Deacons & Seminarians

Parts of the Mass (5)

4. Concluding Rites

Announcements: The announcements are to be brief and cover only significant events since all other information is contained in the weekly bulletin.

Greeting: "The Lord be with you" is the greeting of the priest before the blessing. If there is a solemn blessing, the deacon or the priest will ask the assembly to bow their heads and pray for God’s blessing.

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About Me

My name is Hank, short for Henry, Lyon. My parents are both converts to Catholicism. My father converted from Judaism. My mother is "double-convert", she first converted to Judaism and after ten years, converted to Catholicism before my father.

I grew up in Buffalo Grove and call St. Mary’s my home parish, where I attended kindergarten through 8th grade. I went on to Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, where developed my skills in fine arts. After graduation, I attended Iowa State University to study graphic design. Quickly, I fell out of love for working behind a computer and not a canvas. Instead of returning to the canvas, I felt the Lord calling me to be a priest. After my second year at Iowa State, I transferred to St. Joseph’s College Seminary, located on the campus of Loyola University. It was there that I got my degree in philosophy and found life to be a lot sweeter. I finished my junior and senior years of college there, and then went on to Mundelein Seminary.

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Parts of the Mass (4)

The third part of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In my previous article, I talked about an aspect of this, particularly the Eucharistic Prayer. Today, I’m going to focus on the Communion Rite, which begins with the Our Father.

3. Liturgy of the Eucharist (continued)

The Lord’s Prayer: The priest gives the invitation to prayer and all the faithful say the “Our Father” with him. Then the priest alone says the embolism, which is a prayer asking for deliverance from the power of evil for the whole community. Afterwards, the congregation concludes this prayer with the doxology, "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever."

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Parts of the Mass (3)

Today, I’m going to talk about the third part of the Mass.

3. Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presentation of the Gifts: Representatives of the congregation bring forth the bread and wine that will become the Body and Blood of Christ. The ushers bring forth the collection.

The Eucharistic CelebrationPreparation of the Altar: The altar servers bring the Roman Missal (book with prayers), chalices (cups for wine), ciboriums (vessels with hosts), bread, wine, and water to the altar. The deacon or the priest pours wine into the chalices and adds a drop of water into the celebrant’s chalice. This mingling of water and wine signifies the union of Christ’s divinity and humanity.

Eucharistic Prayer: This is the center and high point of the entire celebration. In this prayer, the celebrant acts in the person of Christ as head of his body, the Church. It includes the following eight elements:

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Parts of the Mass (2)

Today, I’m going to talk about the second part of the Mass.

2. Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: On Sundays, this reading is usually taken from one of the books of the Old Testament, except in the season of Easter. The place used by the lectors to read the Scriptures at Mass is called the ambo.

Responsorial Psalm: After the First Reading, a cantor sings the Psalm chosen according to the liturgical celebration. The congregation participates in the meditation of the Word of God by singing the response to the Psalm.

Second Reading: This reading is always taken from one of the Letters in the New Testament. The book that lectors use to proclaim the Word of God at Mass is called the Lectionary. At the end of the First and Second Readings, the assembly honors the Word of God just received by responding, “Thanks be to God.”

Gospel Acclamation: The assembly, standing, sings the Alleluia, followed by a verse from the Scriptures. The Alleluia is sung every Sunday of the liturgical year, except in Lent.

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Parts of the Mass (1)

Today and for the next four Sundays, we’ll be highlighting the various parts of the Mass in this column. These short explanations will hopefully enlighten your understanding of each unique moment in our liturgical celebration and help encourage you to participate in a more conscious way, uniting your voice to that of the whole community of St. Juliana, to praise, adore and give thanks to God.

The Mass is divided into four basic parts: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites.

1. Introductory Rites

The Entrance: When people are gathered, the commentator reads the opening comment that introduces the faithful to the Mass of the day. Then, as the priest, deacon and ministers enter into the church, the Entrance Chant or hymn begins. The Altar Servers carry the processional cross and the candles. The deacon (or the lector when there is no deacon) carry the Book of the Gospels.

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Holy Days of Obligation

Catholics are expected to attend Mass every Sunday because “the Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practices,” as it is written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2181. Our communal participation in the Sunday Eucharist is also “a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church.” Thus, Sunday is the primordial holy day of obligation. However, there are other days of obligation every year, such as the Immaculate Conception, the Nativity of the Lord, Mary Mother of God, the Epiphany, the Ascension of the Lord, Corpus Christi, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and All Saints. Some of these celebrations have been moved to Sunday in order to promote the participation of the faithful, while others remain on the specific dates on which they have been established.

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Season of Advent

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent began in the evening of Saturday, December 2nd and will end in the afternoon of December 24th. Side note: Notice that the season of Christmas in the Church doesn’t end on December 25th, but it starts on that day.

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The Liturgical Year

Happy New Liturgical Year!

Sunday, December 3, 2017, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and a new liturgical season. The liturgical calendar for Sundays is divided into three years: A, B, and C. Each year we read in a special way one of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What about John? We read the Gospel of John for special celebrations, such as the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday and during the season of Easter. Today, we begin year B, and on Sundays we will be reading from the Gospel of Mark, excerpts from Luke, and chapter 6 of John.

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Hello from Deacon Robinson

My name is Robinson Ortiz, I’m 26 years old, and I was born in Colombia. I finished my philosophy studies in the Seminary of Bogota and then taught in a high school for a year. In 2013, I came to Chicago to study English at UIC and in August 2014, I joined Mundelein Seminary. During my time in the seminary, I have been assigned to Holy Name Cathedral, St. Dismas Parish in Waukegan, and St. Damian Parish in Oak Forest. I also did my Clinical Pastoral Education at Tampa General Hospital for 11 weeks last Summer. My classmates and I went to a 9-week pilgrimage in the Holy Land this year where we visited the holy sites and had Scriptural and Ecumenical classes.

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Advance Directives for Health Care

I saw an ad in a recent bulletin (January 8, 2017) about a booklet published by the Catholic Conference of Illinois which focuses on advance directives. What is that all about?

The Illinois Bishops Conference recently released updated information about designating a Power of Attorney for Health Care. A Power of Attorney for Health Care is an individual that one can appoint in order to make health care decisions in the event that one is not able to make those decisions for oneself. The document is not about giving another person power to make decisions while you are able to do so (unless you stipulate that). Rather, it is about giving you power to stipulate how you would like to be treated in the event that you are not able to make those decisions yourself due to some incapacitation. You can appoint the person that you trust, and you can provide general instructions about how you would like to be cared for. Therefore, the document is about empowering you. It is not about taking power away. Also, it should be noted that this is not the same as a Power of Attorney for finances. A Power of Attorney for Health Care only applies to health care decisions.

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Day in the Life of a Seminarian

What is a typical day like at the seminary?

This is a great question. Thank you for asking. Formation at every Catholic seminary is built upon four important “pillars,” and these provide the foundation for the typical seminary day. Namely, formation should target the Human, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral components of the candidate for priesthood. Not every day at the seminary looks the same, but regular activities center around strengthening these areas.

Human

The human personality of a priest should ideally act as a bridge by which others may encounter Christ. Therefore, seminary formation includes the fostering of an environment in which one may grow as a human person. Students spend time together, grow in relationship with one another, take time to eat and play together, and confide in one another. Thus, a significant portion of the day is spent doing very “human” things. They play basketball and soccer together, spend time talking about events or beliefs, and joke around. Growth happens because these things occur in a supportive Christian environment.

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Spirits and Ghosts

What is the Church’s perspective on spirits and ghosts?

GhostThank you for your question. These are subjects about which we might not often think. We live in an era where focus is most often on the material realities of the world. However, the Church has always maintained that there are spiritual realities. God’s creation is not just limited to the world that we can see. In fact, we maintain that human beings are themselves composites of the material and spiritual.

If we look at the diverse creatures of the world, it’s not a stretch to surmise that there might be a diversity of spiritual beings as well. The most common spiritual creatures, angels, are mentioned numerous times in the Bible. A quick search of the Bible brings up 295 instances of angels being mentioned. Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael would be the three identified by name. The Bible also affirms the existence of spiritual beings that are opposed to God. Jesus frequently expelled demons, demonstrating the power of God over the spiritual powers of darkness opposed to Him.

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A Presumption of Permanence

When did you first know that you were called to the priesthood?

Thank you for your question. Honestly, in some ways, I don’t believe that I will really know whether I am called to be a priest until the act of ordination. At that moment there will be no doubt about God’s will. Before ordination there is always some degree of uncertainty. Every candidate for the priesthood is called to do one’s best to listen for God’s will in his life, and, further, the Church as a whole is called to do its best to listen as well. Both the candidate and the Church need to make a "yes" for ordination to take place.

Nevertheless, as a man considers the priesthood and enters into and progresses through the seminary, there is the expectation that he will grow in what is known as the "presumption of permanence." He should increasingly grow in commitment to the priestly vocation, turning himself over to Christ to be formed in what is necessary for the priesthood. Like most other men considering the priesthood, this is something with which I wrestle and in which I am continuing to grow.

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