St. Stephen Cathedral Mass
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Mass
Published on August 5th, 2011
In several Perspectives over the past couple of years, I have mentioned that Richard, Gertrude and Dorothy Kurz named St. Stephen as the beneficiary of annuities they had purchased through the Diocese. We were also named on some insurance policies that Richard had. Richard’s estate was settled awhile ago, and we recently received a significant check from it. If fact, the check was the second largest gift we have received since I have been here at the Cathedral. As a parish, we are so grateful to these three devoted parish members. Their example of faith was powerful while they lived, and even in death, they inspire us and give witness to their faith, their commitment to the parish and love for the Church. Please offer a prayer of thanksgiving for them. Each of us might ask ourselves if our last will and testament will be an example of faith to our family and friends and a testimony to our love of God and His Church.
I would like to say something about the opening hymn at Mass. The purpose of this song is not just to fill in the time while the priest and ministers get up the aisle, but is to serve to gather us together and set the tone for the liturgy which it initiates. The Mass begins then, not with the Sign of the Cross. I have to say that I find it somewhat disheartening when I walk up the aisle and see many people standing with empty hands and closed mouths, refusing to sing. This is a significant part of our communal prayer, and I invite everyone to stretch themselves and to make the sacrifice (if singing is such) to fully participate in the liturgy. Even if you don’t sing loudly, the words of those hymns are often beautiful and profound, expressing some aspect of our faith and preparing us for some theme we will hear in the Scripture and other prayers of the Mass. I know that for some people to open the hymnal and their mouth requires more effort than they may be used to investing in the Mass. May I suggest that God deserves such effort and the rest of the community has a right to expect our full participation.
Finally, a word to our lectors. Our new sound system is very sensitive. Be attentive to your pronunciation, especially to words beginning with the letter “P.” On those words, you might soften your voice or not speak directly into the microphone. I would also once again remind our readers to pause briefly between the end of the reading and the following proclamation, “The Word of the Lord.” Without that pause, it appears that “The Word of the Lord” is a part of the Scripture. Please, pause, look at the congregation and then proclaim with conviction, “The Word of the Lord.”
Love, Fr. John