Sunday, February 18, 2024, first Sunday of Lent

Episode 19 February 16, 2024 00:06:25
Sunday, February 18, 2024, first Sunday of Lent
Sundays with Bishop Ken
Sunday, February 18, 2024, first Sunday of Lent

Feb 16 2024 | 00:06:25

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Hosted By

Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw

Show Notes

Learn about the meaning and importance of the Introductory Rites of the mass with this reflection, taken from this Sunday's corresponding Little Black Book. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to Sundays with Bishop Ken, a weekly podcast brought to you by the publishers of little books of the Diocese of Saginaw. This Lent, we use our Sundays to learn more about the parts of the Mass and their significance to our faith, life, and journey. Please subscribe to the Little Books app for all of the Daily Black book reflections for Lent. Find it on your favorite app platform. We are pleased to spend this quiet time with you today. [00:00:59] Speaker B: It's February 18, the first Sunday of Lent. On this day, in cathedrals around the world, bishops preside at the rite of election, adults seeking baptism. They're called catechumens, gathered together with other catechumens for instruction and formation in the faith, a process which lasted a year or several years. Each catechumen had a sponsor along the way who helped introduce them to christian beliefs and practices. The catechumens came to Sunday Eucharist, but only for the liturgy of the word, after which they left to study and reflect together on the day's scripture readings. When their formation reached the final stages, the community presented them to the bishop, who, at the beginning of Lent in a ceremony called the rite of election, formally accepted them as candidates. They came forward one by one to sign their names in the book of the elect. Then they began an intensive period of prayer, fasting, and alms giving in preparation for baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. At the Easter vigil. The whole community joined with them in this, reflecting on their own identity as disciples of the Lord. This is the origin of Lent. For many centuries, the rituals by which adults gradually became members of the church fell into disuse. These rituals were restored in 1972 and called RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for adults. In 2021, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decided to change RCIA to OCIA order of christian initiation for adults. The name change refers to the process that includes the rights of christian initiation. On Sundays. This Lent, we will spend our time explaining the Mass. We begin this Sunday with the introductory rites. Catholics commonly speak of the changes in the Mass after Vatican II. The truth is that these changes were actually restorations of some of our oldest traditions. The biggest change the council called for is a change in attitude. No longer do we talk as though the priests were saying the Mass while we attend. The general instruction of the Roman Missal says that in the eucharistic prayer, the entire congregation joins itself to Christ in acknowledging the great things God has done and in offering the sacrifice. Picture a college dorm with music rooms in the basement. Each student can go to an individual practice room with a trumpet or guitar and play away without affecting the others. Compare that to orchestra members who bring their instruments to play the same song together. That's the difference. The introductory rites of the Mass, from the entrance procession to the gathering prayer, help us to become an orchestra. The purpose of these rites is that the faithful coming together take on the form of a community. How do we pray this part of the Mass? By remembering that we're in this together. Here we are the Lord's own disciples in the year 2024. We are as diverse as Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and as imperfect as they were yet called by name and sharing one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Think about people who, despite all other differences, hold within them the same faith we do. Try it the next time at Mass. It can be an eye opening experience. Try it right now. [00:05:45] Speaker A: Thank you for sharing some quiet time with the Lord today. Please consider supporting this podcast by clicking the donate link. For more information and other prayer resources, go to littlebooks.org. May your day be blessed.

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