Eucharist

Eucharist

At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet “in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. . . . The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.

The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Mass Schedule at St. Francis

The regular schedule of Masses is as follows:

  • Weekends
    • Saturday (Vigil): 5 p.m.
    • Sunday: 7:15, 8:30, and 11:30 a.m.
    • Weekdays
      • Tuesday: 5:30 p.m.
      • Wednesday-Friday: 12:05 p.m.
      • First Friday: 12:05 p.m.
      • First Saturday: 10 a.m.
    • First Friday: Holy Hour (check the current week’s schedule for time)

    The specific schedule for the current week is available.

    Check the parish calendar for special liturgies.

    Readings for Mass

    Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside Mass takes place in the chapel (entrance on the right side of the church). More information is available.


    Opportunities for Liturgical Ministry at St. Francis

    Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose “Amen” manifests their participation.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    There are at St. Francis many opportunities for liturgical ministry: extraordinary ministers of holy communion, lectors and commentators, ushers, altar servers, and members of the various choirs.

    • Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist assist with the distribution of holy communion under both species at the liturgy and also take the Eucharist to parishioners who are in the hospital or are homebound.
    • Lectors proclaim the scriptures other than the Gospel at Mass, and commentators introduce the Mass, proclaim the prayer of the faithful, and read announcements at the conclusion of Mass. These volunteers play an important role in building up faith among the people of God. Schedules for lectors and commentators are arranged in advance several times a year. Training is provided for these ministries.
    • Ushers serve at the Sunday liturgy to foster a sense of welcome and hospitality and to assure the good order of prayer by assisting with the collection and the presentation of the gifts. They also distribute the weekly bulletin at the conclusion of Mass.
    • Altar servers function at Mass in a variety of ways. They carry the processional cross and candles and assist the priest directly in the liturgy. Training is provided.
    • The music ministry at St. Francis includes several groups:
      • St. Francis Choir includes vocalists and instrumentalists who provide music during the liturgies on Sundays and holydays. Those interested should contact the Director of Music.
      • The Schola sings Gregorian chant at various liturgies, often the 7:15 a.m. Sunday Mass.
      • Members of the Children’s Choir learn the skills of singing and reading music for special liturgies at Christmas and Easter.
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    Prayer

    Prayer

    In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity . . . with the whole human spirit.” Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ. Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love.

    We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus’ teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence: time is in the Father’s hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: “O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts.”

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Opportunities for prayer at St. Francis include the following:

    • Prayer Hot Line: Volunteers will be notified by phone or e-mail in order to pray at home for critical and immediate needs. Contact: Mike or Ubi Brown, Phone: 540-849-6644
    • Shepherds of Christ: Volunteers meet in the chapel to pray for many intentions using special prayer format. Contact: Debbie Wright, E-Mail: nannydeb@verizon.net, Phone: 540-886-5051
    • Ministry of Praise: Members offer regular intercessory prayer on their own for the needs of the church and parishioners. Contact: Teresa Hopkins, E-Mail: thopkins@ntelos.net
    • Divine Mercy Cenacle: Members of this small study group promote the Eucharist, God’s mercy, and good works. Contact: Sheila Kingsley, E-Mail: smcbk39@yahoo.com, Phone: 540-415-8568
    • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Volunteers participate in adoration in the chapel. Contact: Greg Ridenour, Phone: 540-294-1266
    • Rosary: The rosary is said before Sunday and weekday Mass as time permits.
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    Christian Initiation

    Baptism

    The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.

    Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to “obey and submit” to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Baptism of Children

    Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

    Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    For baptism of children, inquire at the parish office or call 540-886-2262.

    Baptism of Adults

    The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be “a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites.”

    Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    The parish is always ready to receive adults into the process of preparation for baptism or reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. Call the parish office (540-886-2262) for an appointment. More information on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is available.

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    Marriage

    Marriage

    The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Those preparing for marriage should contact the parish office at 540-886-2262.

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    Reconciliation

    Reconciliation

    Christ’s call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, “clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.” This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.

    Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

    During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God’s forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.

    Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Confessions are heard on Saturday, 3:30-4:45 p.m., or by appointment. There are also special penance services, with opportunity for individual confession, in Advent and Lent.

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    Anointing of the Sick

    Anointing

    By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.

    The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will. Furthermore, “if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

    In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum. Communion in the body and blood of Christ, received at this moment of “passing over” to the Father, has a particular significance and importance. It is the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection, according to the words of the Lord: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The sacrament of Christ once dead and now risen, the Eucharist is here the sacrament of passing over from death to life, from this world to the Father.

    Thus, just as the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist form a unity called “the sacraments of Christian initiation,” so too it can be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as viaticum constitute at the end of Christian life “the sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland” or the sacraments that complete the earthly pilgrimage.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    If you or a member of your family is seriously ill or facing surgery, please inform the parish (540-886-2262) so that a priest can administer the Sacrament of the Sick before you enter the hospital. This sacrament is not to be looked upon as the “Last Rites” but as a powerful instrument of God’s healing presence. Please avail yourself of this gift.

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    Funerals

    Funerals

    Death is transformed by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, also himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition. Yet, despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to his Father’s will. The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing. Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” “The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we will also live with him.” What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already “died with Christ” sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ’s grace, physical death completes this “dying with Christ” and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    In the event of a parishioner’s death, those in charge should, in addition to calling a funeral home to make appropriate arrangements, call the parish office (540-886-2262) to begin the process of planning the funeral of the deceased.

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