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MORNING OFFERING – Prayer of offering of one’s whole day to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It makes the Mass the center of the members’ day, and is intimately linked with the Liturgical
Movement.

Two versions:
Traditional Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

Contemporary Morning Offering
Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day;
my work, my prayers, my apostolic efforts;
my time with family and friends;
my hours of relaxation;
my difficulties, problems, distress which I shall try to bear with patience.
Join these my gifts to the unique offering which Jesus Christ, your Son, renews today in the Eucharist.
Grant, I pray, that vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
my life this day may be of service to You and to Your children
and help consecrate the world to You. Amen

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


ST. MONICA – As a wife, Monica handled her husband, Patricius, and her mother-in-law so well that they converted. She is probably best known for her continuous prayers for Augustine,
who was a Manichee (an elaborate  dualistic cosmology  describing the  struggle  between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness; its heresy: all flesh is evil), and
led an immoral life. Eventually, he was baptized by St. Ambrose in 386; his conversion he attributed to her prayers. She is the Patroness of Married Women and Model for Christian
Mothers. Feast: August 27. Theme: the efficacy of prayer.

ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO – He searched ceaselessly for the truth until the age of thirty-five. Then with the help of his mother’s prayers, he was converted to the Faith at Milan and
baptized by St. Ambrose. At age 41, he became Bishop of Hippo in North Africa and guided his flock for 34 years. Augustine left voluminous works that have been the admiration of the ages,
and his sublime knowledge has made him one of the four great Fathers and Doctors of the Latin Church. He is Patron of Brewers, Printers, and Theologians. Feast: August 28. Theme: the
search for God through His 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 (feast of the Body and Blood of Christ), came processions, monstrances,
and the Forty Hours’ Devotion. Nocturnal adoration emerged from the latter and honors the exposed Blessed Sacrament during the night hours. Perpetual Adoration is continual worship of
the Eucharist exposed or in the tabernacle 24/7.

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 mediation, and prayer take place. The devotion developed in the 16 th century. St. John Neumann, Bishop of Philadelphia, advocated the devotion in the United States. In the
last century because of lack of attendance, frequently the period was interrupted during the night so that it lasted three days. In other situations a shorter period of time was established.

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


MEDITATION – A type of mental prayer, also known as discursive prayer. It consists of reflections on a particular spiritual theme with the practical aim of moving the will to make acts
of faith, hope, love, or any other virtue and to form resolutions. There are various methods of mental prayer. One of them practices the ancient traditional ways of meditation in which the
soul feeds on Scripture and the teaching of the Liturgy. Indeed, the Liturgy itself also contains a discursive meditational value. However, it is a meditation-action and cannot be used as a
substitute for meditation. Instead, the exercise of meditation that forms part of the Liturgy must be prolonged outside the moments of our participation in the Liturgy.

CONTEMPLATION – Concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion, a state of mystical awareness of God’s being. In itself, contemplation is a liturgical act – it comes from
the Latin cum templo, meaning to be with (or live in) the temple. And in the heavenly Jerusalem where God Himself will be the temple, contemplation and vision will be perfect. However, on
earth contemplation and Liturgy must of necessity be set apart. Liturgical celebrations are followed by times of personal prayer.

LECTIO DIVINA – The reading and meditation of Sacred Scripture oriented toward the deepening of the major themes of Biblical spirituality in strict relation with the liturgical life.
This type of Bible reading started out in monastic settings and was regarded as exclusively religious, but today it has become a vital part of the whole Christian community.

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


Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the above prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere.

When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.”

The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”

Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”

Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?

Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”

Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII decreed that this prayer to St. Michael be said at the end of “low” Mass (not “high”, or sung Masses) throughout the universal Church, along with the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen); and the practice of the congregation praying these prayers at the end of Mass continued until about 1970, with the introduction of the new rite of the Mass.

John Paul II and St. Michael

However, at the end of his Angelus message given in St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, April 24, 1994, Pope John Paul II urged Catholics to recite this prayer to Saint Michael once again:

“The prayer can fortify us for that spiritual battle about which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks [of]: “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.”(Ephesians 6:10). And to this same battle that the Book of the Apocalypse refers [to], recalling in front of our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelations 12:7). Surely, this scene was very present to Pope Leon XIII, when, at the end of the previous century, he introduced to the entire Church a special prayer to St. Michael: ‘St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil… ’

“Even if today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, I invite all to not forget it, but to recite it in order to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and the spirit of this world.”

Reference: https://www.michaeljournal.org/articles/roman-catholic-church/item/the-vision-of-pope-leo-xiii


ALTAR, VENERATION OF – When the celebrant and ministers come to the sanctuary at Mass, they greet the altar.  As a first sign of veneration, the priest and ordained ministers kiss the altar.  This is an outgrowth of two practices that prevailed in secular society at the time of the primitive Church.  The pagans used the kiss as a sign of greeting to show their reverence for temples, and images of the gods.

Another custom existed of kissing the table before the family meal because those who would partake of it were hosts or guests of the household gods.  Thus, the reason behind the veneration is that the altar is a symbol of Christ (“Christ, the Head and Teacher, is the true altar”).  It is also the symbol of the Christian community (“Christians who give themselves to prayer, offer petitions to God, and present sacrifices of supplication, are the living stones from which the Lord Jesus builds the Church’s altar”).

A third influence on the use of the kiss for reverencing the altar was the cult of the Martyrs, which led to the placing of their relics beneath the altar.  Hence, kissing the altar means greeting the Saints whose relics were there, and the whole Church Triumphant.  Kissing the altar thus constitutes a greeting that indicates the common table is sacred to the action of the assembly.

Originally, the altar was kissed only three times at Mass: at the beginning, during the Canon, and before the Dismissal.  During the 14th century, kissing the altar became far more frequent and remained so up to the reform of Vatican II.  Today, it occurs only at the beginning and at the end of Mass.

A second sign of veneration is also used at times.  The priest may incense the altar.  This is a symbol of honor and deep reverence.  The ascending smoke serves as a representation of the prayer by the congregation rising to the throne of the Divine Majesty.  Furthermore, the grains of sand personify the individual Christians being poured out and consumed as they serve the Lord.

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


ALTAR SOCIETIES – Parish organizations that help maintain the altar and liturgical accompaniments by the services and donations of their members.

ALTAR STONE – An inch-thick stone big enough to hold the chalice and paten and containing relics, formerly placed on movable altars to fulfill the law that Mass be celebrated over relics. Now no longer prescribed.

ALTAR, STRIPPING THE – Performed now without ceremony on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the cloth and movable objects are removed from the altar.  Formerly done reciting Psalm 22.  This action recalls Christ being stripped before crucifixion and our mourning for Him till Mass on the Easter Vigil.

ALTARPIECE – An ornamental carving or religious painting or fresco hung above, placed upon, or set behind an altar.  The current trend toward noble simplicity may cause such pieces to fall into discontinuance.

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


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
souls.

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