Liturgy and Catechesis (Nov.8)


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Theological Question

How does liturgy catechize? How does the way we worship “teach” the mystery of Christ?


Students will discover how mystagogical reflection permeates all  our liturgical and catechetical practices.


Students will learn the methodology for integrating liturgy and catechesis.



(after the class has been completed)

Idea starters

    1. Recall the last liturgy you celebrated that was truly memorable.
    2. What one thing struck you as powerful or moving?
    3. How did that one thing make you feel?
    4. When you recall that one thing, what did you learn about your faith?
    5. How will you live differently because of the celebration?

    Read (in preparation for Nov. 15)

    Bring to next class

    Bring a Bible with you to the next class, or download the handout provided on the page for the next class.

     Posted by at 7:32 pm
    • Barb Villano

      The most memorable Mass I attended was in Rome, in the catacombs. It was an extraordinary experience to celebrate the Mass with about 15 others in that cramped space. One could not help but to think of the heritage of our Christian predecessors, and the risks they took to reenact the Paschal Mystery. We had visited the Coliseum where they had died, and the chariot raceway where they were tortured. In our small way, we shared in their plight and were in communion with them.The strongest feeling was humility, knowing the great faith they had in risking all. The simplicity of this Mass struck me as its power, with Christ’s obvious presence . There was also an eerie feeling in the room, with candles as our main light. It was cramped, damp, and there was no where to sit. We stood, listened to the readings, and partook of the Lord’s Body, just as they must have done. It brought to me a greater appreciation of my faith, and one experience that I will never forget.
      Lou Villano

    • Nick Wagner

      That’s a beautiful story Frank. Thanks for sharing it with us. You are a great example of faith.

    • Nick Wagner

      Wow, Yolanda. That’s such a powerful reflection. Thanks for sharing this with us. It’s an important message for today.

    • Reina Hollero

      Easter Vigil has always been a favorite and memorable experience for me. It is the highlight of my preparation for renewing my love to Jesus. Fasting, praying, and alms giving are the ways I can offer my thanks to Him for all the pain, suffering, and death that He went through to save us all from our sins. The procession going inside the Church with our candles lit up and the listening to the readings with the lights turned on signified His Resurrection. The singing of the Gloria again for the first time touches me, because I know that He is risen as He promised to us (Mark 8:31) and that He will be always with us to the end of every age. This justifies that we need to trust and leave everything to Him. People often think that our prayers are not being answered and so they just stop talking to Him. God is in control, we may not get what we asked for, but we need to keep in mind that He will provide what He thinks will be better for us.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Tim. I’m always amazed at the capability of the liturgy to awaken faith in people. Yours is one more powerful story of that reality. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Annette. I am always also struck by the stripping of the altar at the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It is a very moving ritual for me. I really like your observation about the deeper significance of Lent and Easter. That’s a great step. Thanks for your insights.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Irene. I really like your description of Good Friday and the quote from CS Lewis. This is a great reflection on the power of the Cross. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Melby. This is a terrific description of your family’s celebration of the Triduum. I’m impressed that you go to seven altars of repose! Thanks for bringing us into your experience.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Ken. I love the Exultet. Thanks for highlighting that. Easter Vigil is always special for me because of the catechumens. I often wonder what it is like for them. They try to describe their feelings afterward, but it still leaves me wondering what it is like to feel what they feel.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Lerma. Wow, what a beautiful story about Larry. We see Christ in the most amazing places, and people, sometimes. I love the connection you made with Larry’s story and the washing of the feet. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Carmen. What a great story. I’ve often felt God’s presence when I’m reading as a lector, but never as clearly as you described here. Prayer is powerful. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Brigitte. I’ve never been to the Vigil in another country, but I’ve been to a lot of different parishes for the Vigil in the U.S. Most have been beautiful, but some have been pretty bad. I’m glad you found a parish that has a good celebration.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Annabel. I’m glad you got to experience the washing of the feet from a different perspective. I like the message you took away from it, that we have to care for others. Thanks for sharing your reflection on this event.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Lou. I’ve never celebrated Mass in the catacombs, but I’ve heard other people talk about it. They all seemed to have an experience similar to yours. It must be amazing. Maybe someday I’ll get there. Thanks for giving us a picture of what it was like.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Reina. I know what you mean about people thinking God isn’t listening. It’s a little dumbfounding. I think if more folks could have the experience of liturgy like you described here, they’d realize God is always listening. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.