LITURGY MATTERS: A winter wonderland of formation and initiation opportunities

There’s a lot of liturgical opportunities bubbling away as we embark on winter. Here’s a few that might interest you.

Liturgical Formation

In his Apostolic Letter Desiderio Desideravi Pope Francis put liturgical formation front and centre of our agenda. For parishes and any community wanting to continue its liturgical formation, you couldn’t find a better starting place than reading and reflecting together on this letter. It can be accessed on the Vatican website. You also might like to read the Liturgy Matters article that focused on it.

In a more recent Liturgy Matters – What we sing matters – Fr Andrew Doohan addressed a range of issues that people have raised with the Office Worship and Prayer over recent months. I recommend this article to all Liturgy Teams and ministers, particularly music ministers. It is always good to gather together to review our practice in any aspect of the liturgy.  

Australian Catholic University offers some excellent formation opportunities.

  • A recent lecture that some from our diocese attended is now available on the website. I highly recommend it. In short, the title is ‘I am what I ritualise’. Indeed you will find recordings of all recent public lectures on their website here. Watching any of these together as a community of parishioners is a great way to shape the ongoing liturgical formation journey of your community.
  • Online training for Ministers of the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are available.
  • A wonderful new initiative is Speaking of Liturgy - An ACU podcast Here you will find an array of excellent podcasts that will only grow over time.
  • There is also a short window of opportunity to register for a face-to-face course in Melbourne on Liturgical Music. Maybe someone out there would love an excuse for a winter trip to Melbourne.

Liturgy Brisbane continues to produce a range of excellent online short courses for liturgical ministers that are excellent value. You can explore these opportunities here.

These are just a smattering of the formation opportunities available to us. Hopefully, liturgical ministers will find something to nourish them.

The Ministry of Christian Initiation

Recently the Diocesan Liturgy Council made available a revised resource now called Pastoral Guidance for the Rite of Baptism for Children’. The document has been updated in response to questions directed both to the Bishop’s Office and the Office Worship and Prayer. It is hoped this resource pulls together into one spot important information that will support parishes dealing with a range of pastoral opportunities and challenges when families desire baptism for their children.

Further to a recent Liturgy Matters update on Christian Initiation, the Diocesan Liturgy Council’s Christian Initiation Forum has made resources available on the website. These have been developed to support parishes in reimagining the ministry of Christian Initiation through the lens of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is the culmination of a many years of work and focused conversation. Four parishes have expressed a desire and readiness to embark on a journey of reimagining.  

Come and See: Reimagining the ministry of Christian Initiation and its supporting resources are available here when you click on the dropdown menu. You are invited to visit the website for more information, to explore the documents and find out which four parishes are involved.

This is a very exciting space for everyone involved and we hope we are all able to learn from the experience of the four parishes involved.  

Order of Christian Funerals – ANZAC Tribute

In response to questions seeking clarification about ANZAC tributes at funerals Fr Andrew and I put together a template that outlines how the Final Commendation would likely flow in a Funeral Mass or Liturgy. The template and the RSL Guidelines are available on our website. Click on the appropriate dropdown menu.

In conclusion

Change, growth and renewal are part of our Catholic DNA. Jesus’ call us to conversion. We open ourselves to be changed each time we join the community for the celebration of Mass, I hope the array of opportunities outlined here provides some food for your ongoing liturgical renewal. Enjoy your winter wonderland!


Image: Dungog © 2023 Andrew Doohan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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Louise Gannon rsj Image
Louise Gannon rsj

Louise Gannon rsj is the Diocesan Manager of Worship and Prayer.