The Bishop performing the Mass spoke of being educated by the MFIC and passing on their legacy. The Mount Alvernia Opening Mass is an example of a Catholic ritual and it reflects the ethos, beliefs and traditions of the Franciscan way of life. March 18, 2014. The Mass, in particular, is the most important ritual in Catholics as it is the Lord’s Supper. For example, we don’t think having rituals at graduation ceremonies, or in military procedures, is a bad thing. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); excerpts from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony© 2013, ICEL. Father Jamie Utronkie, CC explains the different aspects of the Catholic Mass. There are no non-ritual cultures. This representation, as Fr. ! A sacrament is an action made holy or special because of its believed ability to demonstrate a religious truth. That’s for another time. I am writing this blog to address the definition of ritual by examining a Catholic high school’s Opening Mass. I think it’s safe to say that your friend will not deny that these secular rituals are good. “But,” Aquinas continues, “it is agreed by any man that sacrifice should be offered to no person unless he is thought to be God or unless one pretends to think so.”. You can take your cue from St. Thomas Aquinas, who teaches that it’s befitting to man that he should “employ sensible signs in order to signify anything” (Summa Theologiae II–II:85:1). Rituals are full of important symbolism. The Mass: Structure and Meaning (Source: USCCB) Introductory Rites. By using this passage the Mass demonstrates the MFIC value for suffering to follow Jesus’ footsteps. The traditional Catholic mass involve four main parts, the gathering of the community or the Opening Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist and finally the Concluding Rites. The first part of the Mass in the Western (Latin) Church is the Liturgy of the Word, and its main focus is on Bible readings as an integral part of daily and weekly worship. Since we’re in the New Covenant, we don’t need all that stuff anymore. The members of the FOTH community played a large part in the mass. Similar to common Masses, artistic material was used to create a Franciscan experience as well as Jesus Christ to begin the year in his tradition. The Opening Mass at Mount Alvernia College is a ritual that differs from traditional Catholic masses due to its Franciscan distinctiveness. Turner reintroduced “Communitas” which examines the communal equity experienced in Liminality which is the middle section of the ceremony (Goldburg, 2009). The celebrant and other ministers enter in procession and reverence the altar with a bow and/or a kiss. Yes, my original priest just basically did everything he was supposed to. A religious ritual is a structured, often public, set of actions, based on tradition relating to one’s religion or beliefs (Smart, K. (2014, February). Common Christmas practices in Catholic tradition. Similarly, the words “Praise for our death; that makes our life real, the knowledge of loss that helps us to feel” contributed to the experiential dimension of the Mass helping them to understand the ethos of being a Franciscan. Click on the following link for a description and explanation of the complete outline of the Order of Celebrating Marriage With Mass. Accordingly the Mass ritual is divided into four parts: Introduction, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Conclusion. Following is the text of the Celebration of Matrimony (The Order of Celebrating Matrimony #58-69). And most still think that rituals at weddings are important. Ninian Smart’s Seven Dimensions clearly justify that the Opening Mass is a ritual that communicates a specific message through mythological, ritual and experiential elements. A ritual would be nothing without participants. Even American culture, which historically has tried rid itself of formality and tradition, has rituals. The term is used in some Lutheran churches, as well as in some Anglican churches. The Catholic Church never calls itself the "Roman Catholic Church", that is something that the English started after the protestant revolt. This makes the Opening Mass unique from traditional Masses and enforces a stronger sense of community. Sequentially, the legacy of the MFIC and their mission to support communities such as the Indigenous people was apparent in the Mass and demonstrated this strong connection (MFIC, 2012). Its prayers and rituals are the hallmark of our faith. Let’s get on with it.’”. The magnitude of certain events demands words and gestures outside those of everyday life. The texts and responses spoken by all the people are indicated in bold type below.Some of the greetings and prayers spoken by the presider (the priest or bishop) at each Mass are also included, in order to help you understand the structure and flow of the Mass more fully. These artistic representations of the religion increased the spirituality in entering the new academic year. Catholic Rituals Prior to 2 nd Vatican Council (1960s & earlier) Post 2 nd Vatican Council (1970s to present day) Services: Before entering a church, men had to remove their hats but women were expected to keep their heads covered by a hat or a scarf. A ritual – either secular or religious – is a celebration or action that has a special meaning or purpose. The passage used, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25) describes the Paschal mystery which is a Catholic belief that God brings new life out of suffering. Similarly, the San Damiano Cross was hung at the lectern reminding the congregation of their purpose by following St Francis’ mission and his dedication to God. Your intention is simply to show that we are “naturally hardwired” for ritual, and ritual in the form of sacrifice is most befitting when it comes to the worship of God. As a congregation, saying the Franciscan Creed focused the procession on the message that, “Christ was poor and Christ was crucified; we seek to share in His poorness and in His suffering” which symbolised the Franciscan mission for simplicity to find a life of love over selfishness. The meaning behind lighting candles at a mass is to signify the solemnity of the occasion. Given this, your friend ought to at least see the reasonableness of the rituals of Catholic worship. Gestures of Worship: Relearning Our Ritual Language This article by Helen Hull Hitchcock is about the importance of ritual language and gestures as part of liturgical reform. Mass is the main Eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity.The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church, and in the Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches. I doubt your non-denominational friend would be fine with having the bride and groom just say, “Okay, we’re married. This weekly tradition to connect to the community’s spirituality reinforces their introspective experience, creating communal ritual. The Catholic Church teaches that in the New Testament the what is Christ himself, and the how is under the appearance of bread and wine in the Mass. Many Roman Catholics follow the weekly rites of confession followed by Sunday Mass, which includes Liturgy of the Eucharist. At the beginning, the school captain lit “the new College candle with gum leaves and flowers painted on it in recognition of the fruits the earth yields here in Australia” (Bishop, 2014) which also symbolises St Francis’ appreciation of Ecology. The lighting of candles often begin rituals to open the audience’s minds to their God and to introduce the Mass. Participants are crucial to performing a meaningful and rich ritual. Our rituals are publicly carried out, with the exception of the Sacrament of Confession. By recognising the previous mythology and land owners, the connection to Aboriginal spirituality was strengthened. Preparation of the Gifts The early Christians each brought some bread and wine from their homes to the church to be used for the Mass and to be given to the clergy and the poor. (Although even in this scenario there is some formality!). Rituals of the Mass. By examining the very definition, the Opening Mass is a ritual and diverges from traditional Catholic Masses with the uniqueness of the MFIC. Merely having soldiers gather together in a field and saying with a bullhorn, “Hey guys, pretty good job,” and then sending them on their merry way doesn’t do justice to the value of their sacrifice. Being a Calendrical Rite it’s anticipated as it was prepared in advance (Vine, 2014). Mass is an important Catholic ritual celebrated in the Catholic community. The change of scene from the porch to the altar for the celebration of Mass is a marled feature in all early rituals. A Nuptial Mass is a Ritual Mass within which the sacrament of matrimony is celebrated. Throughout the ritual, the Mt Alvernia College Opening Mass projected the ethos, values, beliefs and legacy of the MFIC and diverged from traditional Catholic Masses. The main narrative of Catholic Masses is the incorporation of the Gospel. Additionally, it is annually recurrent and is called a communal ceremony (Frawley, 2014) in that it establishes the values of the FOTH (Franciscans on the Hill) community. And if this is true of secular things, how much more true is it of divine things? This is shown through the community ritual of Franciscan 5. Your intention here is not to persuade your friend that the offering of Christ’s one sacrifice in the Mass is the highest form of worship. in a variety of ways. And couples who get married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas dressed up in their camouflage outfits do not befit the dignity of marriage. The age-old rituals of the Mass and the sacraments are a source of consolation and comfort in that we recognize that Jesus himself is the agent here, active through the dialogue between the priest and the people and present in word, in sacrament and in the very assembly which is the body of Christ made visible in his members. ! This webpage is intended to help you become familiar with the "Order of Mass" used in the Roman Catholic Church. With good reason therefore we consider the number of people coming to Mass, not only on Sundays but also very specially on weekdays. Unusually, the Opening Mass acknowledged the Aboriginal grounds on which the College was built differing from traditional Masses. This is the most common ritual that non-Catholics recognize, and it deals directly with taking communion, or … Additionally, through the mythology of Jesus Christ and St Francis the procession understands that the ritual preaches that living through suffering and simplicity closers their connection to God. Published on the web with permission of the author. Ms. Anno Dear Ms. Anno, Peace in Christ! The experiential elements of this Mass, much like most religions, was supported by symbolism. Fact Sheet: The Meaning and Ritual of Catholic Religious Services What is the Catholic Mass? Their founder, Elizabeth Hayes wrote in her diary, “The spirit of St Francis in a religious community is seen by poverty, simplicity, penance – either by austerities or labours…” (Hayes, pp.57) which was demonstrated through the mythology depicting their sacrifices and suffering. Ritual Paragraph. The Opening Mass, similar to other Catholic Masses, is a ritual that comprises a formal sequence of words and actions intended to re-establish the significance of the meaning of the practice and to beneficially affect the participants through Franciscan values and spirituality. In the Old Testament he told his people to offer a variety of things (animals, grain, etc.) In fact, it is described as the “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The term Mass is derived from the Latin word ‘missa’ meaning dismissal. The Catholic laity who lived on at home knew no other marriage service than that of their forefathers. Your intention here is not to persuade your friend that the offering of Christ’s one sacrifice in the Mass is the highest form of worship. Your task now is to draw out the reason why your friend intuitively believes this. Hi again, I just wanted to thank everybody here for the responses and help! We have used colors in the background and text so that this presentation cannot be downloaded with ease. All ri… It is obvious that, although the Mt Alvernia Opening Mass differs from traditional Catholic Masses, it is a strong ritual that reflects their values, attitudes and beliefs by carrying out the unique legacy of the MFIC. eafan September 12, 2011, 2:47am #21. His rationale for this is that the exterior sacrifice signifies the interior sacrifice by which the human mind offers itself to God as the “principle of its creation,” “the author of its actions,” and “the end of its happiness.” Since such attributes can only be ascribed to God, St. Thomas concludes that sacrifice and worship ought to be given to God alone. The Catholic Church has a number of rituals and practices like the Mass, Baptism, Confession, receiving Communion, praying the Rosary, Last Rites, etc. But I think there’s something more fundamental to the objection than a search for New Testament prooftexts. Furthermore, this physical action reinforced the Franciscan ethos, contributing to the experiential portion of the ritual. It is recognised as the cross that inspired St Francis which demonstrates the Masses’ Franciscan divergence. Through Victor Turner’s theory of religious ritual, the Exegetical procession of the Opening Mass examines the sense of community within ritual. It is also believed that… Ritual Mass: Readings from the OT: Readings from the NT: Responsorial Psalms: Alleluia Verse / Verse before the Gospel : Gospels: Corrrection (updated 3/15/13): Reading #817.2 was incorrectly listed as Hosea 8:30-35, but is actually Joshua 8:30-35. The word “rituals” can have many meanings, so I’m not sure which one you’re specifying. The altar is a symbol of Christ at the heart of the assembly and so deserves this special reverence. For instance, just to have graduating seniors come and grab their diplomas off a table set up in a parking lot would not be fitting for a commencement event. The body is essential to our personhood and thus is essential to our communicative powers. The Mass begins with the entrance song. The school song “My God, My All” was sung to welcome the community and the congregation’s dedication to their Lord. A nativity scene with handmade figures featuring Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Some of the habits and rituals involve traditions that are followed at home while others refer to common ceremonies honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Some Christians, especially those who call themselves “non-denominational,” criticize Catholicism for its rituals, especially those of the Mass. Not that other parish priests I saw were not, however he had a deep reverence the entire time which was really obvious. Notice that in the above examples we recognize that not just any rituals will do. The Mass as a Representation of the Crucifixion . Your intention is simply to show that we are “naturally hardwired” for ritual, and ritual in the form of … I’ve […] The Ritual Mass texts may not be used, except perhaps partially, when the rite is celebrated during especially important liturgical seasons or on high ranking feasts. He argues that other things that pertain to worship, such as “genuflections, prostrations, and other manifestations of this kind of honor” may also be shown to men, although when directed to God they are performed with different intentions (Summa Contra Gentiles 3:120). Lighting candles is one of the symbols used in the Catholic Mass at the college Opening Mass, it is distinctly Franciscan because it had Franciscan symbols on it. They may argue that such ritualized forms of worship were only for the Old Covenant. All throughout there are certain parts of the structure, which differ from that of a traditional catholic mass. To challenge that assumption, we can begin with passages in the New Testament that provide evidence that the early Christians viewed ritual as essential to their worship. The Catholic Church teaches that in the New Testament the what is Christ himself, and the how is under the appearance of bread and wine in the Mass. For instance, the traditional Catholic Mass continues with mundane activities after the Mass has concluded, whereas the Opening Mass exits into their already spiritual atmosphere. In the Roman Catholic mass, the Eucharist or “host” (the round wafer) is a symbol of the sun.It is normally placed during ceremonial masses on a monstrance with a crescent moon, symbolizing the plunging of the sun into the womb of the goddess. In the Catholic parish I grew up in, our priest was extremely reverent at all times during the mass. It is rarely, if ever, used by other Protestant churches, such as in Methodism. Another example of ritual within the Mass is the Franciscan Five which consists of a five minute meditation to calm the mind and for the exegetical audience to talk to God. The mythology of Jesus, St Francis and the MFIC all contribute to making the Mass a ritual in expressing the purpose of the ceremony. As a result, the Opening Mass is considered a ritual that presents the Franciscan tradition. Community. Leave a comment. If it’s fitting to our human nature to use sensible signs when we’re communicating our appreciation and respect for worldly things, then it’s even more fitting to use sensible signs when communicating our appreciation and respect for God, since he is far superior in dignity to any worldly thing, and since we have a natural obligation to order all things—including our bodies—to him. So, as human beings not only do we need to use sensible things to communicate how much we appreciate something, we sense that we need to use special words and gestures that befit the dignity of the thing being celebrated. Welcoming the procession was the hymn “Canticle of the Sun” written by St Francis himself. Nevertheless, if the Holy Mass is the central act of our Catholic life, then Mass-going must surely remain one of the most indicative of these factors. Italics indicate the rubrics, the instructions to the presider. Before entering a church men are expected to remove their headgear but women are no longer obliged to cover their heads. And I bet your non-denominational friend doesn’t mind them. Lovat’s five step approach outlines the structure of a ritual where one leaves the ordinary and enters a spiritual space to strengthen their beliefs (Goldburg, 2009). The Catholic Mass is a highly structured ritual, however the Opening Mass at Mt Alvernia College diverges from tradition by reflecting the Franciscan ethos, beliefs, values and the legacy of their founders – the Missionary Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate Conception (MFIC). See, for example, Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 11:24-29, and Matthew 28:19. As to what must be offered in sacrifice, and how it is to be offered: God must tell us. By the very definition of ritual, and Turner and Lovat’s examination of this, the Opening Mass identifies as a ritual. It’s more of revulsion to ritual itself. Liturgy and Sacraments. In every ritual there are key elements, including Place, Time, Participants, Leader or expert, Form or pattern, Community and Symbols. After I grew up, moved away, etc. Dear Catholic Exchange: Is there somewhere I can get a list of all the rituals of the catholic church, and if possible get a list of all their origins as well? In turn, this demonstrated the legacy of the MFIC communicating the value of living simply and suffering for greater causes for instance poverty and illness. We encourage you to purchase this booklet from TAN for $2.00 and less if bought in bulk. Mythology is an important element within religion especially establishing the stories of its origin. That’s for another time. The focus of ths blog is the ritual of the Catholic Mass. At Mass these ritual actions are called 1) the Preparation of the Gifts, 2) the Eucharistic Prayer, 3) the Communion Rite. Roman Catholic Church rituals consist of ceremonies that happen routinely or only at specific points in someone's lifetime, such as a first communion or baptism. Catholic Mass is the celebration of the Eucharist or Holy Communion, an essential sacrament in the Catholic Church. According to Aquinas, the most befitting exterior gesture for worshipping God is sacrifice. For instance the sprinkling of holy water from an olive branch exemplifies a common blessing ritual and contributes to the school’s Communitas. The fact that every culture in human history has had rituals indicates that ritual corresponds to something in human nature. ‘Franciscan spirituality, is the spirituality which comes from St. Francis and evolved within… There’s more to the story, however. The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. A Short History of the by Michael Davies TAN BOOKS. Hence it is a dictate of natural reason that man should use certain sensibles, by offering them to God in sign of the subject and honor due to him, like those who make certain offerings to their lord in recognition of his authority (ibid). Ritual is an outward behaviour which expresses an inner intention; by creating a tradition, the Opening Mass becomes a perfect example of a ritual. The reason for this is that man is a body-soul composite. The objection is based merely on the assumption that God didn’t intend such rituals to be a part of worship for his people in the New Covenant. Rituals of the Mass. The Catholic Mass is a highly structured ritual, however the Opening Mass at Mt Alvernia College diverges from tradition by reflecting the Franciscan ethos, beliefs, values and the legacy of their founders – the Missionary Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate Conception (MFIC). John Hardon notes in his Pocket Catholic Dictionary, "means that because Christ is really present in his humanity, in heaven, and on the altar, he is capable now as he was on Good Friday of freely offering himself to the Father." The Mass is the central, most important rite of the Catholic Church. It makes sense, therefore, for us to use ritual—formal words and gestures by our bodies—to communicate the value of the things we’re celebrating, and how much we appreciate those things. San Damiano Cross Credit: Gerhard Ruf / akg-images / Unive. Our central rituals would be the Seven Sacraments: Baptism; Confirmation; Eucharist ; Anointing of the Sick; Confession; Holy Orders; Matrimony Portrait of St. Pius V, who codified the Roman Mass for all time. It was this sort of reasoning that led Aquinas to conclude. Rites and Ceremonies The point of entry into the world of Catholic ritual is the Mass, the main worship ceremony of the Church. 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