In the past 50 years lay people have taken on many liturgical ministries, from extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and readers, to visitors to the sick and collection counters. For many parishes the ministry of hospitality holds a special place because hospitality is – or ought to be – the hallmark of every Christian. We might think that hospitality at Mass is limited to providing a warm greeting as parishioners and visitors arrive, or handing out parish bulletins, but in fact it is much more than this: it is the ministry of the whole community.
Jesus told his followers ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt 18:20).
When we hear the word ‘apostle’ most of us think of the 12 male apostles, perhaps with Peter coming to mind before the others. However, not long ago Pope Francis reminded us that there is indeed a female apostle whose importance to the Church has often ‘slipped under the radar’.
The beautiful funeral liturgies that marked the passing to eternal life of Archbishop Leonard Faulkner demonstrated very clearly the important role that our Catholic rituals play within the faith community. The coming together of so many people from throughout our diocese and beyond was “cemented” by the prayers, the readings, the songs and hymns, the actions in which we all joined.
The early understanding of Pentecost as a time of continuing joy following the ascension of Jesus remains a significant focus for the Church, writes JENNY O’BRIEN, liturgy educator with the Office for Worship.
With Easter upon us JENNY O’BRIEN explores what it means to be Christian every day of our lives.
In 4th century Rome, the Church year began on Christmas day, the day of Christ’s birth. By the 7th century, however, the Church year began with the First Sunday of Advent, four weeks prior to Christmas.