By Fr. Mike Boutin
Next Sunday, Nov. 1st, is the Solemnity of All Saints, which supplants the celebration of the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. The color for this feast is white or gold.
Consider using a sung version of the Litany of the Saints as the music to accompany the opening procession, and be sure that you include the names of the local and patron saints of the area, culture, and professions.
It is also recommended that relics of the saints be venerated on this day. If you have relics of the parish's patron saint or some other saint significant to the community, consider carrying them in the opening procession, placing them before the altar during Mass, and inviting the community to venerate them after Mass.
Click here for next Sunday's readings.
Here are a few good sites for exegesis (an explanation of what the biblical texts are trying to say):
General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful):
The general intercessions at Mass should be written in the community that will pray them. Don't rely on canned prayers. Your community deserves someone who will pray about what this particular community's needs are this week, and then help them to articulate their needs and the needs of the larger community. General intercessions should be just that: general enough that everyone can pray them. Prayers for the world, for the local community, for the sick, for peace, and for the dead should be numbered among the prayers you articulate. Adding a list of the local sick and deceased is a good way to make these prayers the prayers of this local community. Here are some general principles and a good example of general intercessions for next Sunday.
When I am preparing to preach, my process includes a number of pieces: 1) prayer with the scriptures 2) a weekly Bible study with parishioners on Tuesday morning that forces me to interact with the texts before Friday! 2) looking at a few different "homily helps" not in order to use a canned homily (honestly, I've never done that), but instead, sometimes to find a different angle, or a starter story, or some particularly useful insight. The sources I use include:
The Preachers' Exchange: This is a great website for Catholic preachers, by Jude Siciliano, OP. Well worth adding to your Favorites list.
Celebration: published by NCR, is my favorite homily preparation type service, though it describes itself as a "comprehensive worship resource." It is an ecumenical and multi-cultural resource, has very fine scriptural scholarship and homily starters, interesting and useful articles and features, a daily Mass supplement. Overall, a lot of liturgical and preaching bang for your hard-earned buck!
Prepare the Word, an online resource published by True Quest, whose strongest asset is Alice Camille, one of its writers, but whose weakest link is customer service and subscriptions.
Connections, published by Media Works, edited by Jay Cormier, Great resource: a couple of short stories, fables, news events that relate (some more, some not quite so much!), but which provide only a springboard for your own preaching...
This Sunday's Scripture, is published by Word Press and is one of the best available resources. Good exegesis and pastoral application, and some useful homily starters.This resource is grounded in a prayerful weeklong approach to the Sunday scriptures and preaching.
General Liturgical Resources worth having on your shelf:
Living Liturgy 2009 this is a comprehensive liturgy planning guide, with great homiletic resources and reflections for each of the various liturgical ministries to use throughout the week.