24. Bilingual Holy Week in a Multicultural Parish


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Patti Gutierrez
Dr. Rick López

English Show Notes patticc.com/24

Notas del Programa patticc.com/s24

In today’s episode, Dr. Rick López, musician and liturgist, shares his insights on preparing a parish family for bilingual liturgies, particularly during Holy Week.

Recommended Resources

Formation Resources for the Leadership Team & Liturgy Committee:

Building Bridges, Not Walls: Nourishing Diverse Cultures in Faith by John Francis Burke

USCCB Guide & Training: Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers

USCCB Guide: Best Practices for Shared Parishes: So That They May all be One

Liturgy in a Culturally Diverse Community: A Guide Towards Understanding by Fr. Mark R. Francis, C.S.V.

Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium (CSL)

Local Liturgy/Worship Office

Invite Dr. Rick López to come do a workshop

Download the Cheat Sheet: Preparing your Parish for a Bilingual Mass

Descarga la Hoja de Referencia Rápida: Preparando a tu parroquia para una misa bilingüe

Download Descarga

Thanks! Your download is on its way to your inbox!

¡Gracias! Tu descarga ya está en camino a tu buzón.

General Information about the Triduum (Holy Week) Liturgies:

USCCB Triduum Page

Summary of Holy Thursday – English Spanish

Summary of Good Friday – English Spanish

Summary of the Easter Vigil – English Spanish

The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) has a free Liturgical Preparation Aid for Lent/Triduum/Easter in English and Spanish

Easter Vigil script (English-only) from the Diocese of Owensboro

Resources for Chants & other music during the Triduum:

Spanish audio of the Easter Proclamation

English audio of Easter Proclamation

GIA Bilingual Psalms for Holy Week: Cantemos al Señor / Let Us Sing to the Lord

OCP Bilingual Triduum Collection: No Greater Love/No Hay Amor Más Grande

OCP Bilingual Psalms for Lent/Easter: Cantaré Eternamente/For Ever I Will Sing, Vol. 2

For other resources for bilingual masses in general, see Episode 25

If you have other favorite resources, come share them with other ministers in our Gente Puente Facebook group!


Greetings Gente Puente! In today’s episode, Dr. Rick López, musician and liturgist, shares his insights on preparing a parish family for bilingual liturgies, particularly during Holy Week. You can find a summary of today’s show and all the resources mentioned at patticc.com/24.

Quote: “Are we really doing what God has asked us to do? Is this consistent with the Gospel? Separate, but equal arrangement. Is that really consistent with the teachings of Christ? Who in his entire life was willing, dined, served and preached with everybody present?”

Para los que estaban esperando una entrevista en español les pido disculpas. Al último momento decidimos cambiar al inglés pensando que hay que tener la mayoría de estas conversaciones al nivel del liderazgo de la parroquia donde mayormente se usa el inglés. Si prefieres español puedes encontrar un resumen en español de la entrevista y vínculos a todos los recursos mencionados en patticc.com/s24.

I am Patti Gutiérrez from Patti’s Catholic Corner. Our team serves Catholic ministers like you who want to connect with the Hispanic community. We make your ministry easier by sharing best practices, resources and encouragement through this Gente Puente Podcast patticc.com/gentepuente and our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/gentepuente. And we help you focus on your ministry through our Catholic translation services. Get a quote today at pattic.com/services.

My guest today is Dr. Rick Lopez. After nearly 40 years leading music in parishes, he is now the Associate Director of Music and Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas. He is a Doctor of Musical Art and teaches a class called Multi-cultural Liturgy for the Masters of Sacred Music program at the University of St. Thomas. He also serves as the Chair of the Hispanic Liturgical Ministry Development Committee of the Southwest Liturgical Conference.

As you can imagine, with all his experience and expertise, once we got started on this very big and complex topic, we had a hard time stopping!! So, I have actually decided to divide this interview into two parts.

In today’s episode Dr. Rick will share his suggestions for the kind of preparation that needs to happen in a parish even before celebrating a bilingual Mass, some of the formation and planning that should go into the bilingual liturgy and some resources he recommends. He will also describe the Triduum and share some of the things to consider for Holy Week celebrations in multicultural parishes. At the end of the show, I will share the liturgical rubrics from the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal as well as recap the process Dr. Rick recommends step-by-step. and list some of the things a pastoral leadership team needs to consider during the planning stages for a bilingual liturgy.

In the next episode, Dr. Rick will dive into more detailed suggestions for music ministers and share many resources specifically for them. I will also share best practices for bilingual liturgies and a summary of copyright information for Catholic worship guides.

That’s a lot to cover! So, let’s get started by listening to my interview with Dr. Rick!


Welcome, Dr. Rick, to the Gente Puente Podcast. Thanks for being on today.

Thank you for the invitation, Patti.

Opening Prayer.

Dr. Rick, before we dive into talking about bilingual liturgies, can you share with us a little bit about yourself, your background, your ministry, and your vocation?

Absolutely. My formal title is Associate Director of Music and Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. There are three of us that are full-time for the Office of Worship here. Much of my responsibility is to of course help with resources and formation for our music ministers throughout the 145 parishes in our Archdiocese. I have worked in the Catholic Church as a Music Minister for most of my life. I don’t want to tell you how old I am, but that’s really where my experience is grounded in and working at the Church, at the parish level. Only within the last 10 plus years, I added the dimension of working at the archdiocesan level. In that context, I am Latino. I was born in Los Angeles, and much of my family heritage comes from San Antonio, Texas, and from Mexico. My parents were second-generation born here, and I’m third-generation born here in the U.S. My first language is English, and through the years and different situations, have learned to speak Spanish pretty well. It is certainly my second language, but I’m proud to say I can converse and occasionally even lecture when I’m asked to in Spanish.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I have two sons and a grandson. One son lives in Southern California, where I went to school. I have a son and a grandson here in Houston with me.

Thank you. I appreciate that you’re able to come here today and talk about your expertise in liturgy and music. Let me first say that I recognized there are places in the country that are facing a reality that have multilingual liturgies and many cultures coming together. Since our audience is targeted towards those working with the Hispanic community, today we are going to focus more on the English-Spanish bilingual liturgies.

Let’s start by talking about, why or why not to have bilingual liturgies in the first place? What are the pros and the cons? What should a pastoral team consider before deciding to have a bilingual liturgy? Can you talk us through some of those?

Sure. Let me just preface that a little bit with some of the thought processes that I think should happen before the decision. One of them is a general recognition of the cultures in our parishes. You already alluded to it, Patti. We have parishes now all over the country that are very diverse. Here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, for example, our cardinal boasts on a regular basis that we are celebrating liturgies here in our archdiocese in 17 languages every weekend. The first thing we need to come to grips with is that our Church has changed. It is still changing, and it has always evolved. From the beginning of the Church up until to the Council of Trent. Up until that time, our Church was in a constant mode of adaptation culturally and liturgically for 1500 years. Of course, the liturgy grew along with it, as it should have. It was in a constant state of cultural, liturgical adaptation up until the Council of Trent. Then everything kind of stopped. Now here we are again post-Vatican II. There is dialogue. There are very specific rubrics within the constitution CSL [“Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium,” (CSL)] that are embracing the diversity and future diversity of the Church. They already saw it coming. It was not only present, but it was eminent that it would continue, and it certainly has ever since. It is that acknowledgement that our Church has changed, and it will continue to change.

The point of all of this is that we do live in a very diverse community culture of faith in this country. We are already there. At the parish level there has to be a discernment about the cultures that are present in that parish, and is there a dominant one? Or are there two or three dominant ones? Whatever the case may be. I think the pastoral leadership, maybe the pastor, and group of parishioners from within have to acknowledge that this parish has attracted a large contingency of Hispanic parishioners along the side the other dominant culture, which is probably Anglo. At some point, there has to be that dialogue: what are we doing about this? How are we serving all of our parish family here? Are we really serving the needs of our parish family today? The answer to that question is probably not. That should be the opening of a dialogue about how to – how can we do this better? Do we have the clergy to serve the needs of this parish? Do we have the leadership at the parish for the ministries to serve the cultures that are present here in this particular parish? Those questions need to be asked at some point. It’s going to be obvious that something else needs to be done differently than what they’ve been doing.

You can go down the road for years and years with two families under one roof never coming together. That is a way, good or bad, that is methodology: separate parishes using the same building. We know that happens sadly more often than it should. But if the pastoral leadership is sensitive about that, hopefully somebody will start to ask the questions. Hopefully it is the pastor and his colleagues. Questions need to be asked: Are we really doing what God asked us to do? Is this consistent with the Gospel, separate but equal arrangement? Is that really consistent with the preaching of Christ, who in His entire life was living, dined, served, and preached with everybody present?

Let’s say there is a pastor or minister listening, and they are in a community that so far has basically been what you are describing as two separate communities celebrating in the one Church building. They would like as a parish leadership to start coming together more. What would you suggest?

Let me preface what I’m about to say, by saying yes. The discussion about bilingual, or multilingual liturgies at some point needs to take place. However, the best way to do that is to open the dialogue and to have other aspects of that parish already coming together in other dimensions, non-liturgical. For example: is the parish council representing just one of the cultural communities there, or does the parish council in fact also include the two dominant communities? That’s one example. How are the other ministries represented? The formation programs in the parish: are there one in Spanish and one in English, or is there something that can be combined there and pulling those together? The other ministries: is there a liturgical group that is already meeting on a regular basis? A lot of parishes, by the documents, have been asked to form liturgy committees. So we have a liturgy committee that meets once a month or once every few weeks. Fine, but who is on that committee? Are there Hispanic liturgy ministers also invited? Are they participating in that? All these things are important. Also, are there social gatherings that are taking place? The parish has an annual bazar (or whatever the case may be), are both cultures part of those social activities?

All of those things need to be very much impartial to the ultimate goal of celebrating liturgy together. In other words, if we just throw that into mix, let’s have a bilingual liturgy and they have never met before at all on any other grounds, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s almost like saying “let’s throw this Mass at them.” I hate to say it, but it’s almost like a token. To answer your question: yes, there are methodologies for planning to bring a bilingual, multicultural liturgy together. What cannot be under emphasized or over emphasized is the importance of making sure cultures are already meeting somehow or in some way outside the liturgy as well.

What are the specific differences or things to consider with regard to the Triduum, which is the liturgy of the Holy Week that extends from Holy Thursday to Good Friday, then the Easter Vigil? What are some special considerations about Holy Week?

Let me talk about Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum. When we speak about the essence of that liturgy or the theology of that liturgy, we are commemorating the Last Supper; we are commemoration the Lord’s Supper, which He held with His apostles and now He hands on the priesthood to them. This is a very important liturgy of our liturgical year. Let’s talk about that. So when people tell me: we are going to have two Holy Thursday masses (one in English and one in Spanish). I have to shake my head. Do you not understand what this is about?

Let me go on a little bit further about the liturgy itself. Commemoration the Lord’s Supper, it is the last supper, our liturgy of the Eucharist today is founded on that very celebration that He had with his apostles. He washes their feet. He makes them priests. He asks – He tells them “Do this in memory of me? This is my Body. This is my Blood. Drink this. Eat this in memory of me.” Our liturgy, every time we celebrate mass, it is we are remembering that.

What happens after? At the end of the mass, the celebrant picks up the Body of Christ, reposes It into the place of reposition for adoration. The symbolism of that procession and that adoration is that Christ at the end of the Last Supper went to the Mount of Olives to pray and was followed by his disciples so they could pray with Him because He had already shared with them about His passion the next day. That’s what that says. That’s what that symbolism is. It is Christ going to the Mount (going to the place of reposition), and his disciples going to pray with Him to the Mount of Olives (that is us going to pray for Him and with Him for what is about to take place the next day). How do we duplicate that, Patti? Do we close it down and move Him back to the Church, where we just had Him and then move Him back again?

I know that’s a real, simplistic justification for not doing it twice, but I do not know how else to say it. If we truly understand; if we truly appreciate what we are celebrating that night in the commemoration of the original Holy Thursday, I don’t know how we can do that more than one time?



We will continue with my conversation with Dr. Rick in a moment, but I wanted to take a minute to talk to those who may be feeling overwhelmed right now. Or maybe you’re feeling inspired by Dr. Rick’s description of the Holy Thursday liturgy and you really want to try it, but you’re not sure where to start. Don’t worry. Later in the show, he mentions a VERY practical book that will walk you through all the things he’s mentioning here and much more. Dr. Rick is also open to coming to give a workshop in your diocese which he will mention as well. And if you visit the Show Notes page for this episode at patticc.com/24 you can download a Cheat Sheet I put together “Preparing your Parish for a Bilingual Mass.” It includes a step-by-step summary of Dr. Rick’s suggestions and a list of some great resources. And in the next episode I will have a lot more resources ready to share, including best practices for bilingual liturgies and lots of information for music ministers. Just remember, celebrating together is the ultimate goal, and even if you’re not there yet, we can all take baby steps toward integration and coming together as the one Body of Christ. After all, we’re Gente Puente!

Now let’s continue with my conversation with Dr. Rick.

So what are your suggestions for a parish that has not reached the point that you described before of integration outside of liturgy as a new community has come in, or maybe in a community that has been there awhile but they have not been integrated into the full parish. What are the suggestions then? Is it all or nothing? Are there different options for the way to handle the liturgies during Holy Week?

Well unfortunately, as I said a few minutes ago, there are any number of parishes that are still operating as separate families under one roof. We acknowledge that. I acknowledge that, and we all have to. As far as Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil on Saturday (the three Triduum liturgies), I know it happens. I haven’t had to experience it myself in a long time, but I do know it takes place.

Is there in the liturgical guidelines, a stipulation that there needs to be only one in each parish community? Or is there an exemption in the liturgy guidelines or the rules about that?

In the Ordo it says: where a pastoral reason requires that the local ordinary may permit that another mass be celebrated. It looks like it can be done with the permission of the ordinary. Depending on what part of the country it is, apparently the ordinary does have that authority to allow it to happen.

So far you’ve only been speaking about Holy Thursday. Is what you described the case on Holy Thursday, or does it apply to the entire Triduum?

No, here it is. Let’s talk a little bit about Good Friday. Good Friday is actually not Liturgy of the Eucharist. The forms for Good Friday are basically Liturgy of the Word, there is Adoration, and then there is Communion. But even Communion is basically distributed, right. That Communion that takes place on Good Friday is from the hosts of Holy Thursday.

I would argue that, because I know how our Latino community is accustomed to celebrating Good Friday as opposed to “quote on quote” the Anglo community, I’d say in that case and because it is not a formal Liturgy of the Eucharist, I have often seen the traditional Good Friday liturgy at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, when it is recommended. But I’ve also seen my Latino brothers and sisters celebrate it at night with the same type of format. Here is where it can get typically more elaborate is in fact the adoration of the Cross. The norm for most Anglo parishioners is the Cross is exposed, the Cross is accessible, people would come up and kiss it, pray at its foot for a moment or two, etc. As you and I both know, in some of our Latino communities that’s not acceptable. We have processions at that part of the Adoration. We have processions of the Cross; we have processions of different prayers during that whole time. That is a whole other Latino spirituality. That celebration is vastly different. Theologically not different, but it is how it is celebrated and how they worship on that particular day. I dare say that on Good Friday, the notice of having a Latino Good Friday and an Anglo Good Friday are much more acceptable because I’ve seen it several times. They are vastly different; the spirituality of the Latino community as opposed to the Anglo. I don’t have any real issues there.

Now let’s go on to the Vigil. Back to this meeting that I reference, if we are going to have a bilingual Vigil, for obvious reasons just by the very nature of that liturgy, that meeting that I talked about has to take place well in advance. The actual rubrics on how that might happen is this. I have experienced many times, for example, when we get into the readings of the Liturgy of the Word in the opening, it is very easily done to actually share those readings alternating between English and Spanish for example. You could do a combination of things. The good news is that at this day in age, there are plenty of bilingual settings on all of that solemnity set by even more than one or two publishers.

Are there any recommendations or guidelines about the other pieces of mass like the Eucharistic prayer and the rites of RCIA inside the Easter Vigil?

There are publications out now for the RCIA, and again the good news is with our new Misal Romano there are parts of that have the Rites of Initiation in there. What is that going to require, Patti? That’s going to require your celebrant to get on board as well, and hopefully he can take the time to reasonably go back and forth between the two languages. Sometimes it means putting a book together, specifically for that. It takes time. You might need to put together a bilingual script for your celebrant and for the rite itself. It can be done, but it does require some attention and practice by the celebrant.

What would be some of your practical advice or tips for somebody planning these liturgies to help the congregation to prepare ahead of time, not just the musicians and the ministers? How do you prepare the broader congregation to come together? And how do you help them in the actual liturgy to participate more fully?

That’s a very good question, and unfortunately there’s no easy answer to that. However, this is one thing that I have seen work. For example: once the decision is made to have a bilingual celebration and maybe it is a Triduum celebration or not (whatever the case may be), one of the things that I would highly encourage the pastoral leadership to do is to slowly start to introduce the idea.

One of the things that could be done pretty easily. We already have our Spanish language masses. We already have English language masses, so hopefully there are already resources in the pews that have the liturgy in both languages (the readings in both languages). What I would do is sometime before the actual multicultural liturgy takes place, as long as the readings are there in both languages in front of the assembly, why not on occasion have the second reading or maybe the first reading in the corresponding language? Why? Because it is already going to be there in the other language hopefully. As we know, one of the resources called “Unidos en Cristo,” where both languages are present on corresponding pages. This is very easily done. Maybe the First Reading could be in Spanish, and just on the other page is that same reading in English. That’s the kind of thing you want to encourage. You are not trying to isolate anybody. We were told years ago, the readings should be such that we don’t really need to be seeing them. We should just be listening to them and letting them into our hearts and minds. But when we get into the multicultural liturgies, we have to be a little bit more practical because we don’t want to isolate anybody that doesn’t understand that language. We have to be open to that. What that means is let’s make sure if we are reading the First Reading in Spanish that the English reading people know what we are praying. Know what we are presenting because it is right there in the book just in another page. Little by little if we start doing that on occasion on Sunday; then on Spanish language mass you need to also do it. Those are subtle things that start to introduce the idea on a practical side.

Another example is that your celebrant can do the same thing with some of the prayers. This might require his own script or having both books in front of him. He could also every once in a while, start to incorporate part of the Eucharistic prayer, for example, in Spanish. What you are doing is you’re kind of getting your assemblies getting them used to the idea on a very subtle, but slow (not aggressive) introducing this other language. What you are also doing, you are kind of reminding them that we do have this other family here. That our parish consists of more than this one culture, more than this one language. Little subtle things like that maybe as you approach the full bilingual liturgy, just simple little changes but not exclusions.

There are ways you can start to introduce the concept. These are just some of ideas on how to do that. It may not be that year that you do the bilingual Triduum or the bilingual whatever the case may. It may be in a year or two.

Or it may be kind of incorporating little by little some of these aspects towards the end goal of the ideal in the end where we want to get to, but we are not there yet.

Exactly. It could be. It could go either way. Absolutely correct.

You mentioned a few resources that are out there that are bilingual with regard to the music, and you sent me a list that I’ll put links in the Show Notes to some of those bilingual resources for music ministers. Are there other resources in general for those (I know this is such a large topic and we could talk for hours and we won’t), so for those listening that want to dive in deeper or learn more about this issue, are there other resources you would recommend that they take a look at?

Yes. Like I said I gave you some for the music, but also for liturgy in general. One of the things that I think it is so critical that we even as liturgists that work mostly in the English language world as you know, Patti, just last year we introduced the Tercera Edición del Misal Romano, right. We just introduced it. As in the English Roman Missal from 2011, I would highly encourage the reading and studying if possible, of General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Like what we call the “GIRM” is also at the beginning of the Third Edition of the Misal Romano in Spanish. If anybody is serious about understanding the rubrics of the liturgy, I would highly recommend that they take time to pick up some of the basic stuff at the beginning of the Roman Missal.

The other book that I use often is the book that was published by the Conference of Bishops called “Cantemos al Señor.” The original one was “Sing to the Lord.” It’s been the handbook for our English language ministers for a number of years. About 2008, they published Cantemos al Señor, and I would highly recommend it to anybody who is charge of music at their parish. There’s lots of liturgical elements in there as well. I use it often in some of the lectures that I do for Hispanic music ministers.

I also sent you one that I think it is absolutely critical, Patti. It was published a few years ago in Spanish and English together. The English title is called “Liturgy in a Culturally Diverse Community: A Guide towards Understanding.” The Spanish backside of it is “La liturgia en una comunidad de diversas culturas: una guía para entenderla.” This was published a few years ago by Fr. Mark Francis and Brother Rufino Zaragoza. I was blessed to be part of this latest version. Anybody serious about the discussion and possible implementation of a multicultural liturgy must take a look at this guide. I have used this in liturgy committees that are seriously considering expanding the celebration of liturgies at their parish into more than one language. I say: don’t do anything until the leadership of that committee has digested this guide. It is tremendously valuable, and it will give you good guidelines, references, paragraphs from the constitution, etc. Those are very, very important.

Great! If there is a diocesan leader listening & they say: “I don’t have time to do all this research. Dr. Rick, I just want you to come.” Can you tell us about the kind of workshops that you are available to do, and how can they get in touch with you?

Some of the workshops that I’ve done already are as I shared with you, I’ve done workshops on how to celebrate bilingual liturgies, how to plan them and celebrate them musically. I’ve done workshops on parts of the mass: intro, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Communion, and music for different parts of the Mass. I’ve done workshops on music for the Seasons (i.e. recommendations for our Sundays of Advent, recommendations for our Sundays of Lent, recommendations for Triduum Liturgies, etc). Those are just some of the examples. I’ve done workshops very recently on vocal production, basic vocal production as well.

The best way to get a hold of me is really through my Office of Worship here. It is very simple: rlopez@archgh.org

Great! We’ll put that in the Show Notes too, so there will be a link.

I’d appreciate that.

As we wrap up, could you close with some words of encouragement? Maybe there is a minister listening that is frustrated or hit a wall in ministry, or all of this bridge building is just exhausting, what could you say to encourage them?

What I would encourage them to do is don’t give up. Don’t give up! If it is deep within your heart, and that God has called you to do this. It is in your heart to do it, and to do it using the best of God’s gifts that He gave to you to do it. And to go find the material, go find the people to help you as much as possible because they are out there. Now, having said that, it does take a little bit of effort, some work, some time, and even some research.

I will say this to you, Patti. Today more than an ever, there are more resources for our ministers on all sides than there ever have been. We need more stuff published. We need more stuff that is multimedia. Today more than ever, it is out there. Don’t get discouraged. Get on the internet, go find it. Call somebody or ask for references. Call your local archdiocesan office. Go to the publishers. They are very good resources. Tell them what you are looking for and what you need. Most of the time, they are going to send you at least in the right direction. Especialmente nuestros ministros de la comunidad Latina, we don’t turn down anybody. We find a way that we can help because we know how hard it is out there. Nobody should ever be discouraged, but it does take a little bit of effort.

Alright, thank you. Before we go, can you please close in prayer for all of those who serve the Church.

In the name of Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Lord God, help me to feel free enough to let go and to pursue and to never give up.

But to let You take over my life. Take over my ministry. Take over this that You have put in my heart.

To accept Your presence in my life. Transform my ego to give away to humble service and set free my self-consciousness, my concerns, my timidity, lighten my worry and need to control outcomes.

Accept my prayer. Help me to accept You and the graces of the Holy Spirit that I ask for today.

Send me the gift of breath that I may greet with joy the Spirit which I know is singing deep within my heart and in my mind.

In all this in Jesus name we pray.


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Dr. Rick, for coming on and sharing your expertise with us. I really appreciate it.

You’re very welcome, Patti. Thank you for the invitation.

Que Dios la bendiga.


What a great interview with Dr. Rick!

Before I conclude with the takeaways, I want to review the rubrics from the 3rd Roman Missal for each of the liturgies of the Triduum. These come straight from the introductory texts. And they are identical in the Spanish version of the Roman Missal for the United States.

Holy Thursday – The Ordinary may approve additional liturgies where a pastoral reason requires it.

Good Friday – The Bishop may approve additional liturgies if the size or nature of the parish indicates the pastoral need.

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil – “Of this night’s Vigil, which is the greatest and most noble of all solemnities, there is to be only one celebration in each church.” There is no pastoral exception or alternative stated.

Here are some of the key takeaways for today’s episode:

  1. First thing’s first, recognize your parish reality. Sometimes we like to stick our head in the sand, or before we even realize it the face of our parish family has changed and we’re still doing ministry exactly like we were before. We talk a lot in this show about the see-judge-act methodology of pastoral planning. So, the first step is to take a careful look at where you are now.
  2. The second movement of see-judge-act is judge. Like Dr. Rick says, it’s time to ask: “Are we really doing what God has asked us to do? Is this consistent with the Gospel?” If we see we could be doing better, where are the places we could improve? Dr. Rick suggests formation for the pastoral leadership of a parish. If you download the Cheat Sheet “Preparing your Parish for a Bilingual Mass” you’ll see a summary of the process he recommended and many resources to help with this formation stage. Be sure to reach out to your diocesan or archdiocesan Liturgy office as well to find out what resources and guidance are available locally.
  3. Now it’s time to act. Determine where you’d like to go as a parish family and start taking even just baby steps to help get there. Like Dr. Rick suggested, start outside of liturgy first – consider ways to unite the parish family through social activities, formation opportunities, leadership positions and other ministries outside the liturgy. Little by little, start incorporating the different languages into each of the regular Masses on occasion, which is good for awareness, creating a common repertoire and for practice.
  4. Pull a team together. Once you’ve discerned as a leadership team that you would like to have a bilingual Mass, pull together a planning team and personally invite members so that all of the cultural and language groups of the parish are represented. Use the decisions that came out of the formation step to help guide the discussion. On the Cheat Sheet in the Show Notes, you’ll find a list of things this team will need to consider. In the next episode, we will go into more of the detailed guidance for how to incorporate the two languages and cultures into each part of the Mass.
  5. Yes, it is worth it. I know at St. Michael’s where I worked for 11 years, it has taken us a long time to work toward integrating the parish both inside and outside the liturgy. Although there is always room to grow, I have to say that I believe our bilingual Triduum celebration is the highlight of the liturgical year. It is a lot of work for all those involved in the planning and celebration, but all that work is worth it. When bilingual Masses are done well, they are a beautiful sign of our parish family being part of the one Body of Christ. So, don’t give up! Start taking baby steps. Like Dr. Rick says, get out there and track down the help you need.

I hope you found this episode helpful for your ministry and that you’ll join us for part two where we will get into the more practical tips and guidance for planning the liturgy itself, the music, worship guides, scripts, etc. Please take a moment to share these episodes with other ministers who they can help. We’ve done our best to help ministers find everything they need in one place.

I also invite you to join our Gente Puente Facebook where I’ll be sharing some of the scripts and worship guides that I created for our bilingual Triduum celebration at St. Michael’s that you can use as a model. We’ll also be compiling any other resources that our members share on this topic. So come check it out at www.facebook.com/groups/gentepuente today!

And lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the Gente Puente podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss any future episode!

Thanks for listening today. May God bless you and your ministry as gente puente!

35 episodes available. A new episode about every 10 days averaging 42 mins duration .