On Friday, May 1, 2020 Archbishop Gomez will lead the country in a prayer which consecrates the United States to Mary, Mother of the Church. Canada, too, has chosen this day to offer prayers and to consecrate their country to Mary, Mother of the Church.
“This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus,” said Archbishop Gomez in a letter to the U.S. bishops. Each year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. “This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic,” he continued.
Archbishop Gomez will lead a brief liturgy with the prayer of re-consecration on Friday, May 1 at 3:00 pm EDT and has invited the bishops to join in from their respective dioceses and asked them to extend the invitation to the faithful in their dioceses for their participation. Resources for this have been e-mailed today to all bishops. Resources for the parishes and the faithful have been posted today on the USCCB website by its Department of Communications. You may access these at http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/consecration.cfm (Scroll down to find the PDF’s)
PDF of Presider Text and Worship Aid – English http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/upload/consecration-usa-mary-mother-of-church.pdf
PDF of Presider Text and Worship Aid – Spanish http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/upload/consecration-usa-mary-mother-of-church-spanish.pdf
For more information, please visit, http://usccb.org/news/2020/20-65.cfm
For additional information and a link to the Facebook feed: https://lacatholics.org/consecration/
Q. Does this change the liturgical texts on May 1?
A. No, the day remains the memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker. Indeed, many bishops are also offering Masses that day for those whose employment has been impacted by the coronavirus. Please see The Roman Missal for May 1 and The Lectionary for Mass, no. 559. The gospel for the day is proper.
Q. How should we be praying in the entire month of May?
A. Certainly, the Easter Season and its rich Mass texts should be the focus of our liturgical prayer. The Sundays of Easter, especially, provide rich fodder for reflection on the sacraments of initiation, most especially the Eucharist. These so-called ‘Masses for the Neophytes” (cf. RCIA 247) are so rich that they may be used even when initiation has been celebrated outside the usual times (ibid.).
The Pope, Archbishop Gomez, and the bishops of the USA, have encouraged us to increase our devotional prayer during the month of May – a month traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Francis has encouraged the daily recitation of the rosary. In addition, the USCCB will make a downloadable holy card available for private prayer.
Q. Does this change the liturgical texts for June 1?
A. No, the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church is celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost. This year, that falls on Monday, June 1. The Mass texts for that day remain the same (see Lectionary no. 572A or no. 1002 ).
A note from the USCCB Liturgical Year Calendar for 2020:
“8. In a decree dated February 11, 2018, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments inscribed the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar to be observed on the Monday after Pentecost, taking precedence over an obligatory Memorial that coincides with it. Thus, June 1, 2020 shall be observed as the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr, is omitted.”
Q. Does this change that fact that the USA recognizes Mary, the Immaculate Conception as our patroness?
A. This prayer entrusts the country to Mary, Mother of the Church during the pandemic. This does not change the fact that our official national patroness is Mary, under her title of the Immaculate Conception. Our national patronal solemnity remains December 8.
by Rita Thiron
Executve Director, Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions