Celebration of the EUCHARIST
The celebration of the Eucharist, or the Mass, is the action of Christ and of the People of God. In this celebration the Paschal Mystery — the Death and Resurrection of Christ — is made present and effective in our midst, through the prayer of the Church and the power of the Holy Spirit. Participation in the Mass, culminating in the reception of Holy Communion, is the source and summit of the Christian life — everything leads toward it, and everything flows from it. When we die and rise with Christ through our full, conscious and active participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, we are transformed to be more deeply united with Christ and more perfectly conformed to living His life.
We celebrate the Sunday Eucharist each week:
Saturday Afternoon (Sunday Anticipated): 5:00 PM
Sunday Masses: 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, 5:00 PM
We celebrate weekday Eucharist:
Monday through Friday at 6:30 AM and 12:15 PM
Saturday at 8:00 AM
For Holy Days of Obligation, the Mass schedule usually is:
5:00 PM the evening before the Holy Day
6:30 AM, 12:15 PM and 7:30 PM on the Holy Day
(It’s always a good idea to check the bulletin for Holy Days of Obligation, since occasionally the schedule varies, for example, on January 1.)
At OLPH, we place a very high priority on our worship life. Through careful observance of the norms of the Roman Catholic Church and by emphasizing the ongoing liturgical catechesis and formation of the liturgical ministers and of all who participate in liturgy, it is hoped that our celebration of the Eucharist truly is the high point of our life together.
Concern for Children in our Liturgical Assembly
OLPH wants to do all we can to assist families with children to participate in the Sunday Eucharist and to have children experience to the fullest degree possible the fruits and graces of participating in the Mass to the extent they are able. We seek to facilitate this participation of children in three ways:
1. Through children’s bulletins
2. Through children’s offering envelopes
3. Through the Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
Each Sunday special take-home bulletins for children are available at the 10:00 AM Mass. These bulletins contain activities that reinforce the message of the readings at Mass.One bulletin is for children ages 3 to 6, and a bulletin on different colored paper is for ages 7 to 12. Be sure to have your children take a children’s bulletin home as you leave church, so they, and you, can continue to think about and talk about the Good News of Jesus.
Also, children’s envelopes are available for children to place in the weekly collection basket at Mass. These envelopes are available because many parents have asked for a way to help teach their children the value of being thankful for the gifts God gives us and sharing the abundance of those gifts with others. Use of these envelopes is completely voluntary, of course, and the primary purpose is not a money-raising one. The purpose is to provide a tool for those parents who wish to reinforce in their children the idea of stewardship for their Church and responsible giving toward others. Ideally, the money — whatever amount is placed in the envelope (there is no minimum or maximum!) — comes from the children themselves, e.g., out of their allowance, rather than being just handed to them from the parents. In this way, Christian attitudes are nourished in the children, and this can be yet another avenue for parents and children to discuss responsible Christian living.
These envelopes can be obtained by asking one of the ushers at Mass. Children return one envelope each week, dropping it in the collection basket at Mass. The envelope should have the child’s name and amount of the offering written on it. The design on the envelope may be colored in and decorated in other ways if desired. The amount collected in the children’s envelopes will be published in the bulletin each week. As with the usual collection offerings, the money will go toward supporting the mission and programs at OLPH.
Finally, here at OLPH the Children’s Liturgy of the Word is a part of the 10:00 AM Mass each Sunday except during the summer. After the Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass), children first-grade and older are invited to come forward to the sanctuary to receive a special dismissal. They are then escorted to a separate chapel set up in the north sacristy of the church, where they listen to that Sunday’s readings as proclaimed from the Lectionary for Masses with Children. These are the same readings everyone else is hearing in the church, but in a slightly different translation that is easier for children to understand. A special homily is then given to the children to help them understand the readings.
This Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful, as the children pray intercessions together. Meanwhile, the Liturgy of the Word has continued as usual in the church. The children return to the church at the beginning of the collection/presentation of the gifts, and participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist as usual. The purpose of this is not to offer a babysitting service, nor is it to isolate the children or to make them feel unwelcome. Rather, it is actually an act of hospitality to them: they will be given the chance to listen to the Sunday readings and participate in a homily that will be on their level, and yet still be a part of the worshiping assembly, since they participate in all other parts of the Mass. It does require a certain maturity level and ability to focus, so it is intended for first-grade children and older, not kindergartners, pre-schoolers or toddlers.
Participating in the Children's Liturgy of the Word continues to teach children how to participate in Mass, since they do the same things that are being done in the main body of the church. Ideally, parents and children then talk to each other on the ride home or later in the day about what they heard in their respective homilies. In this way, God's word continues to be alive and active in the family's faith life. Parents are in no way required to send their children to the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and no child is forced to participate. Children are welcome to stay in the main body of the church and to participate in the Liturgy of the Word there, where the usual readings and homily will take place. Since we think this is a great opportunity for children, though, we do hope you will encourage your child to participate.
Who Should Receive Holy Communion?
Many times people have questions about whether or not it is proper for them to receive Holy Communion. The Bishops of the United States offer us answers to these questions in their Guidelines for the Reception of Communion. You can read those guidelines here.