Year of Grace 2012

yearofgracelogo 125The Coordinator for the Year of Grace in the Diocese of Sandhurst is Margaret Mary Flynn and she can be contacted at the Chancery (03) 5441 2544.  A monthly article will feature in the Sandpiper.

The Bishops have chosen a phrase from Pope John Paul II’s Novo Millennio Ineunte:“starting afresh from Christ”.

The Sandhurst Diocese Adult Faith Education Reference Group, established in 2008, recognizes that Adult Faith Education in our diocese is built upon, and seeks to continue, the vibrant ministry and achievements of Faith Education Sandhurst, established in 1993 by Fr Michael Goonan and Ms Anna Tuck and developed by other diocesan personnel. FES served the people of Sandhurst for many years, supporting growth in faith and formation for ministry.  The Adult Faith Education Reference Group works with the Adult Faith Education Coordinator to implement the Diocesan Strategic Plan with particular reference to Goal 5, Lifelong Faith Formation and Education:

Faith Education Sandhurst Directors and Coordinators during the years 1993 - 2004

Fr Michael Goonan
Mrs Anna Tuck
Fr Gerard Gallagher
Ms Vivienne Williams

“I came that they may have life and have it to the full” [John 10:10]

The ministry of Adult Faith Education in the Diocese of Sandhurst responds to the Church’s expressed need for programs and resources to support Faith Education, Spiritual Formation and Ministry Skills Training, recognising that all the baptized are called to share Christ’s mission in the Church for the world:

“We will be learning communities providing diverse, flexible and accessible opportunities for adults across the diocese to explore scripture, Vatican II, theology, Catholic social teaching, and a spirituality which connects prayer, faith, life, culture and mission.” [Sandhurst Diocese Pastoral Plan 2005, Goal 5]

“…spiritual formation ought to occupy a privileged place in a person's life. Everyone is called to grow continually in intimate union with Jesus Christ in conformity with the Father’s will, in devotion to others in charity and justice. ..” [Pope John Paul II, Christifidelis Laici, 1988,  par 60] .


The Order of Christian Funerals states that “A member or a friend of the family may speak in remembrance of the deceased.”  OCF#170
The Order recommends that these words be spoken after the Communion Prayer and before the Final Commendation.  In the Diocese of Sandhurst the preference is for the words to be spoken at the beginning of the rite, after the greeting by the Presider and before the placing of the Baptismal symbols.

Some points to be considered regarding the words of remembrance:

• Clear and consistent practice must be established in parishes.  A sheet with a suggested approach would be helpful for families needing to prepare for a funeral.
• The words of remembrance are a valid part of the funeral rites and cannot be omitted unless the family chooses to leave them out.
• There should only be one person speak at the funeral rather than a series of people.
• The words should recall the good life of the deceased, and suggest how the person could be best remembered with inspiration.  They should remember that, as Christians, we anticipate our meeting in the next life and our future resurrection together.
• The words should deal compassionately of the deceased’s life
• The words must be appropriate to the context of a worship space and its gathered community.  Inappropriate language and content should be avoided.
• The words should be a reasonable length. 5 – 7 Minutes in total
• The reflection should be written out, practiced in front of others and if possible given to the Presider ahead of time.
• The funeral is not the only place where words of remembrance may be spoken.  It is more suitable that words are spoken at the Vigil, Committal Service and/or the Wake, where anecdotes, personal stories, poems, songs or Power Point presentations may be responded to more readily.
• The Homily is never to be a eulogy.  The homilist should dwell on God’s compassionate love and on the Paschal mystery of the Lord, as proclaimed in the Scripture readings.  OCF#27
• The words of remembrance cannot replace the homily, nor should they immediately follow it.


Reference Material
General Instruction to the Roman Missal (2002)
Chapter 5 – The Arrangement and Furnishings for Churches for the Celebration of the Eucharist (288-318)
Built of Living Stones (2000)
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963)
Chapter 7 – Sacred Art and Sacred Furnishings (122-130)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)
Part II: Chapter II: Article IV – Where is the Liturgy Celebrated (1179-1186, 1197-1199, 1379)
Code of Canon Law (1983)
Book IV – The Sanctifying Office of the Church

The Altar
• It is desirable to have a fixed altar in every church…but in other places set aside for liturgical celebrations, the altar may be movable.
• The major altar must be freestanding and central.
• The altar is to be of natural stone, though the Conference of Bishops may judge that another material may be used that is worthy, solid and artistically made.
• Moderation should be observed when decorating an altar
• There is to be a cross, with the corpus, either on the altar or near it, which is clearly visible to the people gathered together.
• The credence table should be sufficiently large for ablutions to be easily and discreetly performed in the sanctuary area

The Ambo
• The dignity of the Word of God requires the church have a suitable place for the proclamation of the word that is a natural focal point for the faithful.
• It is appropriate that the ambo be stationary and those using it be visible.

The Presiders Chair and other seats
• The Presiders chair should stand out as a symbol of his office.  Thus it is best suited facing the people within the sanctuary area.  Anything resembling a throne is to be avoided.
• A number of suitable chairs for concelebrants should be available.

The Tabernacle
• The tabernacle should be in a part of the church which is truly noble, prominent, readily visible, beautifully decorated and suitable for prayer.
• The tabernacle should be immovable, not transparent, and lockable.  There should be only one tabernacle in each church.
• It is in keeping that the tabernacle  in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved not be on the altar on which the Mass is celebrated.  The location is made according to the diocesan bishop, either in the sanctuary apart from the altar of celebration (not excluding an old altar no longer used for celebration).  Or in a chapel suited to the faithful’s private adoration and prayer, which is connected and conspicuous.
• A special lamp which burns continuously must be near the tabernacle, to indicate the presence of Christ.
• The placement of the tabernacle must be carefully considered.  All possible solutions should be examined from building a new chapel, the redeveloping an existing space to maintaining the status quo.
• In case of dispute the diocesan bishop will have final judgement.

The plan of the church must mark off the sanctuary area from the body of the church.  The baptismal font may be near the sanctuary, or some other place where the participation of the congregation during Baptisms is possible.  The arrangement of the space should remind the faithful where they are and encourage them to prayer.

The Confessional provides an opportunity for an anonymous encounter with a fixed grille or face-to-face encounters as the penitent chooses.  Privacy from the outside must be ensured.

The places for the faithful should be arranged with care so they may be able to be full, conscious and active participants.  The seating should be arranged so the faithful may take the postures required during the celebration, and provide unimpeded access to receive Holy Communion.  All ministries must be able to be seen and heard.
There should always be an accessible area at the front of the Sanctuary for the placement of the casket during funerals and the possibilities of gathering of members of the faithful for blessings.
Sacred Images are appropriate and may be displayed for veneration so they may guide people to the mysteries of the faith celebrated there.  The images should not distract the worshiping community and should not be increased indiscriminately.  There should be only one image of any given saint, and the images should be beautiful and uniting.

The church should be designed so that a choir and musicians may be part of the gathered community.  The location should assist the choir to exercise their ministry.
The organ and other lawful instruments should be so placed, that they may be heard by all, and sustain the singing.

The Baptismal font should use clean water, be attractive and if possible accommodate immersion and well as infusion.

A Place of honour should be made for the Easter Candle, the Oils of Baptism and the Sick, and any processional cross used.

Denise Braddon 2006
(derived from DLC document 2002)

Time has seen the increase in the use of electronic media within the worship spaces of the Diocese of Sandhurst. This has called for the formulation of guidelines within the Diocese, so that there is may be a common understanding of the benefits and the uses of electronic devices, in particular Data Projectors.

Placement of Projections
The most appropriate place for the screens, whether they be LCD, plasma or white screens, is to the right or left side of the Sanctuary.  This will allow most visibility by the congregation.   It should be noted though that this could lead to a limited visibility by those on the sanctuary.

The focus for Eucharistic worship is the table of the Eucharist, which we as a community gather around.  It is therefore inappropriate to ever project images directly above the table in the centre of the sanctuary.

What to project
The use of projectors should be limited within worship.  The projection of hymn words and some of the assembly’s prayers and responses in Eucharistic services is the primary use for projection.  There may be pastoral reasons for a more expanded use of projection  on some occasions, such as Masses when a larger part of the gathered community may be unfamiliar with the responses of our liturgy. Because the elements of bread and wine will be used in reality on the table it is best not to repeat those images on screens near the sanctuary.

Use during Sacramental Rites and gatherings
Parishes need to make clear that the projection of slides during Masses is not appropriate.  Slide shows during the rites for funerals, weddings, sacramental or school Masses is not to be promoted.  Slides show may be shown before or at the conclusion of the Eucharist but their use during the ritual takes the emphasis away from the sacred nature of the Eucharistic celebration.  After consultation with the local parish priest there may be a limited number of slides used after communion to unite the community gathered, but permission for this should not to be presumed.

A few slides before the entrance procession or after communion with photos of the deceased at a funeral liturgy would be appropriate, or the lives of the couple for marriage.  If the liturgy is celebrating the life of a particular saint there could be some images from their lives.  The General Instruction of the Roman Missal offers the possibility of silence after communion which is something that could be promoted rather than filling up every gap with something to occupy the senses. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal #88 (2006), also mentions the possibility of a hymn of praise here. If there is to be music which accompanies these images it should be ensured that it is appropriate to a worship setting.  It is important that any presentation does not over extend the length of the Mass, or make the slide show the primary focus of the gathering.

Slide shows can become a passive activity and it may be difficult to bring the focus back to the rite itself afterwards.

With non-Eucharistic celebrations there is much more flexibility for the use of slide shows.

As with any reproduction of images and words, care must be taken that the copyright of these are not broken.  This is especially relevant when the words of songs are reproduced.  The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) have brochures on their website that may be downloaded.  These cover “Music Copyright for Churches” and “Music Copyright for Schools”.  If you do not know what can be used these documents will help you.  They may be found at and may be copied without obtaining permission.  But most notable any commercial song may be used in a liturgical setting, providing you own the original CD or tape.  But you may not print or project the words of the song.

Advantages of Data projections
Data projectors and other electronic media present an excellent opportunity for presenting information and ritual so that more people gathered can be included.  The “full, conscious and active participation of the assembly” called for by the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy #14 may be assisted by the use of data projectors.  Projected images assist the assembly with music and words, especially if particular rites use uncommon responses.

Changes may be made to the liturgical action of the day easily with computers.  Their immediacy makes the computers flexibility very valuable.

Screens up on the wall rather than books means people look up to sing and respond allowing their voices to more readily fill the worshipping space.

It must be remembered, however, that technology should serve the assembly and not control it.

Diocesan Liturgical Commission
Diocese of Sandhurst
For all the clergy, teachers and catechists, parents and children and all parishioners in the parishes and schools of the Diocese of Sandhurst.

Policy and Guidelines for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and first Eucharist, and their preparation, celebrations and catechesis.

A Guide to Marriage and Marriage Education in the Diocese of Sandhurst.

  1. The Sandhurst Diocese believes in the dignity of all young people, regardless of cultural background or employment or relationship status, and seeks to find new and better ways to promote this.
  2. Young people come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, yet all of them seek to develop meaning and purpose in their lives.
  3. Young people belong - in an important, significant, and irreplaceable way - in the life of our Church community and wider society. As such, their contributions should always be respected and encouraged.
  4. The Sandhurst Diocese is committed to helping young people find a sense of meaning and purpose in life, to achieve their full potential in our community, and to know the true and unconditional love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
  5. Young people are called by the Church community to use their talents in working towards a better world, and to live this out in their daily relationships with others.
  6. Every member of the Sandhurst Diocese is called to assist in the fulfilment of this vision.

March 2001