Advent wreaths

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Greetings from Down Under! The Advent wreaths in many parishes have three purple candles that are lit on the first, second and fourth Sundays and a rose candle that is lit on the third Sunday. Some will explain that this is because the third Sunday of Advent is different. It is “Gaudete” Sunday, fromGaudete (Rejoice), the first word of the entrance antiphon for the day. With the entrance antiphon usually replaced by a hymn, that reasoning is lost on most people. Now that Advent no longer has a penitential focus, it is not necessary to set one Sunday apart from the …

Initiation process in Catholic schools

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am looking for any compelling documentation/research/insights beyond the Canons and the RCIA that would help Catholic School principals and teachers understand the importance of a thorough initiation process for Catholic School children asking to become Catholic.  We see this from both nonbaptized students and those baptized in another Christian tradition especially during  2nd grade. We must be able to discern a need for belonging from a true conversion and thus be able to cautiously guide them through a thorough RCIA process.  I have seen lots of material specific to the Rite itself in a parish program of religion, …

Memorial acclamation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: There are three possible memorial acclamations after the consecration at Mass. Are these connected to the liturgical year or the seasons? == A: No, you’re free to use them whenever you like. Some people use one throughout a season to give it a certain character. Some use one for a year at time. Others change them up every day. They’re completely interchangeable. Just a reminder that that acclamation is to be made by the people while the priest remains silent. I usually ask the cantor, lector or another parishioner to start it after I make the introduction, “The mystery …

Rite of Welcoming

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thanks for your insights! Hope you are staying well. When an unbaptized Inquirer misses the Rite of Welcoming, can we do another Rite outside the confines of the Mass and community when they are able to return? == A: You’re welcome. hope you are well too. Yes, you may celebrate it again. But first a clarification of terms. The Rite of Welcoming is an adapted rite for baptized candidates for reception into the full communion of the church. An unbaptized inquirer undergoes the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. Either may be done more than once a …

Tolling a bell for a funeral

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: When is the appropriate time to toll a bell for a funeral held at the church – just before the funeral starts or as the casket is removed from the church? == A: I can’t believe I left this out of my book Light in the Darkness, but it’s hard to think of everything. You can make a case for it either way. I did remember in my book Let Us Pray that the Book of Blessings assumes that external bells are used to summon people to worship (1305, 1312, 1319). It would therefore be appropriate to let the tolling of a …

More on the Pall

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In a follow up to your other Pall question, I understand the early use was to keep bugs and other things from going in the chalice, but with Masses being done indoors now, most with central air, why is the Pall still used to cover the chalice? Is it more for ceremony now? == A: Here’s an earlier post: https://paulturner.org/pall-over-the-chalice/ This fall I noticed an occasionally bug flying around my chalice, so I started keeping a pall handy during Mass. I needed it on some rare occasions. But with the change in weather, the bugs seem to have flown away. …

Baptism

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I had a question about baptism. Can two unbaptized non-Catholics have their child baptized in the Catholic faith?   This is the case of my neighbors who want to send their children (ages 5 and 1) to our local Catholic school and are hoping to start RCIA next fall. I told them to talk with the pastor there about it. But as I understand it, if they are committed to joining RCIA and sending their child to a Catholic school, that’s a pretty well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the faith. That said, it’s up to the …

Pall

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Why do we call the cloth covered square we place over the chalice a pall? I was looking at some definitions and they are all pretty gloomy: “Something regarded as enveloping a situation with an air of gloom, heaviness, or fear.” I understand this in relation to a funeral pall. How does this apply to the chalice? Just curious and thanks for all you do. == A: The word “pall” probably comes from the Latin word pallium which was a garment worn by early Christians, and is still the name of the special stole-like vestment worn by archbishops. Because it was …

Self-communicate

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Are lay Communion ministers allowed to self communicate? == A: They are not allowed to self-communicate at Mass. But if they are leading a communion service or visiting the sick, then they may give themselves communion.

Presbyteral ordination

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Hope you are well. One of the students asked the following in class today.    The solemn blessing at the end of the presbyteral ordination rite has the bishop extend his hands over the new priests and the people. But in other solemn blessings he extends over, e.g., the married couple and then the final general blessing. Shouldn’t it just say over the newly ordained for the first three parts of the blessing? Thanks == A: Thanks, yes, I am well, and I hope and pray that you are too. Hmmm. When blessing the newly confirmed, the newly married, a new abbess, a …