Questions and Answers
Our parish is preparing for Lent/Triduum/Easter. We have some remaining blessed oil and consecrated
chrism. What should we do with the old oil? Is there a proper way to dispose of it?
Yes. For the answer, we need to go to the Book of Blessings. In the Book of Blessings, there
is an Order for the Blessing of a Repository for Holy Oils. Every parish should have such a
repository. The rubrics from the blessing read:
#1125 The oils used for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, holy
orders, and the anointing of the sick according to ancient tradition are reverently reserved
in a special place in the church.
#1126 The vessels used to hold the holy oils should be worthy of their function and be closed
in such a way to prevent the oils from being spilled and to insure that they remain fresh.
#1127 Each year when the bishop blesses the oils and consecrates the chrism, the pastor should
see that the old oils are properly disposed of by burning, and that they are replaced by the
newly blessed oils.
So, in short, the proper way to dispose of the oil is burning. However, as
those who are cooks know, the smell of burning olive oil is not a pleasant one. Possibly a parish
might consider burning last years blessed and consecrated oils on the Easter Vigil fire.
A large and impressive fire at the Easter Vigil would easily consume whatever oil is left over
from the previous year, and the smell of the burning chrism, which is already fragrantly scented,
could overcome the smell of burning olive oil alone.
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Is it appropriate for Catholics to celebrate a Seder
This year Holy Thursday and the feast of Passover coincide. It would be most
appropriate to remember our Jewish brothers and sister in prayer. However, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner
comments, How would Christians feel if some members of the local synagogue decided to
celebrate, just as a creative thing, a Jewish version of the Eucharist imitate the ceremony
of another faith and then go back to being who they were? The best way for Christians
to find out about Judaism is not to mimic Jewish practices but to visit a synagogue or ask a
Jewish friend to attend with him or her. Its not that Christians cant be at a seder.
Its not that Christians cannot be involved in hearing the Torah read. But they cant
do them as Christians without any Jews around. It doesnt make any sense. (Rite,
July, 2002). In addition, this practice disrespects the Jewish religion. Ask a Jewish friend
to invite you to their home for a real seder meal.
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Funeral Liturgies on Holy Thursday and
During the Triduum
Are funeral liturgies permitted during Holy Thursday
and the Triduum?
The celebration of the funeral Mass is not permitted on Holy Thursday and the
days of the Easter Triduum. The appropriate rite to use is the Funeral Liturgy Outside
Mass in the Order of Christian Funerals in which the body is brought to the church, the
funeral ritual is celebrated without Mass, the final commendation is given, and the burial commendation
is provided at the cemetery. After the burial, at the earliest date permitted by the liturgical
calendar, a Eucharist for the deceased may be celebrated. Sensitive pastoral care is needed
in explaining these regulations to grieving families. Even if no one dies during these days
at your parish, it is still instructive to include an article about this topic in the parish
bulletin on Passion Sunday, or even the 5th week of Lent.
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Ritual Washing of Feet
Whose feet should be washed on Holy Thursday at the
Mass of the Lords Supper?
The 2003 Ordo for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe notes, The group whose
feet are washed should represent a cross-section of the local community. There is no exact
requirement on the number of people whose feet are to be washed. The Holy Thursday footwashing
is neither a dramatic imitation of the Last Supper nor scriptural reenactment. It is a ritual
gesture expressive of our commitment to serve one another in love, peace, and humility. The
principal and traditional meaning of the Holy Thursday mandatum
is the biblical injunction
of Christian charity. Christs disciples are to love each other
All should obey the
Lords new commandment to love one another with an abundance of love (Bishops
Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, April, 1996). The liturgy for Holy Thursday has never permitted
the washing of hands as an alternative for the washing of feet on this night.
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Easter Vigil Starting Time
In 2003, what is the lawful time to begin the celebration
of the Easter Vigil in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe?
According to the rubrics, the time to start the Easter Vigil is after nightfall. (General Norms
for the Liturgical Year, 21) In years when the Easter Vigil falls during daylight savings time,
parishes should begin Easter Vigil celebrations no earlier than 8:30pm. This is one of those
years. Darkness is a constituative element of the Vigil. Therefore, this rule is to be
followed in the strictest sense. (Ordo, 2003). Pastors or planning teams who arbitrarily
decide that it is dark enough at 7:30pm or 8:00pm are doing their parishes a disservice.
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Shaping A Liturgical
Environment for Worship
Shaping A Liturgical Environment for
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Manzano Room, Catholic Center
Nationally known liturgical artist and consultant, John Buscemi, will visually
and theologically guide participants through the principles of shaping an appropriate liturgical
environment for worship. He will show how seasonal environment can help or hinder our understanding
of the core symbols of our faith. John has been the liturgical design consultant for many church
building and renovation projects including our own, Santa Maria de La Paz Church in Santa Fe.
He has shaped worship environments as small as chapels to as large as the Papal Mass in a cornfield
in Des Moines, Iowa.
Class is for parish environment and art committees, liturgy teams, deacons,
priests, Altar and Rosary Society members and assembly members.
The registration fee is $5.00 per person, and pre-registration
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