25th January 2015
WEDDINGS IN 2015: CALLING ALL COUPLES GETTING MARRIED IN THE PARISH THIS YEAR. Please make contact with the priests of the parish to ensure that everything is in order for your forthcoming weddings. The wedding Mass is the most important aspect of the day and the priests of the parish want to help ensure that everything goes as well as it can. A Catholic wedding Mass is fundamentally a religious ceremony which celebrates the love of a man and a woman brought together by God. For this reason the choices of readings and music should always reflect that reality. It is also essential that couples engage in adequate marriage preparation and the ACCORD pre-marriage course is available to all couples. The pre-marriage course helps couples to develop their understanding of Catholic marriage. The course is led by married people who understand the complexities of married life. During the process of the course, many couples learn to appreciate the value of their relationship along with their strengths and weaknesses; they develop understandings of some of the thorny issues that we’d all prefer to pass over. It helps them grow towards a fulfilled Catholic married life. This course is a requirement of the diocese and a good priest would never ask a couple to leave out something which is such a vital part, not only of their marriage preparation but also their married life. Any priest who is asked to perform a wedding ceremony in the parish or the diocese who ignores this, whatever his reasoning, is failing in his duty towards the couple getting married. Would anyone ask a driving instructor to give them a licence without some lessons? Each day of our lives we can benefit from the wisdom of those who have walked the roads before us.
SYNOD ON THE FAMILY 2015
Archbishop Eamon Martin has initiated in the Archdiocese of Armagh a period of reflection and discernment in preparation for the General Synod on the Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World which is to take place in October. The report of the October 2014 synod which forms the basis of the discussion document is available by clicking on the link at the end of this piece. Every Catholic is invited to participate in the discussions which will be held in the diocese in the coming months. Details of these discussion sessions will be publicised in due course. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20141209_lineamenta-xiv-assembly_en.html
The following is an article that appeared in the Newry Parish Bulletin this past Sunday. It is worth sharing.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SINGING
The Christian faithful who come together as one in expectation of the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, ‘Singing is for one who loves’ (Sermo, 336), and there is also an ancient proverb: ‘Whoever sings well prays twice over’. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of peoples and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are in principle meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people not be absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on Holydays of Obligation.
However, in the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, preference is to be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those which are to be sung by the priest or the deacon or a reader, with the people replying, or by the priest and people together.
Bishop McAreavey, in consultation with the Priests of the Parish, desires that congregations at weekend Masses join the choir in the singing of the parts of the Mass and the entrance and recessional hymns. He asked that singing at the weekend Masses throughout the entire year be discussed at the Pastoral Council Meeting. It was discussed at the September meeting. A sub-committee of the Pastoral Council has met and will shortly provide hymn sheets to assist with the congregational singing at our weekend Masses in the three Churches.
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