Votive Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life

Kudos to the U.S. bishops for (finally) approving a new votive Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life. 

(Feel free to avoid the National Catholic Reporter article on the topic, not because the article is bad, but because so many of the (we’ll use the adjective disappointing, to be charitable) comments could make you bang your head against a wall.  “Are we trying to convince God to join the anti-abortion cause?” one asks.  Yeah, that’s what “thanksgiving for the gift of human life” means.) 

Votive Masses are celebrated on weekdays (never Sundays, unless the local bishop gives permission for some particular reason) at the discretion of the presiding priest.  I very much look forward to seeing the actual texts, which haven’t been made available yet, as far as I can tell.  But the standard parts of a votive Mass would be:

— a particular entrance antiphon

— opening prayer

— specially chosen Scripture readings

— a prayer over the gifts

— a preface of the Eucharistic Prayer

— and a closing prayer.

As the CNS article notes, it’s one more aspect of the great pro-life legacy of Cardinal John O’Connor.  (Did you notice how many times Cardinal O’Connor’s words were quoted, by the way, when Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, was killed recently?  I saw his words condemning such actions quoted in several fairly prominent places.  Here and here, for example.  And the guy’s been dead nine years.) 

Sidenote: A couple of years ago, I spent many months of intense and very interesting work researching and writing a biography of Cardinal O’Connor.  To my amazement and befuddlement, I found no publishers or agents interested in it.  The Catholic publishers I contacted told me biographies don’t sell well, and the secular publishers/agents I contacted told me I don’t have a significant enough “platform” (in others words, I’m not well-known enough as an author).  And so the large pile of material I gathered sits in a box; I imagine one day I’ll donate the most significant of it (such as the dozens of interviews with people who knew him during the various stages of his very interesting life) to the archives of the New York archdiocese.  Maybe next year, on the tenth anniversary of his death, I’ll post some of that material here.

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