You asked…Father Jim Responds

Why exactly have things changed at Mass?

Many of you still have questions about why there have been changes in some of the protocols during Mass. Why are the readers bowing? Why is the commentator bowing? Why is the Tabernacle moved? And what’s with the change in how the communion ministers are doing things? How much time did it take Father Jim to think up all these things?

Father Jim responds:

Well, the short answer is Father Jim did not think up all these things. In November of 2011 a request from the Archbishop was made to implement changes in liturgy protocols. Some of these changes we had already made but there were still a few left to do. If you would like to know more about these changes scroll down and you will see links to the Pastoral letter with the Pastoral Note on the Revised Girm and Missal as well as the Final Implementation Summary.

Pastoral Note on the Revised Girm and Missal

Final Implementation of the revised Girm and Missal

Christmas Eve Masses at OLPH Parish

Father Jim responds:

Are the changes in protocols meant to save time during Mass?

Father Jim responds:

My friends, last week the 10:30 Mass took a few minutes longer than the long desired, longed for, this is what we are used too, one hour. I was asked, are these changes supposed to speed up the Mass? The answer to this valid question. Absolutely not! The goal of these changes is to assist us in participating in a more prayerful reverent way, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The truth is, these changes may add five minutes to our celebrations. But as our Lord said in the garden of Gethsemane, “Could you not stay awake for one hour with me, (Mt. 26, 40)?” I do pray that that our experience of worship here at Our Lady of Perpetual Help will draw us all into a deeper more loving relationship with our Lord.

It was also noted there were some texts removed from the overhead projection. I checked this out and found that the only prayers removed from the projection screens were the “Lamb of God” and the “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” It is at these critical moments during the celebration of the Mass that we need to focus all the attention we have available on  our Lord and Savior, present at the altar. Our tendency as humanity is to look at a screen when there is text or graphics on it. We simply want to assist the faithful in focusing on the miracle that is occurring right in front of us on the altar of sacrifice. Our Lord Jesus Christ becoming substantially present to us Body, Soul and Divinity

Blessings, Fr. Jim

Why are the doors between the foyer and the church (nave) closed?

Father Jim responds:

My friends, a parishioner asked me last Sunday why the doors between the foyer and the nave of the Church were closed before Mass. Great question. We desire that OLPH be a parish of welcome and hospitality; so people need to feel comfortable to visit prior to the Mass beginning. The foyer is a perfect place for this. In the same way we desire that OLPH be a place where we encounter the Lord and grow deeper in our relationship with Him. By leaving the doors closed before and between Masses, it allows those who wish to pray or sit in silence in preparation for the Mass to do so in the Church nave. Doors closed allow folks to visit in the foyer and not feel they have to whisper. As well, it allows our sisters and brothers who wish to pray and meditate in silence within the Church, to do exactly that. Win/Win.

Blessings, Fr. Jim

How do the changes affect me?

Father Jim responds:

My friends, this weekend begin the Church’s Liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. This weekend we will implement the final part of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as required of us by our Bishops. You will see the biggest difference in the way that we prepare for distribution of Holy Communion. It will not affect you, but over two hundred Eucharistic Ministers and Adult Servers have been working hard to prepare for this final implementation. Our goal: to create an even more reverent worship experience for you the faithful of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. Thank you for your patience and prayerful support.

Blessings, Fr. Jim



Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish

13 Brower Drive - Sherwood Park, AB
Canada T8H 1Y7

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