I think that most of you have already heard about Bishop Spalding's decision to lift the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation as of Palm Sunday. I want to address how we at Saint Rose are going to adapt to returning to the regular practice of the Church.
First, our plans are designed to accommodate everyone who comes to Mass while keeping prudent precautions in place. The major change will be that there will no longer be pews blocked off in the larger middle sections of the church. The faithful will be asked to practice social distancing according to their judgment in these sections.READ MORE
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER THIS YEAR
After the sad Holy Week and Easter last year with liturgical celebrations without the faithful present, I am very happy that we will once again have public celebrations of these holy days. Although there will still be some alterations in the liturgies and our attendance will be limited, we will be celebrating together as a parish.
Here are some notes on the schedule and changes for this year: Palm Sunday -- We will not be having a procession but will distribute and bless palms at the beginning of every Mass for Palm Sunday. Livestream will be provided as on a regular Sunday.READ MORE
As of Palm Sunday, Bishop Spalding is lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. This is a return to the normal situation of the Church regarding attendance at Mass. I want to get this word to you as soon as possible, even though we will be working out the practical implications here at Saint Rose in the days to come.READ MORE
At Saint Rose, we have followed the guidance of the diocese about precautions regarding COVID. We continue to do so. Civil governmental entities such as Rutherford County, for example, are reconsidering mask mandates and other precautions in public spaces. We will take note of what civil authorities are requiring, but we will continue to make decisions on our circumstances.READ MORE
Even though we continue through the challenges of a pandemic, we are blessed at Saint Rose in so many ways. Last weekend, our First Communion classes celebrated the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation for the first time. It took several priests all morning to hear the confessions! This weekend, Bishop Spalding will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on over 100 candidates from our parish. These are exciting times for celebrating the sacraments at Saint Rose!
If we have a problem, it is that we are running out of room at most of our Masses! Please be sure to sign up for Mass. And thank you for your understanding if you need to attend Mass in the gym. We are trying our best!READ MORE
During Lent, we want to offer more and extended times for confession. We will be offering confession every day of the week beginning the Second Week of Lent through Wednesday of Holy Week. (We will have other times for confession during the Triduum which will be announced later.) There are times during the day, at night, and on weekends. I hope that everyone can find a convenient time.READ MORE
In English, the word "Lent" comes from an old word for "spring." I am not sure that we always think of Lent in such a positive way. Maybe we even dread Lent because we associate it with penance. Our Lenten penances, however, have a positive purpose. Lent can truly be a new springtime for our souls: a time of new life and growth. For new life and growth to happen, we need to cut away dead and lifeless things in our lives. That is why we practice penance during Lent and give things up. We also think of "spring cleaning," which we can do in our souls by confession. Finally, we also begin to plant our gardens and flowers in the spring. In our souls during Lent, we increase our prayer and establish good habits of sacrificial giving. These are indeed beautiful spiritual gardens in our souls which are very pleasing to God. Let's think of the next 40 days, as the beginning of a new springtime in our souls! I am excited already!READ MORE
Saint Rose of Lima Parish is very grateful to receive a new statue of St. Michael the Archangel from our Guatemalan community. The statue is based on an image and devotion to St. Michael in the city of Totonicapan. We have a number of parishioners from this area of Guatemala. There are features of the statue that are familiar, for example, St. Michael's wings as an angel and his sword as the leader of the hosts of Heaven. In this image, however, his armour is like that of a Roman soldier's, and he is also holding a scale. The statue is based on an apparition of St. Michael which occurred over 400 years ago in Totonicapan.READ MORE
The pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives for almost a year now. This includes the liturgy. I want to give a reminder about music and announce a change that will be in effect for Ash Wednesday.
We have generally been avoiding robust congregational singing during the pandemic because vocal production disperses aerosols in a particularly dramatic way. That is why we have had limited use of hymns, for example. The singing we have been doing has generally been simple chants which are meant to be sung quietly. Chants are the music of the liturgy par excellence as they emphasize the words we sing. We have, for example, been able to sing more words from Sacred Scripture at Mass -- the verses at the entrance, offertory, and Holy Communion processions -- are all given to us by the Church from the words of the Bible to complement the readings and prayers of each Mass. I invite you to join in these verses, much like the Responsorial Psalm and the Alleluia, which we are all familiar with. The opportunity to chant the scriptures is a blessing indeed!READ MORE