Religion: April 2006 Archives

Over a year ago my husband bought a CD with the sort of gospel version of the sung chaplet. We know now that the trip home from the Perpetual Adoration chapel is almost long enough to get through the whole chaplet in the car. When we took our road trip/vacation last year, I burned a few CDs to take with us so that I didn't need to worry about possibly losing them on the road - and one of them was the Divine Mercy chaplet. I think it ended up on the same disc as some John Michael Talbot and some Latin Catholic classics.....

I've lately gotten out of the habit of praying it in the car on my way to work. But I think that tomorrow, I will try to find it in the mad morning rush, and put my heart and soul in the right place to face my day in the office. I already know that my schedule is booked solid, with a few double bookings, because I will be gone from the office from 4/23 through 5/2.............

My trip will take me to Portland OR, with trips to Salem OR, Eugene OR, and Tacoma WA. I will also spend a few days in the Los Angeles area. Anyone living in that area who might want to try to touch base with me, send me an email. I can't promise anything but that I will try. This trip isn't exactly a vacation, but neither is it exactly business.

And if you are praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, will you say a decade for me? thanks.

divine mercy and me - two

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I listened to the Divine Mercy chaplet on EWTN for the first time probably a little over five years ago. I didn't know much of anything about it, I just knew that I liked what I was hearing. I went to the Catholic bookstore and asked if there was a 'Divine Mercy' chaplet in the collections of other chaplets - dumb me, didn't know that it was said on ordinary rosary beads, had never heard of St.Faustina, knew nothing except that I had heard this prayer on EWTN and that is hit a chord in my heart.

The Catholic bookstore had a packaged trifold and a one decade rosary that it sold as a "Divine Mercy Chaplet". I think that it was around Easter of 2002 that I bought it. I took it with me to Atlanta for the ACNM conference and ended up losing it (along with a favorite suit coat) at the hotel or possibly in a taxicab. I was so very bummed. But somewhere along the way, I realized that I really didn't need that crutch to pray the chaplet. And I remember that eventually I saw in the missalette that the Sunday after Easter was to be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. I also remember my disappointment that little or nothing was said about this from the pulpit or in the bulletin.

I love the rosary, but I have also developed a love for saying the prayers of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I can say them, I can chant them, I can sing them. It helps me a lot to meditate on the great gift that God gave us in His Mercy.

Almighty Father, I offer you, the body and the blood, soul and divinity, of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty God, Holy Immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Me and the divine mercy devotion

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Yesterday started the novena for divine mercy sunday, and I thought about posting something thoughtful and meaningful, but I didn't. By the time I got home from Good Friday Liturgy, scrounged something small to eat, and read Dawn's blog (which, by the way, you need to read also) I was tired. It seems lately that I spend way too much time being tired, anyhow. Fighting for the culture of life at work, trying to persuade my professional colleagues to quit harassing the patients to make the choices that the colleagues think the patients should make, trying to meet the nearly impossible production goals that our grant funding entities think are reasonable (seeing 2.8 patients/hour which means that you have to book 3 patients per hour because so many of them just don't show up - except that lately mine have all been showing up AND needing much more than the 20 minutes per visit). And then the computer system that we are transiting into using for all the office visits except prenatal has crashed twice in the last week.
So I guess that I'm not going to commit to anything that requires daily posting, not even something as dear to my heart as the Divine Mercy. The only reason I am even online now is that the 17 y/o has several friends over to color Easter Eggs - an annual tradition of hers. The music is way too loud and I have retreated upstairs to my room, where I can watch the bluebirds from my window and hear the chirping from the nest beneath the window air conditioning unit.

The Divine Mercy is something that I learned about from EWTN. Before we moved to NH, I had never seen nor heard EWTN. I'd heard of it, mostly negatives, but the whole time we lived in OR and our last few years in CA we didn't have cable. I'm not a TV person, anyhow. I prefer radio. But when I started taking call at the hospital, there was no way I could get a radio signal inside those thick walls and I had limited access to a computer with internet access. So I ended up turning on the TV in the call room for background when I was sleeping. (can't sleep too soundly on call). I was looking for something that would have quiet music, and thought I might have luck finding gregorian chant on the Catholic channel. Instead, I happened to turn it on during a chant of the Divine Mercy chaplet. I was hooked. (more later, gotta get changed to run to the Easter Vigil liturgy - my favorite liturgy of the year though I am afraid that this new parish administrator will cut it as short as he thinks he can get away with).

Sure to be ignored across the USA again


Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome
ROME, MARCH 28, 2006 ( Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I understand that it is in fact liturgically incorrect to have the main celebrant at the Holy Thursday Mass wash the feet of women. Correct? -- J.C., Ballina, Ireland. During the Holy Thursday liturgy at our parish, there are a number of foot-washing stations set up around the Church, and the people in the pews get up and bring someone else to one of the stations and wash their feet. Most of the people in Church take part in this, washing feet and in turn having their feet washed. It takes quite a while. Is this liturgically correct? Are there any norms for foot-washing during the Holy Thursday Mass? -- B.S., Naperville, Illinois. On Holy Thursday, at the washing of feet, the people, mostly youth, after having their foot washed, preceded to wash the next person's foot. Then they placed four bowls of water and four places before the altar, and the congregation was told to come forward and have their hands washed by the same people who just had their foot washed. We didn't. Everything felt out of order. -- E.K., Freehold, New Jersey

A: We already addressed the theme of washing women's feet in our column of March 23, 2004, and the subsequent follow-up on April 6.

Since then, there has been no change in the universal norm which reserves this rite to men as stated in the circular letter "Paschales Solemnitatis" (Jan. 16, 1988) and the rubrics of the 2002 Latin Roman Missal.

No. 51 of the circular letter states: "The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained."

About a year ago, however, the Holy See, while affirming that the men-only rule remains the norm, did permit a U.S. bishop to also wash women's feet if he considered it pastorally necessary in specific cases. This permission was for a particular case and from a strictly legal point of view has no value outside the diocese in question.

I believe that the best option, as "Paschales Solemnitatis" states, is to maintain the tradition and explain its proper significance.

This means preparing the rite following liturgical law to the letter, explain its meaning as an evocation of Christ's gesture of service and charity to his apostles, and avoid getting embroiled in controversies that try to attribute to the rite meanings it was never meant to have.

Regarding the place and number of those whose feet are to be washed, the rubric, which has remained unvaried in the new missal, describes the rite as follows:

"Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet may follow the homily.

"The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."

The number of men selected for the rite is not fixed. Twelve is the most common option but they may be fewer in order to adjust to the available space.

Likewise the place chosen is usually within or near the presbytery so that the rite is clearly visible to the assembly.

Thus, the logical sense of the rubric requires the priest, representing Christ, washing feet of a group of men taken from the assembly, symbolizing the apostles, in a clearly visible area.

The variations described above -- of washing the feet of the entire congregation, of people washing each other's feet (or hands), or doing so in situations that are not visible to all -- tend to undermine the sense of this rite within the concrete context of the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Such practices, by greatly extending the time required, tend to convert a meaningful, but optional, rite into the focal point of the celebration. And that detracts attention from the commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, the principal motive of the celebration.

In other circumstances, such as retreats or so called para-liturgical services, it can be perfectly legitimate to perform foot-washing rites inspired by Christ's example and by the liturgy. In such cases none of the limitations imposed by the concrete liturgical context of the Holy Thursday Mass need apply.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Religion category from April 2006.

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