From a parish bulletin:
Dear Faithful, I am writing this to address some concerns I have heard as of late about the liturgies at our parish.
Firstly, I want to stress again that the move to more use of traditional chant, and Latin is going to happen at the late Sunday morning Mass. The 4pm on Saturdays, and the 8:30am on Sundays will largely remain with the structure of hymns we currently employ. The aim is to reach out to younger generations who truly desire a greater use of traditional worship, and to Catholics in the area who miss those traditions, and have been on the margins of parish life for decades.
I also want to address the use of incense at Mass at our parish. I did use it during the holidays, and at a handful of Advent Masses. The holidays are a time for greater solemnity, so that is why I employed the incense there. In Advent I had visiting seminarians, and a layman who was liturgically trained by Benedictines before discerning the call to marriage. All wanted to help serve, and I wanted to get used to using incense at our liturgies prior to the holy day celebrations.
So, when will I be using incense in the future? Well, like the more traditional music, I hope to use incense quite regularly at the late Mass on Sundays. At the 4pm Saturday, and 8:30am Masses, I will employ incense major feast days, and only if I have properly trained servers. In other words, you can anticipate no incense at 4pm Saturdays, and 8:30am Sundays, unless it is a major feast day. I will try to give notice in the bulletin of those feast days. As always, I will use incense at every funeral.
I realize that incense can cause allergies, or other bad reactions. I simply ask that folks also keep in mind that flowers, pet fur, cologne, and perfume can, and do cause similar reactions. I am also looking into what places in the church are less subject to the smell of incense, and what types of incense and coals cause fewer negative effects. I know change can be difficult, even if it is only at one Mass, but if we do not reach younger generations I do not see how a much bigger change of this parish closing can be prevented within a generation.
I have had many young folks tell me how excited they are for greater use of tradition at the late Sunday Mass. I ask you all keep that in mind, as we continue to labor for the salvation of souls in Bay City. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Peace, may the Good Lord bless and keep you all the days of your life.
Read also Fr. Dwyer’s Homily for the First Sunday of Advent here.
Our Lady of Peace
607 E. South Union Street
Bay City, Michigan 48706
Parish Office: 989-892-6031
Parish Fax: 989-892-4005
Parish Website: www.baycityourladyofpeace.com