7 Tips for Reverently Viewing Mass from Home

Family prayingWe are in a time when we cannot go to our normal place of worship and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the rest of our church community. Yet the third commandment tells us that we are to keep holy the sabbath day! It has been suggested that we watch Mass online or on TV. This is a wonderful opportunity for the domestic Church (which is the family) to delve deeper into the beauty of the Mass.

Below are suggested tips for reverently viewing Mass from home. Be sure to read them all well in advance and have the children help get things ready. Most all the tips are very kid-friendly, and they will truly enjoy the Mass much more if they help prepare!

1. All on Board
First, discuss with your family members when you will all come together for Mass. Keeping with your family’s normal routine would be ideal, so a good idea is to choose a time close to when you would ordinarily attend Mass on Sunday. However, if you decide to watch a live stream, then your time frame might need to change. Online Mass links are at the end of the article. Another option is to watch a televised Mass. EWTN broadcast theirs on Sunday at 7:00am, 11:00am and 6:00pm, as well as every day of the week.

2. Technology Check
Check out the different options for watching Mass and see what best fits your family. Of course, viewing on a bigger screen would be ideal versus using a phone. Do a test run sometime beforehand to make sure all is good to go. Trying to figure things out right before you are scheduled to watch can really take away from the atmosphere of reverence that you are trying to establish. This is also a good time to print out the readings for the day and the Mass responses if you would like to follow along during Mass. Once again, links can be found at the end.

3. Prepare the Worship Space
Choose a space where you would have a good view of the screen and where you can set up some chairs to make a pew or two. Yes, resist the temptation to lounge on the couch or the recliner! You should not be so comfortable that you are tempted to fall asleep during Mass. (Is that why the pews are so hard in church?) Remember we also kneel and stand in Mass, so make sure you have enough space for that.

4. Set up a Home Altar
Somewhere close to the viewing screen, set up a small table. A simple TV tray would work. This is Lent and the liturgical color is purple, so put something purple on your home altar. A scarf, a t-shirt or even a purple piece of paper. Then put an unlit candle on or two on the altar. How about a crucifix? Maybe some spring flowers that are sprouting up in the lawn. This is a step that you can definitely let the children do – and the home altar can stay up all during Lent and into the Easter season! Just be sure to change out the purple color to white for Easter.

5. Shortly Before Mass
Get dressed! Put on the nice clothes that you would normally wear when traveling out to go to Mass in your church community. This is a special event, so don’t wear your pajamas, even though you are in the comfort of your home. Make sure all distractions (phones and other electronic devices) are turned off and put away. Toys should also be put away. “Arrive” at least 5 minutes early before the viewing is to start. Have the children light the candles on your home altar. Spend some quiet time in prayer.

6. During Mass
Actively participate! Sing the songs, say the prayer responses. Stand, kneel or sit at the appropriate times during Mass. Do something we have not been able to do lately at Mass…hold hands during the Our Father and give the kiss of peace to each other! Resist the temptation to talk or get up and go to the bathroom. Act as if you were truly in the large church building with others around you and quietly and reverently take part for the entire hour.

7. After Mass
Donuts? Breakfast Tacos? Go to Grandma’s? Try to do whatever you normally do after Mass on Sundays. It might mean making your breakfast tacos or donuts at home if you normally go out for those things. You could Skype Grandma for a visit. Make sure to include time to discuss the readings and homily. Also get feedback from all family members as to what went well or what might need tweaking for your next home viewing of the Mass, for this might be the new norm this for a while.

Links to help the Domestic Church:
Online Mass Options
https://www.archgh.org/onlinemass
https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/daily-readings

Mass readings, the order of the Mass text, Liturgy of the Hours
https://giveusthisday.org/Digital
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032120.cfm

Sunday Mass Prep for Kids (coloring page and video)
https://www.holyheroes.com/MassPrep-s/57.htm?Click=6412

© Rose of Sharon

Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus

 

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Prayer in the Time of Coronavirus:Jesus Stained Glass

 Comfort us, O Lord, for we are like your disciples on the storm-tossed seas, unsettled by what lies ahead. We turn to You, our Healer and Guide, to still our hearts in our time of need and hear our prayer:
Heal those who are sick with the coronavirus and protect the elderly and most vulnerable.
Give strength to all who tend to our health and wisdom to researchers who work toward a cure.
Open our eyes and hearts, as you did during Hurricane Harvey, that we may look beyond our immediate needs to care for others who need help.
Through the Holy Spirit, guide our leaders to make wise decisions for the welfare of all the people they serve.
Grant eternal rest to those who have died from the virus.
May Mary, Our Mother, who has heard our pleas in the storms of our lives,
intercede to her Son, that we may find healing and a prompt end to this illness.
Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us.
Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, heal us. Amen

https://www.archgh.org/resources/health-updates/spiritual-resources/

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW! 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Healing

Praying and Fasting Jesus

A CALL TO ACTION FOR OUR CHURCH IN CRISIS
40 Days of Prayer & Fasting for Healing
October 1st – November 9th

Would you consider joining me and others for 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Healing? This is a call to action for our Church in crisis starting Monday, October 1st (or start whenever you read this) through November 9th. Continue reading

My Personal Letter to Cardinal DiNardo

Letter with no return address

His Eminence,
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
1700 San Jacinto
Houston TX 77002

Your Eminence,

I am a cradle Catholic and daily communicant who has spent countless hours volunteering in numerous ministries in the Church-most notably with the youth. I am writing because I am deeply troubled by this horrific crisis in the church. Continue reading

Five Things the Faithful Need to Do During This Crisis in the Church

What Do I Do

Scream, cry, hide in shame, and walk around in dumbfounded shock. These are some of the things I have done since the resurfacing of the horrible scandal that is rocking the Church. The information that is coming out is horrific. It is truly sickening. Anger, disgust, and hopelessness want to flood my spirit. I feel like I will drown if I don’t do something. But what in the world can I do in the enormity of such grave sin?! I ask myself the question, but it also gushes out of my heart as a desperate prayer-plead to God.  And in his beautiful love, he responds. Here are five things to do during this crisis:

  1. Keep going to Mass/Reconciliation

In a time when you could find lots of excuses to stop going to Mass and walk away from your faith…keep the faith! Keep participating in the sacraments. Don’t stop going to Mass or Reconciliation! Don’t walk away from Jesus and the Eucharist! Nothing would make the enemy happier than to see you walk away. We need lots of grace to get through this spiritual battle and receiving our Lord and Savior’s precious body and blood is vital.

In regards to going to Reconciliation, the passage from the Lord ’s Prayer rings true; “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us” (Mt 6:12). During this terrible time in the Church, resentment and holding a grudge will be tempting. The sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to face our own sinfulness and lets us experience the healing beauty of God’s mercy. We need to be at our best during these worst of circumstances; therefore, going to confession is a must.

  1. Pray and Fast

There is nothing more powerful in the face of evil than prayer. First and foremost, pray for the victims, that they will find healing and peace. Pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (and maybe you) who are struggling with their faith during this crisis. Pray for the church leaders, and all that work for the church, that they may courageously follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and provide strong leadership during this moral catastrophe. And don’t forget (gulp) to also pray for the perpetrators of these horrible crimes.

In regards to fasting, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “The Holy Father is…inviting, and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting…Jesus remarked once, ‘This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting’ (Mark 9:29); a humble reminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring about true healing and conversion,”

To read more about the benefits of fasting and ideas on how to fast, check out https://www.catholicgentleman.net/2014/04/spiritual-weapons-fasting/

  1. Write Your Bishop

Write an actual letter with an envelope and stamp. Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and pour yourself out on the paper. Keep it honest and concise, but make sure to let the leader of your diocese know your concerns. Monsignor Charles Pope writes about taking this action in his article entitled, In the Midst of Clerical Misdeeds, a Crucial Moment for the Laity. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/in-the-midst-of-clerical-misdeeds-a-crucial-moment-for-the-laity

If you need some tips in writing to your bishop, check this out: https://avemariaradio.net/tips-write-bishop/

Also, at the end of this blog is a letter written and delivered to Cardinal DiNardo by my brother Eddie Scales, along with a link to where he got the information on the forty-day period of prayer and fasting that he mentions in the letter.

  1. Affirm your Priests

Though this is a dark time for the Church, remember there are many virtuous, celibate priests out there. They have given their life to serving Christ and his people. It is a sad time for these faithful priests who are learning about their brother priests who have committed grave sins. Make sure to thank the priest(s) at your parish for their service. Write them a note. Send them a card. Invite them over for dinner. Let them know you are praying for them and that you appreciate all their hard work. And while you’re at it, encourage your priest to speak to the congregation about this crisis, if they haven’t already. Yes, it is a difficult topic to address, but it must be done!

  1. Stay Informed/Educated

This advice is coming from someone who hates watching the news and following current events. I’d rather not think about those things or deal with them, mainly because it always seems so negative. However, it is important that we do not do what some of our church officials have done in the past…sweep things under the rug and look away.

Knowing what is going on can fire us up to help make the world a better place. Staying informed gives us opportunities to pray for specific people or specific issues. Staying educated can help you have healthy discussions about current issues. That is why it is good to have reputable sources to help you stay abreast of the latest news. In regards to the topic of this article, I recommend:

The National Catholic Register (owned by EWTN)  http://www.ncregister.com/
Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire  https://www.wordonfire.org/
1430am Catholic Radio in Houston KSHJ  http://www.grnonline.com/stations/1430-am-kshj-houston/

The church is in dire need of reform and renewal. This will not be easy! It is a long rough road ahead. Along with prayer, fasting and continued participation in the sacraments, there is hope.

© Rose of Sharon


open letter to his Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo,
archbishop of Galveston-Houston.

I am a lifelong Catholic, active in the church, fervent in my faith, faithful to the Magisterium and disgusted by the abuse and cover-ups that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church. I am heartsick and ashamed over the 1000+ victims of abuse in the state of Pennsylvania and all the other boys and girls, men and women who have been sexually abused by priests and further victimized by the bishops who covered up for these crimes. I pray for justice for the victims and their families and their communities.

Something must be done, and I am asking you to lead your flock, and to be a leader in the Church in addressing these crimes. We are all sinners and we must confront our sinfulness, and the Church must do the same. Christ would have it no other way.

I believe in the Catholic Church, founded by Christ and sustained by the Eucharist. We are one body in Christ. As such, I invite you, your Eminence, Cardinal DiNardo, to join us in observing a forty-day period of prayer and fasting as an act of reparation to God for these sins. From the feast of the Queenship of Mary on August 22, through the month of September, we will join our sorrow with Our Lady of Sorrows, and make daily sacrifices for this intention.

Your servant in Christ,
R.E. “Eddie” Scales
Parishioner of Sts. Simon & Jude in The Woodlands, TX

Corruptio optimi pessima (The corruption of the best is the worst of all)

http://www.catholicallyear.com/2018/08/sexual-abuse-sackcloth-and-ashes.html