If you come to visit us at Saint Francis over the next few weeks, you will notice a slight change in the way we celebrate the liturgy. This change comes out of several factors and I wanted to take a moment to explain them.
It has been a blessing to have a generous benefactor who has purchased Missalettes for us over the last two years. We are very grateful for the donation of these Missalettes, however, we want to do more to be responsible for our expenses and our impact on the environment.
These missalettes are expensive to purchase and ship. The ones we used the last two years are about $3 a piece including the shipping. The ones we would like to have moved to, because of the larger print and better hymn selection, are $7 a piece with shipping. This is too much of an increase for us to be comfortable with.
Besides that, I can tell from my vantage point on the altar that people are having difficulty following along with the mass in the missalette. There is a lot of page turning and confused looks from our visitors. This is not helpful when you are trying to grow a parish!
So we have asked Saint Miriam Parish and Friary in Flourtown PA, one of our sister parishes in the Old Catholic Churches International, for their permission to use the Mass Booklets they created at our parish. Bishop St. George has graciously agreed to allow us the use of the booklets. These booklets are much cheaper to print, contain less paper (and the paper we use is recycled), and are more streamlined so that they are easier to follow. Also, they contain a few of the older prayers, like the Creed, rather than the newer and more difficult to read prayers. This will allow for more familiarity with the Mass.
One of the drawbacks to the new booklets is that they will not contain the readings for Mass. However, I believe everyone can listen and understand the readings without having to actually see them in print before them. If this is a problem, we can make accommodations for those who need to have a print versions for physical reasons.
Also, we have newly printed brochures about Saint Francis that will be on the small table to the right of the doors as you enter the main church. On the table with them will be the Mass Booklet and a small card you can fill out if you would like to know more about our parish or if you wish to join our parish. Please note on the card if you wish to receive our weekly newsletter.
A basket is provided on the table by the door to the main church for donations should you feel so inclined. We do not take a collection at Saint Francis because we feel it disrupts the liturgy to stop and take up a collection. If you would like to set up an automatic draft, you can do so on our website.
All these things are being done to help make Saint Francis a more welcoming, affirming, and inclusive home for all people.
Please join us this Sunday and see the a different way to be Catholic!