Recently all parishes received a memo from Bishop Donald Kettler on how we need to do Liturgy. While saying he has enjoyed celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy in the many churches of our diocese, and how it has been a blessing to him, his observations throughout the St. Cloud Diocese has prompted him to request some very specific changes. The changes he would like to see are as follows:
1. During the Creed (after the homily) Bishop Kettler reminds everyone to bow when the words, “and by the Holy Spirit was made incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man” are mentioned concerning the birth of our Savoir. You probably have seen the deacon and me do this, but the whole congregation is to join in.
2. Bishop Kettler would also like the purification of all sacred vessels to be done either at the credence table or in the sacristy after Mass by the priest, deacon, an instituted acolyte, trained Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or sacristan. Bishop Kettler says this action must not be done at the altar after communion since this is a time of “thanksgiving” and such actions can be a distraction to this moment.
3. The Bishop also wants either the deacon or priest to gather all the remaining consecrated hosts after communion and place them in the tabernacle themselves instead of a layperson.
4. When there are a “sizable number of concelebrant priests” present at the liturgy rather than have all the priests standing while the people are kneeling, Bishop Kettler would like to have all the people to stand as well. This is more symbolic of our unity and life in the risen Lord. This being said, when there is only one priest or just a few, the people should kneel during the consecration as per usual. Also, in the event that the whole congregation is standing during the Eucharistic prayer, during the consecration of both the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, as the priest genuflects at each of these moments, Bishop Kettler says everyone should also make a “profound bow” acknowledging the presence of the Lord who has come into the sacred species. This would involve two separate bows during the Eucharistic prayer. ,When the congregation is kneeling, the bow need not be done, since the posture of kneeling replaces this action.
These are just some of the changes Bishop Kettler wants everyone to make in all the parishes throughout our diocese, and for the most part, I feel we here at St. Peter and St. Paul have been doing these actions as he requested. This being said, we will have to make some minor adjustments along the way. I do encourage everyone to pass this information on. Vatican II does state that the Bishop is the “chief liturgist’ of his Diocese and that his authority governs how these Liturgical rites are to be celebrated. Bishop Kettler has been a wonderful spiritual guide since he has arrived, and I am sure he will continue to shepherd us well! See you at our next celebration of the Lord!