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Office for Worship

A resource for the liturgical life of the people of the archdiocese.

The Office for Worship is a resource for the liturgical life of the people of the archdiocese. Through workshops, newsletters and other publications, staff members provide formation and information to all who are engaged in liturgical ministry.

Through consultative services and an extensive lending library, the office offers access to the resources that parishes need to worship well. Staff members coordinate archdiocesan liturgical celebrations through which the people and parishes of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee can unite their voices in praise of God and be moved to do the same in their own communities.

Liturgical Ministry Day - We Belong

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Register Now!

Don’t delay.  Register now for We Belong – a one day liturgical ministry day for all liturgical and pastoral music ministers.  Join us for a day of inspiring keynote speakers, enlightening breakout sessions covering a variety of subjects, prayer and camaraderie.  It will be held at Lumen Christi parish, 2750 W. Mequon Road, Mequon, WI and will run from 8:00 AM to 3:15 PM.  The cost is only $25 per person.  The keynote speakers are Sarah Hart and Trevor Thomson.

Sarah Hart, one of the leading figures in contemporary music, is a songwriter who is often on the road with concerts and events.  Many of her songs are part of the common worship experience of U.S. Catholics.  Trevor Thomson is a nationally regarded contemporary musician and composer who has his own recording studio and takes a special interest in developing up and coming contemporary Christian songwriters.  Breaking Bread includes several of his most popular songs. 

The theme is We Belong and how to create a welcoming environment.  Breakout session topics include Spirituality of the Mass; the art of the lector; vocal technique; intercultural worship; bilingual worship;  Gregorian chant and the modern liturgy; gospel music; using technology; art, architecture and design; and self care.  Check out the Day’s Schedule, with brief descriptions; the Registration page also includes brief descriptions of the breakout sessions.

The workshop is a collaboration between the Office for Worship and the Archdiocesan Liturgical Musicians’ Association.

Seasons of Advent and Christmas Resources

Take advantage of these additional resources during the seasons of Advent and Christmas:

Advent Reconciliation Liturgy for the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

FDLC Liturgy Preparation Aid - English

FDLC Liturgy Preparation Aid - Spanish

FDLC Prayer Resources

We need to continually turn to God, asking for guidance, direction and the grace to seek forgiveness as a Church.

As an archdiocese that is a member of the FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, we have access to fine liturgical catechetical material. Please use this resource to assist you in preparing a liturgical response to the news of the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Prayer should always be our first response in times of great trouble. However, we need also to find ways to put our prayer into concrete, tangible actions.

Pope Francis begins his letter to the People of God with this line from 1 Corinthians, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.”

Guidelines for the Use of Video Technology in Churches

“Technology is playing an increasing role in worship and communal prayer. Its use can enhance the ability of the assembly to more fully, consciously, and actively participate in the liturgy.  When technology is used, however, it also means that the focus of the liturgy moves and attention is focused on where the action is taking place; consequently, guidelines on the proper use of video are essential so that the dignity of the liturgical action can be preserved and technology can be used to its maximum potential to support the liturgy.”  Taken from Guidelines for the Use of Video Technology in Churches

The Guidelines were developed and based on surveys, discussions and meetings, and were reviewed by the Priests’ Council and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.  The Guidelines contain practical information:

  • Questions for reflection when considering the use of video technology
  • Placement/use of video equipment in churches
  • Potential uses of video for the Eucharistic liturgy and for sacraments, prayers and formation

Be sure to review this document if you are considering using video technology in your church.

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  I am confused/unhappy/curious about a particular liturgical practice in my parish. What resources are available for me?

   

While we are always willing to provide information about the liturgical norms of  the Church, the best approach for parishioners to take when they want to find  out more about their parish's liturgical practices is to consult with their own  director of liturgy, worship committee, music director and pastor. These staff  and committee members know the parish best and should be intimately familiar  with the reasons for the choices they have made.

  What is the proper way to clean altar linens (corporal, purificator etc)?

Bishops Committee on the Liturgy - Newsletter March 2001

In recent years the Secretariat for the Liturgy has received multiple inquiries concerning the care and cleansing of altar linens. The following article, approved by the Committee on the Liturgy at its March 19,2001 meeting, is provided for the information of those charged with the care of altar linens.

Whatever is set aside for use in the liturgy takes on a certain sacred character both by the blessing it receives and the sacred functions it fulfills. Thus, the cloths used at the altar in the course of the Eucharistic celebration should be treated with the care and respect due to those things used in the preparation and celebration of the sacred mysteries.

This brief statement reflects on the importance of reverently caring for altar linens which, because of their use in the liturgy, are deserving of special respect. These linens should be "beautiful and finely made, though mere lavishness and ostentation must be avoided." Altar cloths, corporals, purificators, lavabo towels and palls should be made of absorbent cloth and never of paper.

Altar linens are appropriately blessed according to the Order for the Blessing of Articles for Liturgical Use. The blessing of a number of such articles for liturgical use may take place "within Mass or in a separate celebration in which the faithful should take part."

Altar Cloths
Just as the altar is a sign for us of Christ the living stone, altar cloths are used "out of reverence for the celebration of the memorial of the Lord and the banquet that gives us his body and" By their beauty and form they add to the dignity of the altar in much the same way that vestments solemnly ornament the priests and sacred ministers. Such cloths also serve a practical purpose, however, in absorbing whatever may be spilled of the Precious Blood or other sacramental elements. Thus the material of altar cloths should be absorbent and easily laundered.

While there may be several altar cloths in the form of drapings or even frontals, their shape, size, and decoration should be in keeping with the design of the altar. Unless the altar cloths have been stained with the Precious Blood, it is not necessary that they be cleaned in the sacrarium. Care should be taken, however, that proper cleaning methods are used to preserve the beauty and life of the altar cloth. It is appropriate for those who care for sacred vessels, cloths and other instrumenta of the liturgy to accompany their work with prayer.

Corporals
Sacred vessels containing the Body and Blood of the Lord are always placed on top of a corporal.
A corporal is spread by the deacon or another minister in the course of the preparation of the gifts and the altar. When concelebrants receive the Eucharist from the altar, a corporal is placed beneath all chalices or patens. Finally, it is appropriate that a corporal be used on a side table, and placed beneath the sacred vessels which have been left to be purified after Mass.

Because one of the purposes of the corporal is to contain whatever small particles of the consecrated host may be left at the conclusion of Mass, care should be taken that the transferral of consecrated hosts between sacred vessels should always be done over a corporal. The corporal should be white in color and of sufficient dimensions so that at least the main chalice and paten may be placed upon it completely. When necessary, more than one corporal may be used. The material of corporals should be absorbent and easily laundered.

Any apparent particles of the consecrated bread which remain on the corporal after the distribution of Holy Communion should be consumed in the course of the purification of the sacred vessels.
When corporals are cleansed they should first be rinsed in a sacrarium and only afterwards washed with laundry soaps in the customary manner. Corporals should be ironed in such a way that their distinctive manner of folding helps to contain whatever small particles of the consecrated host may remain at the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration.

Purificators
Purificators are customarily brought to the altar with chalices and are used to wipe the Precious Blood from the lip of the chalice and to purify sacred vessels. They should be white in color. Whenever the Precious Blood is distributed from the chalice, poured into ancillary vessels or even accidentally spilled, purificators should be used to absorb the spill. The material of purificators should be absorbent and easily laundered. The purificator should never be made of paper or any other disposable material.

Because of their function, purificators regularly become stained with the Precious Blood. It is, therefore, essential that they should first be cleansed in a sacrarium and only afterwards washed with laundry soaps in the customary manner. Purificators should be ironed in such a way that they may be easily used for the wiping of the lip of the chalice.

Lavabo Towels
The Order of Mass calls for the washing of the hands (lavabo) of the priest celebrant in the course of the preparation of the gifts and the altar. Since it is his hands and not only his fingers (as in the former Order of Mass) which are washed at the lavabo, the lavabo towel should be of adequate size and sufficiently absorbent for drying his hands. Neither the color nor the material of the lavabo towel is prescribed, though efforts should be made to avoid the appearance of a "dish towel," "bath towel" or other cloth with a purely secular use.

Other Cloths
Other cloths may also be used at Mass. A pall may be used to cover the chalice at Mass in order to protect the Precious Blood from insects or other foreign objects. In order that palls may be kept immaculately clean they should be made with removable covers of a worthy material which may be easily washed in the sacrarium and then laundered. Chalice veils either of the color of the day, or white may be fittingly used to cover the chalice before it is prepared and after it has been purified.

Disposal of Worn Altar Linens
Consistent with the disposal of all things blessed for use in the liturgy, it is appropriate that altar linens, which show signs of wear and can no longer be used, should normally be disposed of either by burial or burning.

Conclusion
The manner in which we treat sacred things (even those of lesser significance than the chalice, paten, liturgical furnishings, etc.) fosters and expresses our openness to the graces God gives to his Church in every celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, by the diligent care of altar linens, the Church expresses her joy at the inestimable gifts she receives from Christ's altar.

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408