CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Did you ever wonder why Catholics do what they do at Mass? Do you ever think about how a Priest or Deacon or Bishop knows what to say and where to stand or what gestures are to be done? The answer to these questions is found in a term we call Liturgy. The words and gestures are laid out in the Roman Missal and in the General Instructions for the Mass. The reason for this is so that no matter where you travel in the world, by being familiar with the structure of the Mass, you will be able to follow along. The Liturgy unites us as Catholics and it is very cool.

Here at the Cathedral, we are blessed to have Michael Vreeburg who is our “Master of Ceremonies” and works with servers and readers and guides us all in liturgical procedures. We are also blessed to have Dr. Jonathan Embry as our music director. This too is all part of liturgy and all designed not as entertainment, but for a much higher purpose. It is designed to work together to lift our prayers and unity up to Heaven and out of our carnal natures. The reason I write all of this is in today’s readings we learn some ancient things about liturgy.

In our first reading from Nehemiah, they have uncovered an ancient scroll of the law and he reads it to the people. This was a profound moment in Jewish history as the people began to realize how far they had strayed in their lives. St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that we are all one body by virtue of our baptism and we must all use whatever gifts we have to edify the body of Christ. Finally in the Gospel of Luke we have our blessed Lord Jesus partaking in liturgy as He reads the scroll of Isaiah and proclaims it to be fulfilled that very day. Wow! So this week, let us pay close attention to the liturgy at Mass. Listen to the words and prayers. I mean really pay attention. Partake fully with your voice and actions, and sing loudly, even if it is in the key of “off” like me. Do these things and I promise you that you will get more out of Mass than you ever did before…Something old and new to try out…and may God richly bless you always…

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