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Church Etiquette

Thank you for sharing in the liturgy at St. Paul Catholic Church. As we gather to worship, we strive as a faith community and as a family of believers to engage in celebrations which 1) foster prayer, 2) preserve the sacredness of our liturgies, and 3) ensure the comfort of all those who are gathered. Please observe the simple church etiquette provided here and regard these important points as gentle reminders. Thank you for practicing these courtesies and offering your humble respect as we honor and praise God, while also extending the appropriate kindness to our pastor and each other.

Arriving on Time: Please make every attempt to be on time. Spiritually, this allows time to quiet our hearts before worship. Practically, an early arrival allows adequate time for finding seats and parking. With regard to seating, please recognize that in those unavoidable circumstances of tardiness, ushers will assist you in finding seats. Your patience is appreciated as there are periods of the liturgy when ushers refrain from seating to minimize disruptions. A full church is a blessing. Your presence and participation impart a special grace to our commmunity that suffers when members -- friends and family -- are absent from the assembly. 

The Final Blessing and Recessional: Please remain at your seats through the final blessing and song, and depart only after the pastor and altar servers have recessed out of the church. Leaving church before the dismissal disregards an important part of the Liturgy. At the dismissal, we celebrate our commission as set forth by Jesus Christ himself. Jesus' last words to his disciples were "Therefore, go out and make disciples of all nations......And behold, I am with you until the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20. Our liturgy has a beginning ("In the name of the Father....") and an end ("Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord....."). Please consider the significance of all aspects of the liturgy, including songs, greetings and blessings, which commence and close the celebration with beauty and meaning. Our attention and intention to worship and praise throughout the liturgy should be thoughtful and prayerful rather than hurried and restless. Allow the necessary time for worship and enjoy this time -- fellowship and thanksgiving for God's precious gifts equip us to go forth in the week ahead to serve the Lord. 

Proper Attire: In all areas of our lives, we hope to offer Christ our best. The same is true regarding how we prepare ourselves and present ourselves to join in the celebration of the liturgy. While attire has become increasingly casual, please be mindful of whether clothing is appropriate and respectful -- are we offering our best to Christ? Meetings with special people and gatherings for special occasions usually warrant significant attention to our dress and appearance. Attending liturgy is no different. 

Caring for Our Children: Worship as a family allows parents and elders the best opportunity to hand down the faith and model appropriate behavior in God's house. It is a beautiful and bonding experience to care and nurture our children in their spiritual development. Sometimes, however, parents of young children and infants struggle with how best to respond in those inevitable situations when a child cannot be comforted and cries excessively. If this occurs, it is best to care for your children's needs by stepping into the vestibule, or even outside for fresh air, until the child is quiet and comfortable again. 

Phones & Pagers: Please remember to turn off all cell phones and pagers before entering the church. Liturgy is designed to allow us to focus wholly on God in worship and praise. Phones, pagers, electronic devices, and toys that make sounds or noises are distractions from this purpose. Do not make or answer calls in the church while a liturgical celebration is going on. 

About the Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is an enrichment for good marriages which focuses on communication between husband and wife. The Marriage Encounter Weekend allows a couple to spend a weekend away from the distractions of everyday life, to concentrate on each other. It is not a retreat nor marriage clinic nor group sensitivity session. It is a unique approach aimed at revitalizing marriage. The Weekend teaches a communication technique which helps each couple to explore important areas of their relatioinship in a spirit of love and understanding. Continuing this at home allows husbands and wives to continually grow closer and to live more joyful and purposeful lives. For more information contact Alex and MaryAnn at 316.682.2616 or visit the website at www.wwmeks.org.

Coping

For those suffering from the loss of a spouse due to death, divorce or separation, life is anything but normal. One begins to think "I am alone", "No one knows or cares how I feel", but you are not alone and someone does care. Others who have felt what you are feeling now stand ready to help. COPING is an eight-week program based on the five stages of grief and is offered to those who have suffered the loss of a spouse through death, divorce or separation. It is led by people who  have suffered their own loss, yet recognize that each person's experience is unique. Coping sessions are held at the Spiritual Life Center in North Wichita on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. For more information email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Kathy at 316.688.5661 or 316.305.9808.

Courage/Encourage

COURAGE is a spiritual support group for men and women with same-sex attraction who desire to live chaste lives in accord with authentic Church teaching. ENCOURAGE is a spiritual support group for families and friends of persons who struggle with same-sex attraction. For more information on either of these programs, please contact spiritual director Fr. John Brungardt at 316.269.3900 and mention "COURAGE" or "ENCOURAGE". Confidentiality is assured. Let us trust in our Loving Lord for guidance. 

A Better Choice

When choosing a charity for your stewardship support, please consider A Better Choice and help us offer a small gift of hope. We always need formula, pacifiers, sleepers (size 0-3 months), soft cuddle toys and first class postage stamps. Your financial gift, in any amount, will go directly to helping young women and saving lives of God's most precious babies. A Better Choice, 3007 East Central, Wichita, KS 67214. Phone: 316.685.5757. Website: pregnancywichita.com

Once Catholic

For those who've been estranged from the Catholic Church, but long to return to full participation in the sacraments, call Father Dan. Visit www.oncecatholic.org for information.
 
Quinceanera

In the Latin community, the quinceanera is a significant celebration that honors a girl's 15th birthday and her transition into womanhood. The word "Quinceanera" comes from the Spanish word "quince" for fifteen and "anos" which means years. When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in 1521 and both native and Catholic traditions came together, the age of 15 became a time of decision for young women. The young quinceanera was required to make a choice: to devote her life to the church or to marry.

Like most celebrations, the extent to which the Quinceanera is celebrated has as much to do with social class and family status as the individual wishes of the birthday girl. But there are some aspects that are common to all Quinceaneras. The Quinceanera has two parts -- the Mass and the fiesta -- and both events are filled with symbolic moments. For the ceremony in the church, the fifteen year old girl most of the times comes with seven to eight young couples, symbolizing the number fifteen. Two little children are chosen to carry the pillows. The boy carries a pillow with the shoes, her first high heels, and the little girl carries a heart-shaped pillow with the crown.

The most symbolic act during the Quinceanera is the changing of the shoes. The girl's father switches her shoes, from the flats she arrived in, to the high heels she will leave in. At the fiesta, the father dances with his daughter and then the mother takes her and dances with her until they get to the make-believe throne. The mother puts the crown on her head, and when the girl is sitting, the father comes and takes off her sandals and puts on the high heels and they proceed to dance again.

There are many ways to celebrate a quinceanera. No matter which way is chosen to celebrate, the day generally includes almost all of the following common aspects: a religious ceremony, a beautiful dress, a court of young gentlemen to escort her, a large party -- formal or informal -- lots of family, friends, food, dancing and always a first waltz with her father. 

 

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