The Knights of Columbus of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Peoria, AZ will be sponsoring three needy families this year. If you would like to help, a tree has been set up in the back of the church. Please take a tag off the tree and bring the present back by Sunday, December 12 and place it in the book by the tree. Thank you for your generosity.
From ancient times, the position of the priest and the people reflected this understanding of the Mass, since the people prayed, standing or kneeling, in the place that visibly corresponded to Our Lord’s Body, while the priest at the altar stood at the head as the Head. We formed the whole Christ – Head and members – both sacramentally by Baptism and visibly by our position and posture. Just as importantly, everyone – celebrant and congregation – faced the same direction, since they were united with Christ in offering to the Father Christ’s unique, unrepeatable and acceptable sacrifice.
When we study the most ancient liturgical practices of the Church, we find that the priest and the people faced in the same direction, usually toward the east, in the expectation that when Christ returns, He will return “from the east.” At Mass, the Church keeps vigil, waiting for that return. This single position is called ad orientem, which simply means “toward the east.”
Having the priest and people celebrate Mass ad orientem was the liturgical norm for nearly 18 centuries. There must have been solid reasons for the Church to have held on to this posture for so long. And there were! First of all, the Catholic liturgy has always maintained a marvelous adherence to the Apostolic Tradition. We see the Mass, indeed the whole liturgical expression of the Church’s life, as something which we have received from the Apostles and which we, in turn, are expected to hand on intact. (1 Corinthians 11:23)
Secondly, the Church held on to this single eastward position because of the sublime way it reveals the nature of the Mass. Even someone unfamiliar with the Mass who reflected upon the celebrant and the faithful being oriented in the same direction would recognize that the priest stands at the head of the people, sharing in one and the same action, which was – he would note with a moment’s longer reflection – an act of worship.
Even before his election as the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict has been urging us to draw upon the ancient liturgical practice of the Church to recover a more authentic Catholic worship.
It would also be a mistaken notion to look at the recovery of this ancient tradition as a mere “turning back of the clock.” Pope Benedict has spoken repeatedly of the importance of celebrating Mass ad orientem, but his intention is not to encourage celebrants to become “liturgical antiquarians.” Rather, His Holiness wants us to discover what underlies this ancient tradition and made it viable for so many centuries, namely, the Church’s understanding that the worship of the Mass is primarily and essentially the worship which Christ offers to His Father. — From Ad Orientem by Bishop Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa, OK, August 2009
Mass is celebrated ad orientem at St. Charles Borromeo during the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent, at other special liturgies, and at the Traditional Latin Mass on the first Fridays of the month.
“While interment of the body remains the preference of the Church, after the manner of the burial of the Lord Jesus, the use of cremation is allowed,” Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote recently as he promulgated norms for cremation in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “If a body is to be cremated, it is always preferable that cremation take place after the Funeral Liturgy,” the norms state, and “the cremated remains are to be buried in a cemetery or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.”
“It is not permitted to scatter cremated remains,” the norms add, and “the permanent storage of cremated remains in a private home, funeral home or any other place is prohibited.”
Likewise, Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe said in a recent statement that “the Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed; it does not, however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.”
However, if the option of cremation is chosen, the obligation to entomb the remains in a consecrated place remains. This is to be done as soon after the Mass of Christian Burial as possible. Especially to be condemned are the practices of scattering the ashes, enclosing them in jewelry, dividing them among relatives as keepsakes, or doing other bizarre things with them. Such practices do not give honor to the body and, indirectly, are an affront to our belief in the resurrection of the dead. There are those who say they wish to keep the ashes at home so that they “may feel close” to their loved ones. This shows a lack of faith in the communion of saints, by which we are spiritually united to the departed, in a way far more marvelous than keeping their remains on a shelf in our house.
Archbishop Sheehan also implored the faithful to hold funeral Masses for the deceased rather than “memorial services”:
The primary purpose of a Catholic Funeral is to plead the mercy of God upon the soul of the departed person. It is an infallible teaching of the Church that Purgatory does exist, and that the souls there can be helped with our prayers and it is the common teaching of the Church that most of the faithful who depart this life after the age of reason will have some time of temporal punishment for their sins in Purgatory. The Mass is, of course, the most powerful prayer we can offer God, and therefore we, the living, have an obligation in charity to offer the Mass for the departed … To fail to provide for the Funeral Mass, substituting some sort of “memorial service”, or “celebration of life” gathering, or not providing for any funeral service at all, is gravely wrong.
“Let us not be misled by the atmosphere of paganism around us, which rejects the existence of the soul, the sacredness of the body, the mercy of the Redemption, and eternal life with God in heaven,” he concluded. “Rather, let us render the debt of love we owe the dead in frequent prayer for their eternal rest, and let our funeral celebrations show to the entire world that we indeed believe ‘in the resurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting,’ won for us by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.
- Archdioceses clarify church teaching on cremation, burial of remains (CNS)
- Norms Regarding Cremation In The Archdiocese Of Philadelphia (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
- Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan: Honor We Must Give the Deceased (Archdiocese of Santa Fe)
A Mass will be offered on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25 at 10:00 a.m.
The new liturgical years begins at sundown Saturday, November 28.
Friday, December 24, 5:00 p.m.
12:00 Midnight Mass
Saturday, December 25, 10:00 a.m.
Please note: There will be no 5:00 p.m. Mass Saturday, December 25.
Holy Family Masses
Sunday, December 26, 8:00 a.m.
Sunday, December 26, 10:00 a.m.
Mary, Mother of God
Saturday, January 1, 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, January 1, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 2, 8:00 a.m.
Sunday, January 2, 10:00 a.m.
Father will be away from January 3 until 9, 2011. There will be no First Friday Traditional Latin Mass on January 7, 2011
This year’s Fiesta was a success due to the hard work of many people — Encuentro Matrimonial, Fe y Vida, Fiesta Committee, Grupo de Oracion, Jovenes, Knights of Columbus, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Team, Quinceanera Ministry, Rosary Group, St. Vincent de Paul, the Vargas Family, and the Women’s Guild.
When the need arises, Father Gonzales recommends the services of the following funeral homes:
Heritage Funeral Chapel
6830 6830 W Thunderbird Rd Peoria, AZ 85381 (623) 974-3671
Menke Funeral Home
12420 N 103rd Ave, Sun City, AZ 85351 (623) 979-6451