ILM Liturgy Track

 

Course outline

1 Sept. 20 Liturgical Leadership
2 Sept. 27 The Liturgical Books
3 Oct. 4 Designing Ritual
4 Oct. 18 Liturgy of the Word
5 Oct. 25 Liturgy of the Eucharist
6 Nov. 1 The Liturgical Year
7 Nov. 8 Liturgy and Catechesis
8 Nov. 15 Liturgy: The Good News
9
March 19 (and following)

This class will focus more on learning than on education. What’s the difference? Education emphasizes the educator as the agent of change. Learning emphasizes the person in whom change occurs or is expected to occur.

And learning is all about change. The goal of learning is to acquire new habits, knowledge, and attitudes. All of these areas of learning are essential for learning about liturgy.

True learning is also difficult. It is not difficult, necessarily, because the new habits, knowledge, and attitudes are complex. It is difficult because we feel comfortable with our current habits, knowledge, and attitudes. Acquiring new ones requires change, and change is sometimes frightening. Abraham Maslow said, “We grow forward when the delights of growth and the anxieties of safety are greater than the anxieties of growth and the delights of safety.”

For growth to be “delightful,” the individual learner has to determine where and how to grow. In adult learning, the responsibility for learning belongs much more to the student than to the teacher. Because that is so, almost everything in this course is negotiable. We will spend some time during the first session negotiating the details of the course.

Because we are part of a larger institution, the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (which itself is part of the Diocese of San José), there are few things that are not negotiable. These are the minimum requirements that must be fulfilled for this course. Most of these are in the Learning Covenant that you signed during your admission process.

  • Regular class attendance
  • Reading assignments
  • Writing assignments
  • Openness and mutual respect in the classroom
  • Participation in class discussions
The reading assignments are listed on each session page. The reading is drawn from Introduction to the Order of Mass, The Liturgy Documents, Volume One (Fifth Edition), and handouts.
You have three different options for writing. You may choose anyone of the three below. I believe the first choice is the most effective because it will facilitate your learning and also the learning of your fellow students.

  1. Option 1: Contribute a comment of at least 100 words in the online forum after each class.
    • The comment can pertain to the reading, the class discussion, or your application of the topic in your own parish.
    • I have provided idea starters on each session page to spur your thinking. You are not required to answer those specific questions.
    • A comment for each session is required before the start of the next session. If you miss a class, you are still required to comment on that week’s topic. You can use the reading material as a basis for your comments.
    • If you miss a comment deadline, you are automatically required to choose either option 2 or option 3.
    •  
      Here is a brief video that describes how the DISQUS commenting system works.
       

  2. Option 2: Write three 500-word reflection papers discussing your insights about the reading material and class discussion.
    • Due dates for papers:
      • The first paper is due before session 4
      • The second paper is due before session 6
      • The third paper is due one week after session 8.
    • If you miss any one of the deadlines, you are automatically required to do option 3.
  3. Option 3: Write a 1,600 word exposition paper, due one week after the last class. Cover these questions:
    • Why is liturgy important? (400 words)
    • What is liturgy? (400 words)
    • How can a parish improve the way it celebrates liturgy? (400 words)
    • What difference would a better celebration of liturgy make in my parish? (400 words)
The reading and writing assignments above are the bare minimum requirements for the course. For learning to be delightful, you have to create your own learning plan. Here is a helpful set of questions to help you do that. Please think about these before the first session and come prepared to discuss them with your fellow learners.

In regards to my habits, knowledge, and attitudes about liturgy:

  1. Where have I been?
  2. Where am I now?
  3. Where do I want to get to?
  4. How am I going to get there?
  5. How will I know that I have arrived?
These are some resources that have influenced the way I have designed this course. You aren’t required to read them. This is just for your information.

  • Halsey, Vicki. Brilliance by Design: Creating Learning Experiences That Connect, Inspire, and Engage. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011
  • Knowles, Malcolm S. The adult learner: a neglected species. 4th ed. Houston, Tx: Gulf Pub. Co, 1990.
  • Maslow, A. J. “Defense and Growth.” The psychology of open teaching and learning: an inquiry approach. 4. ed. Boston: Little, 1972. 43-51.
  • Postman, Neil, and Charles Weingartner. Teaching as a subversive activity. New York: Delacorte Press, 1969.
  • Stephenson, John, and Michael Laycock. Using learning contracts in higher education. London: Kogan Page, 1993.

Course outline

1 September 24 Liturgical Leadership
2 October 1 Designing Ritual
3 October 15 Liturgy of the Word
4 October 22 Liturgy of the Eucharist
5 October 29 The Liturgical Year
6 November 5 Liturgy and Catechesis
7 November 12 The Liturgical Books
8 November 19 Liturgy: The Good News
9
March 19 (and following)

This class will focus more on learning than on education. What’s the difference? Education emphasizes the educator as the agent of change. Learning emphasizes the person in whom change occurs or is expected to occur.

And learning is all about change. The goal of learning is to acquire new habits, knowledge, and attitudes. All of these areas of learning are essential for learning about liturgy.

True leaning is also difficult. It is not difficult, necessarily, because the new habits, knowledge, and attitudes are complex. It is difficult because we feel comfortable with our current habits, knowledge, and attitudes. Acquiring new ones requires change, and change is sometimes frightening. Abraham Maslow said, “We grow forward when the delights of growth and the anxieties of safety are greater than the anxieties of growth and the delights of safety.”

For growth to be “delightful,” the individual learner has to determine where and how to grow. In adult learning, the responsibility for learning belongs much more to the student than to the teacher. Because that is so, almost everything in this course is negotiable. We will spend some time during the first session negotiating the details of the course.

Because we are part of a larger institution, the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (which itself is part of the Diocese of San José), there are few things that are not negotiable. These are the minimum requirements that must be fulfilled for this course. Most of these are in the Learning Covenant that you signed during your admission process.

  • Regular class attendance
  • Reading assignments
  • Writing assignments
  • Openness and mutual respect in the classroom
  • Participation in class discussions
The reading assignments are listed on each session page. The reading is drawn from Introduction to the Order of Mass, The Liturgy Documents, Volume One (Fifth Edition), and handouts.
You have three different options for writing. You may choose anyone of the three below. I believe the first choice is the most effective because it will facilitate your learning and also the learning of your fellow students.

  1. Option 1: Contribute a comment of at least 100 words in the online forum after each class.
    • The comment can pertain to the reading, the class discussion, or your application of the topic in your own parish.
    • I have provided idea starters on each session page to spur your thinking. You are not required to answer those specific questions.
    • A comment for each session is required before the start of the next session. If you miss a class, you are still required to comment on that week’s topic. You can use the reading material as a basis for your comments.
    • If you miss a comment deadline, you are automatically required to choose either option 2 or option 3.
    •  
      Here is a brief video that describes how the DISQUS commenting system works.
       

  2. Option 2: Write three 500-word reflection papers discussing your insights about the reading material and class discussion.
    • Due dates for papers:
      • The first paper is due before session 4
      • The second paper is due before session 6
      • The third paper is due one week after session 8.
    • If you miss any one of the deadlines, you are automatically required to do option 3.
  3. Option 3: Write a 1,500 word exposition paper, due one week after the last class. Cover these questions:
    • Why is liturgy important
    • What is liturgy?
    • How can a parish improve the way it celebrates liturgy?
    • What difference would a better celebration of liturgy make in my parish?
The reading and writing assignments above are the bare minimum requirements for the course. For learning to be delightful, you have to create your own learning plan. Here is a helpful set of questions to help you do that. Please think about these before the first session and come prepared to discuss them with your fellow learners.

In regards to my habits, knowledge, and attitudes about liturgy:

  1. Where have I been?
  2. Where am I now?
  3. Where do I want to get to?
  4. How am I going to get there?
  5. How will I know that I have arrived?
These are some resources that have influenced the way I have designed this course. You aren’t required to read them. This is just for your information.

  • Halsey, Vicki. Brilliance by Design: Creating Learning Experiences That Connect, Inspire, and Engage. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011
  • Knowles, Malcolm S. The adult learner: a neglected species. 4th ed. Houston, Tx: Gulf Pub. Co, 1990.
  • Maslow, A. J. “Defense and Growth.” The psychology of open teaching and learning: an inquiry approach. 4. ed. Boston: Little, 1972. 43-51.
  • Postman, Neil, and Charles Weingartner. Teaching as a subversive activity. New York: Delacorte Press, 1969.
  • Stephenson, John, and Michael Laycock. Using learning contracts in higher education. London: Kogan Page, 1993.
 Posted by at 11:43 pm
  • Therie Velasco-Gonzales

    On my way home last night, as I was reflecting on the factors that contributed to the success of our liturgy exercise, one that really stands out was our “Being Present”… our being there at the moment.  We were “present” despite our hectic and tiring day and regardless of the noise outside the classroom. 
     
    In one of my readings from the book, “Lead Like Jesus” by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, it says that, “Leading like Jesus involves the alignment of our four leadership domains: heart, head, hands, and habits.  The internal domains – the motivations of your heart and the leadership perspective of your head – are things you keep inside or even disguise if it suits your purpose.  The external domains – your public leadership behavior, or hands, and your habits as experienced by others – will determine whether people will follow you. When your heart, head, hands, and habits are aligned, extraordinary levels of loyalty, trust, and productivity will result.” (page 31)
     
    Our faith journey and ministry, including active liturgy participation truly comes from within each and every one of us.  At times, even our own brokenness can serve as an inspiration to serve others and love God more. 
     
     

  • Don Martin

    Well said, Therie.  I feel that we all “bonded” on our first session which I find a true blessing.  Some of us have known each other for three or more years and some we just met.  But there we were planning a liturgy!  I, too, was reflecting on our discussions Wednesday and especially about the leadership “skills” or qualities. One quality of a leader that I feel is critical is that of INTEGRITY.  A person could have confidense, cooperation, vision, competense and be a human enabler but if they are lacking in integrity then it diminishes their leadership capabilities tremendously.  I do, feel, though that we came up with a fairly comprehensive list.  While I am not sure ifleadership is the eighth gift of the Holy Spirit I do feel that not all people are leaders by nature. Some, are simply followers, which is not bad either.  I do feel that I possess leadership qualities and I do want to be a Parish leader.  I think, time will tell if I am called to be a leader, though. I am looking forward with great anticipation to the remaining sessions of this course. Since I have only been a fully initiated Catholic since the Easter Vigil of 2006 I have so much to learn.  With the past three years of ILM including  last year’s Catechetics course I feel that Liturgy is the missing piece of the puzzle for me.  Liturgy is what brings all the Catholic faith together in my view.  By catechizing individuals to get them to Mass, they will only want to continue learning and journeying by a good Liturgical presentation.  My goal for Saint Lawrence, as it is the goal in Liturgy, is to get our parishioners to be fully and actively participating in the Mass.  May God truly bless us all on our journey together.  

  • Linda Takita

     I attended two Masses this morning, singing and cantoring with one of our choirs at Holy Family (HF).  The added hour or so at church allowed me to take a good look at how our parish’s Mission is reflected & supported in our Sunday liturgy.  Our mission is “HF is a welcoming, Christ-centered community, called to live the Gospel, celebrate the Sacraments, hand on the Catholic tradition, and take part in building up the Body of Christ.”

    First of all, in preparation for today’s Mass, the choir, lectors, Eucharistic ministers & others gathered together on the altar with the celebrant who led us in prayer. This gathering before Mass is relatively new at our parish.  I think it’s a good example of HF being a “Christ-centered community.”  Secondly, the ”welcoming” began when ushers greeted parishioners & guests, & announced our opening song “All Are Welcome.” The welcoming continued as each celebrant greeted us during the opening prayers. Thirdly, I noted that we ”hand on the Catholic tradition” during the liturgy by involving our youth as candle bearers & servers, & by children accompanying their parents bringing the bread, wine & gifts to the altar.  (Our Family Mass liturgies also involve youth as lectors, choir members, musicians, drama & Ministry of Movement participants.)  Fourthly, although each priest approached the gospel & readings differently, we were clearly directed “to live the Gospel” during their homilies. Fifthly, when we participated together in the Prayers of the Faithful, we were ”building up the Body of Christ” asking God “to hear our prayer(s).”  Sixthly, we “celebrate(d) the Sacraments” when we received the Body & Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are just a few ways in which we reflected our parish’s Mission during our liturgy today. (There are also several steps, which I haven’t noted here, that are outlined for us, steps that show how we will support our Mission.)

    This past weekend was HF’s Annual Festival weekend.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to live our Mission before, during and after our Sunday liturgy.  It was a time for us to truly reflect a “Christ-centered community” to our extended community.

  • Anonymous

    Linda, thanks for your clear and thoughtful analysis of how your parish mission is reflected and supported in the Sunday liturgy at Holy Family. It sounds like you have a lot of good things going on there. 

  • Anonymous

    Therie, you make a great point about alignment. I think people can sense when we are not aligned, and that inhibits our leadership capability. The challenge for parish leaders to make sure our leadership domains are not only aligned among themselves, but also aligned with the mission of the church.

  • Anonymous

    Don, I think you are probably right that not everyone is called to leadership. All Christians are called to discipleship, however. A disciple doesn’t necessarily have to be a leader, but I think many of the qualities of a good leader and a good disciple overlap.

  • Elaine Burce

    St Mary Catholic Community, guided by Jesus’ living Spirit,
    seeks to lovingly celebrate Jesus’ presence in our worship and in our lives,
    to: create a welcoming church; develop strong lay leadership; deepen our
    understanding of our faith; and reach out in ministry to all our brothers and
    sisters.

    This mission is supported and reflected in our liturgies in
    the following ways.  In the few minutes
    immediately before each Mass begins, the congregation is invited to “turn to
    those around you and welcome them”.  The
    celebrants consistently greet parishioners both before and after Mass.   Our lay leadership was particularly in
    evidence this past weekend as, at each Mass, we commissioned  those involved in catechetical ministry.  The homilies always help to deepen our understanding
    of our faith  and they also challenge us
    to look at the response of our discipleship with which we reach out in ministry. 

  • Neoholguin

    At Most Holy Trinity Parish, to prepare for our Sunday Spanish liturgy, as a team, the Mass Coordinaters, Eucharist Ministers, Lectors and Ushers gather one hour before mass to reflect on the Sunday scriptures. We then run through the mass and remind each of the various points which are scheduled to happen out of the ordinary  (re: Blessing for the Catechists this past Sunday)  in which to pay extra attention to, so hopefully we can have a fluid liturgy. At this same time, the choir also rehearse the songs which will be used.
    Personally, I start my preparation as soon as I wake up and make time for prayer, asking for myself and all ministers for guidance from God for us to have a prayerful mass and that through the Word and Eucharist we may reflect his love for all of us, berginning as we are driving to church and many days after we have celebrated mass.
     
    At this past Sunday Spanish liturgy, this is what I observed:
     
    The assembly was fully engaged in singing the opening song. The feeling was that of joy.
    For the readings, one of the lectors still needs to project better so as to make the Word come alive.
    The presider- who was a visiting priest, who came to do a pitch for the Missionary Appeal, unfortuantely, his homily did not make a good connection with the scriptures and the appeal. He went over the same examples over and over and over. He was not very audible which made it challeging to many of us trying to focus and many of us felt disengaged. However, the church still responded with a good monetary collection, which ties in to living and carrying out our mission statement.
     
    At the Prayer of the Faithful the community, I felt understood the varies needs as evidence with the response to the Missionary Appeal. At the Eucharistic Prayer one way that our assembly is engaged is that the choir uses the same setting for a period of time, thus the assembly knows the Holy, Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen well and do not use the worship aid during the Eucharistic Prayer. The Communion is felt like a banquet and is communial. The choir uses maybe 4-5 different songs during the year and so the assembly sings because they know them well.
     
    But yes, we still have people losing their homes, their jobs and our streets are still being challenged by so many obstacles. But our church is very active with PACT, Food for Justice, Pantry who feeds over 1200 families per month and many activities that offer alternatives to us all.

  • Lillian Kwiatkowski

    I had the pleasure of attending Fr. Ritche Bueza’s
    Installation Mass last Saturday. 
    Having worked for the man myself, I expected great liturgy. I wasn’t
    disappointed. It flowed seamlessly. There were several aspects of the liturgy
    that I appreciated particularly, which are:

     

    1. The general
    intercessions were partly sung. I’ve often considered singing the
    intercessions, but never tried it because I worry about lengthening the time of
    Mass. Here, the cantor intoned the beginning and then spoke the end. I realized
    that speaking the end not only saves a little time, but also signals to the
    assembly that the response must be spoken. Brilliant, because most people,
    especially outside the parish, probably wouldn’t know how to respond in song.

    2. There was a
    mix of children and adults in the choir. At our parish, they are separate and I
    liked effect of the mix. Often, when the children at our parish are singing at
    Mass, I notice that people sing less (I think because they like to listen to
    the kids). This might help the problem.

    3. The use of a
    projector was helpful, but only sometimes. People often suggest the use of a
    projector at out parish, but because of very bright light from a long
    stainless-glass skylight, it’s not feasible. I often thought it would  increase participation, but I observed
    that there are plusses AND minuses. The upside included more convenience, as
    the people didn’t have to search through a book for music, people looked up at
    the projector rather than down at the books, so they can be more aware of the
    action at the front. The downside included technical problems, especially when
    progression of pages is not linear, ability to see the screen, the need for a
    new and skilled minister to handle the slide changes, and when the action is
    NOT in the front, people must choose to either sing or participate in the other
    action. I also noticed that some people still didn’t participate in the singing
    even when spoon-fed music.

    4. One of the
    readings, as well as some songs were in Tagalog. This worked well because the
    translation or words were projected onto the screen.

    5. Fr. Rtiche
    sang the the Eucharistic Prayer. 
    That is always a treat. In general, when the presider sings the songs,
    the doxology, etc. I believe it adds tremendously to liturgy and encourages
    people to participate in the singing.

     

    I should attend
    Mass at other churches more often!

  • Nick Wagner

    Thanks for such a detailed report Lillian. You really did a fine job of noting the pluses and minuses. Terrific!

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Neomie. Great reflection on the Mass at Most Holy Trinity! Thanks so much for sharing. I especially like that the choir only uses 4-5 songs for the communion procession during the year. That is a great way to improve participation in the singing.

  • Elaine Burce

    In doing the readings for this week, paragraph 6 from the Lectionary for Mass: Introduction particularly struck me.  ” When  God communicates his word, he expects a response…The Holy Spirit makes that response effective…Accordingly, the participation  of the faithful in the Liturgy increases to the degree that, as they listen to the word of God proclaimed in the Liturgy, they strive harder to commit themselves to the Word of God incarnate in Christ.  Thus, they endeavor to conform their way of life to what they celebrate in the Liturgy, and then in turn to bring to the celebration of the Liturgy all that they do in life.”
    It seems to me that this relates to the experience of the “edge of chaos” that we were discussing in class. When we experience a particular insight  into the word, or are made uncomfortable by what we hear, or when we have a particular experience of God’s presence, we are, in a sense, brought to the edge of chaos, mentally or spiritually. This affects how we live and what we bring to the next Liturgy, which is then different because of this change in us.  

  • Linda Takita

    Yesterday I attended the Family Mass at my parish.  This was the first Family Mass of the school year.  There were many students of Holy Family in their school uniform attending the Mass and participating in the liturgy. The students who gave the readings were very well prepared.  However, the student who read the Prayers of the Faithful was difficult to hear. Also the version of the psalm that was sung was not an easy one and the children who were the cantors were not very confident singing it.  As a whole though the children’s choir sang very well.  For most of the participants this was their first time singing at a Family Mass.  On the other hand the assembly did not participate in the singing as well as they normally do.  I think it was because the music was unfamiliar to the assembly. However, the Lamb of God & one of the Communion songs were familiar so the assembly was truly engaged in singing them.

    I don’t know if it was because we were celebrating a Children’s Mass, but I was surprised that Father didn’t have a moment of silence after he delivered the homily.  Perhaps it was because the homily was geared toward the children who were gathered around him at the foot of the altar.  I think the rest of the liturgy flowed as well as it does on other Sundays when we are not celebrating a Family Mass.  At our parish the whole assembly holds hands during the Lord’s Prayer.  We don’t sing the Lord’s Prayer on most Sundays, only for special occasions.  The Sign of Peace is genuinely shared with one another, & is not overly lengthy.  The flow of the Fraction Rite is well organized & calm, & Communion flows well also. The Communion ministers have excellent eye contact, speak clearly & are very respectful in their delivery. I noted that the majority of those attending yesterday’s Family Mass continued to stand after they received Communion.  However there were a few who knelt, also some who knelt at first & then stood until Father sat down. Announcements came after the Prayer after Communion & included a video on the Mass changes.

     In my opinon the entire assembly seemed most in communion with the entire body of Christ when they sang the Communion song with which they were familiar.

  • Genisundquist

    As one of twelve children growing up in the far eastern province of Newfoundland, Canada one of my earliest and fondest memories of ‘tradition’ happened during this time of the year.  After the supper dishes had been cleared away, and the Rosary had been recited, and the kerosene lamps had been lit, we gathered around the wood stove in the kitchen and listened to stories from Mom and Dad about our heritage and their growing up years.  I never tired of hearing about the ‘natural’ cures that were passed on from generation to generation.  We sang songs, we drank hot cocoa, we made hand puppets on the wall! 
    After I married and was blessed with my daughter, I carried on the ‘tradition’ of fireside stories.  So once a week we gathered as a family.  But instead of the wood stove we had a fireplace with an electric start, and instead of kerosene lamps we had subdued electric lights.  But the wonderful thing is that my daughter, now thirty-three remembers those times and speaks of them often.  And some of the songs we sang, she’s now singing them to her children!  My heart soars when I watch the babies at night for my daughter and son in law to have a quiet dinner by themselves, when putting the babies to bed their little voices sing along to the childhood songs I sang to Jennifer.
    Being one of seven sisters, we realized when our Mom died about eight years ago that the only time we were seeing each other was at someone’s wedding or funeral and most of our children were married.  So the sisters decided that we would meet every fall, God willing, to catch up.  One of the seven sisters died suddenly in July this past summer, but the six of us remaining, met in September.  One of the things we always do is gather around the fireplace,   dim the lights and share memories of our childhood.  It’s one of the most poignant moments of our reunion.  We laugh, we cry and we cement the bonds of our sisterhood.
    We did not celebrate Halloween when I was growing up like it’s celebrated here in this country.  It’s only after Jennifer came along that I started celebrating this holiday.  I’m now blessed with three grandbabies, and it’s a joy to continue the tradition of visiting the pumpkin patch with them.  On Halloween when Jennifer was very young I started having a small get together for friends who had small children and we passed out goodies instead of going door to door collecting them.  Jennifer continues that tradition today.  So on Monday night, we will gather at Jennifer and James house, the grandbabies will be dressed in costume and we’ll greet the children who come to house with treats. 

  • Nick Wagner

    That’s a beautiful story Geni. Besides being a lovely memory, it also shows how “remembering” encompasses the past, present, and future. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Arlene H. Quiogue

    Hi everyone!  Here are some of my thoughts about our class’
    list of primary qualities of liturgical leadership. 

    ·        
    KNOWLEDGE:   facts, information, and Truth.  Further our hearts and minds to seek/grow in our
    understanding of self, others, and God. 
    Our growth comes to us not only from what we read, but also from
    meaningful experiences/exchanges in our daily lives.

    ·        
    COMMUNICATION:  listening and responding.  With prayer and effective communication, we
    can foster healthy relationships and build/strengthen community.  Our Diocese is blessed with diversity
    (cultural, social, educational, etc.).  Often
    times, the challenge we are faced with is really about mutual respect for others
    and finding the way that leads to understanding and appreciation despite our
    differences. 

    ·        
    LOVE: 
    the giving of self.  Living
    a compassionate and thanksgiving life in response to the unconditional love of
    our generous Father.  It is also in recognizing
    Christ in others that can bring guidance, healing, and forgiveness.

    ·        
    VISION: 
    mission, goals, hope.  Even when our
    best intentions or plans are unfulfilled, confusing or unclear, we can trust in
    God who is with us, loves us, and guides us by His example. 

    ·        
    ORGANIZATION:  processes and preparations.  Strive to be functional and productive no
    matter how small or large the task in front of us is, while recognizing we are part
    of His plan.

    I’ll continue to reflect on these
    qualities over the course of the class and pray they will help enrich/raise our
    awareness to the role we each have in shaping our parish liturgies.

  • Sally Carpentero

    Is leadership the eight gift of the Holy Spirit?
     I believe it is! This was clearly shown at last Wednesday’s class. Except for one person who I’ve met before and Arlene one who was my classmate for three years, the others were complete strangers. But lo and behold, we were planning a liturgy! Arlene and I were in one corner planning the music part of the liturgy and it took just a few moments for us to realize that we have to talk to the other groups to plan this. And there we were, presenting the liturgy “drama”. For our first day of class, I think we did really well and I’m looking forward to the next 7 sessions!
    This exercise made me realized that a good leader has to be in charge to make liturgy effective for everyone.
    Do all Christians have a vocation to be leaders?
     A leader can be defined in a couple of ways – a leader is someone who is “in charge”, who guides and gives direction to others for a given task or event.  But in our own “little way”, we can all be leaders, too. I can influence the person seating next to me by fully participating at Mass – with the prayers and singing  of the songs (hopefully, this person doesn’t complain that I’m out of tune!)

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Sally. I think you make a great point that we are all called to be leaders in some way. Or perhaps another way to say it is that we are all called to be influencers. I do think that everyone in ILM is also called to be a leader in a bigger way. People my age weren’t raised to think of ourselves as leaders in the parish, but things change. Now, parishes couldn’t function without a group of strong parishioner-leaders. And that’s especially true about liturgy in the parish.

    I’m glad the first class was so good for you. I’m looking forward to the next seven sessions too!

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Arlene. Thanks for breaking down our leadership characteristics like this for us. You really have fleshed them out nicely. If we can all live up to these standards–or at least try to–our parishes will be a lot stronger. Great job!

  • Drewdiane

    Hi everyone: What a wonderful first class! I left feeling very empowered to really achieve my goal of getting a better understanding of liturgy and how my role at my parish and my own spirituality can deepen.
    The readings I felt went hand in hand in understanding our mission as ambassadors of Christ through his church and it’s people. The order of the readings gave me clarity and I was better able to map out my own goals. I enjoyed reading Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, especially …that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the Priest and his Body which is the church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; that no other action of the Church can equal it’s effectiveness by the same title and by the same degree.” I also enjoyed reading Music in Catholic Worship. I attended mass at a different catholic church and came away appreciating the music at each of my own parish masses. After reading “Built of Living Stones” the passage that struck a cord for me was “Just as Christ invited those who heard him to share in his personal union with the Father through material signs, so Christ leads the Church through these same signs in the liturgy from the visible to the invisible. As a result effective liturgical signs have a teaching function and encourage full, conscious and active participation, express and strengthen faith, lead people to God.”

    In the homily this weekend at the catholic church I visited I truly enjoyed the message to listen to God’s voice. You do not necessarily have to know what God whats you to do, but your willingness to listen and go forward. I guess that is where I found myself now. I truly enjoyed our first class together, our team work, the sense of true fellowship that evolved as we put our efforts together for one purpose.

  • Drewdiane

    I was unable to evaluate my usual Sunday Liturgy this past weekend as I was traveling. I did however evaulate the morning mass I attend. We have a full choir and a pianist every morning, but only one reading. Despite this, the liturgy fulfills the active, conscious participation of the mass, although it is shorter.
    I feel the parish mission of providing a prayerful, grace filled environment is fulfilled, however I could only give a 2 regarding the General Intercessions.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Diane. You picked up on the same idea as Jay–the connection between the physical and the spiritual. The signs and symbols make the invisible, visible. And you make a great point about our willingness to listen to God’s voice. Sometimes the message is not clear, but well-celebrated liturgy attunes our hearts and our ears to better hear how God is calling us to act.

  • Sally Carpentero

                                                   
    “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 reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark, 1:14-20 struck me. There was John, standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”. These words are said each time the priest elevates the host and the chalice. For me, this is what the celebration of the Mass is about. It’s about all of us gathering together to listen to God’s word and His love for us and we,  in turn, express  our love to God through the Eucharist.  But in order to make this celebration “successful’, good liturgy is required.
     Aidan Kavanagh (thanks largely in part to Nick’s explanation of what Kavanagh meant)  was right when he wrote that “what results from a liturgical experience is a deep change in the very lives of those who participate in the liturgical act”. I,  for one was changed by what I have witnessed this past Sunday’s 12:15 PM Mass at my parish, St. Victor’s Church. 
    There was full, conscious and active participation from the assembly and I will give it a total score of 17. The liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist flowed really well. Everyone participated in the singing of the songs. The presider, lector, the liturgical musicians and the altar servers all came well prepared. The assembly was fully engaged in the readings and the homily. The prayer of the faithful followed the set structure of praying for the church, the world, the oppressed and the community. A special intention was also mentioned for whom the Mass is offered. The only hitch I saw was the lack of uniformity in the posture after receiving communion. Some knelt , some continue to stand when they return to their pews.
     
    I went home feeling energized, refreshed and “blessed to be called to the supper of the Lamb”.

  • Arlene H. Quiogue

    In this past week, our focus in learning about the different parts of the
    Liturgy of the Eucharist has led me on these new and startling epiphanies:
     

    1.  “There is a huge difference between Eucharist
    and Communion (D.  Macalintal:  Eucharistic Ministries, 2 June 2004).”  After last Wednesday’s class, I had a chance
    to speak with Diana on this article that completely surprised me.  All my life before this past week, I just
    about spoke these terms synonymously. 
    Eucharist is what we ‘do’ and Communion is what we ‘get’!  It makes so much more sense in terms of
    living our faith outwardly as a Eucharistic people called to proclaim the Good
    News and being His light in the world for others; on the other hand, we attend
    Mass to be fed and nourished when we receive His Body and Blood.  Both express God’s desire for our redemption
    and salvation through sacrifice.

     

    2.  At the 8 AM Mass on Monday at St. Joseph
    Parish (Mtn. View), Fr. Bob Moran spoke about the tabernacle and the
    altar.  The tabernacle where the Blessed
    Sacrament is kept used to be located in the sacristy of a church and over time
    was moved into the sanctuary to elevate its prominence among the faithful for
    prayer and adoration.  What he said next
    is something I had not fully considered: 
    the tabernacle is not positioned behind most altars these days, not
    because it has been ‘down-graded’ in status, but it is so the altar itself can
    be ‘elevated.’  Last night as I continued
    to ponder on this, I opened one of my many ILM books and there it was
    again:  “The table of the Lord is the
    central point in the Church, not the tabernacle.  Sharing the Eucharistic food is pivotal in the
    renewed liturgies of the Mass (Osbourne, O.F.M., Kenan Sacramental Theology:  A General
    Introduction, Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist
    Press 1988, p.42)

     

    By our participation in the Eucharistic celebration, we can experience the
    Father’s love when we eat, drink, sing, pray, praise, and share with one another.  Our experience in sharing the Eucharist is
    not limited at the Mass; we are invited each time to a new beginning of
    receiving Him inwardly and expressing Him outwardly with thankful hearts.  We are sent forth from the Mass to break the
    bread of our lives with one another and be His presence to those around us!  That’s what receiving communion does to
    us.  Father Thierry Geris on Sunday, confidently
    proclaimed on behalf of the faithful assembly, these words of praise and thanks
    always to our Almighty God for our redemption and salvation through Jesus, who
    gathers, heals, and gives us life in obedience to God’s will.  He selected Preface VII of the Sundays in
    Ordinary Time to begin Eucharistic Prayer III:

     

    It is truly right and just,

    our duty and our salvation,

    always and everywhere to give you thanks,

    Lord, holy Father,

    almighty and eternal God.

     

    For you so loved the world

    that in your mercy you sent us the Redeemer,

    to live like us in all things but sin,

    so that you might love in us what you loved in your Son,              

    by whose obedience we have been restored

    to those gifts of yours that,

    by sinning, we had lost in disobedience.

     

    And so Lord, with all the Angels and Saints,         

    we too, give you thanks, as in exultation we acclaim:  Holy, Holy…

     

    How appropriate these words of thanks
    put into perspective God’s compassionate love and desire for us to be free of
    sin and to be fully restored with the gift of eternal life through our Redeemer.  May we fully, actively, and consciously
    respond to God’s invitation to the new life He has willed for us.

  • Sally Carpentero

    I’m really enjoying our Liturgy class. The “exercises”  we have done so far were great. Although we have attended Mass a million times, there we were still referring to our books to get the sequencing right.  Aside from being lots of fun, they stimulate us to think. I teach Adult Confirmation class and I like Nick’s teaching methodologies and the materials used in our class. I have already made some notes of doing something similar for my upcoming Adult Confirmation class.
    Here’s my observation and evaluation of my parish’s practices on the Liturgy of the Eucharist –Communion Rite:
    The Lord’s Prayer was recited with some holding hands; others have their hands lifted up in prayer – this was similar to the Priest’s posture.
    The people around me shared the Sign of Peace genuinely and felt like a sign of peacemaking…it was brief but nor rushed..
    For the Fraction Rite, hosts from the tabernacle were used. The pacing of the priest was right and he broke the large bread reverently. The Lamb of God was recited by the assembly.
    As the priest broke the bread, the Lamb of God was recited. The consecrated host was then divided among the ciboria.  The Holy Communions was administered through the bread only.
    Communion: About 40% were kneeling, 60% were standing when the priest raised up both the host and the chalice while the priest said the Communion Prayer. The assembly waited for about a minute as the priest eats the host and drinks the Precious Blood. The choir processed first, followed by the assembly.  The choir was silent for a few minutes before they began to sing the Communion song – You Are Mine.  The 40% who knelt at the elevation of the Host and chalice also knelt when they returned to their pews; the other 60% continued to stand when they return to their pews.  It was a private time for prayer for those who knelt after communion.  Any suggestion to help us be one and united in posture will be greatly appreciated.
    The song “Healing Water” was sung by the entire assembly after communion. The assembly was united during the singing of the songs.  The Prayer after Communion was said before the announcements.  The recessional song was Grateful. Except for the difference in posture at Communion, the entire assembly was united with the Body of Christ.
     

  • Icarpentero

    Liturgy and Catechesis, Feb. 8 Class
    There were two liturgies I have celebrated that were truly memorable.  One was at my parish, St. Victor’s Church a couple of weeks ago. One thing that moved me was the flow of the liturgy.  I was impressed by how the presider, lector and altar server processed towards the altar. They all walked with confidence and dignity. Led by the choir, the assembly sung as one. It was a “drama” that was well rehearsed and prepared.   I felt a special energy inside the church and the people around me, that they were happy to be there to celebrate the Mass.
    The second was years ago at the Mount St. Joseph Carmelite Monastery. The Eucharistic Prayer was sung by the presider with musical accompaniment. He had a great singing voice and together with the music, I felt like being lifted up.  It was such a special feeling to hear him sing:
    “TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU”
    “TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF MY NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME”
    At that moment, I felt that we were all united as the Body of Christ and ready to receive the Body of Christ. It was a special day for me and I went home still humming the music.
     

  • Icarpentero

                                        The Liturgical Year, Feb. 1 Class
    I’m beginning (I hope!) to understand how “time is transformed in the Paschal Mystery and how that transformation is celebrated ritually in an annual cycle”. Using the Liturgical calendar as a teaching aid helped me a lot to understand this annual cycle.  Nature has its own annual season that is repeated year after year (except for the unusual weather that we’re experiencing currently) and our Church also has this annual cycle or “season” that we celebrate throughout the year. I still found it very interesting to know that our Easter Sunday celebration is directly connected to the cycle of the moon; that “Easter Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring”.
    Our family also has its own rituals that we celebrate in an annual cycle. Birthdays are always special.  First order of the day for any of my three brothers and twin sisters was to celebrate Mass at our parish church. This was in thanksgiving for being born on that day.  And the celebration begins!  The celebrant’s favorite food is always served together with the usual “pancit” or noodles, chicken, beef and pork.  There’s always cake, ice cream and “leche flan” for dessert.
    As children, we all looked forward to Christmas.  We all have a long list of gifts we wanted from “Santa Claus”; until we learned who “Santa” really was! As the oldest of the three girls, I was in charge of wrapping all the presents that we give to whoever comes into the house.  It was in some way, an open house. As we don’t know who will come and visit us, we use one color of wrapping paper for girls and another one for the boys. Our dining table was full of food, with different rice cakes and hot chocolates ready to be served.  Wearing our brand new, Christmas clothes, my brothers, sisters, cousins and I also make our own visits to our grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives. It was a happy, festive day!
    Food brings us together. But the dishes we served during birthdays, Easter Sunday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays has now evolved into a much lighter, low fat, low cal menuJ.  My daughter prepares and cooks all the side dishes and I cook the main courses.  The “leche flan” has now been replaced by apple pie. And although we try to stick to our low fat, low cal menu, ice cream is always present. These are special days, after all!
    The celebration of the Liturgy also brings us together. And together we share in the food – the bread and wine – that is being served in the “supper of the Lamb”.

  • Drewdiane

    Another Lenten journey, and this one, as Jay put it, would not be the same without you all.

    I am amazed at how much we have learned in such a short period of time.  Yes, we will never look at our own parish’s masses again in the same way, but we have learned will enrich us, and through our enrichment, be an example to others.  This is the way we “teach” the mystery of Christ.  What we have learned this semester, and looking back, over the past two and half years.  How far we have come, how much we have learned, how much we have opened ourselves to God’s call.

    The last liturgy that was truly memorable for me was Holy Thursday two years ago.  I was never open to having my feet washed, feeling embarassed and awkward.  However, when I was invited to be among the first to have my feet washed by our parochial vicar I did not hesitate. Understanding the humility of this action, both by the person washing your feet and the person who is having their feet washed, made it possible to participate in this humble act.  It brought home the beginning of the message  of  how much Jesus sacrificed for us and what he gave up for us, and how we can in a simple, human gesture  humble ourselves and truly reach out to our fellow christians. 

    When I participated in this foot washing, it was a humbling experience, but isn’t that what faith is?  A humbling journey, where you recognize your own sins, and forgive those who have sinned against you. A woman came up to me the other day and she told me she remembered me from that night.  I had washed her feet.  She was feeling awkward, and she said I made it easier for her to participate.  Our meeting was no accident.  She is now actively involved in the mass where I am the worship coordinator.

    God works in mysterious ways, and God’s timing is always perfect. 

    I will never forget that night.  It was another layer peeled away on my spiritual journey.  Hopefully, I will continue to act humbly in my faith.  One thing I have learned is to be truly more respectful of what others may be feeling when they attend mass.  I do not know the reason that brings them to mass, but I do know it is my responsibility to provide the best liturgy I can by example.  See you all later, and may God continue to shed His grace on you during this Lent.

  • Joyce Billings

    As we have talked about throughout our class even though we
    hear the same prayers, petitions, readings year after year throughout history,
    what we experience, what we learn, what we take with us is changed due to the
    group of people who are present. As we grow, and learn we take more out of the
    mass and often it depends on how the Holy Spirit is moving in us.  Language can be very complex,
    especially now since the new translation. Some of the ritual words are more
    difficult to understand their meanings so in that sense I can see who they
    conceal God. I am not sure if I had not gone to some classes to explain the new
    translation if I would understand the meanings as well as I do now.  By definition ritual is a religious or
    solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a
    prescribed order.  So ritual speech
    would be the very specific speech that makes up the parts of our mass.
    Structured and in a prescribed order. The difference between that and ordinary
    speech is the more casual way we talk especially to friends and family. Once
    again this ritual speech can conceal the message of God because we do not
    always understand the words, however, at the same time it can reveal God just
    because of the fact that the message is repeated over time and we have a chance
    to learn more and understand better.

     

    In the article “Rites of Justice”, I quote that stuck out to
    me was the five elements needed for a liturgy. In order of importance and
    meaning they are the people, the bread and wine, the word, a collection for the
    poor and a priest.  Here we see how
    the liturgy can be the same throughout history yet different every time based
    on the people present and by the fact that the liturgy makes us a community. We
    need others to tell the stories, to listen with, to make dreams flesh, to pass
    the word on to and to extend what is already happening.

  • Icarpentero

    It was a pleasant surprise to review the liturgical books at last Wednesday’s class. Arlene and I were lucky to review the “Roman Pontifical” Liturgical book.  Aside from the Baptism and Confirmation Rites, this book also included the rites in the ordination of the deacon, priest and bishops!  I don’t think we will have another opportunity to hold this book in our hands. This book, in addition to all the other liturgical books, is the same book used by all the Catholic churches throughout the world. This “sameness”, I believe, is one of the many reasons that make our Church “one” as when we pray in the Nicene Creed , “One, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”.
    The structure of the sacramental rites has been the same for centuries. Since the time of the apostles, we have been gathering together to listen to the word of God and celebrate the Eucharist. I have celebrated Sacred Liturgy in Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Cebuano (a different Filipino dialect). Although I didn’t understand the languages, I was able to celebrate the Mass with the assembly. I find comfort in this, knowing that I can be anywhere in the world and witness the same ritual. But even though the ritual is the same, the culture, environment, music and the musical instruments used will be different. We also bring our triumphs and failures, our happiness, sadness and losses when we come to the Eucharistic banquet. Since all these factors are different each time we celebrate Sacred Liturgy, our experiences will also be different.  A passage read that did not have any meaning in the past may struck us now due to an event or situation that we have just encountered.
    Our hope is that all these different experiences will help us grow in our spiritual journey and achieve our ultimate goal: Union with God.