Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So the homily is over and hopefully it was brilliant, short, and left you wanting more. If you are so fortunate, there is then a moment of silence to reflect on the breaking open of the Scriptures before we stand for the Creed. After hearing teachings from our Master (Jesus, not the presider) and before we enter the great mystery of the sacrifice of the Mass, we stand together and profess our core beliefs. “We believe . . .” Well, at least for now we do. In the (near?) future we will be saying, “I believe” in keeping with the ancient form of the prayer and forcing us to say more emphatically that it is I who believe not just as part of the anonymous Masses. (Hence the problem of not participating. Nobody will be covering for you anymore.)

The General Intercessions follow. They are just that. They intercessions and they are general. This may sound obvious to you but it is not to most people. They are intercessions of general interest concerning first the Church, the world, and then other, perhaps more local or pertinent petitions. The time for personal petitions is during the collects. If you remember, the first of these was at the beginning of the Mass when the priest says, “Let us pray.” That is when we are to add them. Not here. This is not the time for the person leading the prayers to say, “And for any prayers you care to mention” or some such thing. Praying “for me Aunt Gertrude who lives in Kentucky and who fell down the steps last week and broke her hip and is in the hospital waiting for further tests and we hope that everything is going to be Okay we pray to the Lord,” is NOT a GENERAL intercession. It is a very SPECIFIC intercession appropriate for the collect or other type of prayer service. But that is battle on a hill not worth losing many troupes over I imagine.

Obviously at this time the gifts are brought forward and the altar is set. This is also the time when a few from among the congregation come forward and start circulating baskets through the Church hoping that the Church will supply funds so that the parish may continue its mission. This is not just a handy-dandy time to take up a collection for funds. It is a rite. It is part of our offering to the Lord. We’ve labored all week and this is part of the fruit of our labor that we give after hearing His word and before we receive His body. To not participate in some way is to not participate in part of the Mass. I tell people all the time that if they are truly strapped for cash to drop in the empty envelope. You offering is your struggles that week while still showing that you support your parish’s and the Church’s mission.

Which brings us to electronic giving. I will admit that as an administrator this is very comforting. When a significant portion of your parish disappears to Florida every year it is nice to know that the collection will not fluctuate to the negative too harshly. But I am a little uneasy about it as it deprives the giver the chance to participate in the rite. So once again, I encourage these people to drop in their envelope just the same with a prayer offering for their parish.

Alright! Now we are making progress! We are finally up to the Liturgy of the Eucharist and we start tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Giving our tithe is an act of worship. The money we give represents time we spent at work the past week. We give that "time" to the Lord, as well as giving the sacrifice of our not having spent that money on ourselves. Catholics do not understand very well the spiritual basis of tithes and offerings. "Test Me in this and see," says the Lord. Nowhere else in Scripture does He invite us to "test" Him. Today's reading from 2 Corinthians explains very well, from the Lord's perspective, how tithing works. I would like to see our Stewardship committee better understand this spiritual basis, as well.