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?

Goal

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

Content

Students will learn the methodology for integrating liturgy and catechesis.

Handouts

Homework

(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
    • Katherine Cottingham

      I can’t figure out how to edit my post below, but I wanted capitalize: His… not his… wounded hand(s)…..

    • Luis Urias

      In our class on Liturgy and Catechesis, we discussed methods and strategies of learning Liturgical Catechesis.

      We learned that the goal of all Catechesis is the communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. I took away that we as disciples and apostles of Christ have an obligation to bring others closer to Christ via catechesis.

      We learned that some of the methods of learning Catechesis are (Leading by example, by Witness, by Learning by Doing, by Listening and Praying) to name a few.

      We also learned that the Principles of Catechesis are (Initiate – the parish exist to evangelize and bring in the new, Catechumenate – Easter Vigil model, The Parish – the parish
      has to be involved with the whole catechetic process and that Christ is the agent of all.

      Towards the end of the second lecture, one of the things that stuck in my head, was that each parish should try to reach out to at least one group of the outskirts; the outskirts are those in most need of God’s mercy and divine assistance, like those in prisons, the homeless, those caught in human trafficking, those not able to defend themselves. Here we see the passion of Christ at work, again.

    • Bella Arnaldo

      One of the more memorable liturgy celebrations I have celebrated was the ordination of one of my friends into priesthood. Even before the mass begins, everyone is excited in anticipation of the celebrations ahead. After years of training in seminary a few select men will have realized their lifelong dream of ordination to the vocation of priesthood.
      In the Rite of Ordination, the one thing that struck me as powerful and very moving were the promise of the elect to preach the Gospel at all times, faithful and reverently celebrate the sacraments and pray continuously for the people of God, uniting themselves more closely with Christ while pledging their obedience to the Bishop. This is followed by the Litany of Supplication where the prostrated elects, lay prostrated as a sign of submission, humility and dependence on the mercy of God, the saints and the Church. These rituals are a pivotal and life changing experience for these men, and to some extent, me as well.
      In class last week, we were told that Liturgy is the summit and source of all Christian life and its goal is intimacy with Jesus Christ. As people of faith, as much is/should be expected of us-spread the Word of God, faithfully celebrate the sacraments, and pray for all people, with the same goal in mind- intimacy with Jesus Christ.

    • Patricia

      In response to Nick’s eye-opening article on “Using Liturgical Catechesis,” we just finished celebrating our Sunday mass with Bishop McGrath for the occasion of St. Frances Cabrini’s 60th Anniversary and it was a very beautiful and spiritually moving experience. If more people fully understood the meaning of the mass and all the riches it holds, our church pews would be jam-packed.

      This is why I think Liturgical Catechesis is so important to offer because it takes catechesis study a step further by providing the people with a fuller knowledge of what they are experiencing each week and connecting back to Jesus and our Faith.

      Catechesis is a good beginning for bringing people into the faith, learning more about the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, and the basic fundamentals, but the mass was given to us personally by Jesus. On the night before he died, He said “Do this in memory of me.” Clearly a legacy He wanted us to continue and in order to continue His work we need to know what is happening during the mass and understand it.

      As we have learned from Nick’s Liturgy class, there is a richness and depth in each part of the mass, like a flower unfolding, there’s always more to learn. At Mass, we gather together as a family, we call to mind our sins, we give praise and glory to God, we hear stories about life from the Bible, the Presider’s homily ties together the readings and our every day lives. We confess our Faith, we pray as priestly people for the Pope, the salvation of all mankind, we pray for the dead, we pray for peace. The mass structure is constant, but the Gospel readings, the prayers, and even ourselves are different each time we attend mass. We have new blessings to be thankful for, different needs to pray for, we approach the table as different people each week as a result the mass is always a different experience.

      During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we listen to the beautiful words of the Eucharistic Prayer. We transcend time and re-live the Last Supper with Jesus and his apostles. We witness the miracle of the bread and wine turning into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and,
      like the apostles, we experience an intimate Communion with Jesus.

      Liturgical catechesis is just what we need to light the fire under the typical parishioner who attends mass frequently but does not fully understand the wonders of the mass, the miracle we witness or the graces we receive when we attend mass.

      Imagine if they knew and understood all these riches and beauty the mass offers. The parishoners would be so excited, they would never miss mass and they would be great disciples. These are the people right in our pews now that we should reach out to, educate, and help them grow in their faith.

    • Laura Barker

      I would have to say that the most memorable liturgy was the Easter Vigil in 2010 when my family and I were initiated into the Catholic faith. I had never in my life attended an Easter Vigil mass and it was quite a moving experience, when “night shall be as bright as day.” There was great anticipation before the mass. After many months of classes, we were finally going to become members of the largest Christian family on the planet.

      The service started out quite solemnly, shrouded in darkness and quiet. When the lights came on in the church it was full of sensory delights leading us toward Christ. There was beautiful music, video clips synchronized with the music, smells and bells. All of this rang out loud and clear to profess the Good News.

      Since we were already baptized Christians we did not experience the “holy hot tub,” as my Catholic sister-in-law from New Jersey characterized it. She, a life-long Catholic raised in a Polish working class neighborhood, had never seen a full immersion baptism. Apparently someone forgot to heat the Baptismal pool and the cold water literally took the Catechumens breath away!

      I think most Catholics take their faith for granted. They are born into the “club” and don’t really appreciate the richness of the faith or the beauty of the church. Going to church is just something that you do, a box that you check off once a week, or like most, just twice a year at Christmas and Easter. For us becoming Catholics was a conscious choice and one that we did not take lightly. I learned that I have a very deep faith. Some people might characterize me as religious, but I see myself as just a normal person who has a personal relationship with Jesus.

      To be sure, becoming a Catholic has totally changed my life and my focus. It has energized my soul to learn more about the Holy Scriptures and the Catholic faith. It has also directed me to be more actively involved in doing the works of Christ. Becoming a Catholic has made me feel like I belong, that I am part of a larger, global community of believers, and that I am truly loved by God.

    • Klarissa dela Fuente

      “…it won’t change the world, but mystagogy will.”

      “Mystagogy My Mother Could Do” was a very intriguing article. Growing up, I often heard about God answering prayers on the last day of Novenas, or the fact that God loves us and Jesus died for our sins. Rarely did I hear about the messy aspects of life, nonetheless how they connected to the holiness of God. I would like to uncover the mystery of our faith by reflecting on an encounter I had with my mother and father in this thread.

      My father was in the hospital a few months ago. His room had white walls, blue blankets, and a window with a view of another building. At one point, my mother asked me to help bathe and change my dad’s clothes. The cloth she used on him washed off old dirt, and he began to smell a lot cleaner because of the soap. After we changed his clothes, he looked much more at peace and comfortable. He thanked us.

      Around that time, I was finalizing the details of my wedding. However, when I saw my mom bathing my dad, it deepened my understanding of the sacredness and beauty of marriage. Marriage isn’t just about the butterflies, but about dying-to-self for the sake of another person – authentic LOVE. I’m sure my mother did not enjoy cleaning my father and getting dirty herself, but because of her love for him, she put his needs before her wants. This reminds me of Jesus’ crucifixion. He did not enjoy the pain, but He endured it because of His abundant love for us.

      When my (now) husband is tired because of a long day, I won’t complain about doing the dishes just because I’d rather be watching a t.v. show. Rather, I will remember Jesus on the cross, enter into the discomfort, and thank the Lord for being the best example of true love.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Luis. I’m glad that one thing that stuck was the idea that we have to reach out to those on the outskirts. That really is the Christian mission. If liturgy can help us do that, we will be doing good liturgy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Bella. Thanks for sharing your description of the ordination. It is a liturgy not too many Catholics ever see. I also like how you linked it to our own call to spread the Word of God, faithfully celebrate the sacraments, and pray for all people. Nice reflection.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Patricia. You are right-there is always more to learn. You do a good job in this reflection. of noting that we are different every time we celebrate the Eucharist. That conversion is what brings us closer to Jesus and into intimacy with Jesus. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm about all this.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Laura. Thanks for this moving reflection. I do agree that a lot of cradle Catholics take their faith for granted. I hope and pray that it is not “most” of us. I really like that you identify yourself as normal. Me too. I sometimes get introduced as so-and-so’s “church friend.” I don’t really think of myself that way, but I get why other people do. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Klarissa. I so agree with you about the messiness of life and finding the holiness in that. I also really like your reflection on marriage. What a gift to have such strong examples like your parents, showing you how there is holiness in the sacrifices we make for each other. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Luis Urias

      Patricia
      I wanted to commend you on this blog entry as I really enjoyed reading your description of what the Mass really is and what it means and how it relates to the importance of Catechesis.

    • Jeanette

      Wow, Had two weeks to do this and I am still rushing in at the last minute! ??

      Amazingly, the last liturgy that was truly memorable was last Tuesday (9 Nov)! Dozens of Third Grade students from Holy Family School participated in as many ministry positions as could be created for them within the Whole School Liturgy.

      I was privileged to be asked to work with the Third Grade teachers to transform their last year’s Veteran’s Day Prayer Service into a Veteran’s Day Liturgy for this year. Last year they invited a number of Veterans to a Prayer Service to honor them and their gift of service to our country. Their driving theme was Peace, peace in the lives of the Veterans, and future peace for our country and the world. I wanted to be sure that what they had created in the Prayer Service would be as meaningful in a Liturgy.??

      Re-structuring the Prayer Service into the Liturgy was not as difficult as I thought it might be. Thanks to having taken this class, and all the reading of the documents about Liturgy, I had enough information at my fingertips to be helpful.

      In the Prayer Service they had music and songs, Presentation of Colors, a very memorable and touching Candle Ceremony, scripture readings, prayer intentions, and a special blessing for the Veterans. I knew the Presentation of the Colors and the Candle Ceremony might not really “fit” into the Liturgy so we had the children do them after the “Welcome” of all the guests but before the Procession.??

      Both the Presentation of Colors and the Candle Ceremony added to the theme of the day, honoring the Veterans with the Presentation of Colors with the Flag staying off to the side of the sanctuary throughout the Mass. After the Presentation of the Colors, nine children processed forward and stood before the altar each with one candle representing eight of the wars and conflicts the Veterans had served in. The white candles were tied with red, white, and blue ribbons. The ninth child held a white candle with brilliant white ribbon that was for future Peace. After the wars and conflicts were read each child placed their candle below on a wave of material studded with flags below the front of the altar with the Peace Candle center front. The candles were not “over done” and added much to the environment.

      The children had chosen “Open My Eyes Lord” as their Entrance Song; how powerful and uniting after the candle ceremony! Everyone sang! It also helps that our Pastor was excited about this Liturgy for the Veterans and that the third graders were executing their parts like clockwork – they were so attentive. Even their usual antsy behavior had been left behind for a short time as they “played their parts” with pride and the desire to honor their guests.

      The “reading” they had used for the service was from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (6:10-15) about the armor of God and fit nicely as the 1st Reading with the focus on Veterans Day. The Student Lector was such a little “soldier”! He left his seat and walked sternly to the front of the Sanctuary, bowed profoundly towards the Altar, marched up the stairs to the Ambo, pulled out the small stool and stepping up the Lectionary reaching for the microphone and setting it for himself perfectly! He proclaimed the reading very well and his movement and proclamation was better than most adults!!

      The music group (all students) led the Psalm. Fr. Andrew read the Gospel of the day and gave a homily that was followed by a rousing applause.
      ??
      Probably the biggest challenge was to “massage” the prayer intentions from the Prayer Service into the Universal Prayer format. I knew the progression had re-written so they began with the Church and world, our national leaders, Veterans of all nations, and our local veterans. There had to be six so that the six students could read them, which they did and did well. One would not know that these children were third graders!!

      I did not have any control of the Extra Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers as the Seventh and Eighth graders are trained and the teachers took responsibility for them.

      The final blessing was the one used at the Prayer Service but also “massaged” a bit so that the wording would be a blessing.

      I am grateful for this learning experience, to have the knowledge to help the teachers who do not have a staff person to turn to in this situation.

      I am sorry I could not focus on “ONE thing” about this Liturgy. It was so moving and the third graders were so focused and participating throughout the mass. They knew what it was about – to honor their guests for their “service” and they looked forward to give the Vets the “gifts” of bookmarks they had made and to have cookies and lemonade and listen to their stories at the reception. A liturgy in preparation for a liturgy!

      I learned – there is many moving parts and sometimes they are moving faster than me – get help (I had help but she ended up with a family emergency) and ALWAYS make up the Celebrant’s binder FIRST!!

      God Bless,
      jeanette

    • Daniel Lesieutre

      Liturgy as Catechesis? With catechesis defined as bringing us into a deeper communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. Liturgy does this, especially when done well, but is this how most of us would define catechesis? Maybe not previously, but it rings true, is confirmed through reason and the Holy Spirit. While books and “words” can assist catechesis, it is God who through others, through liturgy, draws us into deeper relationship. This encounter with Jesus and God through the “creating” Word and the Eucharist is catechesis. Thank you Nick for this insight.

      Memorable liturgies. While specific details sometimes escape my memory, the Easter Vigil has been an important part of my life since I was confirmed through the RCIA program as an adult many, many, years ago before my marriage to my wife – a true gift from God! Since then, we have always attended the Holy Week services and especially the Vigil. This was done every year with our children, from when they were babies and to the present – they are away at college now. There were never any complaints about it being long, because it is so exciting: fire outside the church, a candle procession into the church, creation narratives in the dark, the works of God through history, our salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the initiation of new brothers and sister in Christ often with a very generous use of the Chrism over their head. A true deepening of our relationship with God. It was good to learn that the focus of all our liturgies should be towards the Easter Vigil. Reflecting back, I see how the Easter Vigil is liturgy as catechesis, and that other family traditions like celebrating Baptism Anniversaries (liturgy at home) have drawn us into deeper communion and intimacy with Jesus.

    • Karen Pelosi

      This class, by far, is the best and most important class I have attended at ILM. Until I learned everything I learned in this class, I realize, I have never asked myself “What is Liturgy”? I knew what it was and attended every week, also many daily masses. I always felt a connection with God and loved the serenity of being in Church. Liturgy is so much more. I can sit in Church anywhere, without Liturgy, to feel the serenity. Showing up at Mass for serenity is not being involved in the Liturgy. I am now feeling so different when I attend Mass. I am engaged in all that is going on. From the entrance to dismissal we are walking through the life of Jesus. The assembly, the celebration, the word and sacrament, the songs and musicians, Communion together in faith through Christ and the Holy Spirit. I have learned the importance of the roles of the Priest, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, musicians all of us, the assembly. Each and every element of the Liturgy needs the other for a perfect celebration of the Mass.

      The most memorable Liturgy I attended was the Easter Vigil at St. Mary’s in Gilroy. I had sponsored my daughter-in-law in the RCIA program at St. Mary’s. For the first time in my life, I really learned about my Catholic faith and what it was all about. It was the best thing I ever did. My daughter-in-law and others, celebrated the sacraments during Easter Vigil. My entire family attended. The Vigil was everything we hoped it would be. The details and preparation made it what it was. There was a lot of singing; some English and some Spanish. I loved the diversity of the congregation. It lasted almost 3 hours, but seemed to fly by. At that time, it was the most I have ever been engaged in the Liturgy. I remember thinking how wonderful it was that we were celebrating her coming into the Church and also Christ’s Resurrection – a new beginning. It was this experience that started my faith journey in wanting to learn everything I could about our Church. I now look forward to fully participating in the Triduum each year.

      I am so happy I decided to take this class. Thank you Nick and Diana for sharing your incredible knowledge with all of us and giving of your time. It will help me help others.

    • Anai

      I can recall two liturgies that has stuck with me and they were both on Easter vigil. The first was when I was about 14 years old and was part of the Liturgy (I was an altar server.) It was during the the service of light and I was given the “duty” of holding the Paschal candle while the priest prepared it. I think back and wounder how i was able to do that, the Paschal candle is heavy. That moment though left me with a memorable experience, a huge fire at your front all kinds of people gathered to see what was going on, and feeling the pressure of the little nails when the priest was marking the the Paschal candle. I would be able to tell you word for word of what was said but for a young teenager that moment was very sacred. The other Easter vigil was when i wasn’t too sure I wanted to be back with the Church. I was going through a tough time, questioning a lot of things about myself, and how the church would see me (young, pregnant and alone.) I was sitting in the dark, waiting for the service of light to begin and finish, and get through the mass before anyone I knew would recognize me and try to talk to me. Out of no where a man sitting in front of me says to me, your having a boy…. He caught me of guard because I for one was barely showing and was doing my best not to show. He said some thing like his sister carried the same way or rather, but what got me was he said welcome and I hope you enjoy the service, its a beautiful one. It wasn’t necessarily the Liturgy that moved me but with that friendly gesture form a stranger helped me hear it and open to receive the liturgy of the word. I was able to encounter two moments were Christ was there for me and wouldn’t have thought they were in the moments that they were. I for one do think that all parts of the Liturgy is important, but we have to open to recognize it and help other to hear and see it.

    • Luis Cardoso

      During our class on November 4, Mr. Wagner posed this question: What is the most effective learning event regarding your faith you have ever experienced? I thought it was a difficult question to answer. He also asked us to reflect on the liturgy that each one of us has found most moving. He asked us to “Open up to what Christ is doing in your hearts . . . and how does the gospel come alive in you.” His personal approach to our relationship to Christ asks us to keep our Lord at the center of our lives.
      A very moving experience for me were the times I was at Mass with my mother and she was suffering from Alzsheimer’s. She followed me as as knelt, when I prayed, when I sat. She was unable to say the prayers. We worshipping together the sacrifices our Lord had made. I felt very close to her during the Mass.

    • Luis Estrada

      One of the teachings I learned on November 4th was that the primary purpose of a parish is to initialize people into our Faith. That brought my memory back to a year that due to
      operational conflicts in my worshiping parish, there were no Baptisms at the
      Eater Vigil. Although, we were happy for the Resurrection of our Lord, we
      missed the fact that there were no new Catholics to cheer and celebrate with.

      I also learned that the Liturgy serves a Catechesis. Sometimes that fact is not given the attention it deserves.

      Liturgies that have been very special in my life are the day of our Wedding, Easter Vigils, and my Dad’s Funeral Mass because he reconciled with God before passing, and that was the celebration of his new life. I also enjoyed very much my oldest daughter’s Quinceañera Liturgy two years ago. The Church was quite full, and the people who were there actively participated. All aspects of the Liturgy were prepared with love, and I could see the fruit of that love in a beautiful Liturgy. The presider was connected with us people, and now I can associate it to the dialogue between the Father and Son mentioned in the previous class. I look forward to my youngest daughter Quinceañera Liturgy so I can more actively participate in the planning.

    • Semi Gurbiel

      The most memorable liturgy I have attended was on November 7, it was the installation of Father Engel Gammad as pastor of St. Joseph’s church. It was nice to see Bishop McGrath, Monsignor Cilia and father Gammad all together. Besides the priest there were two deacons helping in the mass.

      It was beautiful to see so many people gathered together. Church was full, this was the first time I saw all the different ethnicities all together at one time. This time I felt the liturgy was a reflection of liturgy class, an all inclusive mass. We had four choirs singing, the Spanish, the English, the Indian community, and the children choir. The community was greeted and recognized by the priest talking in some of the languages he could speak. He apologized to the Indian community for not being able to speak Tamil.

      The readings were well connected, the music very appropriate, and the homily was perfect for the occasion. He was talking about the perfect pastor (humor) qualities; of which I will mention some of them. I think this is what we wish a pastor would be like. How happy we would be to have a pastor like this.

      1. The perfect pastor preaches exactly 20 minutes and follows it with an invitation in which everyone is
      convicted but no one is offended.
      2. Works from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00p.m. In every type of work from counseling to custodial service.
      3. 27 years old with 30 years of experience.
      4. Has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older folks.
      5. He smiles constantly with a straight and sober face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him
      seriously at his work.
      6. Invest 25 hours a weeks in sermon preparation, 20 hours in counseling, 10 hours on meeting, 5 hours in emergencies, 20 hours in visitations and evangelism, 6 hours in wedding and funerals, 30 hours in prayer and meditation, 12 hours and letter writing and administration, and 10 hours in creative thinking.
      7. Makes 15 calls a day
      8. Spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched.
      9. Attends all retreats, goes to all youth retreats.
      10. He is always available in his office
      11. His bank account is small.
      12. His car is in the shop
      13 He is paid too much, too little, and he gives it all away.

      Although this is humor, I become aware of how busy the life of a priest is. And sometimes we would like to have them at our disposal in the same minute we need them. Sometimes we are so demanding with our priests that we forget they are only humans. If we could find a priest like this we would have Christ in person.

      After the mass a reception followed. Liturgy still went on by sharing food with the different communities, making one big catholic community.

    • John

      I continue to learn something new each and every time I take another session of your course.

      I will confess, I never understood or knew what Catechesis was or is about. I always thought Catechesis was a different arena where it was “walled off” from Liturgy and classified under Faith Formation classes.

      As discussed in class, many of us believe that Catechesis is an educational model to learn about our faith when in actuality, Catechesis has nothing to do with schooling. The greek word of understanding Catechesis is “echo” where we are asked to “echo” back the Holy Spirit to help another to build an intimate bond and relationship with Jesus Christ.

      That’s when my light bulb was lit where our greatest (and possibly only) opportunity to Catechize to everyone to grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ is through Liturgy. Given that we want the entire community to have a fully conscious and active participation, an effective Catechesis is when everyone is learning more about their faith and growing into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ every liturgy.

      That’s when we talked about Mystagogy where we look back at the mystery. When we had our opening activity to discuss a major learning moment at church in our lives, each and every one of us had a unique story. Although each story were unique, the number one similarity in all the stories is how each and everyone of us grew into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

      Therefore, when we connect to Liturgy with Mystagogy, we look back at the Easter Vigil. I will confess that I am not a big fan of Easter Vigil but after understanding how it “echos” back to the mystery (Mystagogy), I’m starting to appreciate it.

      From our course tonight, we learn that the Easter Vigil has four main parts. First, we discussed about “light” where the light of Christ is shared to others and is breaking through the darkness. An example given tonight is how we are the light of Christ when we welcome someone to our parish. Second, we discussed a flashback remembering the stories of how God loves us and still loves us. Third, we discussed death where the initiated dies with their old self with Christ in order to rise with him. Fourth, we discussed the resurrection and the triumph of Christ over everything and uniting everything with the God, the Father.

      An effective and successful liturgy would truly catechize to everyone in the community including those who are baptized, going to be baptized, and discerning. Moreover, it’s beautiful to help everyone look back at the mystery of their lives and reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ life through the liturgy. Mystagogy and Catechesis should not just end on Easter Vigil, it should be at every liturgy where everyone is able to have a fully conscious and active participation and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

      Just one more class to go!

    • Marcy Golebiewski

      The “Fulfilled in Your Hearing” passage 64 about the homily talks about “Deepened Faith” as the goal. In class, Nick explained that catechesis should develop the catechumens relationship with Christ in any experience driven way so they can learn by “doing”. Their participation enables their welcome into the community and contact and increase their with the faithful. The communities interaction with the catechumens similiarly deepens their faith and relationship with Jesus. To will come back to this idea of fully participating in welcoming others in just a minute

      I liked our ending excercise because it added perspective and idea. We formed in small groups of 4-5 people and we shared our trust and hopes for our parishes. steps we can take in the next -30 days to move closer to the goal and how we will hold ourselves accountable. I really liked John Vu’s answers because his idea is something that everyone of us can do. I’m sure he won’t mind too much if I share with the rest of the class what he said. JOhn wanted to in read the full participation. His action that we all can do is to welcome someone who is new to you and say hello to them. They way to be accountable is to remember their name, Not only is that cool.. but it’s very doable. Thanks John!

      How wonderful if he could touch one of those people coming to liturgy for the first or last time and change it from being their last time.

    • Jane

      Using the Idea Starters
      Not necessarily the last liturgy that was truly memorable but a liturgy that was memorable is the Rite of Elect. When I was on the Holy Spirit RCIA team I attended this liturgy every year. At the Rite of Sending that takes place in each parish, the Catechumens sign their names in the Book of Elect and they are sent to the Bishop. At the Rite of Elect their names are read aloud and the Bishop receives them. They are now the Elect and the song “Thanks Be to God” is sung at the top of our lungs and the parish representative holds the Book of Elect high for all to see. New Life! We are bringing new life into the church. I look at each of the Elect that night- they are filled with God’s grace, it shows on their faces, and they are excitedly looking forward to Easter Vigil. It is like seeing mystagogy in action and it is infectious. It made me feel that grace. When I reflect on experiencing the Rite of Elect what I think I learned about my faith is that each of us have answered God’s call, in our own time, in our own turn. This is their turn, their time. There is something about walking the RCIA journey with these people who started out as Inquirers, became Catechumens, became the Elect and will become fully initiated children of God that livens my faith and brings a recommitment to continuing to share the story.

    • Anthony Ordona

      I liked the discussion regarding the Easter vigil and the four main parts of the mass. Light which is the light of Christ breaking through the darkness, flashback, the readings from Genesis, the epistle of St. Paul and the gospel reading. Death which is the initiation part of the mass. The elect making a formal committment to Jesus. Life in which Jesus’s triumph is the unification of all of us. The symbolism talked about during the discussion brought to life the meaning of what the vigil mass is all about for me. Got a great deal out of the discussion on catechsis and mystogogy. I liked the explanation that Catechsis that it’s a way of deepening a individual’s faith and nuture a deep relationship with Christ. It was good for me to get further reinforcement on what mystogogy is about, in particular that it is the process of looking back and looking at the mystery. I am beginning to believe very strongly that liturgy is the best way of teaching our faith.

    • Paty R.

      For me the Triduum and Easter Vigil Liturgies are the most memorable ones. I always make time to go wherever I am. Every time there is something to move you, whether the ambiance, people lovingly washing the feet one to another, or the way the liturgy flows. Last year the reflections for the Stations of the Cross were so engaging that you could feel yourself right there taking to Jesus, walking with him, feeling the pain, the suffering, the hopelessness, the love and mercy. Everybody was so moved!

    • Mariann

      In Liturgy last Wednesday class, I liked to discuss in the small groups and most of us shared our hopes for our parishes and deepest statement of our faith, then we share our goal we can do 30 days and how we will hold ourselves accountable for taking that steps. We shared that we should show to them our names that we do ministry in the parish for welcome who new come to church and make them feel good when they coming to Liturgy and easy to closer to God and others.
      Second thing that I learn in class that day about we discuss how to learn Catechists through Liturgy. Catechesis is an educational model to learn about God and deeend their faith to relationship with Jesus Christ through Liturgy that the goal of each parish. We also learned that Catechesis is the communion with Jesus Christ into the Catechetical classes because we are disciple of God, so we bring people closer to God and they will grow up in their faith.
      As a religious sister, my job in parish is help children closer to God. My ministry is to facilitate the Catechsis of everyone in the parish to intimate communion with Jesus Christ, help them understand Catechesis and learn more about their faith to growing into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.Not only for children or adult in parish, but for adult who want to become Catholic as Nick explained in class that Catechesis should develop the Catechumens relationship with Jesus Christ in experience and they can learn by doing in their life.
      Thanks Nick for this class to help me understand more about Liturgical Catechesis when I learn in class and the article I had read, that help me improve in my ministry and I will help others to closer to Jesus Christ and growing up their faith to relationship with God. Thank you

    • Lee Campbell

      Another informative Liturgy class. ” The reason parish’s exist is to evangelize “. I thought it was to establish and evangelization committee and argue about the best way to evangelize. As a requirement for last semester I had to meet with my Pastor and review what we have learned over the past 2 1/2 years and find out what and how he wants me to participate (going forward) in the parish. He wants me to be an active member of the evangelization committee once ILM is completed. You mentioned some very practical ideas like seeing how much money is spent on outside of church instead of the inside of church. When we turn our focus outward we reach out to strangers. Reaching out to whoever is new. Our whole liturgial effort has to be out going. The way liturgy is supposed to flow is of paramount importance (as I see it these days with a new pair of glasses). The ritual/non-ritual parts need to be addressed. I am going to have to have patience. I am looking forward to being a part of that committee primarily because of what I have gleaned from this course. Your thoughts and direction are a ray of sunshine. So much to do.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi John. This is an excellent reflection on the connection between liturgy and catechesis. You also have a good grasp of the role of mystagogical reflection. I am heartened that you might become more of a fan of the Easter Vigil!

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Marcy. I like that you picked up on the “learn by doing” aspect of catechesis for the catechumens. Too often, RCIA teams attempt to get them to “learn by listening.” And that’s not very effective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Jane. This is a great mystagogical description of the Rite of Election. You did a good job capturing the memory of the liturgy and connecting that to your own faith journey. Thanks for your reflection.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Anthony. I love your last statement: “liturgy is the best way of teaching our faith.” That is a key goal I have in this course. I also like your summary of the flow of the Easter Vigil. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Paty. This is a beautiful reflection your experience of the Lent and Triddum liturgies. Sometimes those of us who are immersed in the details of making these liturgies go well can get a little dulled to the power of them. Thanks for reminding us of the beauty of these rites.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Mariann. I’m glad to hear that what we are discussing in ILM is helping you in your parish ministry. You have a solid grasp on the goal of catechesis, and I’m sure you are a blessing to the children and adults you minister with. Thanks for your participation in the discussion.

    • Nick Wagner

      Hi Lee. If all you accomplish in your parish is to get the budget priorities realigned to make evangelization a priority, you will skip purgatory and go directly to heaven! I like your image of seeing with a new pair of glasses. I agree there is much to do. Thanks for sharing.

    • Phan Nguyen

      One of the most memorable masses that I attended was in a weekend retreat at St Clare Retreat Center near Santa Cruz a few weeks ago. Seating in my pew I can see the beautiful scenery through panoramic window behind the altar with green red wood trees reaching high in the sky and the sun not yet reached the tree top. Despite of the uplifting environment, the celebration was more beautiful. The presider took time to read all the prayers with every word pronounced clearly. He carefully celebrated the mass as if this was his first mass. After each paragraph, he stopped and took a step back, pause for second then moved forward to the altar and continued. His movements, gestures and facial expression created an absolute reverence to the presence of the Lord Jesus on the altar. The sign of the cross, the greetings, the smiling all created a unity and a close intimacy atmosphere between the worshipers and the Lord Jesus.
      After attending this mass, in every mass followed, I paid more attention to every part of the mass. I really appreciate if the priest does not perform the Liturgy in a hurry. In the past it did not bother me at all but now I enjoy more with the slow movements and moderate to slow prayer reading pace, especially the Preface and the Eucharistic prayer.

    • Miguel Guzman

      Mike Guzman Hi Nick, another great class. During Easter Vigil, we have to tell the story, which is symbolic. It is told in 4 parts:.1.The Light of Christ overcoming Darkness. 2. Flashback = History, How we got there, Genesis,The Old Testament, Gospel = The Story of Jesus. 3. Jesus Dies, The Catechumens. .4, Jesus Lives, The Eucharist, Triumph of Jesus, Unification of all of us, Mystagogy and Reflection, My experience In the Adult RCIA, as a Member of the Team. During Easter Vigil, I reflect on the journey that I have walked with the Candidates. Also, its how the Parish Community is involved and how they respond and participate during the Easter Vigil Mass. It is very touching to see the outcome, it’s such an inspirational time for me. Catechesis or Liturgy is a deeper intimacy with Christ The Mission of the Church is to Initiate, to Evangelize To go out into the World and make a difference. Prayer motivates People. It is Breaking open the Word, The Readings in Mass, The Old and New Testament, the Homily, Quality of the Sermon. The Faithful = Welcoming People, Greeting them, and saying Hello. The Parish as a whole, Reaching out, How do we make it our Focus. Catechumen = RCIA. How much of the Parish Budget is focused inwardly, not outwardly. Social Justice = Preaching on Justice. What is my truest hope of my Parish = Full Participation of the Church Community. Parish Finance Plan. Increasing Discipleship. What is one step I can take in 30 days, is to be be active with my Family and Friends. How do I hold myself accountable, is to be active in Church. Take responsibility for myself. To be Social, Participate, and reach out to People.Nick, I was interested on what you said about Faith is caught, not taught. Faith is taught, refers to the same way, we are taught to play. We are first evangelized to play. We see someone playing, nd we like what we see, then we are converted. We are convinced that we want to be Players. Those who are better than us, give us feedback. Once we are converted, we mimic what we see. We learn from our mistakes, and from the praising we get, when we do well. We also ask for help. Once, we’ve mastered the techniques, and basic techniques. We can teach someone else how to play. Those are some of the ways we learn to play. Faith happens the same way. The only way People come to Faith, is when they see other People living their Faith. People come to Faith, because Faithful People live Faithfully. People come to Faith, as we are an example on how we carry ourselves, on how they see us practicing our Faith. That was great, Nick on what you wrote. Mike Guzman.

    • Stella Lal

      I have always had a concern about full and active participation during Sunday Eucharistic Celebration. Initially, when growing up we go for Mass because our parents want us to go or insist we need to go. Then we go out of guilt, because the catechism teaches us, or fear of going to hell or we just do not feel good about not going. Eventually, as we grow spiritually we move towards making it the Source and Summit of our lives.

      One of the images that comes to mind is when we see in movies some mafia members are attending Mass, they sit and stand and go through the motions while plotting among themselves to kill someone. This is probably one of the more extreme examples, but often that is how we attend Mass.

      I have often wondered how we can make the Liturgy more participative. The reading assignments of this week provides a lot suggestions and tools to do this. What I have got from these readings is that.

      Pastors need to promote liturgical instructions and active participation taking into account their age, condition, way of life and stage of religious development. The rites should be short, simple, clear and unencumbered by repetitions and within the people’s power of comprehension. Brief comments at appropriate times would serve as liturgical catechesis.

      The way the homily is presented and explained can have a high impact on full participation of the faithful. The purpose of the Eucharistic homily is to enable people to lift up their hearts, to praise and thank God for His presence in their lives.

      This will enable the faithful to fully participate in the Eucharistic Celebration and make it the Source and Summit of their lives.

    • Frank Nguyen

      I think the reason I grow stronger in faith is mostly due my love of the Holy Eucharist and the Liturgy. I basically was catechized from years of attending Sunday Masses with my catholic wife, even though I was not baptized then. Through the liturgy of the Word, I got to understand what required to be a Christian and I must love God more than anything or anyone else. Jesus said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23, and “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37. These words made me think a lot about what I wanted to be or to have. I wanted to be baptized to be called a child of God, to have eternal life. I wanted to be able to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist but without denying myself of all the attachments of this life, I would not be accepted. Many times staying in the pew, kneeling and praying while others proceeded to communion, I felt like God comforting me and encouraging me to respond to his Love and I wanted to tell him “Here I am!” as Samuel did.

      Finally, I responded to God’s call after attending the Easter Vigil liturgy in 1991. Through a year of attending Bible study and RCIA classes, I was baptized and fully received into the Catholic Church. I still remembered having an indescribable joy, a joy that lasted for months and I was like on fire throughout the year. I often shared my joy and faith with others at work and at almost everywhere I was. Still after 25 years, most of my topics of conversation are about the Faith.

      My biggest gift that I offered to my parents was not my own but from God, as I shared my Faith in Christ, and prayed for the conversion of my parents. With God’s grace, my parents were baptized into the Catholic church. Those were the happiest moments of my life.

    • Yolanda C Garcia

      I am recalling the last liturgy I celebrated that was truly memorable, and while there have been many, I was very much affected by our liturgy of Sunday, November 8th. The Gospel was according to Matthew 23:1-12, about humility and pride. Jesus was preaching to the crowd and to his disciples about obeying the law of the Scribes and Pharisees, but do not emulate them. They don’t practice what they preach. Many of the Scribes and Pharisees were overly concerned with prestige and power. They were a prideful group. They wanted to be noticed for all their good works, but nothing done with humility. They wanted to be noticed at banquets and insisted in sitting in places of honor at these dinners and gatherings. Jesus warned his followers to not act as they do. Do not call them Master, as there is only one Master, and that is the Messiah, our one Father in heaven. My pastor, Father Tito, spoke on the the pride of our government leaders, our own family members and loved ones and ourselves, and how it only brings about a disconnect of love for each other, God’s love, in doing God’s work. We need to get rid of the pride in our service to the poor, and act with humility. We need to concentrate on serving others and forget about status and being noticed. I was feeling some guilt of my prideful nature at times in my life. When it has reared its ugly head in the past, I not only have become remorseful, but it caused me a lot of hurt within myself, and went straight to my heart of consciousness. Also, what did I show others? Not the love of Christ, that’s for sure! The last thing that Father Tito said while finishing his Homily was “I have never heard of anyone choking to death by swallowing his pride”. And with that, a silence fell, and I sat there motionless and asking for God’s forgiveness once again while tears swelled up in my eyes.

    • Tim Logan

      For me it was the Easter Vigil when I was completely within the folds of my faith. Something that I had yearned for years, but was never satisfied by all the other religions I had dabbled in. Each only filled a part of my life, my heart, my mind. But I reflect that like Frank, I did not come to this just out of the blue. It was attending mass with my wife that formed the desire to be more complete. In 1995 I celebrated my first Eucharist at the Easter Vigil and it was then that I finally felt I had found my home, my Lord and my God.

      That my faith is like a plant, it needs a constant feeding of the word, the Eucharist, prayer and serving others. That our journey in our faith driven life doesn’t just stop at the end of Mass.

      Since that time I realized that I wanted even more and I got involved in RCIA, other activities at the Church and now ILM.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/535766518cbee5e730a107e93b78cbd1ec59917eb5c4c2c6d1020f6aa60e5201.jpg Our trip to Crater Lake with our friends who are more like family.

    • Lerma Simpson

      During the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Washing of the Feet was a ritual that I did not always look forward to mainly because I was self-conscious about how my feet looked. I often did not have time to get a pedicure, and my feet ached and looked swollen from being on my feet all day long from teaching. However, a couple of years ago, I had a profound change on my attitude of this ritual because I had met Larry. I met Larry at the cemetery where my dad’s earthly body is laid to rest. Larry calls his truck home. His weathered face and hands, and the ruggedness of his clothes pretty much depicts his life situation. However, visiting his mom’s burial site and taking care of it seems to bring him comfort. The cemetery caretakers did not speak fondly of Larry. They said that Larry was on drugs and had mental issues. Others who visited their loved ones also claimed that Larry was “not all there”. I rarely talked to Larry, except to say hello to him whenever I passed him on the way to my dad’s plot. One day, Larry noticed that I was struggling with the up-keeping of my dad’s space. The grass was scarce in some areas. I scattered grass seeds on them, but the areas needed constant watering, which I rarely had opportunities during the week to do. Larry approached me and told me the obvious that the area needed persistent care which the groundskeepers were not adequately providing, and the sprinklers weren’t sufficiently spreading water to certain portions of the cemetery. Larry brought over a bag of grass seeds that he used for his mom’s plot and dropped a few grass seeds onto my dad’s. He then proceeded to make several rounds to refill his water bucket, carefully pouring its contents over the seeds. I thanked Larry and offered him money for his service. He wouldn’t take the money, but he did accept a warm handshake and an ear to listen to his story. As always, I returned to visit dad on the weekends whenever I could. During each visit, I would see a gradual growth of green grass. Larry told me that he watered it every day. Eventually, I grew to learn of Larry’s story by trading my ear for his skills. He had lost his job and found it difficult to obtain another one that would allow him to afford a place to rent and adequately support his family. In addition, he suffers from diabetes and had lost all communication with his wife and children. He admitted that he often found himself depressed and often stared into space during those moments of depression. Despite those ailments, Larry was moved to help someone else in need, and as others noticed how Larry’s deeds transformed my dad’s plot, they had requested his service for their own loved ones’ plots. Oftentimes, he would go above and beyond their calling by lifting their markers when he noticed them sinking into the ground. The Holy Thursday liturgy, especially during the Washing of the Feet, always reminds me of Larry’s servitude. Larry continues to be at a low point in his life as his health deteriorates even further, but without complaining, he carries on to “wash all of our feet”, even those who had at one point spoken unkindly of him. During this liturgy I am also reminded of how badly Jesus was treated by many during his life on earth and how he even had a death sentence by those who despised him. Yet, despite knowing that his fate was drawing nearer, he did not choose to mope and complain. He continued to show love and servitude even to the one whom he knew betrayed him, telling his disciples to also show love to others. The Washing of the Feet often brings me to wonder, that if Jesus was physically on earth today, how many of us would actually be willing to welcome him into our homes to wash our feet after we walk out of the church building, or would we taunt and mock him just as many others had? Because people eventually welcomed Larry’s kindness and grew to trust him, the cemetery grounds transformed from being dry and brittle to a luscious field of green grass. Today, how my feet look during the Washing of the Feet concerns me less; in my mind, I place myself with Jesus knowing that, if it were truly Jesus washing my feet, he would do so even if my feet were imperfect. At that point, Jesus tells me that he could care less how I look; so I needn’t need to worry about answering my personal doorbell when he calls. I need to always welcome him in, accept his love and share his love with others. My continued trust in Jesus provides the nourishment that my faith needs to grow into a luscious field of beauty, just like the one Larry planted for those who welcomed his love and grew to know and trust him.

    • Annette Mo

      The liturgy we celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi that was truly memorable to me was the Triduum this year.  I had the opportunity to serve as a sacristan at our Easter Triduum.  Being a sacristan gave me the opportunity to understand the triduum and its significance.  Through all the preparations of the liturgy for Holy Thursday’s washing of the feet, and altar of repose, to Good Friday’s veneration of the cross, Holy Saturday’s vigil mass, and culminating with the celebration of Easter Sunday, I learned that Easter Triduum is a recollection of the last supper, a memorial of Christ’s crucifixion and death, and a celebration of His resurrection.  Everything we did at this liturgy was intentional, and carefully thought through to give meaning to the paschal mystery.  One thing that really struck me was the emptiness of the altar.  It felt like being stripped of all material possessions.  It made me think of the simplicity of God.  There is nothing He wants from me but my love for Him.  We get so wrapped up in our lives, what we own, what we do, who is rich, who is poor, but hardly do we ever think of the simplicity of our faith.  We had a beautiful altar of repose, very simple, with the tabernacle, dim lights, and candles.  It was conducive to meditation.  It allowed me to think of God and listen to Him in silence.  And the carefully crafted vigil mass on Saturday, how we start the service with darkness to the lighting of the Easter fire, the procession of the candle lit from the Easter fire into the community and we receive it’s light and experience the power of the light of Christ in us.  Everything we did in the Triduum was symbolic and representative of our faith.  It was overwhelming yet refreshing.  I never saw Lent/Easter that way before.  It used to be all about fasting and abstinence then came the chocolates and the easter bunny.  This time, Lent and Easter meant a renewal and strengthening of my relationship with God.  Submission and acceptance of what God is offering me.  It will be a long journey, but with this experience, I believe I made my first step.

    • Lerma Simpson

      During the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Washing of the Feet was a ritual that I did not always look forward to mainly because I was self-conscious about how my feet looked. I often did not have time to get a pedicure, and my feet ached and looked swollen from being on my feet all day long from teaching. However, a couple of years ago, I had a profound change on my attitude of this ritual because I had met Larry. I met Larry at the cemetery where my dad’s earthly body is laid to rest. Larry calls his truck home. His weathered face and hands, and the ruggedness of his clothes pretty much depicts his life situation. However, visiting his mom’s burial site and taking care of it seems to bring him comfort. The cemetery caretakers did not speak fondly of Larry. They said that Larry was on drugs and had mental issues. Others who visited their loved ones also claimed that Larry was “not all there”. I rarely talked to Larry, except to say hello to him whenever I passed him on the way to my dad’s plot. One day, Larry noticed that I was struggling with the up-keeping of my dad’s space. The grass was scarce in some areas. I scattered grass seeds on them, but the areas needed constant watering, which I rarely had opportunities during the week to do. Larry approached me and told me the obvious that the area needed persistent care which the groundskeepers were not adequately providing, and the sprinklers weren’t sufficiently spreading water to certain portions of the cemetery. Larry brought over a bag of grass seeds that he used for his mom’s plot and dropped a few grass seeds onto my dad’s. He then proceeded to make several rounds to refill his water bucket, carefully pouring its contents over the seeds. I thanked Larry and offered him money for his service. He wouldn’t take the money, but he did accept a warm handshake and an ear to listen to his story. As always, I returned to visit dad on the weekends whenever I could. During each visit, I would see a gradual growth of green grass. Larry told me that he watered it every day. Eventually, I grew to learn more of Larry’s story. He had lost his job and found it difficult to obtain another one that would allow him to afford a place to rent and adequately support his family. In addition, he suffers from diabetes and had lost all communication with his wife and children. He admitted that he often found himself depressed and often stared into space during those moments of depression. Despite those ailments, Larry was moved to help someone else in need, and as others noticed how Larry’s deeds transformed my dad’s plot, they had requested his service for their own loved ones’ plots. Oftentimes, he would go above and beyond their calling by lifting their markers when he noticed them sinking into the ground. The Holy Thursday liturgy, especially during the Washing of the Feet, always reminds me of Larry’s servitude. Larry continues to be at a low point in his life as his health deteriorates even further, but without complaining, he carries on to “wash all of our feet”, even those who had at one point spoken unkindly of him. During this liturgy I am also reminded of how badly Jesus was treated by many during his life on earth and how he even had a death sentence by those who despised him. Yet, despite knowing that his fate was drawing nearer, he did not choose to mope and complain. He continued to show love and servitude even to the one whom he knew betrayed him, telling his disciples to also show love to others. The Washing of the Feet often brings me to wonder, that if Jesus was physically on earth today, how many of us would actually be willing to welcome him into our homes to wash our feet after we walk out of the church building, or would we taunt and mock him just as many others had? Because people eventually welcomed Larry’s kindness and grew to trust him, the cemetery grounds transformed from being dry and brittle to a luscious field of green grass. Today, how my feet look during the Washing of the Feet concerns me less; in my mind, I place myself with Jesus knowing that, if it were truly Jesus washing my feet, he would do so even if my feet were imperfect. At that point, Jesus tells me that he could care less how I look; so I needn’t need to worry about answering my personal doorbell when he calls. I need to always welcome him in, accept his love and share his love with others. My continued trust in Jesus provides the nourishment that my faith needs to grow into a luscious field of beauty, just like the one Larry planted for those who welcomed his love and grew to know and trust him.

    • Irene Dela Cruz

      Last Good Friday’s Veneration of the Cross was an
      unforgettable experience for me.
      Good Friday Services have always touched me even back in the
      Philippines where my faith journey began.
      This has always been a sacred day when we were asked to be quiet. Playing,
      watching TV, and listening to radio were not allowed unless it was tuned to a
      station broadcasting the Passion of Christ. I grew up knowing it is a “holy” day and that
      our focused should be on Christ’s dying for our sins. So it was truly a moving experience when for the first time in my life I was called to carry the Wooden Cross along with 3 other
      men while the community came to venerate. In the beginning I felt blessed because this means I can pray for my own intentions for as long as I want without needing to move, then I started watching the sea of faces who came to worship and I saw grief, reminding me that we are all wounded, some more than the others and that they are my brothers and sisters who suffer just like me. I was reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis, “Our tragedy is not that we suffer, but we waste suffering. Pain is God’s megaphone to arouse us from our deafness. If we are to be re-made,re-born, turned around, we must first be broken into pieces.” And there I got it, on that day that I helped carry the wooden Cross I realized that I could not have understood their brokenness without the cross that I myself have been carrying.
      Having participated that night in the way that I did has taught me to be more compassionate, and to sincerely pray for the intentions of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need.

    • Lerma Simpson

      During the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Washing of the Feet was a ritual that I did not always look forward to mainly because I was self-conscious about how my feet looked. I often did not have time to get a pedicure, and my feet looked swollen from being on my feet all day long from teaching. However, a couple of years ago, I had a profound change on my attitude of this ritual because I had met Larry. I met Larry at the cemetery where my dad’s earthly body is laid to rest. Larry calls his truck home. His weathered face and hands, and the ruggedness of his clothes pretty much depicts his life situation. Many people avoided Larry because they felt that he appeared “not to be all there”. I observed, however, that taking care of his mom’s burial site seems to bring him comfort. One day, Larry noticed that I was struggling with the up-keeping of my dad’s space. The grass needed constant watering, which I rarely had opportunities during the week to do. Larry made several rounds to and from the water faucet to refill his water bucket, and after each round, he carefully poured its contents over the brown patches of my dad’s plot. I thanked Larry and offered him money for his service. He wouldn’t take the money, but he did accept a warm handshake and an ear to listen to his story. I continued to visit dad on the weekends, and each time I visited, I would see a gradual growth of green grass. Larry told me that he had sprinkled new grass seeds on the dying areas and watered it every day. Eventually, I learned that Larry had lost his job, suffers from diabetes, and had lost all communication with his wife and children. Despite hitting a low point in his life, Larry was moved to help someone else in need, and as others noticed how Larry’s deeds transformed my dad’s plot, those who had previously shut him out began to welcome his generosity. The Washing of the Feet during the Holy Thursday liturgy, always reminds me of Larry’s openness to service and how blessed are those who accepted his acts of kindness, which often brings me to wonder, that if Jesus was physically on earth today, how many of us would actually be willing to welcome him into our homes to wash our feet, or would we pretend not to be home? Because people eventually welcomed Larry’s kindness and grew to trust him, the cemetery grounds transformed from being dry and brittle to a luscious field of green grass. Today, how my feet look during the Washing of the Feet concerns me less. In my mind, I place myself with Jesus knowing that he would wash my feet even if my feet were imperfect; so I needn’t need to worry about answering my personal doorbell when he calls. I need to always welcome him in, accept his love and share his love with others. My continued trust in Jesus provides the nourishment that my faith needs to grow into a luscious field of beauty, just like the one Larry planted for those who welcomed his love and grew to know and trust him.

    • Melby Sanchez

      Every year, the celebration of the Holy Triduum is always a memorable experience for me. It is the summit of the Liturgical year, i.e. the unfolding of the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery into one single celebration. It marks the end of the Lenten season and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil. I make sure that my family and I attend this magnificent and joyous celebration.
      Maundy ?Thursday is the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Within it is the Washing of the Feet that reminds us of Christ’s loving humility, i.e. bringing to mind on how we should love God above all and also our neighbor through our loving and generous service. After which, we all process and bring the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose. At this point, traditionally, we visit the other Altar of Repose of (at least six more) different churches or parishes. Geographically, this is feasible in our diocese because churches are closer to each other in distance.
      The liturgy continues on Good Friday. On this day, we recall the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here, we begin the service with the prostration of the celebrant at the altar. At St. John the Baptist in Milpitas, after the Good Friday service, it is a practice that we all process the life-size image of the “Santo Entierro” (i.e. statue of the dead Christ) around the vicinity of the church together with the saints, like St. Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. For me, it is very symbolic and moving; as if we all are journeying with the “lifeless” Jesus bringing Him to His tomb and accompanying and consoling His mother, Mary.
      Finally, the Triduum ends at the Easter Vigil, i.e. the mother of all vigils; the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord; the greatest and most noble of all Solemnities; the Passover of the New Covenant which marks Christ’s passage from death to life.

    • Ken Louie

      The last liturgy that was truly memorable was the Easter Vigil.
      It continues to teach me how God loves us through his stories from creation, Abraham, Israelites escape from Egypt, and finally to the gospel of Jesus’s resurrection.
      The most moving part of the Vigil is continuing to journey with the RCIA group in the entrance of the darken church only lite with processional candles and hearing The Proclamation Of Easter.
      These following words speak deeply to my senses and renews my soul in the Proclamation: trumpet, ablaze, shake, bright, dazzling, and power.

      “Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
      exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
      let the trumpet of salvation
      sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
      Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
      ablaze with light from her eternal King,
      let all corners of the earth be glad,
      knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
      Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
      arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
      let this holy building shake with joy,
      filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.”

      I aslo love hearing the five “This is the night…” Here is the last one.
      “This is the night
      of which it is written:
      The night shall be as bright as day,
      dazzling is the night for me,
      and full of gladness.
      The sanctifying power of this night
      dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
      restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners…”

    • Lerma Simpson

      During the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Washing of the Feet was a ritual that I did not always look forward to mainly because I was self-conscious about how my feet looked. However, a couple of years ago, I had a profound change on my attitude of this ritual because I had met Larry. Larry called his truck home and visited his mom’s burial site religiously. Many people avoided Larry because they felt that he was “not to be all there”. One day, Larry noticed that I was struggling with the up-keeping of my dad’s space. The grass needed constant watering, which I rarely had opportunities during the week to do. Larry made several rounds to and from the water faucet to refill his water bucket, and after each round, he carefully poured its contents over the brown patches of my dad’s plot. I continued to visit dad on the weekends, and each time I visited, I would see a gradual growth of green grass. Larry told me that he watered my dad’s plot every day. As others noticed how Larry’s deeds transformed my dad’s plot, those who had previously shut him out began to welcome his generosity. The Washing of the Feet during the Holy Thursday liturgy, always reminds me of Larry’s openness to service and how blessed are those who accepted his acts of kindness, which often brings me to wonder, that if Jesus was physically on earth today, how many of us would actually be willing to welcome him into our homes to wash our feet, or would we pretend not to be home? Because people eventually welcomed Larry’s kindness and grew to trust him, the cemetery grounds transformed from being dry and brittle to a luscious field of green grass. Today, how my feet look during the Washing of the Feet concerns me less. In my mind, I place myself with Jesus knowing that he would wash my feet even if my feet were imperfect; so I needn’t need to worry about answering my personal doorbell when he calls. I need to always welcome his love and share that love with others. My continued trust in Jesus provides the nourishment that my faith needs to grow into a luscious field of beauty, just like the one Larry planted for those who welcomed his love and grew to know and trust him.

    • Carmen Macias

      The last liturgy that was
      memorable to me was May 8, 2016. I was a lector one; I rehearsed the reading
      and was prepared to announce the Word. I was feeling very anxious, and during
      the Penitential Act I closed my eyes, gathered my thoughts, and asked Jesus,
      please give me some calmness in my life.
      I opened my eyes, I felt calm took a deep breath approached the Ambo. I
      looked out to the congregation as I always do and began reading. Half way
      through the reading, I felt a wave/rush of cool air surround me I gave a quick glance
      to the candle to my left there was no flickering, you know the sensation when you feel the hairs
      of the back of your neck stand up, I did continue reading. When I went returned
      to my seat I noticed there were no doors open and the AC was not operating. As I sat and listened to the second reading,
      Gospel and the Homily, I realized that the prayer where I asked for calmness in
      my life, it was Jesus, or the Holy Spirit reaching out to me. I was so much in awe as the celebration of
      the Eucharist; it was as if I was witnessing it for the first time. Thank you Nick.

    • Brigitte Chenevier-Donkers

      One of my favorite liturgy is Easter vigil. It brings back a
      lot of good memories from when I went while I lived in France. Unfortunately,
      the times I attend the celebration in CA was not a good experience and it totally
      turn me and my children off. Fortunately, I was not willing to give up on this special
      liturgy and few years ago I attended the Easter Vigil at Holy Spirit. From the start I could feel it will be different. Members of the church were welcoming and joyous. I loved that we all
      received the light from a fire pit from outside the church. The first reading
      was a combination of song and slid show. It was beautiful. I had to leave in
      the middle to bring my younger daughter home as she was sick. My husband said
      it was a wonderful mass. I look forward to being able to stay the entire time
      and have my entire family experience the joy that this mass bring to me. Let’s
      hope all are wealthy next year.

    • Annabel Tomacder-Ruiz

      My last memorable liturgy occurred during this year’s Triduum. I was
      asked to participate in a couple things this year, but the washing of
      the feet on Holy Thursday stood out to me. Through the years, I was always an observer
      and watching others during the washing of the feet. This time, I was the recipient of getting
      my feet washed. Watching from a distance and actually participating in
      the feet washing was totally different. When I was having my feet
      washed, I was overcome with emotion. I cried and I knew that more was
      expected of me. To me, it symbolized the need to care for and love others.
      It could be my family, the marginalized, friends. I’m called to do more
      and to serve others.