Prayer: “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing trail and joy.” (St. Therese of Lesieux, CCC, no. 2558)
Worship: “It is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian Spirit”. (Sacred Constitution on the Liturgy)
Psalms – go back to King David in the Old Testament The Psalter, or Book of Psalms, is the first book of the “Writings” (Kethubhim or Hagiographa), i.e. of the third section of the printed Hebrew Bible of today. Catholic Encyclopedia: Psalms
Types of Prayer: (See United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p.467-68)
We pray and participate in the Mass
• Liturgy of the Hours (divineoffice.org)
• Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; a term broadly used to designate the practically uninterrupted adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Read more at Catholic Encyclopedia: The Blessed Eucharist as a Sacrament
One of the most generally popular of Catholic services is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, known in France as Salut and in Germany as Segen. It is ordinarily an afternoon or evening devotion and consists in the singing of certain hymns, or litanies, or canticles, before the Blessed Sacrament, which is exposed upon the alter in a monstrance and is surrounded with lights.
Read more at Catholic Encyclopedia: Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
The Liturgical Year
The Liturgical Year is the Church’s annual remembrance of the events of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is divided into the two major seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter/Pentecost with Ordinary Time occurring between them. Each season has a time of preparation and a time of celebration.
Meaning behind the Liturgical Year
The feasts of Jesus are arranged in historical sequence giving us an opportunity to relive the major events of his life in a prayerful and meditative manner. Jesus is Savior from the moment of his Incarnation. Therefore, we celebrate and experience his saving power in each of the events of the Church Year put before us. By including the events within a liturgical celebration, the Church helps make Christ’s saving power sacramentally available to us. What Jesus once did in Israel, he now does in the mysteries of the liturgy.
Learn more about the Liturgical Year at USCCB.org
Liturgical Ministers: The diversity of ministers is essential to the fruitful celebration of the Mass. All the faithful are summoned to a “full, conscious, and active participation that burns with faith, hope and charity, by reason of their Baptism. (Girm, 17-18)
There are a variety of gifts given for the building up of the body of Christ.
Liturgical Ministries exercised at Mass: Music Ministers, Cantors, Ministers of Liturgical Environment, Ushers and Greeters, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors (Please see following guidelines for the Archdiocese of Anchorage)
• Download Guidelines for Lectors
• Download Guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Lector: Is any lay minister that reads from the Lectionary.
Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist: Assist the distribution of Holy Communion when there are not sufficient ordained ministers.
Ushers and Greeters: Help people have a deep faith in Christ, a love for the Mass, and a place in the community. As an usher or a greeter, you welcome all who enter the church.
Sacristan: You provide the legwork to help other people worship. Sacristans help prepare the celebration of the Eucharist.
Ministers of the Liturgical Environment: Your work lends beauty to the house of God, and it inspires those who gather for worship.
Cantors: You will serve Church worship by your ability to sing. Your ministry is an essential part of the Church’s worship. It will serve the flow of liturgical prayer. It will aid beauty and artistry to the way people pray.
Minister of Music: You help the entire assembly fulfill its role. You lead the singing. You manage the length of the silence. You model participation by your prayers and attention.
Stations of the Cross
For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week, and especially Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the “Way of the Cross”, the “Via Circus”, and the “Via Dolorosa.” It commemorates 14 key events on the day of Christ’s crucifixion. The majority concern his final walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the Cross.
Read more about the Stations of The Cross at USCCB.org
The Stations of the Cross with Pope John Paul II
The celebration of the Stations of the Cross is popular on the Fridays of Lent, and especially Good Friday. The Stations of the Cross used by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991 was different. On this day Pope John Paul II added a Fifteenth Station to the Way of the Cross, “Jesus Rises from the Dead”. Pope John Paul II, according to the long-standing tradition, led people gathered at the Roman Coliseum in the Stations of the Cross. But, on this remarkable occasion, Pope John Paul II changed the format. He altered the fourteen stations and adds a fifteenth.
First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested
Third Station: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
Fourth Station: Jesus is denied by Peter
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross
Eighth Station: Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross
Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Tenth Station: Jesus is crucified
Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to Dismas, the Good Thief
Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
Fifteenth Station: Jesus Rises from the Dead
Order a copy of The Stations of the Cross with Pope John Paul II
Popular author Father Joseph Champlin adapts the Stations of the Cross from the ones used by Pope John Paul II at the Roman Colosseum on Good Friday, 1991. There are 15 stations, including the Resurrection. Based on the events in the Gospels, each station is accompanied by specific Gospel readings. Each of the prayer responses is taken from a portion of the Psalms. Father Champlin includes new stations, in addition to some of the traditional ones. Perfect for use with prayer groups. Paperback.
Prayer Postures at Mass
Praying with Body, Mind and Voice: In the celebration of Mass we raise our hearts and minds to God. We are creatures of body as well as spirit, so our prayer is not confined to our minds and hearts. It is expressed by our bodies as well. When our bodies are engaged in our prayer, we pray with our whole person. Using our entire being in prayer helps us to pray with greater attentiveness.
During Mass we assume different postures—standing, kneeling, sitting—and we are also invited to make a variety of gestures. These postures and gestures are not merely ceremonial. They have pro-found meaning and, when done with understanding, can enhance our participation in the Mass. Read more about Praying with Body, Mind and Voice from USCCB.org.
United States Conference of Secular Institutes: Each Secular institute bears the unique charism of its founders and traditions, and each celebrates its “communion” by annual retreats, meetings, common daily prayer, and friendships that evolve quite naturally from living a similar life in God despite differences in profession or work in the world. A web of connectedness grows over time, linking the members to one another inextricably. For all consecrated seculars, the vocation undergirds all they undertake because it becomes the essence of what they are in God’s eye. Learn more about Secular Institutes from SecularInstitutes.org