My dear people of St. Mary’s:
For a long time the parish of St. Mary’s has subscribed to a service to provide us with misalettes and hymnals for use at Mass. The service we have used is very familiar to you. Three times a year the misalettes would be changed, and yearly the hymnal. There were, however, some drawbacks: the concern about throwing God’s Word away in the garbage three times a year; the service was rather expensive; it required the replacing of the books regularly; at times the publisher would make changes that would limit the priest’s options for the Mass; and finally, the waste that so many disposable books produced. In recent years, many parishes have been opting instead for hardbound missals and hymnals, nicely bound, which are then permanent. After reviewing more than a dozen samples from a variety of publishers over the last two years, and in consultation with Paula Berardinelli and Donna Brown, I am happy to announce that on the weekend of November 18th & 19th, we will begin to use a new missal and hymnal at St. Mary’s.
The Lumen Christi Missalis the core of the Christi Series, produced by Illuminare Publications. First published in 2012, it is beautifully bound, nicely laid out, has clear print to read comfortably, and two ribbons to help the congregation keep their place. In addition to avoiding disposing of God’s Sacred Word in the trash several times a year, the books will actually pay for themselves in less than three years. The missal contains the lectionary readings for years A, B & C for Sundays and feast days, daily Mass propers, simple English chant settings for the parts of the Mass, Catholic prayers and devotions, and more reviewing many different editions from numerous publishers, I felt that this was the best missal for our parish.
The Lumen Christi Hymnalis the companion to the Lumen Christi Missal. Containing the essential core of classic hymns with the most familiar tunes, and dignified, theologically sound texts, I believe that it is the best choice for St. Mary’s. Although it contains fewer hymns than our previous hymnal, it actually offers a better selection of those we will regularly use. Both books also offer us the opportunity, over time, to expand musically, whether that means singing the antiphons for the Mass, offering services of sung evening prayer, or occasionally incorporating some beautiful Latin hymns into the Mass.
When you come to Mass on the weekend of November 18th & 19th, I encourage every parishioner to take up both the missal and hymnal and use them, especially to become familiar with them at the beginning. I believe that once you use them for a while, you will be as impressed by them as I am. My hope is that these will serve us here at St. Mary’s for many years to come, and help us to enter into the liturgy of the Mass in an even more prayerful way.