On Sundays now and until further notice, we will be holding Mass in-person and via Livestream. The Livestream Mass is at 11:00 AM, with an organ prelude at 10:50. There are special social distancing protocols now in place indefinitely for in-person worship and at all times when visiting the Church.
“Those who carry God in their hearts bear Heaven with them wherever they go.”
St. Ignatius Loyola
The Liturgical Year
By means of the yearly liturgical cycle, we commemorate the historical events by which Christ Jesus won our salvation through his death and Resurrection— but more than that, the liturgical year possesses a distinct sacramental power and efficacy to strengthen Christian life. Here are the various “seasons” of the liturgical year, and the ways our Parish community celebrates them.
-- Parishioner Tom Paolino
"Hearing the singing and seeing all the beauty in marble and mosaics, and the children, and experiencing the community spirit of being there, in person, is very moving. I love the livestreams but it's also great now to have the option to worship safely in person. There is a lot of stuff to the live experience that gets missed virtually."
Advent and Christmas
Advent is derived from the Latin word that means “coming.” It is during this four-week period that we journey into joyful preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Advent highlights hope and joy, with festive celebrations, as we wait with delight for the coming of the Lord.
The Advent season is a special time at St. Ignatius Loyola, a time of joyful and devout expectation. Among the many worship activities that are planned every year, the Sunday Masses are central and are especially solemn. We participate in the Archdiocesan Day of Recollection, with priests available throughout the day for confessions. Our students also have Reconciliation Services adapted for their ages. Lectio Divina is offered weekly. Our service programs are at their busiest, with toy drives and food drives, and our cherished Christmas Angels project, in which parishioners provide gifts for a parish selected by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. And the community joy accompanies and enlivens us all, with concerts and pageants, with cookie exchanges and festive luncheons, with caroling in the neighborhood and at homes for the elderly. A highlight of the season is the Snow Ball Dance that brings together parishioners of all ages for an evening of festive social fun.
It is on this day, the 25th of December, we remember the birth of Jesus, or “The Mass of Christ.” The Nativity story tells us that Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register their child. Since there was no room at the Inn, Jesus was born in a stable. Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior, came to Earth for all people, symbolized through the visits of the wise men and the shepherds.
St. Ignatius Loyola welcomes thousands of parishioners and visitors to our Christmas Masses. The family Mass on Christmas Eve is the most populated of the entire year. The combined seven choirs of the Parish offer two Christmas concerts to a full Parish congregation. The flowers and banners, the organ music and Christmas carols, and the Omega Dance Company, all contribute to a community rejoicing at the birth of the Savior.
Christmas at the Parish
Lent is a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing their hearts for Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent with a day of fasting and abstinence, on which Catholics receive a cross of ashes on their foreheads as a sign of our mortality and repentance. Traditionally, Lent lasts for 40 days of fasting and penitence, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, it was during this time that Jesus endured temptation by Satan. After the Temptation in the Desert, Jesus embarked upon his public ministry as teacher and healer.
The atmosphere in our Parish changes dramatically as we enter the season of Lent. The Lenten banners are put up, bare branches replace the flowers on the altar, the mosaics remain unlit. Each year, the Parish chooses a theme for all of its devotions, and the prayer services and ministry efforts reflect the theme. Weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament provides an hour of silent meditation. A Parish weekend retreat is organized outside the city. Lenten Bible study takes place, as well as Reconciliation services for the school students and young adults. A book of daily reflections is published by the Parish staff. On the 4th Sunday of Lent—Laetare Sunday—we honor a prominent person who embodies the Ignatian character to deliver the Annual Laetare Lecture. Throughout Lent, the Stations of the Cross are prayed in groups.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter and palms are distributed at Mass to commemorate the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ as his final meal with his disciples in Jerusalem. Jesus celebrated this dinner as a Passover feast and became the sacrificial lamb so all would be saved by his final sacrifice. This meal also established the Sacrament of Holy Communion. As Catholics, we believe that by partaking in Holy Communion, receiving the Body and Blood of Christ who comes to us in the form of bread and wine, we shall have eternal life. This day also commemorates the institution of the priesthood, as Jesus’ disciples went out to teach and minister to their followers.
Good Friday, Catholics are joined by all other Christians to commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Before his execution, Jesus was flogged and tormented by soldiers who crowned him with thorns, as King of the Jews. He was mandated to carry a cross, and upon arrival at Calvary, was nailed to that cross, which bore the plaque, INRI, “Jesus Nazareth, King of the Jews.” During his last few hours on the cross, darkness fell over the whole land. Jesus was given a sponge with sour wine mixed with gall, a weak, bitter painkiller. Succumbing to death, he uttered his last words, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
The season of Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday marks the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year. It is on this third day following Good Friday that Jesus’ tomb was found empty—marking his Resurrection from the dead and the triumph of good over evil, sin, and death. Easter marks the fulfillment of God’s promise to humankind, that whoever believes in God and follows Jesus’ teachings will have eternal life.
The joy of Easter is palpable and shared freely throughout our Parish. The Easter season is lived in this vibrant community with the newness of Spring. We celebrate our young graduates, attend their musical extravaganzas, and have a parish-wide treasure hunt. Our bishop comes to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. We enjoy the educational, cultural, and spiritual events that our ministries organize, from Interfaith meetings to movie nights, from panel discussions on current events to formation sessions for lay ministers. Pentecost Sunday concludes the Easter season, and we exult in the Holy Spirit!
Sundays of the Year
While Christmas and Easter highlight the Incarnation, death on the Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ— and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost—Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time take us through the life of Jesus.
Ordinary Time is seen as a time in which to live the life of Jesus and as a time of growth and maturation—a time in which the mystery of Jesus Christ is called to seep more deeply into history. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The readings on this day shows the great mystery of our faith: In the moment of his Crucifixion, Jesus is shown to be King and Savior of all.
A Note for Our Hearing-Impaired Parishioners
An Audio Induction Loop is installed in the Church, which allows those with a hearing aid equipped with a T-COIL to connect automatically with our
sound system if you are seated within the Loop area of the Church; there is no need for you to use the headsets available in the rear of the church.
The Audio Induction Loop area is located on the high pulpit side of the Church and is confined to the first twelve pews. The area can be identified by the gray rubberized strip on the floor at the end of each row of pews.
Becoming a Liturgical Minister
Lay ministers play an essential role in the liturgical celebrations of the Parish. We rely heavily on the consistent, dedicated, and prayerful service of parishioners who answer God’s call to assist the community in worship. Training and commissioning are required to serve as a liturgical minister. Please contact the Parish House at 212-288-3588 for more information.
Just as Christ gave himself on the cross to save humanity from sin, we, as Eucharistic Ministers give generously of ourselves to serve all those who come to the table of God's love. Eucharistic Ministers must be Catholic, baptized and confirmed. They assist with Communion during weekend Mass. Training and commissioning are important steps necessary to become a Eucharistic Minister.
It is through the Lector that the living Word of God becomes present in the midst of the community gathered for worship. Lectors lead the congregation in the Prayers of the Faithful, and make the Parish announcements at the beginning or end of Mass. Lectors must be Catholic, baptized and confirmed. Training and commissioning are important steps necessary to become a lector.
Altar servers help the community in their prayer and worship of God by assisting the priest at Mass. During Mass, each altar server has different responsibilities: The Thurifer handles the thurible and incense that is used during the procession into the Church and the recessional. The Crucifer's duties include carrying the processional cross at the beginning and end of Mass and holds the Roman Missal, the book with the prayers for Mass, for the priest during the Opening Prayer and the Prayer after Communion.
Christian hospitality draws people together, opens them to participation, and sets the tone for the liturgy. Ministers of Hospitality are the welcoming faces that greet parishioners and visitors to St. Ignatius Loyola as they enter the church for Masses or Concerts. They help to seat parishioners, distribute the Parish bulletins and provide check-in to parishioners at the main entrance to the Church to seat those who visit the Church to worship in person according to our safety protocols.