Pastor’s letter for October 30, 2016: Postures During Mass
Last Sunday we implemented some updates in procedure to the flow of the Eucharist from the altar to the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and the way it comes back to the altar and then to the tabernacle. I want to thank all the Ministers for coming to the training and for their patience and attentiveness. Though things went very well last week, it did bring up some confusion as to the posture after receiving communion. With the new updates, the priest or deacon will be purifying the vessels (doing the dishes) at the altar, so it will not be necessary to stand and watch this and wait for the priest or deacon to finish and sit down.
Moving forward, after you have received communion and returned to your pew, you may sit or kneel. The time after receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist is a time of “thanksgiving” and prayer with Our Lord who is very close and present. When the priest does sit down the music will stop and then there will be a time of “sacred silence”. The period of silence will end when the priest says “Let us pray”, then all will rise for the closing prayer and blessing. After the final blessing the cantor will announce the closing hymn or recessional. The priest will go out during the recessional but please stay in the church singing until the hymn is completed.
Another point of posture that needs to be clarified is when to stand after the Eucharistic Prayer. Presently it seems most people are standing before or during the “Great Amen.” The correct posture according to the General Instruction for the Liturgy is to remain kneeling through the “Great Amen”, which is usually sung, and rise after that. The transition point to standing is after, not during, the “Great Amen.”
We have some great Feast Days coming up. Tuesday, is All Saints Day and a Holy Day of Obligation. In addition to the regular scheduled 8AM mass there will be a School Mass at 9AM and a Mass at 6PM. Nov. 2nd is All Souls’ Day, a day to remember the dead who are being cleansed in purgatory before entering heaven. It is not a holy day of obligation but a great day to come to Mass and pray for the dead, especially family and friends. In addition to our 8AM Mass, there will be a Mass at Holyrood at 10:30AM.