Please note, these will be updated in the near future to better reflect our new public and accessible location in Cedar Park.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before Your First Visit
Which edition or translation of the Mass do we pray?
As a community of creedal Catholic faith, in the Western hemisphere, we celebrate Holy Mass using the Roman Rite handed down by our Catholic ancestors. In order to maintain unity in prayer, with our Roman Catholic siblings, we pray using the Roman Missal, Third Edition. The Third Edition faithfully follows the Novus Ordo Mass, as set down by Pope Paul VI during Vatican II, while invoking more precise biblical language, emphasizing the divine relationship of God to humanity, restoring theologically rich language, increasing the use of inclusive terms for humanity, and fostering Catholic unity through better faithfulness to the various Missal translations around the world.
It should be noted that every edition of the Mass is a theological, liturgical, spiritual, historical, political, and academic pursuit. There will always be differences of opinion regarding translations of the Holy Mass, regardless of the rite or vernacular language. All Catholics, of any tradition, should be careful of the illusion of a perfect edition of the Mass, each edition contains strengths and weaknesses.
Holy Name of Mary joyfully chooses to use the Roman Missal, Third Edition, joining in the same words as millions of Catholics. Our Communion of Synodal Catholic Churches allows for several venerable and orthodox traditions of the Mass to be used by the local community in agreement with their bishop. We are extremely grateful for all inclusive Catholic communities regardless of their chosen Missal edition or rite. In our shared Eucharist and apostolic teaching, we are all bound together as one.
Let us consider the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who reminds us what is most important: “The culmination of the Mass is not the consecration, but Communion.” All our human language pales in comparison, to that sacred moment, when we each draw near and receive Our Eucharistic Lord, extravagantly offered to us by Himself, the Blessed Mother, and the Hosts of Heaven.
Are music settings used in the Mass?
Yes, and no. As our community is in its infancy, we are seeking faithful individuals who can help lead the sung parts of the Mass. Interestingly, the Third Edition of the Mass restores a rich poetic language to the liturgy, thereby encouraging that it be sung. If you have the skills to learn a basic Mass setting and then lead others with your strong voice, please talk to Father. We may sing a selection of hymns a capella at certain liturgies. If you have the ability to lead hymns, please talk to Father.
Should I stand or kneel during the Liturgy of the Eucharist?
Historically the faithful always stood during the Consecration during Mass on Sundays, as each Sunday is considered a ‘little Easter.’ During other weekday liturgies, kneeling was practiced. The Orthodox Church, in many locations, maintains such kneeling practices to this day. Over time, due to lower attendance at Mass outside of Sundays, the Western Catholic Church began to direct the faithful to kneel every day, including Sundays.
In our community, we invite you to practice either of these venerable traditions. You may stand or you may kneel, as the Missalette directs. We understand that kneeling can be very uncomfortable, if not painful, for many. You are encouraged to use your gift of Christian freedom to decide how to express your adoration to God during the Mass.
Why does the priest face the altar, with the people,
during the Liturgy of the Eucharist?
The simple answer would be - space! As you can see, our chapel is a very small room and an ‘away from the wall’ altar is not feasible, if we wish to have room for the faithful to attend and pray.
We do encourage you to cherish this way of experiencing the Mass and discover its own inherent beauty. Throughout 2,000 years of liturgical history, the celebrant has often prayed with the people, facing in their same direction toward God. While modern cultural norms may cause this practice to feel cold or distant, the reality is more complex. In humility, the priest joins the people, as one of them, lessening the possibility for the celebrant to fall into the trap of performing instead of praying. This venerable practice also encourages the focus of the people beyond the priest and to the miracle of the Blessed Sacrament. Rest assured, you aren’t missing anything other the priest glancing at the Missal for the words that have been forgotten.
As our community grows and obtains a larger space, Father will very happily serve Mass facing the faithful for our Sunday morning celebrations, as affirmed by Vatican II. If the community should desire, we may continue to serve some weekday Mass with the priest facing the altar, which is still a welcomed practice of the Roman Rite. Your voice counts in our community of faith! We are synodal!
Why do we say, “Lord, I am not worthy...”
before receiving Holy Communion?
Understandably, many Catholics are unsure of referring to themselves as unworthy. The Catholic faith clearly teaches us that “the divine image is present in every [person]” (Catechism, 1702). In faith, we know “we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). Yet, for centuries Christians have repeated the words of a Roman Centurion found in Matthew 8:8, as he humbly, yet boldly, pleads for the healing of his servant.
It is important to first remember the context of this prayer of humility and preparation. After the Holy Spirit has transformed the gifts on the altar into the Body and Blood of Christ, the priest shows the Blessed Sacrament to the people and proclaims: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world, blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” The priest, with the people, then pray together: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof....” The moment Our Eucharistic Lord is revealed to us, the very moment before we receive Incarnate God, we cannot help but acknowledge our broken humanity, our struggles, our weaknesses, our doubts, and our fears. Upon beholding Christ, who is perfect love, we see within ourselves our lack of love and sacrifice.
However, we do not remain in this place of concern, for we embrace the greater promise of our faith, and we quickly finish by praying: “... but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” We know, in spite of our sins and the obstacles we build between ourselves and God, Christ has healed us, is healing us, and will heal us as we enter into eternal life.
One of the greatest mysteries, or paradoxes, of our faith is the abundant mercy of God in spite of our actions. In this simple prayer we acknowledge how completely reliant we are upon Our Lord. We recognize the paradox that we are unworthy but are worthy, through the healing mercy of Christ. The moment has arrived, we are to be healed anew by the Blessed Sacrament entering under the roof of our bodies! Our concerns of unworthiness last but a moment; instead, we claim and accept the healing promise of Christ as we walk to the altar. Let us not forget St. John the Baptist, the greatest among all men according to Christ, who said: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” and claimed “whose sandal strap I am unworthy to untie” (John 1:27&29).
As a diverse Catholic community, it may intrigue some to learn that many biblical scholars believe the Roman Centurion was seeking healing for his intimate partner. When he says, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant shall be healed,” he is likely speaking of a male lover who is extremely important to him. If this is the case, then Catholics around the world repeat, at every Mass, the words of what we might, today, call a gay person. With the Centurion, no matter our personal sexuality, we believe and profess that Christ shall offer healing in the Eucharist. A prayer that may feel archaic may just offer some of the greatest hope and promise to those who have been ostracized by the Church. Christ our Lord shall heal all who ask, no matter their state of worthiness, no matter who they are, it has no bearing, if they only dare approach. The story ends with Christ telling the Centurion: “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you” (Matt. 8:13). The Centurion returns home to embrace his healed servant with the affirming love of Christ!
Always remember, you have Christian freedom to only pray those words which your conscience allows you. We affirm this God given right for all Catholics.
Who may receive Holy Communion?
Our community warmly invites all of Mary’s children, who genuinely recognize and seek Christ’s Body and Blood, to partake of Holy Communion regardless of life journey, gender or gender expression, sexuality, or marital status. We believe your diversity is the marvel of God! We take very seriously the words of St. Paul in Romans 15:7, “Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” You are welcome to pray and commune with God in this chapel, we affirm your dignity and the love God has especially for you.
While we joyfully practice extravagant Eucharistic hospitality, we do encourage you to consider entering into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation. If you want to learn more about becoming a Catholic, talk to Father after Mass today and get started on your journey!
How do I receive Holy Communion?
You may partake of Holy Communion standing, as is the norm in the Roman Rite, receiving the Host in your hands or on your tongue. You also have the Christian freedom to kneel, as in past venerable traditions. Please receive the Chalice by firmly grasping the handle and taking a small sip. You may choose to receive the Host alone, the fullness of Our Eucharistic Lord is there.
Why do we offer a prayer to the Virgin after the Mass?
The people of God, throughout the centuries, have tarried after the Mass to offer prayers of thanksgiving and to remain in the presence of Our Eucharistic Lord and close to Our Lady. In some centuries, such prayers have been highly encouraged or even mandatory according to certain hierarchy. Since Vatican II very few parishes have practiced such prayers, often only the priest offering a private prayer on behalf of all. As a community founded first on prayer, we have chosen to take just a few extra moments to glorify God by honoring our patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and ask for her intercessions.
Let us once again consider the words of St. Kolbe: “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Thank you for joining us in this sacred moment when we fulfill Our Lady’s prophecy, “all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).
Is there anything else I might like to know?
We are so glad you asked. If the priest is using a Waterford (crystal) chalice and paten, you will be receiving Holy Communion from vessels privately blessed by Pope Francis in the Holy See! These were a gift to Father Daniel from a dear Roman priest colleague and friend.
The chapel is honored to have two first class relics: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Paul, the Apostle. These may or may not be on display for veneration and viewing. If they are not, feel free to ask Father to bring a relic to you, for veneration, after Mass.
If you are curious about any of the art in the chapel, just ask Father for more information.