Diocesan Liturgical Guidelines and Advice

In response to needs and requests from our parishes, the Diocesan Liturgy Council offers pastoral guidance and liturgical resources as follows: 
COMMUNION RITE GUIDANCE

In the latter part of 2019 the Diocesan Liturgy Council hosted a series of gatherings that engaged in a process of ‘Listening and Dialogue’ about the new document Pastoral Guidance for the Celebration of the Communion Rite at Mass. The initial document has been revised in light of those conversations. The Second Edition, which replaces the previous version, is available here for download.

Holy Communion and Coeliac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

COVID-19: FROM PANDEMIC TO ENDEMIC

Mandatory self-isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 ceased on 14 October 2022. The government has indicated that it is time to move beyond restrictions imposed on the whole community to empower and respect the choice of the individual. It is time therefore to remove the current COVID liturgical and pastoral advice and guidelines for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle – Continuing Life during COVID-19_ the New Normal Edition published 25 February 2022 – effective from 14 October 2022.

Moving liturgy forward from restriction

The Diocesan Liturgy Council has prepared a Memo inviting communities to reimagine their liturgy life so that the liturgy can be celebrated in all its fullness and beauty. View the memo for download.

LITURGICAL GUIDANCE FOR WHEN THE BISHOP, VICAR GENERAL OR THE BISHOP'S DELEGATE IS PRESIDING

For some years a range of people have asked for a document that provides some guidance for when the Bishop is coming to their community and presiding at a liturgy. The Diocesan Liturgy Council and College of Assistant Masters of Ceremonies have been drafting such a document for some time in conversation with parishes. Below is the second edition with minor revisions from conversation with Bishop Michael Kennedy. This remains a living document and will be constantly updated in response to experience and feedback.

ORDER OF CHRISTIAN FUNERALS - ANZAC TRIBUTE

In response to enquiries over several years, especially from priests from overseas, we have prepared a template which may assist with organising the ‘Final Commendation’ of the Funeral Mass or Liturgy when the deceased is a veteran and there is an RSL tribute. Below is the template outlining how the liturgy would flow when this Tribute takes place. It is available as a Microsoft Word document so you can download it and add it to your Order of Service or just have it in a folder as may be most helpful to you. You can read the ‘RSL Policy and Ritual’ on which the template is based. If you have any questions please contact our diocesan Manager Worship and Prayer.

PASTORAL GUIDANCE - ALLERGIES AND SACRED OILS

The Diocesan Liturgy Council has worked with Bishop Michael Kennedy to prepare the following Pastoral Guidance and support documents for parishes when they are approached by families concerned about a possible allergic reaction to the Sacred Oils. 

The 'Medical Letter Template', as referenced in the guidance document, has been sent to parishes in communication from Bishop Michael and is available from the Office of Worship and Prayer on request.

PASTORAL GUIDANCE FOR CONFIRMATION

Review of Confirmation pastoral guidance

Our diocesan pastoral guidance document issued 2017 for the preparation and celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation is in need of review, due to its intended 3-year 2020 review being sidelined by COVID. We invite all who participate in Confirmation preparation and celebration to read the following document and complete the Review Questionnaire contained within.

Guidelines

Our DoMN Confirmation Guidelines inform our pastoral practice regarding the preparation and celebration of confirmation and first communion in relation to confirmation. It is good formation for sacramental teams to revisit the guidelines every year.

Templates and Forms

The following resources have been updated in response to ongoing feedback from parishes and further updating will take place now a new Bishop has been appointed. Please always use the updated templates here. You can copy text across from your existing copies.

  • DoMN Alternative Rites - Presentation of Symbols and simplified Baptismal Promises: Word doc and PDF version (updated 2023)
  • DoMN Confirmation Advice Form: Word doc. This form is to be used if you are preparing a Master Order of Service.
  • DoMN Confirmation Advice Form and Liturgy Outlines: Word doc. This form is to be used if you are NOT preparing a Master Order of Service. Please note that presiders tend to prefer a Master Order of Service.
  • DOMN Template 1 – Order of Confirmation without Mass with the bishop presiding: Word doc. (updated 2023)
  • DOMN Template 2 – Order of Confirmation within Mass with the bishop presiding: Word doc. (updated 2023)
  • DOMN Template 3 – Order of Confirmation without Mass with a priest presiding: Word doc. (updated 2023)
  • DOMN Template 4 – Order of Confirmation within Mass with a priest presiding: Word doc. (updated 2023)

Supporting documents

The guidance document 'When the Bishop, Vicar General or the Bishop's delegate is presiding' will also help those preparing the celebration of confirmation, especially if the person is new to this ministry.

As a supplement to this guidance document, in response to many suggestions and requests for more support, The College of Assistant Master of Ceremonies has prepared a Checklist for parishes that covers all the things to be done in the two weeks between finalising the Master Order of Service and Celebrating the Liturgy. The document is self explanatory.

PASTORAL GUIDANCE FOR THE RITE OF BAPTISM FOR CHILDREN

The ever evolving rich diversity of family life in Australia sometimes presents parishes with a range pastoral challenges, particularly when families seek to have young children/infants baptised. Over recent years this has led to an increasing number of enquires both to the Bishop’s Office and the Office Worship and Prayer. In response to requests for some written guidance, the Diocesan Liturgy Council has revised and updated a 2013 document on baptism. The revised document is provided here to support parishes in this area of pastoral and liturgical life and ministry.

PRACTICE NOTES

The following Practice Notes are offered by the Diocesan Liturgy Council in response to questions raised regarding specific liturgical practices.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS - GUIDANCE WHEN THINGS GET TRICKY

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is one of the most flexible rites of the church, designed to meet those seeking Christian initiation or full communion where they are, and to shape a personal journey that leads them into deeper relationship with Christ and membership of the Catholic Church.

There are some points where things can get tricky, and a specific response is required. One such point is if a catechumen who is ready for baptism at Easter is unable to participate in the Diocesan Rite of Election. In such cases the parish leader is required to follow the procedure outline here.