DID YOU KNOW ……………..

MEDALS – Coin-shaped objects, made of metal or plastic, bearing an inscription or an image of
Christ, Mary, a Saint, a religious symbol, some shrine, or a sacred event. Probably adapted from
some secular custom, they were most likely used to identify Christians; in the Middle Ages they
served as souvenirs for pilgrims to shrines or to commemorate an important event. Worn on
neck chains or carried in purses or pockets, they are not considered lucky charms or magical
items. Their reasonable use was defended by the Council of Nicaea II and the Council of Trent.

Of themselves they have no intrinsic value, but the prayer of the Church and the indulgences
connected with them intend to develop the faith, hope, and piety of the faithful. Thus they have
a value that only the self-righteous would disdain. From the 15th century papal medals honored
the various Popes. Besides these, some of the more popular ones are the Miraculous Medal, the
scapular medal, the St. Benedict medal, the medal of the Child Jesus, and the medal of Our Lady
of Guadalupe.

INDULGENCES – In the Rite of Penance guilt for sins forgiven is taken away, but temporal
punishment due for sins may be remitted through indulgences. The faithful receive this
remission through the ministry of the Church, which dispenses in an authoritative manner the
treasury of satisfaction earned by Christ and the Saints. As for the rest the faithful must have the
proper dispositions and fulfill certain conditions. The work that is indulgenced receives its
effectiveness by the attitude and virtuous manner in which the task is completed and by how
perfectly it is done. A plenary indulgence remits all temporal punishment, whereas a partial
indulgence removes only a part of it. Indulgences may be gained for oneself or for the poor

Plenary indulgences can be acquired but one in a day, and three conditions are necessary besides
the actual work itself, namely, Sacramental confession, the reception of Communion, and prayers
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be) for the intention of the Holy Father.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

ACCLAMATIONS – Brief formulas of greeting, prayer, and faith that constitute the people’s
response to the greeting or invitation of the celebrant or his ministers in any liturgical action.
They represent the minimum external requirement for the active participation of the people.
Some of the most common ones are: “Amen”, “Alleluia”, “Thanks be to God”, “Glory to You
Lord”, “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ”, “Holy, holy, holy”, and “Hosanna in the highest…”.

The Missal of Paul VI reintroduced two ancient forms of acclamations:
The Gospel Acclamation, after the Responsorial Psalm (or the Second Reading if there is one), is
directed to the Gospel, honoring Christ Who will “evangelize” the assembly. It enshrines a short
Biblical sentence, praising Christ in His Function of Teacher and Revealer, or it recalls a
Scriptural axiom characteristic of the feast or the day. The people customarily make the
acclamation by singing or reciting “Alleluia” before and after the text used. In Lent, four
different acclamations replace the “Alleluia”.

The Memorial Acclamation is sung or recited by the people immediately after the consecration of
the bread and wine. There are four versions in English – each a paraphrase of the formula of St.
Paul: “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until
he comes” (1 Cor 11:26). This acclamation is a wonderful manifestation at the very heart of the
Eucharistic Prayer of the active participation of the faithful in the Mass, an expression of their
baptismal priesthood.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

ABSOLUTION – The remission of sin and the punishment due to sin. In the Rite of Penance, a
priest possessing valid orders and jurisdiction may absolve a penitent who has confessed sin,
who is contrite and promises to make satisfaction.

The Penitential Rite at Mass is not an absolution properly so-called; it is only a petition for
pardon. As such, it is a Sacramental that takes away venial sin.

RITE OF PENANCE – Penance is that Sacrament instituted by Christ whereby sins committed
after Baptism are remitted if the sinner posits certain acts, and receives absolution from a
qualified priest; thus its purpose is to reconcile the faithful to God. The new rite expresses the
pastoral and reconciliatory meaning of Penance, with a new emphasis on the ecclesial aspects of
repentance and sin, for separation from God by sin lessens the inner unity of the Church
community. To praise and worship the Lord properly depends on our transformation by the
healing and reconciling grace of God, and with this experience of conversion, we as Christians
change our way of life, repent, and believe.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

MAGISTERIUM – The teaching authority of the Church, which was originally bestowed on the
Apostles with St. Peter at their head and now resides in the bishops with the Pope at their head.
This Magisterium is twofold. (1) The Solemn or Extraordinary Magisterium exercised in the
formal declarations of the Pope or of the Ecumenical Councils of Bishops approved by the Pope.
(2) The Ordinary Magisterium is exercised by the Pope or bishops in their normal means of
instructing the faithful – through word, writing, and action.

The Extraordinary Magisterium is always infallible when exercised. The Ordinary Magisterium
may also be infallible when the Pope or bishops teach with moral unanimity. However, “no
doctrine is understood as infallibly defined unless it is clearly established as such” (Canon 749).
Infallible teachings are to be accorded the assent of faith by Catholics. Noninfallible teachings
must be given a religious respect of intellect and will.

In a private audience, Pope Pius XI declared: “The Liturgy … is the most important organ of the
Ordinary Magisterium of the Church … The Liturgy is not the teaching of this or that individual,
but the teaching of the Church” (cited by Cyprian Vagaggini, Theological Dimensions of the
Liturgy, p. 512)

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

ABLUTIONS – Liturgical actions that consist in washing or purifying one’s body (or part of it),
thus figuratively one’s inner self, or some object. They occur at Baptism, at the rite of Washing
the Feet on Holy Thursday, and at Mass. After the preparation of the bread and wine to be
consecrated, the celebrant washes his fingers to cleanse them. This ritual symbolizes that he
must be pure in heart and mind to offer the Sacrifice. He asks God to give him that purity.
After Communion, if particles adhere to his fingers, the priest purifies them over the paten. The
vessels are washed by the priest or deacon after Communion. The chalice is washed with wine
and water, or with water only, which is then drunk by the celebrant or deacon. This liquid
mixture is also called the ablution.

Hand-washing as a practical necessity is prescribed outside of Mass after actions that soil the
hands, e.g.: distributing candles on Candlemas Day, ashes, palms, anointing during Baptism,
Confirmation, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, Dedication of a Church.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – Worship of the Blessed Sacrament, acknowledging Christ’s
real presence there as incarnate God. Reverential practices varied during the centuries. After the
12 th century, a strong cult honoring the Eucharistic species developed. With the institution of the
Feast of Corpus Christi came processions, monstrances, and Forty Hours Devotion

BENEDICTION – This liturgical action is a Eucharistic devotion in which the Blessed
Sacrament (in the monstrance) is exposed, raised aloft, and the minister tracing the Sign of the
Cross with it, blesses the adorers. Often prayers are said, hymns are sung, and a period of silence
is observed.

FORTY HOURS DEVOTION – To honor the forty hours that the body of Christ rested in the
tomb, the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed for this period of time, during which public
services, private meditation, and prayer take place.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM

Guardian Angels parish is blessed to have Eucharistic Adoration most Wednesdays of the year
following the 9:00 AM Mass, until 6:30 PM, with Benediction at 3:00 PM. Come and visit
with Jesus for a while – He is patiently waiting for you!

BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (CORPUS CHRISTI) – to recall the institution of the
Eucharist on Holy Thursday, when sorrow over the Passion, the prime thought during Holy
Week, hinders a proper celebration, this feast was established and is celebrated on the Thursday
(or Sunday) after Trinity Sunday. It owes its origin to the progressive development of worship
and devotion to the Blessed Eucharist during the Middle Ages and to a revelation to St. Juliana
of Liège where it was first celebrated as a local feast; in 1264 it was extended to the Universal

A prominent aspect of this feast is the procession, which is to follow the Mass. A Host
consecrated during the Mass is placed in the monstrance and carried with lights, incense, and
under a canopy to several stations where the Eucharistic blessing may be given.
On this feast, we give special thanks and praise to God for this sublime gift of His Body and
Blood that Christ left to us at the Last Supper: 1) the living Memorial of His Passion, Death, and
Resurrection, which brings us its sacrificial and saving power until the end of time. 2) The great
Sacrament by which we encounter the living risen Christ and receive strength in holiness so that
all peoples may come to walk in the light of one faith, in one communion of love. 3) The sacred
Banquet in which all are fed at God’s table and grow into the holiness of the risen Christ.

Reference: Dictionary of the Liturgy
by Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM