September 16, 2014

Cornelius & Cyprian

September 16, 2014:  SS. Cornelius, pope, and Cyprian, bishop, martyrs

  • 'Sparkling body' tie pin (forget how I've used it as a skeleton):  "The body is not a single part, but many.  You are Christ’s Body." (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We are his people: the sheep of his flock." (psalm)
  • 'Music' tie:  "Sing to the Lord" (psalm)
  • Red in shirt:  martyrdom of SS. Cornelius and Cyprian
  • Brown suspenders, slacks, and sandals:  wood of the Cross (Sunday and Monday readings)
Music

Pope Francis homily

Jesus was close to the widow.  He understood the heart and drew near to people.  "The Lord was moved with great compassion," the compassion that moved him at Lazarus's tomb and when he saw people like sheep without a shepherd.  Closeness and compassion:  this is how the Lord visits, and it's how we should proclaim the Gospel, how to bring forth Jesus' word.  The preachers in his time taught well but distanced themselves; the people didn't feel it as grace.  And when God visits, he restores hope.  If you preach but fail to sow hope, it's vanity.  May our Christian witness bring the closeness of God that sows hope.

Read
  • 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a  As a body is one though it has many parts, so too Christ.  In one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body and drink of one Spirit.  Some people God has designated to be, Apostles, prophets, teachers, mighty deeds, healing, assistance, administration, and tongues.  Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
    Wordle: Readings 9-16-14
  • Ps 100:1b-5  "We are his people: the sheep of his flock."  Sing joyfully to the Lord; serve him with gladness.  The Lord is God; enter his courts with praise and thanks.  His kindness and faithfulness endure.
  • Lk 7:11-17  As Jesus drew near to Nain, a dead man was being carried out, son of a widow.  When the Lord saw her, he said, moved with pity, “Don't weep.”  He touched the coffin:  “Young man, arise!”  He began to speak.  They glorified God:  “A great prophet has arisen; God has visited his people.”  The news spread through Judea and beyond.
Today's Saints, via Universalis
St. Cornelius
St. Cyprian
"Roamin' Catholic" report

Two colleagues told me last week about a Mass they attended they considered outstanding, so I attended it Sunday (a week before our choir and ensemble return to our 9am Mass).  As I parked, many were leaving the school, presumably after religious education, so my hopes were high for an engaged community at Mass.  I was not disappointed:

Music ministry
  • Who, what, and where:  The choir of about 15 was in the loft with organ and director; the cantor was at the podium.  All were appropriately audible, not overpowering.  Cantor had good gestures and made good eye contact; too bad he was late to the podium a few times.  We were also blessed with a singing presider who stayed on pitch almost everywhere.  Assembly singing was generally strong.  I spoke with cantor and organist after Mass, both long-timers at the parish; they said it took years to happen and they thought it really helped that the presider sang along.  (At some parishes the presider's mike is set high and never adjusted, so his singing overpowers assembly and choir alike; fortunately that wasn't the case at this Mass.)
  • Heritage Mass/ Alstott (Gloria, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith):  easy-to-sing parts, except that the assembly got lost during the Gloria, likely because of the complementary part the choir was singing)
  • Kyrie and Agnus Dei from Missa L'hora Passa/ Viadana (choir only) [lovely I prefer assembly singing for the Lamb of God, but this was lovely
  • Psalm:  Gelineau-style supplanted by choir descant at the end.  [I just wish it had been proclaimed from the ambo to link it more tightly with the other readings, instead of from podium; they're equidistant from the choir loft.]
  • The Our Father was well chanted.  It was also accompanied on the organ (with chords), a practice they might have considered necessary so we don't go flat, but I prefer a cappella here.
  • Choir-sung Communion antiphon ("Per signum Crucis...")
  • "Order of worship" A 5½-by-8½" sheet in the pew identified the ministers and music. (Good thing, since I didn't recognize the Viadana :-)

Other ministries/ministers:  The readings were excellent; lector kept a natural pace, honored texts' phrases, and even made eye contact with us.  Homily was on-point and included some humor (e.g., the Israelites complained there was bad Wi-Fi—funnier in context then than here).  He referred to St. Alphonsus Ligouri's Way of the cross ("We adore you, O Christ...").  I appreciated his introducing the Pregnancy Counseling Center volunteer and practically cried hearing the wonderful work she shared about; I would've appreciate it even more if it were after the homily or during announcements instead of at the beginning.  On this "liturgical dress" blog I'd be remiss in omitting that the ministers were well-dressed, in line with their responsibilities.  Children were invited up before the final blessing for pastor's personal greeting and a handout.  (To pick a nit, the table beside the presider's chair was "busy" with binders and papers; it was a bit jarring when contrasted with the relatively plain sanctuary.)  More reports

Reflect
    • Creighton:  We have an obligation to use our gifts in the service of the one body, and we need to encourage and accept others' gifts.  What can I do to become more aware of and develop my gifts?  How can I better share my gifts?  How do I encourage others to share theirs?
    • One Bread One Body:  According to the law of Moses, Jesus became unclean by touching the dead man, but he touched him and gave him life.  Jesus without being asked had mercy on the widow and raised her son to life, foreshadowing his saving death on the cross.  No one asked God to send his Son to die for us, but he looked on us with mercy.
    • DailyScripture.net:   The widow lost her loved ones and her future security; Jesus was moved with compassion and restored the son's life; it happened near where Elisha raised another son back to life (2 Kgs 4:18-37).  Jesus promises abundant life to all who believe.