Pastor's Corner 112512

posted Nov 21, 2012, 7:14 AM by Music Director

We have reached the conclusion of the liturgical season of Ordinary Timeso on this last Sunday of the season we proclaim Jesus Christ our King.  Next Sunday, we will inaugurate a new liturgical year as we begin the joyful season of Advent, in anticipation of the even more joyful season of Christmas.

But on this last weekend of Ordinary Time and particularly November, the month the church dedicates to the remembrance of our beloved deceased, I’d like to talk about a new ministry I hope to introduce here at St. Charles, a ministry dedicated to assisting the bereaved in the celebration of the funerals of their loved ones.

In the past, most Catholic parishes had a parochial school attached, from which student altar servers would be dispatched to assist in the preparation and celebration of funeral Masses.  In the last few decades, however, several parishes were established without a Catholic school, and sadly several who had them no longer do.  This has deprived parishes like us of a crucial ministry.

Some parishes have replaced the student altar servers with adults, mostly retired persons, who help set up for the rituals, serve the Mass, and assist the priest and the family members of the deceased during the liturgy.  They carry the cross and candles in the Opening and Closing Processions, hold the Missal for the priest, escort readers of Scripture to the Pulpit/Ambo (or in the absence of chosen readers can proclaim these), escort presenters of the Eucharistic gifts to the table and organize the procession forward, ring bells, assist with the distribution of communion (if they are commissioned Extraordinary Ministers), and assist with the use of incense and holy water.  After the services they help with the purification of vessels, extinguish candles and incense, and store the casket pall, holy water, and communion vessels.

Since we only have the assistance of student altar servers in the summer months, I would very much like to begin an adult ministry of funeral assistance that would be available from September through June.  If you are generally free during the day and would be interested in being a part of this vital ministry, please forward your name and contact information directly to me (email is best).  Hopefully we can form 3 or more teams of 3-5 people each to initiate a ministry that won’t overburden any member. 

As we close this month of remembrance and the season of Ordinary Time by proclaiming Jesus Christ our King, I hope we can further His mandate to love others and do to them as we would have done to us; to console the grieving by providing them with the assistance they need and greatly appreciate.  As we relish the reputation of being a warm, welcoming, loving and hospitable parish community, this ministry would truly help extend this gift to our brothers and sisters in mourning.  Please give it some thought and prayer.

And since our prayers for our beloved deceased are directed to their resurrection and new life, may this also be granted to those like me in football grief, and…



(and Sixers, too!)


In His Love,

Fr. Mike