St Pius X Music Liturgy

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If you want to get the notes for a Sunday not on this page, notes for all Sundays of the three year cycle can be found in the links to the left. You will need to refer to a liturgical calendar to check the cycle.

Psalms: you can get the text for the Psalm of the day from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Daily Readings website. The link will take you to the current date; use the calendar on the right of the destination page to go to the Sunday you want.

To put the Psalm on a powerpoint from the USCCB site, I suggest you copy them into Notepad first (this removes all formatting), then remove the response and paste it onto separate slides, verse by verse. You can also use thie USCCB website for the full text of the daily readings, Note that the translation is a little different from the one we use in NZ.

All my hymn slides are available here - provided you are a member of the group with whom I have shared them. Sorry, for copyright reasons I cannot share these outside the Parish. Would people also like me to share all my Sunday presentations (these include the psalm and Gospel acclamation)? If so, contact me prkeestra@gmail.com

If you are sending me a sharing request, please tell me who you are. It is not always obvious from the email address.

Sunday Readings and Hymn Suggestions: September-Decembert 2018

Please note that the notes and suggestions on readings here represent the opinions of the author, and carry neither a nihil obstat or an imprimatur.

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Sunday 30th December 2018: The Holy Family

Gospel: Luke2: 41-52. The finding of Jesus in the Temple. This story is one of the few about Jesus' childhood. It is set twelve years after the infancy narratives. Luke emphasises that, even as a child, Jesus had a special awareness of God's presence. Luke tells how his mother 'stored up all these things in her heart' - we, in the Church, are very aware of Mary's role as Jesus' first disciple.

First reading: Samuel 1: 20-22, 24-28. The Books of Samuel and Kings tell the story of the coming of kings to the Chosen People - first Saul, then David. This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book, and picks up after the birth of Samuel. His mother, Hannah, is childless but makes a vow to Yahweh that if she has a son, he will be dedicated to Him. This is where she presents the child Samuel to Eli, the last of the 'judges', to accept him on behalf of God. Gospel stories often echo the stories of the Old Testament; Samuel is dedicated in the Temple and today's Gospel makes it very clear that Jesus is also very much at home in the Temple.

Second reading: 1 John 3: 1-2, 21-24. The first part of this reading is the same as the one we read on All Saints and speaks of the faithful as the 'children of God'. The letters of John are traditionally regarded as having the same author as Revelation. The letter addresses a heresy that Jesus did not come in the flesh, but in the spirit only. From the initial passage about our being 'children of God', this reading goes on to say that those who keep the commandments of believing in Jesus as Son of God, and loving one another, live in God and God lives in them.

Themes: Jesus as Word made Flesh, God Incarnate

Hymn suggestions: Christmas carols. Note that carols referring to the wise men or the star should be left for Epiphany.

Note - Gospel acclamation could be "Gloria in excelsis Deo" from Angels we have heard; Eucharistic acclamation could be "O come let us adore him" from O come all ye faithful.

Sunday 6th January: The Epiphany

Gospel: Matthew 2: 1-12. We read from Matthew's Gospel because, of the canonical Gospels, it is the only one that tells the story of the visit of the 'wise men' to the infant Jesus.

First reading: Isaiah 60:1-6. The first part of Isaiah largely tell of the coming suffering in the Babylonian exile. The latter part - this reading is towards the end of the book - comforts the Chosen People with a message of hope, and prophesy a future glory for Zion. This part tells how the glory of God will shine on Jerusalem; nations will pay tribute including gold and incense. The gifts of the magi in today's Gospel echo this prophecy.

Second reading: Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6. The promise first made to the Chosen People is now made to all through Christ Jesus; all shall share in his inheritance.

Themes: the revelation of Jesus as Lord and saviour (epiphany)

Hymn suggestions: Specific carols for this day include "We three Kings" and "The first nowell". Given the length of both these carols, possibly W3K verses 1,2,3 could be sung at the beginning and verses 1,5,6 at the end of Mass. The first nowell could be sung as a communion reflection.

Gospel and Eucharistic acclamations as for Holy Family.

Sunday 13th January: The Baptism of Our Lord

Gospel: Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22. Luke's account of Jesus' baptism. The Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove, and God's voice comes from heaven. This marks the beginning of Jesus ministry, and the 'handing over' from John to Jesus.

First Reading: Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11. This is the beginning of the "Book of Comfort" part of Isaiah. After all the foretelling of suffering, Isaiah tells of the coming of Messiah who will reveal the glory of God. This passage includes the reference to the 'voice in the wilderness' telling to prepare the way for the Lord, which we interpret as a reference to John the Baptist. The passage finishes with a reference to the promised one 'like a shepherd feeding his flock'; we hear Jesus refer to himself as the Good Shepherd in the gospels.

Second Reading: Titus 2: 11-14, 3: 4-7. Titus was a companion of Paul and Barnabus who became the leader of the Christian community in Crete. This letter, written by Paul or in the Pauline tradition, explains how salvation came from Jesus through the water of rebirth - linking to the rebirth of baptism we celebrate today.

Themes: Baptism, rebirth.

Hymn suggestions: Baptised in water; Come to the water; Come to me Lord, Spirit of God in the clear running water; Here I am, Lord; Come as you are; Come to me all who labour;

Sunday 20th January: 2nd Sunday in ordinary time

Gospel: John 2: 1-11. The miracle of the changing of water into wine at the wedding at Cana. This story occurs only in John's Gospel and is one of the seven 'signs' John uses to signify the divine status of Jesus and around which he structures his Gospel. It seems to be set in a time before Jesus formal ministry, and the miracle happens at the request of Mary. Jesus tells his mother "my hour is not yet come", but she just tells the servants to "do whatever he tells you" - she has complete faith in him. As we begin our 'ordinary time', we hear stories of the beginning of Jesus work. Can we, like his mother, put complete trust in Jesus?

First reading: Isaiah 62: 1-5. Like our reading from last Sunday, this comes from the 'comfort' section of the second Isaiah. The prophet says that Jerusalem will no longer be 'the Abandoned' (the earlier section of Isaiah is about the tribulations of Zion in slavery in Babylon) but will be called 'the Wedded...as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you'. The choice of this reading is related to the wedding of today's Gospel. A wedding is a celebration, and Jesus was willing to use his divine power to ensure that a celebration was not spoiled. We should not forget the importance of celebration, and that God celebrates with us.

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11. There are many gifts, but they all come from God. In keeping with the other two readings of the day, then, we should celebrate and share our gifts.

Themes: Celebration, the gifts of God

Hymn suggestions: Celebrate; Christ be our light (particularly the verse 'Many the gifts...); Gift of peace; Christ be beside me; Lift us your hearts; All the ends of the earth; Gift of peace;

Sunday 27th January: 3rd Sunday in ordinary time

Gospel: Luke 1: 1-4, 4: 14-21. We start with the opening paragraphs of Luke's Gospel in which he explains what he intends to do in writing his account. We then jump to the accout of the events immediately after his baptism and trials in the desert. Jesus reads from scripture (Isaiah 61 v1). This could be regarded as his 'mission statement'; these events mark the start of his ministry. However, it leads to the first of the series of rejections and conflicts which lead to the events on Calvary.

First reading: Nehemiah 8: 2-6, 8-10.. Nehemiah was an attendant of King of Artaxerxes I of Persia, who granted him leave to attend to the rebuilding of Jerusalem following the Babylonian exile. It is not entirely clear whether the book is written by Nehemiah or Ezra. In this section, Ezra reads from the book of the Law in front of the people; they had lost touch with their religious heritage and this was part of their rediscovery of it. The link with today's Gospel seems to be in the reading of scripture in undertaking God's work.

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30. Follows on from last Sunday, where we read of many gifts. Today, Paul goes on to say that as the body is made of many parts, which work together for one purpose, so the people of the Church with their different gifts should work together, using their gifts for one purpose. Paul was partly addressing a problem that had arisen where some particular ministries - such as 'speaking in tongues' were seen as being of greater worth than others and people were setting themselves up as better than others. It is interesting that this issue (people 'speaking in tongues', perhaps not with much authenticity, is a problem still in some more charismatic Christian groups. The message to us should be to respect the different ministries and gifts we all have in our church community - not to value some above others.

Themes: ministry, in all its forms

Hymns suggestions: The spirit of the Lord is upon me; Go tell everyone; Here I am, Lord; Christ be our light; You are salt for the earth;

Sunday 3rd February: 4th Sunday of ordinary time

GOSPEL: Luke 4:21-30. This is the continuation from last Sunday; as mentioned, the reading from Isaiah sets out Jesus’ “mission statement”. His wisdom and evidently charismatic manner first bring praise, and some wonder how a mere carpenter’s son could have such grace. However, they had also heard of the miracles attributed to Jesus in Capernaum and wondered why he did not perform these wonders here in his hometown. Jesus responds by saying some very uncomfortable things. He repeats the well known saying for his own time that “no prophet is acceptable in his own country”, a generally accepted truism at the time with many precedents from scripture. Jesus points out stories from scripture where various prophets performed miracles for non-Jewish people after being rejected by the ancestors of his audience. The people of Nazareth are enraged, and set out to kill him. By some strange miracle, he is able to escape. There is an irony here – the people had asked for a miracle, but the one they got is not the one they wanted.

This episode marks the beginning of the ‘rejection’ phase of the Gospel story. Jesus makes a number of attempts to bring his vision of the Kingdom to his own people, but much of the establishment don’t want to hear because it is not the message they want. As the Gospel progresses, we will hear more of this rejection by the establishment and how Jesus brings his message instead to that society’s own rejects – the poor, the sick and the unfortunate (remember that many at this time thought misfortune was a sign of God’s disfavour or a punishment for sin), and eventually, through his followers, to ‘all nations’.

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 1: 4-5; 17-19. This is God’s call to the prophet Jeremiah, who was born some time around 600 BC. Jeremiah was prophet in a time of much upheaval, to a people who were (once again) drifting towards their pagan neighbours in custom and religion. Here, God tells Jeremiah that he was destined to be a prophet from his conception, both to his own people and the Gentiles. There is a symmetry with today’s Gospel, in that Jesus’ own rejection led eventually to the mission to all nations.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 12: 31; 13: 1-13. Continuing the sequence from this epistle, Paul’s message to the people of Corinth about the qualities of a Christian community. This is probably his most famous passage, where he describes the attributes of Christian love (in Greek, agápē – translated in the King James bible as ‘charity’ and meaning ‘loving-kindness’). In our Gospel sequence at the moment we are examining Jesus mission, which was to bring about the ‘Kingdom of God’. Although this can be seen as a kingdom in heaven, or after death, much of Jesus’ preaching seems to be directed at a more earthly kingdom: one of right relationships, characterised by love. This passage from Paul helps us understand in a more pragmatic sense the qualities of love in that kingdom.

Themes: mission, love

Hymn suggestions: Go tell everyone; A new commandment; Lord open pathways; Christ be our light; Lord make me an instrument of peace; The beatitudes; Love is his word; They'll know we are Christians by our love

Sunday 10th February: 5th Sunday of ordinary time

GOSPEL: Luke 5: 1-11. Following on from the rejection by the Nazarenes we heard last Sunday, we now have the call of the first disciples. The statement that "now I will make you fishers of men" is very well known. Today, in a different society, we don't perhaps see this as quite so remarkable as it would have been in Jesus' day. Fishermen were common people - not educated or wealthy. Jesus first disciples were not drawn from the establishment which had rejected him (and would eventually crucify him) but from the common people.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 6: 1-8. Isaiah's vision of the Lord who called him to prophecy (part of this passage makes up the first verse of the Santus at Mass). The response - "Here I am - send me" is echoed several times in the stories of various prophets, e.g. Samuel. This reading is selected today for the parallel with the call of the fishermen in the Gospel.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11. A little further on in this epistle than last Sunday. As we hear of God's call in both other readings for today, Paul mentions his own call - called despite being "unfit to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God". He reminds his readers of the main tenets of their Christian faith.

Themes: call to follow Jesus

Hymn suggestons: Here I am, Lord; Go now you are sent forth; Galilee Song; I found a treasure; I say yes; Lord of the dance; Servant song;

Sunday 17th February: 6th Sunday of ordinary time

GOSPEL: Luke 6:17; 20-26. Luke’s version of the Beatitudes has a contrasting set of ‘woes’ which describe qualities diametrically opposite to those of the ‘blessed’. Just as those who Jesus describes as the blessed are the have-nots of his society, those for whom he predicts woe are the fortunate. Jesus lived in a society where good fortune was seen as a sign of God’s blessing and misfortune as a sign of divine disfavour. He attacks this idea with ferocity on many occasions, this among them, and such teachings are part of the developing tension with the social establishment of his society that would eventually lead to Jesus rejection, suffering and death. Our readings in the last few Sundays have been illustrating the beginnings of this split. It is interesting that the notion that some elements in today’s society, particularly among such as the ‘televangilist’ so-called Christians which are well known in the US (and their NZ imitators) seem to miss this message of Jesus. They, too, consider health and wealth to be a sign of God’s favour (and therefore due to those who adhere to their very narrow moral and biblical views). It is a trap we should avoid.

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 17:5-8. Jeremiah prophesied the fate of the people of Judah because of their turning away from God’s law (they would eventually be exiled to a pagan country). Here, he uses poetic allusions to contrast those whose roots are in faith in God to those who trust only in human solutions. This is similar to the contrast Jesus makes in today’s Gospel reading.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:12; 16-20. Paul, in this letter, addressed certain specific difficulties that had been reported back to him about the Christian community he had founded in Corinth. Here, he addresses a point of division (influenced by Greek philosophy) among the community about the nature of the resurrection.

Themes: the things that belong to God’s Kingdom

Hymn suggestions: Blessed are the poor in spirit; Blest are they; Seek ye first; Be not afraid; We find you Lord in others need; Gift of peace; Lord make me an instrument of peace.

Sunday 24th February: 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Gospel: Luke 6:27-38. Continuing Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount - love your enemies. Jesus says that if we only love those in our 'good books', no virtue is attached. We should love all and only hope, not expect, a return of that love. Be compassionate as the Father is compassionate. This is part of Jesus' introduction to his 'kingdom', Those who belong to the kingdom are those who show the virtues described here and in the reading from last Sunday - the meek, the humble, the poor; those who give and don't ask for recompense, those who forgive and those who do not judge. Above all, those who love without reservation. This is often counter to our human instincts, and it is little wonder that many who call themselves Christian forget or overlook these teachings and prefer a judgmental and formulaic response to their faith.

First reading: Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23. This is part of the narrative describing how David became King. The prophet Samuel had told King Saul that he was 'rejected by God' for not following the prophet's instructions in his conduct against Israel's enemies. Samuel had chosen David as Saul's successor. Although David was loyal to the king, Saul began to fear him and plot for his death. This passage is part of the story where Saul was pursuing David, intending to kill him. David and his followers had come across the sleeping Saul and had opportunity to kill him; however, David refuses to lift his had against the Lord's anointed king. The mercy shown to an enemy here foreshadows Jesus message in today's Gospel.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49. Continues from last Sunday; Paul is addressing theological questions about the resurrection that were causing contention among the christian converts in Corinth. Here, Paul describes Jesus as 'the last Adam' who has become a life-giving spirit.

Themes: love and mercy

Hymn suggestions: The Beatitudes (any setting); Love is his word; And they'll know we are Christian by our love; general praise hymns.

Sunday 3rd March: 8th Sunday of Ordinary time

Gospel: Luke 6:39-45. Some parables - the blind cannot lead the blind; you cannot remove a splinter from another's eye while you have a plank in your own eye; a sound tree does not produce rotten fruit. The common thread is that those lacking virtue cannot lead others into virtue (Jesus comes back to this theme later with his condemnation of the hypocrisy of the religious establishment). By contrast, the good do what is good because of the goodness of their hearts, and this is reflected in their words.

First Reading: Sirach 27: 4-7. The Wisdom of Sirach is a collection of the wise sayings of Jesus (or Joshua) ben Sirach, a Hellenised Jew who lived about 200 years before Christ's birth. It was recorded and translated into Greek in Egypt by ben Sirach's grandson some time in the mid 2nd century BC. The fact that it is in Greek rather than Hebrew, and comes from the time 'between testaments' means it is not regarded as part of the Hebrew bible and not used by some Reformed churches; hence its other name, Ecclesiasticus or Churches. This section uses the metaphor of a sieve sorting out the rubbish to describe how someone's words can show their true worth. The link to today's Gospel is obvious.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:54-48. Continuing Paul's discourse on the resurrection, Today's extract contains the famous saying 'Death, where is your sting?'.

Themes: goodness of heart, the goodness of God.

Hymn suggestions: general praise and thanksgiving hymns; Gift of Peace; Lord, make me an instrument of peace; the Beatitudes, You are salt

Sunday 10th March: First Sunday of Lent

GOSPEL: Luke 4:1-13. The trials in the desert, in Luke’s account. The forty days (symbolic of the forty years of the Exodus) are the basis of our forty days of Lent. Jesus temptations can be regarded as signs of Jesus humanity – like us, he suffers hunger and thirst. The various things he was offered could also be regarded as symbolic of the different ways he could have ‘easily’ fulfilled the prophecies about him – through armies of angels, or making everyone believe by amazing miracles. There was a hope among the powerful in Jesus society that the Messiah would be one who would throw off the yoke of the Roman oppressor, and perhaps thereby elevate them back into their ‘rightful place’. Instead, Jesus chose a much more difficult path, one that would lead to his suffering and death. The promised kingdom was one present in right relationships – those of justice and mercy. This was not the kingdom the socially powerful wanted.

FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 26:4-10. This passage describes how Moses gave the people of the Exodus the ritual for the harvest thanksgiving when they reached the Promised Land. He reminds them how grateful they should be for what the Lord did for them in rescuing them from Egypt. There are several links with today’s Gospel. Firstly there is the symbolic link between the forty years of the Exodus and the forty days in the desert. Secondly, Jesus response to the temptation to worship Satan is possibly based on the last phrase in this reading.

SECOND READING: Romans 10: 8-13. This letter is written to a community that included non-Jews. Paul was saddened by the fact that Israel, as a nation, had rejected Jesus even if individual Jews had accepted him. Here, he emphasises that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, or different peoples – only faith is now needed for salvation.

Themes: turning back to the Lord

Hymn suggestions: Hear O Lord; The glory of these forty days; Seek ye first; Comfort ye my people;

Note Gospel acclamation: (same tune as usual Lent Gospel acclamation)

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. verse: No-one lives on bread alone but on ev'ry word that proceeds from the mouth of God, Glory to our God. Praise to you...

Sunday 17th March: Second Sunday of Lent

Note: the usual practice of a major saint's feast day displacing the Sunday readings does NOT apply during Lent and the readings for 2nd Sunday of Lent apply. today. St Patrick's day is displaced to Monday 18th March in the Church calendar. The use of a Patrician prayer as a hymn would not, however, be inappropriate e.g. Christ be beside me.

GOSPEL: Luke 9:28-36. On the second Sunday of Lent we always read the account of the Transfiguration from the Gospel of that year. At this stage in the Gospel story, the disciples are gaining some notion of the terrible things that are going to happen to Jesus. The Transfiguration makes it plain to them that, despite their own doubts, Jesus acts with God’s power and according to God’s plan.

FIRST READING: Genesis 15: 5-12; 17-18. God’s promise to Abram, later to become Abraham. Abram’s faith in God led him to become the ‘father to a great nation’ – both Jews and Muslims consider themselves Abraham’s descendants. The link with today’s Gospel seems to be in the signs of God’s presence and power.

SECOND READING: Philippians 3:17; 4: 1. Some in the community to whom Paul here writes found their new faith too difficult, or too much in conflict with their belief in the Old Law, and became ‘enemies of the cross of Christ’. Paul urges the faithful to imitate him as he imitates Christ.

Themes: God’s glory revealed in Christ, God’s faithfulness to His people

Hymn suggestions: How great Thou art; Christ be our light; Be thou my vision; I found a treasure;

Note Gospel acclamation: (same tune as usual Lent Gospel acclamation)

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.; verse: From within the shining cloud, hear the voice of God: "This is my beloved Son: Listen to his word". Praise to you...

Sunday 24th March: 3rd Sunday of Lent

GOSPEL: Luke 13:1-9. This evidently refers to an event that happened elsewhere during Jesus’ ministry. Some Galileans were killed by the governor, Pilate, while they were offering sacrifice in the temple. We do not know the reason for Pilate’s actions, but we know from other historical sources that he ruthlessly suppressed any disturbance or signs of rebellion.

Jesus seems to be responding to some implication that those killed had brought their own misfortune upon themselves, possibly for some sin. The belief that misfortune resulted from one’s own or sins or those of one’s ancestors was common in Jesus time and Jesus was at pains on several occasions to repudiate this (it is a belief which still has some traction among certain “Christian” groups, such as Destiny Church; they tend to extend it to a belief that wealth and status are God’s reward to the devout and pious – hence million dollar houses and Harley Davisons).

Bad things happen. We don’t know why – but consider: if God created a ‘cotton wool’ creation where nothing bad could ever happen, could we really be free to do good? We should never condemn those who suffer misfortune, or consider they deserve it. Rather, our mission is to try to ease suffering when it happens.

FIRST READING: Exodus 3:14; 13-15. God’s revelation and call to Moses. Evil had happened to them – they had gone to Egypt generations ago (the story of Joseph and the many-coloured coat) to escape a famine, and had gradually been taken into slavery. God was to save them from this, and Moses was the one to lead them from Egypt.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 10: 1-6; 10-12. Paul reminds his readers of the miracles by which God sustained his people in the wilderness, and yet those same people were not satisfied with what they got. He tells the people of Corinth not to complain about things that happen and not to be over-confident in their own worthiness.

Themes: Don’t be complacent – turn back to God

Hymn suggestions: Hear O Lord; any Lenten hymns; Come back to me; Come as you are; God gives his people strength; Be not afraid

Sunday 31st March: 4th Sunday of Lent

GOSPEL: Luke 15: 1-3; 11-32. The Pharisees complain that Jesus associated with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus responds with the parable of the Prodigal Son/Loving Father. The implication is that it is the sinners who need God’s love more than those who are already right with God.

FIRST READING: Joshua 5:9-12. Joshua was the successor to Moses who led the people into the Promised Land. Once there, they built a memorial of twelve stones in a circle (Gilgal means circle). Up until this time they had been sustained with ‘manna’, but from this time on they would live off the bounty of the land.

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21. Paul is explaining here that Christ’s death and resurrection bring about a ‘new creation’ in which we are reconciled to God.

Themes: God’s love calls us back to him and reconciles us to him.

Hymn suggestions: Come as you are; Amazing Grace; Blest are they; Come to me all who labour; Gentle as silence; Come back to me; Guide me o thou great redeemer; Love is his word; The Lord is my shepherd (any setting)