This is a new announcement made yesterday by Bishop Burbidge and I read the document (24 pages) and studied enough to give you a basic "heads up" for catechizing your families for now. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me and/or I'll give you link to check it out for yourselves.
Essentially, The bishop, "... spoke of the joyful celebration of Eucharistic Liturgies that take place throughout the Diocese. The new “Norms,” he said, will highlight the rich guidance of the Church and are “meant as a helpful guide and tool to reflect the unity that is ours in Christ Jesus as members of the universal Church.”
In this document, he says, "This disposition is fostered not only by the examination of conscience for the reception of Holy communion, but also by preparation of the faithful for public liturgical prayer and by the required period of fasting. This is naturally fostered within the domestic church by discussion, catechesis and the practice of prayer."
As the domestic churches, the bishop has asked that we parents do our part in implementing these norms. For as parents, it is our job to do the main catechesis and the parish to do the supplemental with materials to work with in the parish family.
1. For the preparation for participation in Mass:
Go over examination of conscience with your children and yourselves.
for those family members who receive communion
for those preparing to receive communion within the year or so
for those old enough to know right from wrong and what sin is
2. Fasting: it is 1 hour before Mass
3. Family prayer: liturgy of the hours, a rosary or other simple devotional prayer, familiarizing of Sunday's readings before Mass. Daily family prayer serves to prepare our hearts for the sacredness of the Mass and Christ's presence in the Eucharist.
4. Receiving Holy Communion
Be sure that those who have made their First Communion be clear of grave sin and that all have made a good confession. Parents, it is our responsibility to drive our children to Church for confession. I, myself, find Saturday afternoons extremely difficult, so make an appointment with a priest.
5. Sacred Silence
The bishop has asked that exercise "Sacred Silence" "prior to the beginning of a Sacred Liturgy also reflects and encourages the right disposition for the celebration." He continues, "It is commendable that this sacred silence be fostered, not just as an absence of words, but to allow a quieting of spirits so as to respond to the Word and action of the Lord in the Sacred Liturgy.........
He continues, "After arriving for Mass, as the domestic church, individuals, couples, and all members in families are to foster and be drawn into a spirit of prayer to prepare for the Sacred Liturgy."
6. Remain an active part of the assembly throughout the Sacred Liturgy. Meaning, sing, pray, and don't run out early or come in late, essentially. It also shows reverence and respect for our God and His Son.
7. Mass attire: This one is very important to me...and to many I read in Catholic cyberspace: The faithful are encouraged to dress appropriately for the Sacred Liturgy as befitting attendance at the most important hour of each day, most notably, with respect to Sunday Mass, the day which the Lord has made." Further, in the next section of this document, the bishop describes that, "All liturgical ministers are to be dressed in attire that is befitting their ministry. T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes or athletic shoes and flip-flops are to be considered inappropriate attire." We are all called to be ministers, especially as examples to the next generation and those around us. We wouldn't dress down to meet God, if He was in the flesh.....would we?
Anyway, there is more, but I thought this would be enough for now. The above link is to the news page on the diocese's website with a link to the PDF file for the actual document. It is 24 pages and a quick read for you moms of the domestic church