St. Peter's Parish Liturgy Committee

Members (revised January 24th., 2023):

Father Sunny Sebastien, Administrator

Linda Beaton, Chairperson

Cathy Gillies, Music rep.

Eddie MacDonald

Jeanette MacNeil

Jane MacKinnon

Marcella Watts

Mission Statement: "The committee will develop and promote the worship of God, prayer life of the parish family and to grow in our self awareness as People of God."


- preparation for the celebration of the Eucharist

- preparation for special occasions and events

- music

- altar servers

- Readers & Eucharistic Ministers - (schedules & training)

- decorating

- care of priests' and altar servers' vestments

- upkeep and preparation of altar cloths

- candles (altar & votive)

~ Parish Review of Revised Roman Missal ~


In November 2011, the revised Roman Missal was implemented. This General Instruction of the Roman Missal(GIRM) was published in 2002 by Pope John Paul II. This was actually the 5th revision since Vatican II. This implementation has meant that parishes across the world were asked to make changes in some of their prayers and postures ( actions). We realize that it has been challenging for everyone- the priest, the congregation( assembly), the ministers of the Word, the Eucharistic Ministers and the music liturgy. The goal of liturgy must be full, active and conscious participation of God’s people. Let’s take this opportunity to review our progress and understanding of the changes and how we can engage more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist. In the next number of weeks, we will look at the implications of these changes for the assembly and the various ministries listed above.

The Assembly/ Congregation: The great insight and purpose of the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy ( CSL) of Vatican 2 was to restore a sense that the whole body of Christ pray in the liturgy. This purpose will be best accomplished if the whole celebration is planned in such a way that it brings about in the faithful a participation in body and spirit that is conscious, active and full and is motivated by faith, hope and charity. Therefore, the assembly ( people) should endeavour to make this clear by their deep sense of reverence for God and their charity towards brothers and sisters who share with them in the same celebration. Thus they are to shun any appearance of individualism and division.

"They should become one body whether by hearing the word of God, or by joining in prayers and singing, or above all by offering the sacrifice together and sharing together in the Lord’s table. When the gestures and postures are observed in common by the faithful, this unity is beautifully seen" ( *G.I.R.M. '96).

We listen with reverence to God’s word, and reflect in silence on how God is revealing His Presence among us. Together with the priest we pray and we sing as we celebrate the Eucharist. Then we " go forth to live what we have celebrated, so that we may be the body of Christ for the world.

Silence: Throughout the Liturgy, there is a renewed call for silence to facilitate the reflection and reverence. Its purpose depends on the time it occurs in the celebration. At the act of penitence, silence gives us time to recollect. After the readings and the homily, we meditate on what we have heard. After communion, we praise and pray to God in our hearts.

Postures: These are conducive to encouraging and fostering the participation of all- the priest, the lay ministers and the assembly.

Sitting- This is the posture of giving praise. The faithful sit during the readings, the homily, the preparation of the gifts, and after communion. We reflect and give praise and thanks.

Kneeling-This posture is one of sorrow for our sins and for adoration. We kneel as penitents as we reflect on our sins. We kneel in adoration at the consecration.

Standing- This is the posture of prayer in unity with the priest. We stand as we begin Mass and to listen to God’s word in the Gospel. We are invited to stand with the priest at the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer as we offer ourselves through the hands of the priest. In unity with the congregation and the priest, we stand until the end of communion unless prevented by illness or a reasonable cause.

The uniformity of postures and the silence will help restore a sense that the whole body of Christ prays in the liturgy.

Readers/Lectors/Psalmists: The reader is the voice of God speaking to the Assembly." This is a noble calling." It is suggested that there is a separate reader for each calling. Each reading has its own voice and needs time for study and reflection. Therefore, the reader should pause after the reading for the assembly to reflect on what they have heard. A reading proclaimed clearly and slowly allows the assembly to better hear the word of God. The psalmist is also a minister of the Word. As such it is preferable to have the psalm read or sung from the ambo/lectern.

Eucharist Ministers: The Eucharist Minister offers the Body and Blood with reverence. He/She bows his/her head when entering the sanctuary, and makes eye contact when offering the Body and Blood of Christ.

Altar Servers: The duty of the altar server is to help the priest. He/She makes sure that the candles are lit and the book/lectionary is on the altar.

In order to better fulfill their duties, it is recommended that all lay ministers should be in the church at least 10 minutes before mass.

Part V ~ Music Liturgy

From the earliest, singing has constituted a central part of Christian prayer.( Colossians 3:16 and Acts 2:46) and "great importance should be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass." (*G.I.R.M. '02).

Music reflects the liturgical season, the scriptures of the day, joy, unity, peace or as always, praise. For example the entrance hymn fosters the unity of those who have been gathered together. (*G.I.R.M. '02, par. 42).

The choir and/or the leaders of song are not there to perform. Their role is to lead the assembly in song. Remaining quiet or simply listening to the choir is completely contrary to what Vatican II asked of us and what the revised *GIRM reiterates (*G.I.R.M. 79B).

All that can be done should be done to aid the congregation in fulfilling its musical role within the Mass. Excluding the assembly by choosing music that they cannot participate in is not the preference of the GIRM 2002. Using the same music for acclamation for an extended period of time, practicing the hymns, and having the appropriate books can facilitate the full participation of the people.

Ideally, a choir or a leader of song should be placed in a location that allows their full participation in the mass. The placement should be carefully done to sustain the singing of the choir and the congregation.

As we embrace the challenges presented by the revised Roman Missal, let’s use them to revitalize and improve our Sunday liturgies. The gift of music will help us in this task, which is at once a calling and a blessing.”

*G.I.R.M. = General Instruction of the Roman Missal

( Submitted by St. Peter's Parish Liturgy Committee - 2022 All Rights Reserved)

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