Published January 9, 2014
ATLANTA—The New Year offers a new opportunity to come together for a charismatic vigil Mass, celebrated by Father Tim Hepburn.
The priest, who has been active in the Catholic charismatic renewal for many years, will celebrate the Mass on Saturday evening, Jan. 18, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Briarcliff Road in Atlanta. The Mass begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by an opportunity to receive individual prayer. It will end at 9 p.m.
Father Hepburn said a quote in a letter on liturgy of Blessed Pope John Paul II, entitled “Spiritus et Sponsa” (“The Spirit and the Bride”) “reawakened within me the desire to schedule a Mass for the people, on a regular basis, during which the charismatic dimension of our faith is encouraged.”
The pope wrote: “Pastors have the indispensable task of educating in prayer and more especially of promoting liturgical life, entailing a duty of discernment and guidance. This should not be seen as an uncompromising attitude that is incompatible with the need of Christian souls to abandon themselves to the action of God’s Spirit, who intercedes in us and ‘for us with sighs too deep for words.’”
Father Hepburn said, “Sharing the awareness of Blessed Pope John Paul II, that Christian souls have a need to ‘abandon themselves to the action of God’s Spirit’ within the liturgy, we find a good reason for a charismatic expression of the Mass. While preserving the integrity and rubrics of the rite, at this Mass we will try to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit through times of praise, jubilation and receptivity to the Spirit’s gifts. Healing prayer and prayer ministry will follow the Mass.”
The Mass is open to all. Participants in Atlanta Catholic Charismatic Renewal, as well as young people who have experienced praise and worship, Life Teen, Steubenville Youth Conferences, or XLT are welcome. Young adults, married or single, college and university students, organizations like Atlanta Catholic Singles, On the Deck, Spirit and Truth, Dinner Doctrine and Draft, and others are encouraged to attend, as are all the movements of the Church, he said.
Father Hepburn added, “Though the primary language of this Mass will be English, it would be a blessing to see members of Renovacion Carismatica Catolica Hispana Atlanta, Comunidade de Cancao Nova, as well as Haitian, Vietnamese, Francophone and other prayer groups in attendance.”