The Office of Worship serves the Archbishop of San Francisco and the Archdiocese by providing leadership, support, and information services regarding matters pertaining to liturgy, prayer and worship, particularly to ordained and lay ministers in parishes and other Catholic communities.
The Office is responsible for advising clergy, religious, and lay ministers in matters of liturgical norms, practices, and related pastoral issues, preparing Archdiocesan Liturgies such as Ordinations, the Chrism Mass, Rite of Election, Archdiocesan Confirmations and other large celebrations and rites, providing workshops, classes, and programs regarding liturgy and public prayer, Serving the Archdiocesan Worship Commission and its committees
How can we help you?
Worship Office Training
Holy Days of Obligation 2022
In the dioceses of the United States, the principal rituals in the Order of Christian Funerals are the Vigil for the Deceased, The Funeral Mass, and the Rite of Christian Burial. The Funeral Mass is the central liturgy of the Christian funeral in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The Eucharist is the heart of the Paschal reality of Christian death (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1689). In the celebration of the Eucharist, the Church most perfectly expresses her communion with those who have died. The celebration of the Eucharist at the funeral is an opportunity for the community of the faithful, and for the family, to “learn to live in communion with the one who has ‘fallen asleep in the Lord,’ by communicating the Body of Christ of which he is a living member and, then, by praying for him and with him” (CCC #1689).
The Catholic community wishes to stand with the family and friends in this difficult time. Please contact your parish to discuss funeral arrangements. The parish will assist you in the process of planning and celebrating the funeral Liturgy (and/or the Vigil service) of your loved one.
Our Catholic funeral rites are intended to bring hope and consolation to the living, while proclaiming and witnessing our faith in the Resurrection. Christian hope faces the reality of death and the anguish of grief but trusts in God’s mercy and victory over death. Our funeral rites strive to meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis as well as pray for the deceased.
“Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.”
(1316, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition)
Most parishes and schools within the Archdiocese have a process for preparing young adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Confirmation Mass takes place either in the parish church, or with other parishes throughout the Archdiocese at the Cathedral.
The Cathedral Confirmation is scheduled by the Office of Worship and the Office of the Archbishop for some time in the early Easter Season each year. Registration takes place through the parishes.
Adults who did not receive the Sacrament of Confirmation but wish to be Confirmed in order to complete their Sacraments of Initiation may do so through two Confirmation Masses held at the Cathedral:
– On Pentecost Weekend (May 23, 2021)
On the Saturday Vigil for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
(November 20, 2021)
If a person is fully prepared for the Sacrament according to their pastor, their parish may register them directly with the Office of Worship through documents sent out approximately a month before the date of the Confirmation.
The Office of Faith Formation offers classes a few weeks before the date of the Confirmation for those adults who wish to be Confirmed but who need additional instruction beforehand.
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”
(1601, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition)
Couples desiring a Catholic wedding should contact their parish no later than six months prior to the desired date. Parishes will ensure that couples have proper formation, preparation, and that all requirements are met.
The Order of Celebrating Matrimony is the ritual book used for Matrimony celebrated within and Outside of a full Mass.
Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition
Following a process of many years, an English translation of the Order for Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition was approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. Below are several key facts regarding this new ritual, which has been mandatory in the United States since December 30, 2016.
While the basic overall structure of the rite remains the same in this new edition, there are a number of interesting modifications:
The Introduction (praenotanda) is much longer and includes some good theological background and data;
There are additional options given for some parts of the rite such as the procession, the admonition to the couple and congregation, the reception of the consent, and the consent of the couple;
There are further clarifications on parts of the mass and Eucharistic Prayer intercessions when the sacrament takes place within mass;
There are now a sample of the Prayers of the Faithful, a blessing of an engaged couple, and a blessing of a couple at Mass on their wedding anniversary;
The book also includes official English translations of the blessing and giving of coins (aras) and the blessing and imposition of the cord/lasso and/or the veil.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is for non-baptized persons or persons baptized in another Christian religion who wish to join the Roman Catholic Church.
Most parishes have a process by which a team of the faithful guide and instruct those exploring Catholicism.
The Office of Worship is responsible for consulting with the parishes on the parts of the RCIA which take place within the parishes, as well as organizing the Rite of Election which takes place at the Cathedral for the entire Archdiocese.
A summary of the RCIA, written as an introduction to the rituals themselves, can be found below.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully.
This rite includes not simply the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist, but also all the rites belonging to the catechumenate. Endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church, a catechumenate that would be suited to contemporary missionary activity in all regions was so widely requested that the Second Vatican Council decreed its restoration, revision, and adaptation to local traditions.
Structure of the Initiation of Adults
The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. By joining the catechumens in reflecting on the value of the paschal mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously.
The rite of initiation is suited to a spiritual journey of adults that varies according to the many forms of God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place.
This journey includes not only the periods for making inquiry and for maturing, but also the steps marking the catechumens’ progress, as they pass, so to speak, through another doorway or ascend to the next level.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Introduction. ©1985, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL).
HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION
The following brief description of Holy Days of Obligation in the dioceses of the United States of America is designed to provide some clarification. (Excerpted and adapted from the NCCB Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, Volume XXXII, Sept. 1997.)
- December 8 (The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is always a day of obligation, except in years when December 8 falls on Sunday and the solemnity is observed on December 9.
- December 25 (The Nativity of the Lord/Christmas) is always a day of obligation.
- January 1 (Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God),
- August 15 (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and
- November 1 (Solemnity of All Saints) are days of obligation only when they fall on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- The Ascension of the Lord is observed on the Seventh Sunday of Easter for our Metropolitan Province as approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmed by the Congregation for Bishops.
Worship Office Training
Lay Liturgical Ministers in the Archdiocese are required to undergo sufficient training in their ministry so that they understand the theology of their call and the practicalities of their ministry.
The Office of Worship offers courses in each county at least once a year which discuss the Theology of the Eucharist as well as practical matters for Readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the Sick and Homebound.
Persons who complete the two-day course are certified to serve in any parish within the Archdiocese of San Francisco for three years.
Additionally, at the request of the pastor, a member of the Office of Worship staff will be happy to go to a parish to assist the parish ministers in a renewal and/or instruction in a number of ministries, including:
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the Sick and Homebound
- Choir Members
- Liturgy Committees
All ministers must contact their parish to receive the approval of their pastor before they can be certified.