From the Pastor February 5, 2017

5th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – A


Today’s reflection on the revised Mass orations is not on a Saint. Since next week I will reflect on Saints Cyril & Methodius, whose Feast Day is on Saint Valentine Day, February 14, I will reflect on the orations that honor those celebrating the Anniversary of their Marriage. Please pray the orations below for any or all married couples, inserting their names where you see N.
and N.


Collect – Anniversary of their Marriage


O God, Creator of all things, who in the beginning made man and woman that they might form the marriage bond, bless and strengthen the union of your servants N.
and N., that they may show forth an ever more perfect image of the union of Christ with his Church.

Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.


As I sometimes note in my wedding homily, many people have a double standard when it comes to what they expect from those who become a ‘living Sacrament.’
For most, if not all, rightfully expect those who ‘become’
the Sacrament of Holy Orders
as Bishops, Priests or Deacons, to ‘always and everywhere’ BE
that Sacrament in all they say and do. However, many people, even many husbands and wives themselves, do not rightfully expect those who ‘become’
a ‘living Sacrament’
in the Sacrament of Matrimony
to ‘always and everywhere’ BE
a “more perfect image of the union of Christ and His Church!”
Yet that’s what they’re called to be!


Just as those in Holy Orders
must do all they can to receive and enhance – and to use – the graces God offers through their Sacrament, those in Holy Matrimony
must do the same. Husbands and wives need to – or rather, MUST – pray and worship together, surround themselves with the signs and reminders of FAITH, and practice their faith by seeing in each other – and treating each other – as a Sacrament: as an outward sign of Christ’s Presence, blessed by Christ who wills to become more present in the world – through and in them. That’s the goal and purpose of Christian Matrimony, and the reason why it is numbered among the ‘Big Seven’ Sacraments and upheld and defended by Church teaching. Is your marriage … up to par with these ideals?

Prayer over the Offerings – Anniversary of Marriage


God, who made blood and water flow from the side of Christ as a sign of the mysteries of human rebirth, be pleased, we pray, to receive

the offerings we make in thanksgiving

on behalf of your servants N.
and N.

endow their marriage with your many gifts.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


One reason the Church insists that sacramental
Marriages normally take place before the Altar is to remind couples that – just as the Bread
and Wine
offered ON
the Altar are changed
into Christ’s Real Presence brides
and grooms
who offer themselves to each other and to God BEFORE
the Altar are also changed
into Christ’s Real Presence. At every Mass thereafter, they are invited to offer themselves anew at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then, by receiving Christ in Holy Communion, the Lord can reendow and renew His graces within them.


Prayer after Communion – Anniversary of Marriage


Open wide in joy and love, O Lord, the hearts of these your servants, who have been refreshed with food and drink from on high, that their home may be a place of decency and peace

and welcome everyone with love.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


THE DOMESTIC CHURCH. Over the years I have used the phrase ‘The Domestic Church’
in a number of my bulletin articles. It comes from Vatican Council II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: “The family, is so to speak, the domestic church.” [Lumen Gentium #11]
While becoming a ‘Domestic Church’ will not make your home tax exempt, it SHOULD make your home a branch of the Parish and Diocese, a ‘sub-station’ of sorts of Christ’s Body, His Church. For each Christian family, with husband and wife sacramentally bonded through Matrimony, and if God wills, as father and mother with children, baptized and confirmed, give witness to their Catholic Faith in the joys and sorrows, ups and downs, of every-day life. May the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for all husbands and wives, and for all families!


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS