7:00 PM Mass Ad Experimentum
I’ll explain what that Latin means in a moment! Before the Covid interruption of our Sunday evening mass, July and August had been the period of highest attendance, so with the arrival of summer just around the corner we will begin celebrating a 7:00PM Sunday Mass ad experimentum on Sunday, July 3, through Sunday, August 28. After that the mass will be paused while we evaluate the experience. That Latin phrase is the church’s term for doing something on an experimental or trial basis, after which it is evaluated. (Google Translate renders it as “to give it a try”!) As I explained in a previous eNewsletter (here), there are many factors to consider regarding this liturgy, and they will all be taken into account in the post-summer evaluation.
What it takes to have good Sunday liturgy
YOU, our congregation, are in need of more people to serve in the various roles reserved to the laity in the Sunday liturgy – for BOTH the 11:00AM and 7:00PM Sunday masses. (Sign-up HERE) First let me say, on behalf of all, a deep thanks to those who have been faithfully serving in these roles, making our liturgy alive, attractive and beautiful. To everyone else, let me say: YOU need many more to step up. What do I mean by putting it that way? This isn’t a case that Father needs you to help out… it is YOU that need yourselves to make good liturgy happen! Pope Francis recently re-confirmed that the sacred liturgy as reformed and renewed by the Second Vatican Council is the normative liturgy of the Catholic Church. That renewed liturgy presumes and depends on the active participation of the people, including taking on the various roles of readers, greeters, communion ministers, servers, sacristans, artists and decorators, singers, musicians, and hospitality.
The liturgy of the church can’t be alive without you! If you expect mass to be here for you, YOU have to step up to make it happen. This isn’t the church of the 1950s where you can just show up as a passive spectator. We know those days are over with. ALL are called to form a living, breathing-the-Spirit, engaged Body of Christ. Here’s an interesting example from a parish that has an unusual system for their Sunday mass: each and every adult serves on a liturgical ministry team for one full month, at least two times a year. The team self-selects who will take the various liturgical roles each Sunday of their month. They support each other to work through any shyness or lack of self-confidence to arrive at feeling called and able. That results in a powerfully bonded, empowered and engaged community. Imagine it! Think about it!
Our parish will host a synod listening session for all the Jesuit ministries in the Detroit area this Sunday after the 11:00AM mass, as explained in my last article here. This is our opportunity to provide the input Pope Francis has requested about how we, the Church, can move forward together guided by the Spirit. Please register at this link.
Our Family of Parishes
For two full days this past week, myself and Fr. Jeff Dorr, SJ, the current Administrator at Gesu, participated in a workshop about our two parishes becoming a “Family of Parishes.” We will be communicating more information about this new direction in the Archdiocese in the weeks to come.
Covid is once again on the rise, with a HIGH community transmission level in southeast Michigan, which has the 13th highest case rate among the 50 states. CDC guidance calls for wearing masks at indoor gatherings, including church services. For the sake of protecting vulnerable others (like the 80-year-old priests I live with) please wear a KN95 or equivalent mask at mass until this surge passes.