December 2, 2018 – First Sunday of Advent
There was a time here at Arch Street when Mass was regularly held at three different locations in the building, and there was a Mass every fifteen minutes. There was no need to even know what the Mass schedule was: you just showed up and the friar in the lobby told you when the next Mass was. Fast-forward to 2018 and we find ourselves in need of changing our weekend Mass schedule, starting the first of the year. There are several goals that we are trying to accomplish with this change in schedule, as explained below.
1. We would like to bring people together. It is very important that we not view the Mass schedule as we would movie times at a theatre. With a movie crowd, it doesn’t matter much matter who else is with us or whether the place is full or empty. Our experience of the movie doesn’t vary that much based on the number of people attending. We would suggest that at a gathering for the Eucharist, it matters a lot how many others are present, who they are, and how each of us participates. We inspire each other by our attendance and our participation. We need the Mass to truly be a gathering, one of faithful people, all of whom inspire one another. By showing up, we make a profound statement about ourselves: that we are working on our journey of conversion, that we are working on our relationship with Jesus Christ and with one another. The gathering for the Eucharistic should feel as though other people are along with us on our journey of sacrifice and love. It is a very important Catholic idea that we are not alone on this journey. We do this with other people. The worship space needs to feel more full. This is the first and most important consideration in changing the schedule.
2. We would like to have a schedule that is relatively easy to remember. Right now, the mid-morning schedule is somewhat comical in this regard: 7:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:15. What newcomer can remember that?
3. In general, we would like to have music at Mass. It isn’t always possible, but for most Masses, most Sundays,
we want to have music for Mass. Official Church documents on the Catholic Mass always encourage participative
music at Mass. It’s one of many ways in which we come together as a group.
4. We would like to have a schedule that all of the various constituents can reasonably do. There are more different groups than one might initially guess: Presiders, sacristans, security people, Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers, musicians, and, of course, worshipers.
5. We want to have as few changes (and therefore as little disruption) as possible.
6. We generally want to encourage young people to attend and become engaged in Church. For reasons that we don’t completely understand, young people like to go to Mass on Sunday nights. So we add a Sunday night Mass.
These changes are effective on the weekend of January 5 and 6, 2019. Saturday Mass Schedule
The new schedule, beginning in 2019, eliminates the 4:15 pm Mass in the first-floor church and the 5:30 pm Mass.
The 4 pm Mass in the second-floor church will continue to have the Band.
Sunday Mass Schedule
The new schedule, beginning in 2019, replaces the existing Sunday schedule with the following:
6 am, with no music
7:30 am, with no music
9:00 am with Band
10:30 am with Band
Noon, with Band, 2nd floor
Noon, in Spanish, 1 st floor
4 pm, with Band
5:30 pm, with Band
7:00 pm, with Band
These changes are effective on the weekend of January 5 and 6, 2019.
Thomas Conway, OFM, Executive Director
Frank Sevola, OFM, Guardian, and Director of Worship