 2011, 373c).
LITURGY OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH:
The Presentation of the Lord. The 40th Day after Christmas
Blessing of candles for use in
the domestic church or family is encouraged within the context of a
procession. See February 2, The
Presentation of the Lord. Also CHBP, 2012 "Candlemas: Receiving Blessed
Candles at home, pp 124-136. Parishes may contact the Catholic Store to procure
traditional partial beeswax candles. The
faithful maybe instructed to use these blessed candles at a festive Easter,
Pentecost, Christmas, Epiphany table.
Lighting blessed candles on the Feasts of the Lord accentuates Jesus'
desire to take a place at the Table in a believer's home (Rv 3:20). It also reveals him as the family's true
Light of the World.
LENTEN COMMUNAL RECONCILIATION SERVICES
Every effort should be made to
schedule communal celebrations of the sacrament of Reconciliation during the
season of Lent. See Rite of Penance for service of the Prodigal Son, n.31 or
Beatitudes, n.37. No parish may schedule or advertise "general absolution". Although individual confessions may be scheduled
in the parishes according to the pastoral need, Lenten Communal Penance Services should neither be scheduled during the
days of the Triduum, nor the Tuesday of Holy Week, April 11, 2017 to allow
priests and people to attend the Chrism Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral.
LITURGY OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH: for Lenten practices: Fasting, Almsgiving and The Penitential Psalms,
see CHBP, 2012, pp 96 - 107.
LITURGY OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH: PASSION (PALM) SUNDAY
"Blessing of St. Joseph's Table":
Bread and beans for the poor and hungry.
See CBHP, 2012, pp 140 - 141. "Placing
of Branches in the home" CHBP pp
THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM
In planning and scheduling
services, "care should be taken especially during Holy Week and the Easter Triduum
not to stage the various liturgies as "Passion Plays" (Lectionary for Masses with Children, 52). The Assembly of the Baptised is primarily a
participatory act, rather than passive onlookers at a spectator event.
DURING THE TRIDUUM
are NOT permitted on Holy Thursday morning or during the days of
the Easter Triduum. On these days,
the body of the deceased may be brought to the church and the Funeral Liturgy
Outside of Mass may be celebrated.
According to the
Church's ancient tradition, all Masses without a congregation are prohibited on
this day. The Mass of the Lord's Supper is
celebrated in the evening. No additional
Masses are to be scheduled. For serious
pastoral need and only with the permission of the local Ordinary, may another
Mass be celebrated in the evening or morning (see Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of Paschal
Feasts, 47 and Missale Romanum III,
"Thursday of the Lord's Supper at the Evening Mass", 3) Bishop's Committee on
the Liturgy Newsletter, March/April 2003).
of the Lord's Passion is to take place in the afternoon, at about three
o'clock. For pastoral reasons, an
appropriate time will be chosen in order to allow the people to assemble more
easily, for example, shortly after midday or in the late evening, however, not
later than nine o'clock" (Circular Letter
Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of Paschal Feasts, 78). The same instruction is repeated in the
new edition of the Missale Romanum. Holy Communion may only be distributed
during the Solemn Celebration of the Passion.
No other communal distribution or Holy Communion may take place on Good
Friday (for example, during Stations of the Cross or other secondary
services. Holy Viaticum may be given at
Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his
passion and death, and on his descent into hell, and awaiting his resurrection
with prayer and fasting.
The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb,
or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image
of the sorrowful Virgin Mary may be placed in the church for the veneration of
the faithful." (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation And Celebration Of The Easter Feasts. 1988, 73-74.)
Order of Blessing of Food for the First Meal of
Easter, BB, 1989, nn. 1701-1723.
LITURGY OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH: The Paschal Fast
Wherever appropriate, pastors should raise parishioners' awareness of
the original and most ancient of all Christian preparatory fasts: the paschal
fast, encouraging fasting and/or abstinence through to Easter Communion, the
original "break-fast of believers". In
this matter the baptized keep vigil of prayer with the Elect approaching the Easter
Vigil with lightened and uplifted spirits (Constitution
on the Sacred Liturgy-1963, 110b; Universal
Norms of the Liturgical Year-1969, 20).
The Paschal Vigil
is not an anticipated Mass, but a true vigil and, therefore, it may not begin
until nightfall. This means that the Easter Vigil should
be scheduled 30 to 45 minutes after sunset to assure darkness. "The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil
takes place at night. It should not
begin before nightfall. This
rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense" (Universal
Norms on the Liturgical Year-1969, 21; Circular
Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of Paschal Feasts, 1988, 78).
will take place at about 7:58 p.m. on Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017.
This means that the Easter Vigil is not to
begin before 8:00 p.m.
will take place at about 7:41 p.m. on Holy Saturday, March 31, 2018.
". . . it is never permitted to
celebrate the entire Easter Vigil more than once in a given church or to anticipate
the Mass of Easter before the vigil . . ." (Roman
Missal III, "The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night", 3) "The celebration of
the Easter Vigil for special groups is not to be encouraged, since above all in
this vigil the faithful should come together as one and should experience a
sense of ecclesial community." (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation
and Celebration of Paschal Feasts, 94)
"The rubrics of Missale Romanum III remind us that this
mother of all vigil is the 'greatest and
most noble of all solemnities' and it is to be unique in every single
Church. (Missale Romanum III, "The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night", 2) . . .
Therefore, the Easter Vigil does not correspond to the usual Saturday evening
Mass and its character is unique in the cycle of the liturgical year." (Bishops
Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, January 2003)
It should be noted that the new
edition of the Missale Romanum III nowrequires that at least three Old
Testament readings, always including Exodus 14, must be read at the Easter
Vigil. Previously, in extreme necessity
two Old Testament readings might have been used. Of course, all nine readings must be read whenever it can be done, so that the character of a Vigil which takes place over some
duration of time can be observed (EV, 20, Bishops
Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, January 2003).
"It is also appropriate that children receive their First Communion on one or other of the Sundays of Easter." (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation
and Celebration of Paschal Feasts, 103) "Apart
from exceptional cases, it is not appropriate for First Communion to be
administered on Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper. Another day should be chosen instead, such as
a Sunday between the Second and Sixth Sunday of Easter, or the Solemnity of the
Body and Blood of Christ, or the Sundays of Ordinary Time, since Sunday is
rightly regarded as the day of the Eucharist." (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 87). This guideline presupposes that weekdays,
such as Saturday morning or early
afternoon, are not appropriate times to celebrate First Eucharist. Above all, First Holy Communion should
reunite families, the parish, and all communicants more closely to the Lord's
Supper on the Lord's Day—Sunday.
"It is desirable that a procession take place after the Mass
in which the Host to be carried in the processions consecrated. However, nothing prohibits a procession from
taking place even after a public and lengthy period of adoration following the
Mass." Roman Missal III, p. 474.
The ritual Mass for Confirmation may not be used on holy
days of obligation, the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter Season, on days
in the Octave of Easter, on all solemnities, on All Soul's Day, on Ash Wednesday
and during Holy Week. If Confirmation is
to be celebrated on one of the above-mentioned days, the Mass of the day is to
be used (General Instruction of the Roman
Missal 200, 372).
When the ritual Mass is not celebrated, one of the readings
may be chosen from those provided in the Lectionary for the ritual Mass for
Confirmation, However, on all holy days of obligation, Easter Sunday,
Christmas, Epiphany, Pentecost and Corpus Christi only the readings of the day
are permitted. The final blessing proper
to the ritual Mass may always be used.
Note: The ritual Mass
for Marriage is not permitted on Holy Days on which the precept to
attend Mass is abrogated, since these days still rank as solemnities.
Note: On days when the ritual Mass for Marriage is
prohibited, the Rite of Marriage Outside
of Mass is permitted.
LITURGY OF THE
DOMESTIC CHURCH: Childbirth
Encourage parents of a newborn or adopted to celebrate
"Prayers after the arrival of a child".
See CHBP, 2012, pp 236-239.
Anniversary of Baptism. Pastors may help parents to discover
their role as presiders over their family's prayer. Suggest that parents, using the Baptismal Candle
and cross signing of the forehead celebrate their child's annual anniversary of
Holy Baptism. See CBHP, 2012, 244H.
"Visiting and praying with the Sick" pp 209-223. "The sick
should be encouraged to pray when they are alone, or with their families,
friends or those who care for (visit) them." Rite of Anointing Pastoral Care of the Sick, 1972, n.
"Visiting a grave;
CHBP, 2012, pp 158-160.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament usually begins at the
concluding rite of the last Mass of the day and continues through the day with
appropriate prayer services. Exposition
concludes most often with a Word Service or devotion with Benediction. Please
note that the Order for Exposition of the
Holy Eucharist, 1992 should be used.
RITES OF CHRISTIAN
INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA)
- The RITE OF ELECTION will take place
for the Diocese of Buffalo on Sunday,
March 5, 2017, 3:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo, NY.
- SCRUTINIES - The Scrutinies should
seek to remove all obstacles to holistic conversion of the elect
(unbaptized) and deepen their resolve to bind themselves to Christ and to
carry out their mission to love God above all else.
They take place within Mass on the
Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent. Year A readings with appropriate
chants are used. The Sacramentary
contains special orations and prefaces for the Masses at which the Scrutinies
are to be used at these celebrations.
See "Ritual Masses, Christian Initiation", 2.
- RITE OF DISMISSAL for the Elect
and Candidates to be fully initiated at the Easter Vigil will be
celebrated by Bishop Malone during the Chrism Mass Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m. at St.
Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo.
- EASTER VIGIL - The elect
(unbaptized) receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
at the Easter Vigil. Candidates
(baptized) celebrate the Rite of Reception, the Full Communion into the
- MYSTAGOGY - Classic mystagogy starts
with reflecting on a particular symbolic action of the liturgy. Having
selected the action, its meaning is opened through Sacred Scriptural texts
and human experience. Bishop Malone will celebrate a Mystagological
Gathering on Sunday April 30, 2017 at 10:30 am at St. Joseph
from the Rite is recommended by Vatican II (SC,
1963, 35-2) as an appropriate point of
departure, especially when bonded to Sacred Scripture and daily living.
"Teaching about the importance of
the Liturgy" or Mystagogy, was recommended by Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops
of New York State at their 2011 ad liminain November of 2011.