Receive the Sign of the Cross

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cross.jpgOne of my favorite rituals is the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. It is a rite rich with purpose and meaning. It does what it says it does. The New Catechumen is signed with the cross of salvation and they have a feeling of real welcome, support and joy from the Congregation. Here toward the end of the first part of the rite, the Deacon assists as I place a small wooden cross over their neck. The crosses are Olive Wood and they come from the pruned olive trees in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Homily was based on the text from the Gospel, "The word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the desert." At the end of the homily each new catechumen received a small bible inscribed with the date and their name.

This is one of the joys of parish life. We have a pretty vibrant Adult Faith Formation program, and this year five young people have asked for the sacraments. It is such a pleasure to accompany these individuals on their journey of faith.

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Really, it has been just so good this year.   I think I told you that one of them commented that they now get "how serious" we are about this? It feels good to be a part of something that gets them thinking seriously about our faith and their place in the community. It isn't just about putting in the time, getting the commodity (Sacraments), and then it's off the the altar of marriage. I've always felt we had a good RCIA program (there's that word again) at St. Edward; but that doesn't mean that it can't get even better, right?

Also, the community is enjoying getting involved; not just in the "RCIA program" (*snicker*) but in the DTIM Masses, too. And I don't mean that they find it entertaining or that it makes them "feel good". I think it is giving everyone something to think about.

Your Rite of Acceptance looks quite lovely and thoughtful. Ours was a little rough because we have a new pastor and a newly-minted deacon. While the pastor is doing everything he can to raise the tone liturgically (aided, of course, by his fearless very part-time music director (me)), we've got a ways to go.

My only complaint - no one ever tells the music people about these rites or other special "insertions" into the Sunday Mass until about 5 minutes before the prelude, often shoving a specially written litany they want you to chant into your hand before they rush off to line up.

But, hey, I'm flexible.

Looking at this photo again, I'm envious of the vestments. Your deacon's in a dalmatic, I believe. Ours has an alb that must be "one size fits most."

One step at a time. And besides in our part of Florida, you're just happy if people wear shoes instead of sandals.

What is a DTIM Mass?

Also, Fr. Keyes, any chance of us seeing a list of music for your Midnight Mass before Christmas? I've posted mine on my blog... not terrible, but could definately be better if I wasn't so limited by Pastors/Liturgy Committees.

  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on December 12, 2006 4:01 PM.

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