New Mass Times
We hace acquired permission to change our Sunday Mass Schedule.
The 8:00 am mass has been permenately suppressed.
The 9:30 am Mass on Sunday morning will now start at 9:00 am.
The Mass Schedule will change starting on Sunday April 03, 2022.
From a liturgical perspective rooted in the thinking of the Archdiocese, the parishes are called to reflect on the necessity of a Mass. There was a time when one of the prime motivating factors was convenience, and there was an abundance of parishioners to populate all the masses. The times have changed. Now, if there are back to back masses in a parish, and both fall beneath a level of being half full, it makes sense to combine them to form more of a community. Ideally, each parish should be a community all of whom gather at a single celebration. The multiplication of masses also multiplies the number of 'communities' in a parish. People begin to define themselves by the Mass they attend. It undermines the nature of the Eucharist. In the Eastern tradition, if a parish finds it necessary to add a second Sunday celebration, instead of fracturing the one community into two different gatherings, they start a new community.
With shrinking attendance a reality in all our churches, and the declining number of priests, and with canon law regulations that stipulate that a priest should only celebrate at most two masses a day, many priests are celebrating three or more. That certainly is not the spirit of the liturgy.
Moving to only two celebrations will be easier on the parish itself. First, it will provide a more relaxed liturgical schedule. There will be no great hurry to get the people in and out before the next celebration. This is a bonus on celebrations like Passion (Palm) Sunday where the community is invited to process into the church as one body. We had been doing so at the Saturday Vigil Mass and the last Mass on Sunday morning by gathering in the pairsh hall. The other two masses were out of luck because there was just no time.
It will prove beneficial at those masses where we celebrate the sacraments, be it baptism, first communion, or confirmaiton. And of course it will be easier on our ministries. It will enlarge the pool of ministers available at each mass. They were getting spread pretty thin of late.
And of course, Coffee Sundays will be more relaxed and more time for fellowship.
Yes, it will be a bit of an adjustment, but in the long run, it should work for the better.