Twenty-four sisters and one postulant attended a half-day refresher on the liturgy last Feb 15, 2021, organized by the Commission on Spirituality.
Based on the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), Fr. Paul Octubre, ssp led the attendees to understand better the arrangement of the sanctuary (ambo, altar, chair of the priest celebrant, the place of the commentator, the credence table – when there is a server).
He explained the meaning of the Collect Prayer (GIRM #54): an oration by the priest which concludes the introductory rite of the Mass. The priest first invites the people to pray. They remain silent for a moment to recall that they are in the presence of God. In the Collect that follows, the special characteristics of the celebration are expressed and its sentiments are all directed to the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. The people’s assent is expressed with an Amen. Fr. Paul encouraged the sisters to make use of the prayers for various needs found in the sacramentary in Ordinary Time on days where there is no memorial or feast.
He suggested that it is better that the priest checks first the Sacramentary before the sacristan placed it on the priest’s lectern, so he can check the presidential prayers to be used, and avoid spending time looking for them during the Mass.
The Prayer of the Faithful, the priest continued, is to be said at the ambo since in this act, the people respond in some sense to the Word of God which they have received in faith, and exercising the office of their baptismal Priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all (GIRM # 69).
Fr. Paul reminded the attendees that the rite of final commendation is only used at the funeral Mass and not during wake Masses as it is the final farewell by the members of the community, an act of respect for one of their members whom they entrust to the tender and merciful embrace of God.
Since Pope Francis has amended Canon 230 on January 11, 2021 to allow women acolytes, the speaker encouraged the community to appoint some of the members (particularly formands) to serve at Mass as the sacristan has other duties to attend to.
Time was allocated for questions from the floor after each segment.