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Archive for May 6, 2011

Closing Rites for Mayflower Festival

May 3, 2011

Feast of Philip and James, Apostles

Circular 2011/14

RE: Closing Rites for Mayflower Festival

My dear brothers in the priestly ministry:

The month of May has been traditionally associated with the pious tradition of Flores de Mayo, an age old custom of offering flowers before the image of the Mother of God, praying the rosary and holding a procession in her honor. In our archdiocese, this Marian devotion has also become an occasion to select some youth and children from the parish community to represent the glories of Mary and inspire the Catholic faithful to remember the virtues of the Blessed Mother. While such popular expressions of piety are encouraged and approved, the rituals associated with this tradition must be reformed and resurrected so that the practices may be conformed to the prayer tradition of the Church.

True devotion to Mary must be at the same time Trinitarian, Christological and ecclesial. Mary leads us to the worship of God, to a deepening of our discipleship of her Son and to greater love of the Church of which she is also a member.

The Mayflower festival always be an act of Marian devotion and diligent pastoral care must be given to protect it from becoming a merely socio-cultural event of the most beautiful and most wealthy.

Enclosed is a para-liturgy in English and Pangasinan that may be used to close the Mayflower devotion. This closing ritual must be done outside the Mass. The focal point of the para-liturgy must be to honor the Virgin Mary and not to exult the Mayflower  title-holders.

I trust you will give this pious devotion your pastoral care and attention insuring that God remains  to be the focus of the event and the praise of Mary leads us to Jesus her Son. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS,

Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

Masses in Private Homes, Offices and Funeral Parlors

May 1, 2011

Divine Mercy Sunday

Circular 2011/13

RE: Masses in Private Homes, Offices and Funeral Parlors

The present discipline of the Church mandates that “The celebration of the Eucharist is to be performed in sacred place, unless in a particular case necessity demands otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a respectable place.” (CIC, 932,#1).

In the past, as an expression of pastoral charity, the celebration of Masses in private homes have been allowed for two specific situations, namely, during the wakes for the dead and for the anointing of the sick and the infirm who cannot attend Masses in the parish churches.

Likewise, Masses in funeral parlors have been given a general permission still in the same spirit of pastoral charity for the grieving family.

At the moment, Masses in private offices have been given a general permission too for the sake of adult catechesis and in order to promote Christian witnessing in the work place.

These general permissions are upheld by virtue of this letter.

Cognizant of the spiritual benefits of celebrating the Eucharist and the opportunity it offers for evangelization and catechesis, we hereby delegate the granting of permission to celebrate Masses in private homes, offices and funeral parlors to the parish priests or moderators of team ministries. The following guidelines must be strictly observed when Masses are celebrated in private home, offices or funeral parlors:

  1. All the requirements for the valid, licit and dignified celebration of the Eucharist must be observed. In particular, we remind the priests that the chasuble and stole must always be worn by the celebrant. The altar must be covered by a white cloth and the table used as the altar must not be used for any other purpose after the liturgy. There must always be a short catechetical homily for such occasions. The Blessed Sacrament not consumed during Holy Communion must either be consumed by the priest during ablution or brought immediately to the nearest parish tabernacle without delay.
  2. All the priests in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan are beneficiaries of an indult from the Holy See allowing them to celebrate three Masses on weekdays and four Masses on Sundays taking into account the severe lack of priests and the need of communities quite far from the parish church for the presence of the Church. Please be reminded that the poor far flung communities must be the first beneficiaries of this indult. The regular barangay and sitio Mass schedule must not be prejudiced by Masses in private homes and offices. Absolute caution must be exercised to prevent any appearance of commercialization of the spiritual goods of the Church or that only the wealthy can avail of such blessings. Those who have less in life must have more from the Church.
  3. In wakes at home or in funeral parlors where gambling takes place or loud music is being played, Masses must not be celebrated.
  4. In Masses outside the church or oratory on the occasion of family reunions or traditional memorials of the dead, the Mass must not be celebrated in the same venue where the meal will be served. The area for the celebration of the Mass must be distinct and treated with reverence even after the Mass.
  5. Any priest in good standing may celebrate in  or private homes, offices and funeral parlors after duly seeking the permission of the parish priest or the moderator of the team ministry. Needless to say, the parish priest carries the same privilege to celebrate Masses in the above mentioned places within his territorial jurisdiction according to his prudent judgment.

I pray that these instructions on the celebration of the Eucharist outside the churches and oratories may serve to deepen among us love for the Lord and our Holy Mother Church. I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop  of Lingayen-Dagupan

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