Monday, August 30, 2004

22nd Week in Ordinary Time

quote by Bishop Desmond TutuLast week, the six Associates in the Office of Pastoral Ministry (Linda Batton, Diana Macalintal, Antonio Ojeda, Wendy Scherbart, Sandy Scott, and Lupita Vital) along with the Episcopal Director for Pastoral Ministries (Terrie Iacino) gathered at Villa Holy Names retreat center in Los Gatos to reflect on the diocesan Pastoral Plan and our office's goal for the year. We discovered that, like many other teams, we were very eager to figure out calendars, meeting tasks, and evaluation processes before we even knew exactly what we were doing and why. So we took a step back and tried to see the big picture of Christian life in Santa Clara valley in the year 2004.

What we discerned was that one of the greatest needs in our Church of San Jose today was an increased connection between our faith, daily life, and action toward change. This for us was our definition of "discipleship." Our staff believes that everything we do as Church, whether in the parish or at the diocesan level, must make the reign of God more visible in the actual lives of people in this time and place. Otherwise, discipleship becomes merely yet another task on our to-do list rather than a way of life for every Christian. So what we hope to do then this year is to work together as a staff to make everything we do deepen those connections between faith, life, and action for the pastoral leaders we serve.

Last Sunday, I joined with the parish of St. Catherine of Alexandria to celebrate Eucharist at their 10:30a Mass. The church was filled with people in every stage of life, from infants in parents' arms to wheelchair-bound elderly. Like the assembly, our prayer together was full of life and joy, with a good majority of people singing (often without the use of songbooks because the music was so familiar for them), a vibrant choir that knew how to engage people in song without dominating the assembly, and a large team of liturgical ministers, each doing their own ministry (and not 2 or 3 others as well) with grace and confidence. The music ministry used accompaniment very well, sometimes letting the assembly sing a refrain a cappella which made the assembly sing even louder. Also, they weren't afraid to repeat the lively responsorial psalm and do it as the dismissal song as well. Because the assembly had already sung it once, they were even more enthusiastic singing it again as they left the church.

But what struck me most was how well the assembly did the Communion Rite, implementing Bishop McGrath's directives (en español):

  1. never did they go to the tabernacle to serve hosts that were not consecrated at that Mass;
  2. they had abundant wine for everyone with at least 2 ministers of the Blood of Christ for every minister of the Body of Christ;
  3. the Communion song was one that everyone knew and sang by heart ("I Am the Bread of Life"); and
  4. the assembly stood throughout the distribution of Communion, remained standing during the silence after Communion, and stood for the Prayer after Communion.

St. Catherine of Alexandria was only 18 when she stood up to Emporer Maximus and called for justice for those he was persecuting. The parishioners of St. Catherine today, under the leadership of Fr. Eugene O'Donnell, continue to do the same through their worship that reveals the Spirit at work, giving them courage to stand together, young and old in a broken world, and proclaim that through Christ, all the lowly will be raised up on the last day.

In this week's DSJ Liturgy Notes, you'll find:

  • Information on a free Cantor Workshop
  • The next gathering of the Catechumenate Support Group
  • Resources for remembering September 11
  • A prayer for those in the military
  • A blessing for public servants

May the simple things--singing together, standing in prayer, blessing each other--bring peace.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy


Catechumenate Support Group - September 9

If you coordinate the catechumenate process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) in your parish, you have a place where you can ask questions, get some answers, and share your own stories with others who share your ministry. The Catechumenate Support Group meets every other month and is open for all who have responsibility for initiation of adults and children.

Catechumenate Support Group
Thursday, September 9, 2004
12:30p - 2:30p
Chancery Offices, 3rd floor
Bring your lunch.

For more information, contact Diana Macalintal at or 408-983-0136.


A Prayer for Those in the Military Serving in Places of Conflict

Lord and Holy Protector,
when Abraham and Sarah left their own land
and departed from their own people,
you kept them safe all through their journey.
Protect our children, our husbands and wives,
our mothers and fathers, and our friends and loved ones
who serve our country in times of war and conflict.
Walk by their side and calm any fear;
Be their companion and guide their thoughts;
Encircle them with your light and keep them from harm;
And when their service is ended, lead them safely home again.
For you, O God are our shelter in every storm
and our refuge in times of danger.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Prayer of Blessing for Firefighters, Police Officers, Medical Workers, and All Who Serve Us in Times of Crisis

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy,
who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity
and the great commandment of love for one another.
Send down your blessings on these your servants,
who so generously devote themselves to helping others.
Grant them courage when they are afraid,
wisdom when they must make quick decisions,
strength when they are weary,
and compassion in all their work.
When the alarm sounds
and they are called to aid both friend and stranger,
let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Small changes make a big difference

It's amazing how a little thing like color can change your mood. Someone told me that the dark background in the previous blog seemed depressing, and it was too hard to read some of the links. So here we are with a brighter color for your newsletter. I like this one, so I won't change it unless you think something else would be better.

I guess this is one of those "catechetical moments." The environment in our churches, whether we intend it or not, affects our mood. Simple things like--
  • cleaning out the clutter in the vestibule,
  • taking down outdated flyers from bulletin boards,
  • removing trash from pews,
  • putting away unnecessary tables from the sanctuary,
  • throwing out dead flowers,
  • and straightening chairs--

can effect a subtle change in the "mood" of your liturgies. It would be great if we could change the environment of our churches as easily as it is to change the colors of a blog. Until then, pay attention to the little things. It just might make all the difference.


Monday, August 23, 2004

21st Week in Ordinary Time

"I will set a sign among them." (Is 66:19)

Last Monday, I spent some time with the high school and young adult leaders of LJC Ministries, the youth and young adult ministry for the parishes of St. Lawrence the Martyr, St. Justin, and St. Clare. Of all the people there, I was one of the oldest! These young people, ranging in age from teens to early 20s, wanted to learn the skills of being leaders and preparers of prayer. We looked at four elements to pay attention to when preparing prayer: 1) what we see; 2) what we hear; 3) what we smell; and 4) what we do. Then we looked at how to mystagogically connect prayer to our daily lives. (Email me if you'd like a similar workshop for your leaders.)

These leaders were not going to let age stand in the way of learning new skills and taking on serious leadership roles in their communities. I was renewed by their excitement and encouraged by their spirit. They taught me that we need to stop saying that "youth are the church of tomorrow." They are the church now and they are ready to work.

This last Sunday, I prayed with the parish of St. Anthony at their 10a Mass. The first thing I noticed was the wonderful smiles several parishioners gave me as they greeted me just outside the door. I felt welcomed instantly, and that welcome continued inside. Though the pastor, Fr. George Mancha, was not presiding, he was there to greet everyone as they arrived. (He was also present at the end of Mass to greet everyone again as they left.) The presider continued that spirit of hospitality through his wonderful energy and passion in the liturgy. The Communion ministers especially were genuine signs of God's love through their warm smiles and gentle eye contact as they offered me the Body and Blood of Christ. St. Anthony of Padua is known for his teachings and his miracles. The people of the parish of St. Anthony can also be known for their embodied teaching that a genuine smile and generous welcome can be miracle enough to change a person's world.

The Diocese of San Jose has a new website! Same look. Check it out.

In this week's DSJ Liturgy Notes you'll find:

The signs of God's presence are everywhere. I hope this week you find those signs in welcoming smiles, miracles, and blessings.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy


Labor Day Ideas

The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. Today, Labor Day unofficially signals the beginning of a new "school" year of work and study and the end of the lazy days of summer.

To respect the origins of this national holiday while acknowledging its new role of marking the change in the social season, the weekend of September 4-5, 2004, may be an appropriate time to acknowledge and bless the temporal and spiritual work that parishioners do.

Teachers and Students
The Book of Blessings, Chapter 5, has an order for the blessing of students and teachers. The basic structure of the blessing begins with general intercessions after the homily written specifically for teachers and students followed by a prayer of blessing. After the homily, teachers and students might be called forward to stand before the assembly to receive the church's blessing.

Pastoral Staff and Parish Leaders
"In the life of a parish there is a diversity of services that are exercised by lay persons. It is fitting that as people publicly begin their service they receive the blessing of God who gives the gifts needed to carry out this work" (Book of Blessings, "Order for the Blessing of Those who Exercise Pastoral Service" #1808).
One of the Masses during this weekend might include a blessing of the parish staff and leaders, especially if there are new staff members and leaders. The structure of the blessing in the Book of Blessings (Chapter 60) is the same as that for teachers and students--intercessions for the leaders after the homily followed by a prayer of blessing over them.

Liturgical Ministers
This weekend and the weeks following might be a good time to bless liturgical ministers scheduled to serve during the upcoming liturgical year. The Book of Blessings contains blessings for readers (Chapter 61), altar servers, sacristans, musicians and ushers (Chapter 62), and the commissioning of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (Chapter 63).

Parish Organizations
There are also blessings for parish council members (Chapter 64) and officers of parish societies (Chapter 65) in the Book of Blessings.

New Parishioners
Labor Day is also a traditional time for moving into new homes. This weekend and the next, be extra aware and welcoming of new faces in your parish. Hospitality for strangers is a year-round ministry for every Christian and is especially needed for those beginning a new chapter of their lives as new members of your parish. The Book of Blessings has an order for welcoming new parishioners (Chapter 66). The structure is very simple: new parishioners may be introduced to the assembly by the pastor after the greeting in the Gathering Rite. Then they are prayed for by name in the intercessions. Be careful that you do not force the spot light upon anyone who may be uncomfortably shy. It would be best to let new parishioners know ahead of time of this opportunity and give them the choice of participating in it.

Remember that hospitality, welcome, and prayer for each other doesn't end with Labor Day. Our blessings and welcome on this weekend must be supported and made genuine by the blessings we are for each other throughout the year.


Blessings for the Domestic Church

Every moment, joyful or painful, ordinary or amazing, is an opportunity for a blessing. To bless is to praise God always. To bless is to know that with God, “no thought of ours is left unguarded, no tear unheeded, no joy unnoticed” (collect for 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time). To bless is to commit ourselves to co-operate with God’s blessings. To bless is to pray unceasingly.

Every Christian can bless, and it is in the home where Christian families “exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1657). Through its own liturgical year, the domestic church gathers at special moments and at ordinary times as the familiar rhythm of prayer orders its days. At times, the domestic church will invite the parish pastor to lead its prayer. But most of the time, the domestic church’s blessings are led by the household prayer leaders who themselves are steeped with the rhythm of prayer and the spirit of praise.

Begin by building the household’s liturgical calendar. This includes birthdays, baptism anniversaries, memorials of deceased loved ones, wedding anniversaries, patron saint days, as well as the major feasts and seasons of the church year. Include significant events, such as the first day of school, leaving for a trip, death of a pet, sickness and the return to health, election day, a pregnancy, a miscarriage, a new job, a new home, or a new car.

The household can plan ahead for some of these moments; others require spontaneity. But most blessings will include some form of the following:
  1. a statement of praise: “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation”;
  2. what God has done: “You reveal yourself in new and unexpected places”;
  3. a petition for the person, place or object to be blessed, asking that we might benefit others through it: “Bless our car and help us see the wonder of your creation, so that wherever we go we are a blessing to all we meet”;
  4. a statement of faith: “We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

For a fuller experience, prepare a prayerful environment, proclaim a scripture passage, sing psalms and use postures of standing, sitting, and kneeling and gestures like the sign of the cross and laying hands.

Daily bless your meals, make the sign of the cross on your loved ones’ foreheads before they leave the house and at nighttime or pray a simple blessing for the senders of your daily mail (postal and email) and for those on the phone. For moments, great and small, the domestic church can fill every second with the praise and blessing of God.

This article by Diana Macalintal originally appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, August 2004.


Books for Blessing

Christians have the right and responsibility to thank God through the blessings they give each other. For this reason, the Church has two resources that can help the local church (the parish) and the domestic church (the home) exercise its duty to bless.

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The Book of Blessings contains many of the Church's orders for blessing. This ritual book contains blessings:

  • for persons (families, married couples, children, engaged couples, expectant parents, new parents, parents after miscarriage, parents and adopted children, birthday celebrants, elderly, the sick, those suffering from addiction, victims of crime, missionaries, catechists, students and teachers, those gathered at a meeting, organizations concerned with public needs, pilgrims, travelers);
  • for buildings and human activity (building site, home, school, library, parish hall, facility for the sick, office, gym, transportation, boats, equipment, tools, animals, fields and flocks, seeds, harvest, athletic event, meals)
  • for liturgical objects (font, ambry, presider's chair, lectern, tabernacle, confessional, church doors, cross, images, bells, organ, chalice and paten, stations of the cross, cemetery)
  • for devotional items (rosaries, scapular)
  • for feasts and seasons (advent wreath, manger, Christmas tree, homes during Christmas and Easter, St. Joseph's table, Easter food, mother's and father's day, Thanksgiving food)
  • for various needs (parish leaders, liturgical ministers, new parishioners, parishioners leaving, public officials)

Click here to order the Book of Blessings.

The Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers is the domestic church's book of blessings. This is a necessary ritual text for any Catholic home. It includes not only daily prayers and blessings for special occasions, but also prayers to learn by heart and an inspiring “primer” on praying in the home found in the introduction to the text.

Like the Book of Blessings it has rites for blessing people, places, and seasons. It also includes sections on daily blessings and common Christian prayers.

Click here to order the Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers.


Monday, August 16, 2004

20th Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed are they who blog

This summer, in between reading and writing for my grad school classes at Saint John's University School of Theology and fighting off the mosquitoes of Central Minnesota, I got hooked on reading blogs, the internet version of personal diaries. Since blogs first appeared in the early 90s, they've become much more than just "dear diary." Newspapers and magazines use blogs to supplement their stories, large organizations use blogs to collaborate more effectively on team projects, and families create photo-blogs to show off their vacation pictures. If our parishioners are using blogs in their daily life, why couldn't the Catholic church use today's technology too?

So welcome to your new Liturgy Notes newsletter! This should solve the problems of unnecessarily filling up your e-mailbox with large files and not being able to read the formatting. And now you can easily share these notes just by sharing its address: (I still have to learn how to insert animation, so these blogs won't have those fun graphics yet. If you know how to do this, please let me know.)

Every Monday morning, this newsletter-blog will have new information to help you in planning your parish's liturgy. If additional announcements come up during the week, I'll post them here too. You can check out the blog anytime during the week, day or night. The best thing is that previous posts will be archived (see the sidebar for a listing of previous posts archived by week). I will also post the previous Liturgy Notes that I had sent earlier this year so you and your liturgical ministers can access them as well.

This year will bring many blessings and challenges for all who prepare and care for the liturgy. Hopefully this newsletter can help you make the work you do a blessing for our diocese.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy - Diocese of San Jose


The Gathering Song

The Gathering Song is one of the most important pieces of music of the Mass. This is because it sets the whole tone for the liturgy in a similar way that the overture sets the mood for an opera or ballet. But the gathering song does not do this simply by how it sounds but more importantly by how it is sung. Who sings it (and who doesn't) and how long it is sung are just as important as what is sung.

In some parishes, the gathering song lasts only as long as it takes the procession of ministers to get from the front door of the church to the altar. In this case, only one or two verses of music is sung. This makes the gathering a mere perfunctory act and puts the value of efficiency over the real purpose of the gathering song.

After the people have gathered, the Entrance chant begins as the priest enters with the deacon and ministers. The purpose of this chant is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity, and accompany the procession of the priest and ministers (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 47).
Note that the purpose of the gathering song is:
  • to open the celebration,
  • to foster the unity of those who have been gathered,
  • to introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity,
  • and lastly, to accompany the procession.

The first point is obvious. The song is the "official" opening of Mass, though people have been engaging in the rituals of gathering--vesting in Sunday's best, processing to church, greeting one another, focusing thoughts--long before the first note of the song.

The second point is often ignored. The song must foster unity. This is done best when everyone can sing a song together. The gathering song is the worst time to use a new song, especially one that is difficult for people to learn. The gathering song should be so familiar for people that it makes them feel like they belong to this group of people. And the singing goes as long as it takes to foster this sense of unity. For most typical assemblies on a Sunday morning, their voices and bodies are just starting to get warmed up at the end of the second verse. Most assemblies need at least three or four verses to begin feeling and acting as one body. Liturgy is work! The song has to get people warmed up and ready to do this work. Remember that the purpose of all the gathering rites is to make this disparate group of individuals one Body of Christ, ready to hear God's word and share the Eucharist.

Further, if you are singing a hymn for the gathering song, the lyrical structure of the song usually requires that the whole hymn be sung for the complete message to be understood. Read through the verses of your hymns and note how the last verse is often a "turning point" verse or one that summarizes the thought of the hymn. If you leave out this last verse, it's almost like you have an incomplete prayer.

The third purpose of the gathering song is to set an appropriate tone for the celebration and liturgical season. To do this, consider using a "seasonal" gathering song. A seasonal song is one that you select for a whole season (Lent, Christmas, Advent, or Easter), and you do that song for all the Sundays of that season. We already do this pretty well for Advent when we use "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" as the opening song for all four Sundays of Advent. But also consider a seasonal song for the other times of year, even blocks of Ordinary Time. (We'll discuss seasonal songs more in a future blog.)

The last purpose of the gathering song is to accompany the procession. But be careful. This doesn't mean that the song ends once the procession is done (otherwise the previous three purposes of the song don't make sense). This song accompanies the procession in that it needs to sound like a song for a procession. It needs to be strong with a good solid walking beat and tempo. It needs to be familiar enough so that people can participate in the procession either by being in it (as the ministers are) or by watching it without needing to glue their eyes to a song book.

I know that for a long time, for many reasons, music ministers have been in the habit of doing only one or two verses of the gathering song--because of a real time-cruch in the Sunday Mass schedule, or because Father or the parishioners will give you that "look" if you do more than the alotted verses, or because we've always just done it that way. But if we continue to do this, we are seriously hampering the liturgy's ability to be the powerful action of Christ that it is meant to be. If singing a whole song feels daunting, start slowly. Sing one more verse than you normally do for the next month. Then add one more verse the next month. In the same way that we gradually learn our bad habits, we can train ourselves to learn good habits.


Diocesan Liturgical Calendar for 2004 - 2005

The Preacher and the Challenge of Technology
Wednesday to Saturday, September 15 - 18, 2004
San Jose Marriott

The Catholic Coalition on Preaching will be hosting its national conference in San Jose this year. This is the pre-eminent conference on Catholic preaching with over 20 speakers addressing the topic of the preacher and technology in the 21st century. Download the conference brochure (Adobe Reader required). Contact the Georgetown Center for Liturgy for registration information: 202-687-4420 or Jeffrey Price at

National Catechetical Sunday
Sunday, September 19, 2004

Click here for prayer resources to celebrate this Sunday. Click here for the day's readings.

Justice Symposium
Saturday, September 25, 2004, 8a - 4:30p

Santa Clara University
This conference is co-sponsored by the Diocese of San Jose and the Bannan Center for Jesuit Education of Santa Clara University. The keynote address will be by Joan Rosenhauer of USCCB Social Development and World Peace, and several workshops will be available on global solidarity, peace building, the Catholic call to charity and justice, forming and supporting parish social justice ministries, community organizing, refugees and human trafickking. Included is a special luncheon awards celebration and an afternoon legislative briefing. Registration is limited, so please register early. Cost is $35 including lunch. $45 after September 17. For more info or to register, contact Sylvia Blanch at or 408-983-0128.

Month of Prayer for the General Needs of Humankind
October 1 - 31, 2004
Bishop McGrath has designated October as a special time of prayer for the needs of all people. This may be a good time to encourage parishioners to begin a daily discipline of prayer or to increase the time they pray if they already pray daily.

Respect Life Sunday
Sunday, October 3, 2004
Click here for prayer resources to celebrate this Sunday. Click here for the day's readings.

42nd Anniversary of the Opening of Vatican II
Monday, October 11, 2004
Click here to learn more about this ecumenical council that changed the course of history.

26th Anniversary of the Election of Pope John Paul II
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Click here to learn more about Pope John Paul II.

Diocesan Workshop for Lectors
Tuesday, October 26, 2004, 7p - 9:30p
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph - Loyola Hall
New and veteran lectors are invited to learn new skills and become even better lectors for their parishes. This workshop will teach lectors fundamental and more advance skills in proclamation and will offer hands-on practice for participants. Bring your Lector Workbook or missalette with the readings for October 31 (31st Sunday in Ordinary Time - click here for the day's readings). Registration is $5. To register, send your name, email address, phone number, and parish name to Rebeca Aldaz at or 408-983-0126.

Faith Formation Conference
Friday to Saturday, October 29 -30, 2004
Bill Graham Civic Center, San Francisco

This conference is co-sponsored by the Diocese of San Jose and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Keynote speakers: Fr. Ron Rohlheiser and Celina Rodriguez. For more information call 408-983-0127.

Solemnity of All Saints
Monday, November 1, 2004
When November 1 falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass does not hold. Thus, All Saints is not a holy day of obligation this year. Click here for the day's readings.

Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Click here to learn more about the Cathedral's history.

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
Sunday, November 21, 2004
This is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time and the last Sunday of liturgical year C. Click here for the day's readings.

Days of Prayer for the Harvest and Fruits of the Earth
Monday to Wednesday, November 22 - 24, 2004
Bishop McGrath has designated these three days before Thanksgiving as special days to pray for the earth and for those who harvest and care for it, especially for the farmers of our local communities and for all people who are underfed because of poverty.

Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 25, 2004

5th Anniversary of the Succession of Bishop Patrick McGrath to the See of San Jose, becoming the second Bishop of San Jose
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Click here to learn more about our Bishop.

First Sunday of Advent, Year A
Sunday, November 28, 2004
This Sunday begins the new liturgical year A. Click here for the day's readings.

41st Anniversary of the Approval of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Saturday, December 4, 2004
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (also known as Sacrosanctum Concilium) was the first document to be voted on by the members of Vatican II. It is a landmark document that established that the primary way Christians express who they are and who Christ is to the world is through the liturgy. It proclaimed that the liturgy is the fundamental way we learn how to be Catholic, where we strengthen our faith, how we build the Church, and when we most reflect Christ's healing and reconciling love (CSL 2). Click here to read this historical document of Vatican II.

Diocesan Evening Prayer for Peace
Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 7:30p
All are welcomed to participate in praying for peace in our world. This will be Evening Prayer (Vespers) from the Liturgy of the Hours, so all people of faith are invited to participate. Bishop Patrick McGrath will preside.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Today is a holy day of obligation. Click here for the day's readings.

Diocesan Evening Prayer in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Friday, December 10, 2004, 7p
Beginning with processions from various parishes throughout the diocese, this evening of prayer, music, drama, and food celebrates Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Third Sunday of Advent and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Sunday, December 12, 2004
The Sundays of Advent take precedence over the solemnities and feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, the readings and prayers for this Sunday are those for the Third Sunday of Advent, year A. However, references to Our Lady of Guadalupe can appropriately be incorporated into the homily, instructions, intercessions, and music for the day's Masses while keeping the liturgy's focus on Advent. Las Mañanitas may also be celebrated at dawn on Sunday morning.

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
Saturday, December 25, 2004
If Masses are celebrated on Saturday evening, they use the readings and prayers for the Feast of the Holy Family.

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Saturday, January 1, 2005
When January 1 falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass does not hold. Thus, January 1 is not a holy day of obligation this year. Masses on Saturday evening use the readings and prayers for the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Sunday, January 2, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Sunday, January 9, 2005
After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Ordinary Time begins. Thus, the Masses for this day as well as the environment and music still should contain elements of the Christmas season. Click here for the day's readings.

Ordinary Time begins
Monday, January 10, 2005
This first week of Ordinary Time begins the weekday Lectionary Year 1 cycle.

24th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Diocese of San Jose
Thursday, January 27, 2005

Diocesan Celebration of 25th and 50th Wedding Anniversaries
Saturday, February 5, 2005, 10a
Bishop Patrick McGrath invites all married couples and their families celebrating silver and golden wedding anniversaries to renew their vows at this annual Eucharistic liturgy. All couples who register for this event will also receive a certificate signed by Bishop McGrath commemorating the event. Registration forms will be sent to all parishes in November and can also be found in The Valley Catholic in its November/December issues.

Rehearsals for Rite of Election
Monday, February 7, 2005, 7p
Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 7p
Parish catechumenate directors, those carrying the Book of the Elect, and those calling out the names of the Elect for their parish are required to attend one of the two rehearsals for the Rite of Election.

Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

First Sunday of Lent
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Click here for the day's readings. Make sure you celebrate the Rite of Sending this weekend for any of your catechumens who are ready to be baptized.

Rite of Election
Monday, February 14, 2005, 7:30p
Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 7:30p
Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 7:30p
All catechumens (adults and children) who are to be chosen to celebrate all three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are invited to celebrate the Rite of Election with Bishop Patrick McGrath. The liturgy office will begin registrations for each parish in November. If you are a catechumenate director for your parish and have not been receiving email notices from the liturgy office, please send your email address to Diana Macalintal at

Los Angeles Religious Education Congress
Thursday to Sunday, February 17 - 20, 2005
Click here for Congress information.

Third Sunday of Lent
Sunday, February, 27, 2005
Make sure you celebrate the First Scrutiny with your Elect this weekend. If you are celebrating the Scrutinies, the readings are for the Third Sunday of Lent, year A.

Fourth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Make sure you celebrate the Second Scrutiny with your Elect this weekend. If you are celebrating the Scrutinies, the readings are for the Third Sunday of Lent, year A.

Fifth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Make sure you celebrate the Third Scrutiny with your Elect this weekend. If you are celebrating the Scrutinies, the readings are for the Third Sunday of Lent, year A.

Chrism Mass
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 7:30p
All parishes are invited to celebrate this annual blessing of the oils of the catechumens and the sick and the consecration of the Sacred Chrism. Priests of the diocese will also renew their commitment to priestly service.

Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Easter Triduum
Thursday to Sunday, March 24 - 27, 2005
The Easter Triduum is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. It begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Between the Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil, Mass may not be celebrated. The Easter Vigil must begin after nightfall. Nightfall begins on this day at 6:51 p.m. for San Jose. Thus Easter Vigil for 2005 may not begin before 7:00 p.m.

In the United States, although it is never permitted to celebrate the entire Easter Vigil more than once in a given church or to anticipate the Mass of Easter before the vigil, in those places where the local Ordinary permits the anticipation of Sunday Masses on Saturday evening, for pastoral reasons an additional Mass may be celebrated after the Mass of the Easter Vigil. Such a Mass may follow the liturgy of the word of the Mass of the Easter Vigil and other texts of that Mass and should include the renewal of baptismal promise (Sacramentary, Easter Sunday, During the Night, Easter Vigil, #3).

In the Diocese of San Jose, parishes may not celebrate more than one Easter Vigil. This means that on March 26, 2005, no Mass may be celebrated before the Easter Vigil, and there may be only one Service of Light (blessing of fire, first lighting of Easter Candle, and exsultet) and one blessing of the baptismal font per parish. The initiation of Elect ideally takes place at the one parish Easter Vigil though it may also be celebrated on Easter Sunday for pastoral reasons, and initiation sacraments are appropriately celebrated throughout the Easter season. Any additional Masses on the night of March 26, 2005 must be celebrated after the parish's one Easter Vigil and does not include the Service of Light or the blessing of the water in the baptismal font.

Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate
Saturday, April 9, 2005, 9:30a
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
The Diocese of San Jose will ordain its first candidates for the permanent diaconate since becoming a diocese in 1981.

Institute for Leadership in Ministry Graduation
Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 7:30p
Celebrate evening prayer with the newest set of graduates from the diocese's pastoral ministry institute.

Neophyte Mass
Friday, May 6, 2005, 7:30p
Bishop Patrick McGrath invites all who were baptized at the Easter Vigil and all who celebrated the sacraments of initiation during the Easter season, along with their friends, family, and fellow-parishioners to celebrate Eucharist together in Easter joy.

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Sunday, May 8, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Vigil Mass of Pentecost
Saturday, May 14, 2005
The readings and prayers for the Vigil of Pentecost are used at Saturday evening Masses. Click here for the day's readings.

Solemnity of Pentecost
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Diocesan Confirmation of Adults
Sunday, May 15, 2005, 3:30p
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Adults who have been prepared by their parishes to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation are invited to participate in this Pentecost liturgy. The liturgy office will begin taking registrations in March. If you are a Confirmation director for your parish and have not been receiving email notices from the liturgy office, please send your email address to Diana Macalintal at

Ordinary Time resumes
Monday, May 16, 2005
This day begins the 7th week in Ordinary Time.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Click here for the day's readings.

Ordination to the Priesthood
Saturday, June 4, 2005, 9:30a
Bishop Patrick McGrath will ordain several men to service for the diocese as presbyters.