From the Rector: The Transfiguration
Aug04

From the Rector: The Transfiguration

If we look to the Old Testament, we can see numerous instances when the Lord instructs Israel to hold a memorial of some significant event God’s plan to restore fallen man. The most famous example is the Passover, the Paschal Sacrifice and Feast. The Passover, the memorial of the Israelites’ being freed from Egypt, was to be observed every year. But the remembrance was not as simple as mentally recalling that the event happened many centuries ago. The act of calling it to mind, in some way, made it a present reality. It is not that Israel was once again enslaved and needed to be freed by the Lord, but rather that the actual event was being applied to the present. The same liturgical principle is applied to the Mass, in which Christ’s sacrifice is made present through all the ages. Solemn Benediction is a memorial of another mysterious event in the saving work of Christ — the Transfiguration. The rites that surround it memorialize scene on Mount Tabor. The Church employs ritual in order to expose what is hidden. Our Lord is so very humble, and He shows none of His glory in the Blessed Sacrament. However, because the whole Church worships our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, in which He has the same Glory as in heaven, She makes manifest His majesty and Glory. Our Lord humbles himself to appear to be no more than bread and wine, but the Church practices Her belief in His Real Presence, His divinity, and the adoration and honor we owe Him through acts of reverence and worship. THE MONSTRANCE Most monstrances have several beams streaming forth from the Blessed Sacrament. This symbolism is taken from the Gospel account, that His face became radiant as the sun. It is no coincidence that the monstrance, too, looks like a large sun upon a stand. Christ is the true Sun, and the radiance of His face is depicted in the monstrance. THE CANDLES The Church requires four to six candles during Adoration. There was not only light streaming from the face of our Savior, but light surrounding them all. The candles evoke the light that filled the whole mountain, and those two lights, Moses and Elijah, that conversed with Him. THE STAND or “TABOR” The platform upon which the monstrance sometimes rests has a name, a “tabor.” At the Cathedral the Tabernacle itself was designed for this purpose. This is taken directly from the Transfiguration, for the mountain upon which it happened was Mount Tabor. Our Lord shows forth His glory upon Mount Tabor in every Adoration chapel and at every Benediction. THE INCENSE Incense is...

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Sunday School: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul28

Sunday School: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

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From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?
Jul28

From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?

As Catholics, we are accustomed to having religious objects “blessed,” which signifies the permanent sanctification and dedication of an object for some sacred purpose. I think every weekend someone asks me as well as the other priests to bless a rosary, a statue, or some other religious object. Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated for divine worship or veneration, it must be treated with reverence and must not be used in either an improper or profane way (cf. Code of Canon Law, #1171). What happens when the rosary or statue breaks and is irreparable? Or, when the palm dries out, and the following Palm Sunday provides us with new palm? The basic rule for the disposition of these items is to burn or to bury them. During the 1800s, both the Sacred Congregation for the Rites and the Holy Office (now known respectively as the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued various determinations concerning this issue. Here are a few examples: A chalice which becomes “unserviceable” is not to be sold, but must be used for some other sacred purpose, or melted. Vestments, altar cloths, and linens must be destroyed. Polluted or excess holy water must be poured into the ground. Palms are to be burned, and the ashes then used for distribution on Ash Wednesday or returned to the ground. A broken rosary or religious statue normally would be buried. In all, the underlying idea is that what has been dedicated to God should be returned to God, in a sense, the same way a person’s dead body is committed to the earth. Never should one just “throw out” what has been dedicated to God. Therefore, the normal “rule of thumb” is that anything that has been blessed should be burned (and then the ashes buried) or simply buried. I remember as a child, several times when my father dug the hole to plant a new shrub, my Mom would first add the broken rosaries, which made me think of the new shrub as something holy. My job as a child was always to burn the old palm. Even as a pastor, I have a whole box of old palm, worn linens, and other things, that I save and burn periodically. Living in a society where things have become so disposable, we must differentiate from trash those religious objects that have been blessed and dedicated to God for sacred use. My heart breaks every time I enter an antique store or look on EBay or another website and find a chalice, a reliquary (sometimes still containing a relic), vestments, and other sacred objects that were once used for the holy Mass. I have to...

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Sunday School: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul21

Sunday School: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

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From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Jul21

From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion What are the qualifications to server as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? When the necessity exists, because of a lack of Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, for the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Church permits that pastors may choose and instruct laypersons to serve the Church in this way. The first qualification is that the persons are fully initiated, that is, they have been Baptized, received First Holy Communion, and have been Confirmed. The person must also be able to receive the Sacraments themselves, and so would be living either a Single life in conformity with the teachings and discipline of the Church, or if Married, have the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony received from the Catholic Church. The person should be known to the pastor to be of good reputation and character and to have a spiritual life that fosters devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist. The person must receive instruction concerning the manner of serving as an Extraordinary Minister at Mass and for home visits. The person should be commissioned by their pastor or at least deputed for service. Because of the expectation that EMHC’s will take Holy Communion to the homebound, they will also need to participate in Safe Environment training (VIRTUS) as well as a background check through the parish or the Diocese of Gallup. It is a tremendous gift to be called to serve the Church in this manner.  If after prayerful reflection, you would like to serve the Church in this capacity, please call Fr. Keller at the parish office to make an appointment....

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