Ministry

Liturgical Tips

BASIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, PART 6

4. What is the relationship between popular devotions and culture?

The Catholic faith is thus able to enter into every culture, and people are able to live the faith in their own culhires, once these cultures have been purified of elements foreign to the Catholic faith. While this enculh1ration of the faith takes place in the lihirgy, popular devotions carry the faith a step deeper into the everyday life of a particular culture. When properly ordered to the liturgy, popular devotions perform an irreplaceable function of bringing worship into daily life for people of various cultures and times. "The liturgy is the criterion; it is the living form of the Church as a whole, fed directly by the Gospel. Popular piety is a sign that the faith is spreading its roots into the heart of a people in such a way that it reaches into daily life." Popular devotions alJow the practice of the faith to pass beyond the bounds of the Church's official liturgy and to penneate more thoroughly the daily lives of people in their own culture. 

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

 

Liturgical Tips

BASIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, PART 5

4. What is the relationship between popular devotions and culture?

Popular devotions arise in the encounter between the Catholic faith and culture. As the Church brings the faith into a culture, there are two kinds of transformation that take place. First of all, by introducing the Catholic faith, the Church transforms the culture, leaving the imprint of the faith on the culture. At the same time, however, the Church assimilates certain aspects of the culture, as some elements of the culture become absorbed and integrated into the life of the Church. This twofold process can be seen in the development of popular devotional practices. "In genuine forms of popular piety, the Gospel message assimilates expressive forms particular to a given culture while also permeating the consciousness of that culture with the content of the Gospel." 

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

 

 

Liturgical Tips

Basic Questions and Answers, Part 4

3. What is the relationship between popular devotions and the Bible?

As the Bible stands at the core of what God has revealed to the Church, sound popular devotions should naturally be strongly imbued with biblical themes, language, and imagery. Pope Paul VI explained, "Today it is recognized as a general need of Christian piety that every form of worship should have a biblical imprint." He applied this in particular to the example of Marian devotions: "What is needed is that texts of prayers and chants should draw their inspiration and their wording from the Bible, and above all that devotion to the Virgin should be imbued with the great themes of the Christian message." In speaking of the rosary, Pope John Paul II insisted that it is not a substitute for the reading of the Bible; "on the contrary, it presupposes and promotes" prayerful reading of the Holy Scriptures. While the mysteries of the rosary "do no more than outline the fundamental elements of the li.fe of Christ, they easily draw the mind to a more expansive reflection on the rest of the Gospel, especially when the Rosary is prayed in a setting of prolonged recollection."

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

 

Liturgical Tips

Popular Devotional Practices:

Basic Questions and Answers, Part 3

2. What is the relationship between popular devotions and the liturgy?

As Pope Paul VT recognized, maintaining the proper balance [between liturgy and devo­tions] may not always be easy and may require patient and persistent effort. He indicated that there are two extreme attitudes to be avoided. On the one hand, he rejected the position of those "who scorn, a priori, devotions of piety which, in their correct forms, have been recommend­ed by the Magisterium, who leave them aside and in this way create a vacuum which they do not fill. They forget that the Council has said that devotions of piety should harmonize with the liturgy, not be suppressed." On the other hand, he likewise did not accept the position of those who, without wholesome liturgical and pastoral criteria, mix practices of piety and liturgical acts in hybrid celebrations. It sometimes happens that novenas or similar practices are inserted into the very celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This creates the danger that the Lord's Memorial Rite, instead of being the culmination of the meeting of the Christian community, becomes the oc­casion, as it were, for devotional practices. Here Pope Paul VI admonished us that "exercises of piety should be harmonized with the liturgy, not merged into it."

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

Liturgical Tips

Popular Devotional Practices:

Basic Questions and Answers, Part 2

2. What is the relationship between popular devotions and the liturgy? - Part 1

Since the liturgy is the center of the life of the Church, popular devotions should never be portrayed as equal to the liturgy, nor can they adequately substitute for the liturgy. What is crucial is that popular devotions be in harmony with the liturgy, drawing inspiration from it and ultimately leading back to it. "These devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them." While the liturgy always remains the primary reference point, "the liturgy and popular piety are two forms of worship which are in mutual and fruitful relationship with each other." Personal and family prayer and devotions should flow from and lead to a fuller participation in the liturgy. 

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

    Liturgical Tips

    Popular Devotional Practices:

    Basic Questions and Answers, Part 1

    1. What are the origins of popular devotions?

    Unlike the sacraments themselves, popular devotions ca1mot be traced directly back to the ministry of Jesus and the practice of the Apostles. Most developed gradually over the years and even centuries as people sought ways of living out their faith. The origins of the more ancient devotions are often rather obscure. Some devotions, such as the rosary and scapulars, have come down to us as adaptations of the practices of religious orders. A few, such as devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Miraculous Medal, are considered to have their origin in a private revelation, that is, some vision or message given to one of the faithful.

    http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

    Educational: Saint Anthony of Padua (1195 - 1231)

    saint_anthony_of_padua.gif

    Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins de Bulhões in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born into a wealthy family and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal. During his time in the Abbey, he learned theology and Latin.

    Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guestmaster and was responsible for the abbey's hospitality. When Franciscan friars settled a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt, Fernando felt a longing to join them. Fernando eventually received permission to leave the Abbey so he could join the new Franciscan Order. When he was admitted, he changed his name to Anthony.

    Anthony then traveled to Morocco to spread God's truth, but became extremely sick and was returned to Portugal to recover. The return voyage was blown off-course and the party arrived in Sicily, from which they traveled to Tuscany. Anthony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo after local friars considered his health. As he recovered, Anthony spent his time praying and studying.

    An undetermined amount of time later, Dominican friars came to visit the Franciscans and there was confusion over who would present the homily. The Dominicans were known for their preaching, thus the Franciscans assumed it was they who would provide a homilist, but the Dominicans assumed the Franciscans would provide one. It was then the head of the Franciscan hermitage asked Anthony to speak on whatever the Holy Spirit told him to speak of. Though he tried to object, Anthony delivered an eloquent and moving homily that impressed both groups. Soon, news of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi, who held a strong distrust of the brotherhood's commitment to a life of poverty. However, in Anthony, he found a friend.

    Anthony occasionally taught at the universities of Montpellier and Toulouse in southern France, but he performed best in the role of a preacher. So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, most unlettered and the innocent could understand his messages. It is for this reason he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

    He was only 36-years-old when he died and was canonized less than one year afterward by Pope Gregory IX. Upon exhumation some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it. He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles."

    -taken from: www.catholic.org

     

    Liturgical Tips

    Feasts of Mary and of the Saints

    The mystery of Christ, unfolded through the cycle of the year, calls us to live his mystery in our own lives. This call is best illustrated in the lives of Mary and the saints, celebrated by the Church throughout the year. There is no tension between the mystery of Christ and the celebration of the saints, but rather a marvelous harmony. The Blessed Virgin Mary is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son, and the feasts of all the saints proclaim the wonderful works of Christ in his servants and offer the faithful fitting examples for their imitation. In the feasts of Mary and of the saints, the Paschal Mystery of Christ is proclaimed and renewed.

    -http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/index.cfm

    Liturgical Tips

    Ordinary Time

    Christmas Time and Easter Time highlight the central mysteries of the Paschal Mystery, namely, the incarnation, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, on the other hand, take us through the life of Christ. This is the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ.

    Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

    -http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/ordinary-time.cfm

     

    Educational: SS. Marcellinus and Peter, MM. (c 4th Century AD)

    saints_marcellinus_and_peter.jpg

    On June 2, the Catholic Church remembers two fourth­-century martyrs, Saints Marcellinus and Peter, who were highly venerated after the discovery of their tomb and the conversion of their executioner.

    Though we know very little about these two martyrs under Diocletian, there is no question that the early church venerated them. Evidence of the respect in which they were held are the basilica Constantine built over their tombs and the presence of their names in the first eucharistic prayer. 

    Pope St. Damasus I, who was himself a great devotee of the Church's saints during his life, 
    composed an epitaph to mark the tombs of the two martyrs. The source of his knowledge, he
    said, was the executioner himself, who had subsequently repented and joined the Catholic Church. Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304. According to a legendary account of their martyrdom, the two Romans saw their imprisonment as just one more opportunity to evangelize and managed to convert their jailer and his family. The legend also says that they were beheaded in the forest so that other Christians wouldn't have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. Two women found the bodies, however, and had them properly buried.

    The feast of these two martyrs was included in the Roman calendar of saints by Pope Vigilius in 555.

    -taken from: www.catholicnewsagency.com & www.holyspiritinteractive.net