Friday, November 2, 2012

Caring for All at Christmas and Easter: WLP Responds

Friday greetings to one and all.

Well, it's time for a little WLP commercial, which I hope at least some of you will find helpful.

A few years ago, we received a call from a pastor who asked us an interesting question. He pastors a large parish and said that at Christmas and Easter, his parish schedules "overflow" Masses to accommodate the many who come to his parish to celebrate these central feasts of our faith. He told us that each year the parish spends time, energy, and money creating worship aids for the people who attend these "overflow" Masses in his parish's gym and parish hall. He said that everyone on his staff is super busy at these times. He wondered if WLP published a resource just for these two feasts, resources that would include the readings and a variety of music usually sung at these Masses. We thought that this sounded like a good idea, so we began our work on two resources.

Christmas Mass Booklets, now available from WLP, contain the readings for all four Christmas Masses, as well as the Order of Mass and 17 well-known Christmas hymns from which to choose. Those Catholics who do not regularly celebrate Mass are still in need of the newly translated texts of the Mass (not to mention Catholics, like me, who still need the text for the proclamation of the Nicene Creed, for instance). These booklets are durable and beautiful, and are meant to last for several years, so a parish can collect them after Christmas and store them until the following year. This will save the parish time, energy, and money. I remember well those days of scrambling at the last minute to prepare the worship aids for the added Christmas and Easter Masses at the parishes in which I served as music and liturgy director. Our Easter Mass Booklets are also available.

As a publisher committed to serving the needs of the singing and praying Church, we believe that we have responded to that pastor's needs and are offering a resource that many parishes can use. I often tell parish ministers that instead of complaining about the "occasional" worshippers who come to us at Christmas and Easter, we need to ramp up our efforts at hospitality at these times, caring for these Catholics (and non-Catholics) in a way that shows that, like the landowner in the parable who pays the same salary to those who begin work at the beginning of the day as he does to those who begin just before closing time, we need to reach out with the same care to those we see only at Christmas and Easter.

Thanks for listening and checking out these resources. Remember, we are always willing to listen to the thoughts and ideas from those of you who are ministering in parishes.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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