My Dear Parishioners,
Over the next few weeks, you may notice a few minor changes to the logistics of how Mass is carried out here at St. Rita. These might even escape your attention if I were not telling you about them. There is a reason for each of these changes and you may find these reasons interesting and even inspirational. So, I have written a series of articles to share with you those reasons.
I am calling these changes “enhancements” so that it is clear that they are being implemented not because anything was being done incorrectly but so that the understanding of the Mass and its flow will be improved.
Before I share the reasons for each of these enhancements, there is one reason that all of these enhancements have in common and that is this: “In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit.”
This idea of the “full and active participation by all the people” comes from a document that was promulgated (published, disseminated) by the Second Vatican Council. One of the major documents of this Council has an English title of Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy; in Latin it is Sacrosanctum Concilium. This is the document in which was communicated, for example, the decision of the world’s Bishops that the Mass be celebrated in the vernacular language of that region or community (English in England, German in Germany, etc.). It talks about how every Liturgy should be carried out with this in mind.
With the prayerful collaboration and assistance of St. Rita’s Liturgy Committee and Staff, we have worked hard to be sure each of these enhancements has this aim of a more full, conscious, and active participation of all the faithful during Mass. You will find two quotes from Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy below that you might find helpful. 
I have grouped the enhancements and their explanation in a few different categories: Sacred Silence, Better Movement, More Full Participation. I will write about each of them in the bulletin over the next three weeks. For this week I would like to simply give a list of the enhancements. There may be a few hic-ups as we implement these changes and I thank you in advance for your understanding.
Sincerely yours in service and charity,
Here is a summary list of all the changes and enhancements that are taking effect:
- A pause during the Penitential Rite to allow a moment of Sacred Silence for us all to ponder our sins, express our sorrow to God, and prepare to beg “Lord, have mercy”.
- A pause for Sacred Silence after every invitation of, “Let us pray” to give an opportunity to silently gather our prayers together.
- Altar servers will now be given a visual cue for when they are to approach the priest to hold the Roman Missal.
- The Gospel Procession, during the Gospel Acclamation/Gospel Alleluia will time the procession as best they can so that they arrive at the Ambo in time to begin the Proclamation of the Gospel when the Gospel Acclamation is completed.
- An additional ringing of the Altar Bells will take place during the Epiclesis (when the priest extends his hands over the gifts and the Father is asked to send down the Holy Spirit to make holy our gifts of bread and wine) as a reminder that the Consecration is about to begin.
- The Gifts Table, with the gifts of bread and wine, will be placed near the back of the center aisle before the beginning of every Mass. After the gifts are presented, the empty table is put in its place against the back wall.
- The large Chalice will be used for the Communion of all the Faithful (along with the smaller chalices).
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMoHC) will have a more organized way to line up in front of the Sanctuary Steps.
- EMoHC will return their Sacred Vessels to the Sanctuary. Those with Ciboria (the bowls holding the Body of Christ) will return them to the altar or hand them to a priest or deacon. Those with a Chalice will return the empty Chalice to the Credence Table which will now be located in the back right of the Sanctuary. All the EMoHC will enter the right side of the sanctuary via the steps and exit by the ramp in the back right of the Sanctuary. If this causes one to cross in front of the Altar, they should pause, bow at the waist to the Altar, and continue on.
 From SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, ¶11,
But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain  . Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects
And also ¶14,
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work. (emphasis added)