Divine Worship & Sacraments

As the meetings of the Synod of Bishops commence soon, the Vatican has asked that Sunday, October 1 be a special moment of prayer for the Synod.

In particular, the Universal Prayer is an opportunity to focus on the importance of the Synod. (Please use the recorded homily from Archbishop Schnurr for Respect Life Sunday.) A Solemn Blessing for the end of Mass has also been provided.

In addition to the prayer texts to be used for Oct 1, 2023, there are also sample intentions for the Universal Prayer to be used at upcoming weekday Masses.

Please contact the Office for Divine Worship & Sacraments with any questions or concerns.

English Resources

Spanish Resources

Learn more about the Synod 2021-24

Over the last few months, there have been lots of new developments from both the Vatican and the USCCB in the realm of liturgical life.

Here are a few bits of news to be aware of with links to find out more:

Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside Mass

On March 7, 2023, the Dicastery confirmed a new English translation of Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside Mass, which contains descriptions of the rituals for bringing Communion to the Sick, Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, Eucharistic Processions, and Eucharistic Congresses. In its confirmation, the Dicastery approved several US adaptations to the Order of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, with the goal of harmonizing the book with existing customs for Eucharistic Adoration in this country.

Expanded Mass Formulary of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

On May 26, 2023, the Dicastery confirmed an expanded Mass formulary for the Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, which is celebrated on July 14. This formulary was approved in English and Spanish at the November 2016 USCCB plenary meeting. The Entrance and Communion Antiphons for this Mass formulary were selected from among the options given in the Common of Virgins. The collect was slightly revised to highlight Saint Kateri’s importance in both the United States and Canada. The Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion are newly composed. The Mass formulary in both English and Spanish has been made available for free PDF download at the USCCB’s website.

Liturgical Texts for Saint Paul VI and Our Lady of Loreto

In a decree dated May 29, 2023 (Prot. n. 333/23), the Dicastery confirmed proper liturgical texts for the memorials of Pope Saint Paul VI and Our Lady of Loreto. These texts – each consisting of a collect, Lectionary readings, biography and Second Reading for the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours, and Roman Martyrology entry – were approved by the USCCB at their November 2022 plenary meeting. The Optional Memorial of Saint Paul VI is on May 29, and the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto is on December 10.

Readings for the Mass for Chastity

On March 20, 2023, the Dicastery also promulgated a new set of suggested readings for the “Mass for Chastity,” which is found within the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions in the Roman Missal. Until recently, this Mass had not been assigned a set of accompanying readings, as with most other Mass formularies of the Missal. The USCCB explained the impetus behind the formulation of this special set of readings in this way: “To live in chastity, or continence, frees the baptized Christian to put on Christ, fight every form of evil, and realize that his or her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, a means to glorify God by following the path of life in step with the Spirit. The chaste Christian, having received a new heart and a new spirit, offers his or her body as a living sacrifice to God, observes the divine commandments, and seeks to not offend God by clinging to the desires and works of the flesh.” These themes of identifying with Christ, laying aside harmful practices, and respecting one’s body as an expression of the goodness of God’s creation are clearly presented in the given readings, which may be downloaded from the USCCB website.

This fall, the Catholic Conference of Ohio will be working to defeat the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.  Please consider these resources for your liturgical celebrations and devotional prayer outside of Mass.  

For more information on the amendment and efforts to defeat it, please contact the Office of Respect Life Ministries.


Homily Help Overview

Homilies for Aug 13, Sept 24, and Oct 1


Suggested Prayers of the Faithful


Invite the faithful to participate in a 54-day novena of prayer.

General resources from ohio catholic conference

As a reminder, Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year. The following guidance is offered for establishing Mass schedules to cover both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Solemnity of Christmas.  You’ll also find ideas about how to transition effectively from the Fourth Sunday of Advent to Christmas and communicate effectively with the faithful.


Given the extraordinary arrangement of liturgies for these days, the normal parameter (from Beacons of Light) for a priest to celebrate no more than two Masses on Sunday does not apply. Schedules may be so arranged that a priest may celebrate three Masses each day (per the norm of canon 905 §2), if necessary, from Saturday, December 23 through Monday, December 25.

Masses are celebrated for the Fourth Sunday of Advent from 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, through early afternoon of Sunday, December 24. Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 24, and extending throughout the day of December 25, the Masses of Christmas are celebrated. When the Christmas Mass at Night is scheduled to begin prior to midnight of December 25, then that Mass should be counted as one of a priest’s Masses celebrated on Sunday, December 24.


Since the Fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve, the following may be helpful to consider for liturgical ministers:

  • SCHEDULE: You may not need to celebrate a normal Sunday morning Mass schedule.  More people may attend Mass on Sat, Dec 23 than would normally do so.  Consider an additional anticipated Mass on Sat evening, Dec 23 and one fewer Sunday Mass in your Family of Parishes on Sun, Dec 24.  Communicate clearly and early in every possible medium about any change to the normal Mass schedule in your Family of Parishes (see below).
  • NEW NORMAL: If you didn’t adjust the Christmas Eve/Day Mass schedule last year (in your first as a Family of Parishes), but would like to create a “new normal” for Christmas, consider this year as an opportunity to change the Mass schedules and use the occasion of consecutive days as the rationale.  For example, if you’ve wanted to have fewer Vigil Masses and more on Christmas Day, this year is a perfect opportunity to do so. (One parish has its children’s choir sing the last Mass on Christmas morning to help shift some families away from Christmas Eve and balance the crowds.)
  • DECOR: In any year – unlike the distinct transition from Lent to Easter (with Triduum in between) – the transition from Advent to Christmastide can be more gradual. Especially this year, the decor of the church need not transform completely between Noon and 3pm on Sun, Dec 24.  Consider bringing in elements of “winter” decor that are normally part of your Christmas decor gradually throughout the season of Advent.  For example, evergreens, white poinsettias, an empty creche, even unlit Christmas trees could adorn the church in late Advent (perhaps from Dec 17 onwards) rather than needing to wait until Dec 24. 
  • MUSIC: Perhaps let the choir have the Masses for the Fourth Sunday of Advent off, knowing they’ll be needed at full strength for the Masses of the Nativity. Consider simpler musical repertoire for the 4th Sunday of Advent.  Is there a way that musicians who will lead the afternoon and evening Masses (maybe even up to and including Midnight!) can have Sun morning Dec 24 off?


It will be important for parish leaders to communicate clearly, consistently, and early with the faithful about the schedule for Masses on Dec 23/24/25.  Stay tuned for sample language to be used in the bulletin, social media, emails, etc.  Also, stay tuned for an infographic explaining how to fulfill the twin Mass obligations on these days.

If you have other creative ideas to share or questions about any of the above, please contact the Office for Divine Worship & Sacraments.

Weds, Nov 8, 7p-8:30p, Online

Tues, Nov 14, 1:30p-3p, Online

It’s never too soon to begin thinking about our own funeral, end-of-life care, and who will be making those decisions. Join us to learn about how to get started on planning a Catholic funeral and what the Church teaches on key end-of-life issues.

Topics include:

  • Pre-planning the three stages of the Catholic funeral
  • What the Church really teaches about cremation
  • How to approach difficult end-of-life decisions with your loved ones from a Catholic perspective (life support, medical power of attorney, etc.)


Mr. Jeremy Helmes, Director, Office for Divine Worship & Sacraments

Mr. Bob Wurzelbacher, Director, Office for Respect Life Ministries

Deacon Tim Schutte, Catholic Cemeteries

Cost: Free!

Registration for Now and At the Hour of Our Death

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October 10-12, 2023
Hilton Netherland HOTEL
Cincinnati, OHIO

Join the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) for its annual national meeting October 10-12, 2023 in beautiful downtown Cincinnati at the historic art deco Hilton Netherland Hotel.

This three-day meeting brings together diocesan and national leaders in worship, the members of the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, and catechetical leaders to focus on the importance of good liturgical celebrations with children.

Study Day: Oct 11

In the midst of the three day national meeting, Wednesday Oct 11 will be a Study Day for meeting attendees, catechetical and Catholic school leaders (principals, DREs, religion teachers, and other evangelists).

The meeting’s theme is “Sign and Pledge of Communion: Masses with Children.” We plan to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Directory for Masses with Children, the universal document promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1973. 

The topic will be especially important as we strive to bring young families back to church after the pandemic and to provide for the liturgical formation of both children and parents. 

A roster of outstanding presenters will offer insights into best pastoral practices, engage with Church documents, and propose formation standards.

“Unless You Become Like a Little Child: The Challenge and Promise of Liturgical Childhood for the Church.” Dr. Timothy O’Malley, is the Director of Education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

“Children as Natural Mystics: A Second Look at the Directory for Masses with Children.” Dr. Donna Eschenauer is the Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoody, NY.

“ Liturgical Formation for and with Children” Sr. Sandra Demasi, SSJ, D. Min has served in education at the elementary, secondary, and university levels. She is the former Director of the Office of Worship in Newark, NJ; a prolific author; and a popular presenter on the formation and initiation of children of catechetical age.


Music Repertoire for Children and Children’s Choirs

OCIA as adapted for Children of Catechetical Age

Panel Discussions with Children and Parish Formators

Preaching with Children

Preparing Parents for Sacraments

Preparing First Communion Liturgies

The Eucharistic Revival and Children

Registration opens April 15.