Liturgy: The Good News (Nov.15)

 

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A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented. —Pope Benedict XVI

Theological Question

What is the relationship between good liturgy and social justice?

Goal

Students will learn how to judge the authenticity of worship based on the biblical principles of justice.

Content

Students will explore the proper relationship of jusitce before worship; they will explore why justice is primary and yet insufficient without worship. They will discern the difference between secular justice and Christian or biblical justice. They will answer for themselves what difference Christianity makes in the struggle for justice.

Handout

Homework

Review the learning plan you created at the beginning of the course. Evaluate yourself on how well you stuck to your plan. As reminder, the plan centered on these five questions.

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?

Please share your thoughts about your plan or about the course in the online comments.

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
  • Lerma Simpson

    I have gained from this class, a much greater appreciation of liturgy because it provides a great source of nourishment for our faith. I can see that if all its ingredients- word, movement, music, and environment – are blended well together, liturgy can have a great smell, texture, and flavor. Like a chef and his cooking staff work together to prepare a meal, many ministers put their talents together to ensure that everything needed for liturgy is in its appropriate place, the environment sets the right atmosphere, and that everyone involved are well prepared for a smooth flow and effective outcome. These tasks are not menial because if something doesn’t mix in well, left out or too much is added, the liturgy could leave people with a lack of fulfillment. For example, I have listened to homilists who were all over the place with their thoughts that I couldn’t comprehend the message. However, I have found that no matter where Mass is being held, if the tone and setting are done right to fit the specific liturgy, the music is simple, yet beautiful, the proclaimers are not rushed and clear, and the homilist does a great job of connecting the readings to his message, I find myself in complete participation and opening myself to listen to what Jesus has to say to me. I leave well fed so I can have the strength to do God’s calling.

  • Melby Sanchez

    Thank you, Nick, for a great class. It was very informative, and there is still so much to learn about Liturgy. This course gave me a deeper love for Liturgy.
    I am a parishioner of St Elizabeth Catholic Church in Milpitas Ca. I started my ministry in catechism. I teach first communion candidates for older children – 4th and 5th graders. Preparing the children to receive the body and blood of Christ is a joy, as they learn about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of Eucharist.
    About six months ago, I have also started to be a lector. I always keep in mind that I am not just reading out from the book but I am proclaiming the word of God. To be a more effective reader of the word, I prepare myself spiritually in silence, listening to God’s word, then I rehearse my reading a few times over beforehand. I want to be able to continue sharing my faith in the community. I want to learn more about our faith and liturgy, and how we can lead our community not just to attend mass but to actively participate in our celebration of the liturgy, to be involved in the community and serve the Lord through our parish.
    Being a lector and a catechist is a start for me in being a more active member of the community. After I graduate from my ILM program coming May, I am excited to explore other ministries and help be a lead in the parish.

  • Irene Dela Cruz

    Whew! It was a near miss. I didn’t choose this subject for my elective,
    thank God or should I say thank Linda (?) for including me in this class
    because this has now become the highlight of my ILM classes. Thank you Nick for
    giving us a better understanding and appreciation of how a successful Liturgy
    should look like and why it is important that we lay ministers should work hard
    to make this celebration truly engaging in order to encourage full and active
    participation from everyone. I grew up knowing that one should only miss the Sunday Mass for grave reasons. I’ve gone to mass knowing that doing so would nourish my soul. This class explained to me why. I love how you made clear the relationship between a good Liturgy and justice. It is one thing to say “ Go in peace and serve the world”, but it is another to understand that this is because the Liturgy we celebrate is not just about His passion, death and resurrection. It is the celebration of His whole life, which was geared in serving those in need. That His sense of justice is not that of the Lady of Liberty, but rather His scale favors the oppressed, the marginalized, the downtrodden who have no voice of their own. So at the end of the mass, having listened to every word of the Preface and Eucharistic prayer
    (because you introduced to us what they are and am now listening to them
    intently), I now ask myself how do I bring justice to this little world of mine? Or as you put it how do I bring the heavenly banquet that I so enjoyed to the street I walk in my daily life? Yes, Nick, I understand now how a good Liturgy can change a person. We just need to get more people to appreciate and fall in love with it too.

  • Yolanda C Garcia

    Everything has changed from when I first answered those 5 questions in September, a mere 2 months ago, and I mean EVERYTHING concerning the liturgy of the Mass. I will never look at the components of the liturgy the same way again. I am now more engaged in the Mass like never before. I am more aware of the four liturgical arts: The Word, music, movement and the environment. As I learned, Liturgy is not in the books. Every Sunday at Mass is different and we have a different encounter with Christ each week. I really liked being introduced to all of the liturgical books for different rites, such as marriage. I am very interested in acquiring a copy of the Book of Blessings. That’s going to be my Christmas present to myself this year. Learning more about the structure and order of collect prayers was also very interesting to me. I am now in a deeper place in my life where I’m really taking a harder look at the Mass – seems to be more meaningful now after taking this class. I’m going to strive to work and get there with becoming more involved when I finish my final year at ILM. Fr. Tito says he has things in mind for me, but hasn’t really shared those thoughts with me yet. I was at Church of the Resurrection yesterday to celebrate Mass with my Mom who lives in Sunnyvale. The church welcomed 8 new catechumens into the faith. After Mass, everyone socially gathered in the gym for coffee and donuts. I noticed two catechumens sitting together and I walked right up to them like I had known them for years and congratulated them on their journey to join our beautiful faith community. They were both beaming with smiles. I told them there’s nothing like our loving God and Jesus Christ. I was so happy to have engaged them albeit for a short 2 minutes. I knew that I had arrived just for those 2 minutes when I went up to them to speak to them. I would have not done that 3 years ago. I think I’ll know when I have fully arrived when I do more of that – conversing with others about my faith. The power of the Holy Spirit will empower me through those tugs and I must listen when that happens. That is my call to do something. Thank you Nick for teaching us on such an important subject of Liturgy. I learned SO much and want to learn some more. I now have a more deeper understanding of my life in connection with my faith and a loving Jesus Christ in it. This was my first elective, and I just knew it was going to be a great class!

  • Barb Villano

    Where have I been? When I was much younger, it was seen as my obligation to God and Church, My understanding of the Liturgy was simple, yet from experience as an altar boy and through my schooling, there was a holiness there i could not explain that attracted me to be involved in the Liturgy. ILM and this class have helped me to appreciate the Liturgy in its beauty and order. I learned a great deal about how they work together, from the Penitential Act, to the reading of the Gospel, to the Eucharistic Prayer, and more. Each Mass is now becoming a new event to me. In addition, we have a great gift of the entire Liturgical Year from Advent to the summit of the Easter Vigil. While I will probably refer back to the “Introduction tot he Order of the Mass” more often in my ministry, I want to read and learn more in the “General Instruction of the Roman Missal” and the other documents to deepen my knowledge of the Mass.
    Of course, with better understanding, comes more responsibility in bringing Christ to others in our daily lives. The link of Liturgy to Catechesis and helping others, whether poor in material goods or in spirit, was a relationship I never saw before, they were always separated in my mind. Now, i am closer to explaining how this “fount from which all the Church’s power flows” sends us out to the world, armed to work for Christ. I want to get to the point where I understand how to put the Liturgy to work in my other ministries. This will be by more reading on the Liturgy, prayer, and discussing this with my Pastor and others for their input. I will know if I have arrived when I see others appreciate the reality of the Liturgy in their lives and the opportunity it provides for the evangelization of others.

    Thank you, Nick, for a great class.

    Lou Villano

  • Tim Logan

    I was not sure what this class on Liturgy would lead me, but perhaps today’s gospel is a good place to start. It is the story of Zacharias who yearned to see our Lord so much he dared to climb a tree. In doing so, he displayed the desire to love the Lord so much, that our Lord saw him and invited him to come down with haste as he wanted to stay in Zacharias’s home.

    I think most of us in ILM have this thirst to know our Lord more, we want our Lord to invite himself to our home (read heart) that we may know the heavenly peace as promised in our life time. How can one not want this? If one’s life is filled with other things, worldly things that for the present profit, but at the end becomes empty promises.

    We are I think also trying to figure out a place in our Church, I know some will pursue becoming a Deacon, others into different ministries or stay with what they have. Each have found a home or are still looking for a home. I would say I am not looking for a new home, but how do I keep the home I have found and make it more bountiful so that when my master comes back, I can show him that I have taken the 5 talents and made them into 10. That I have sown his seeds of new life and given him a 10 fold bounty at the harvest.

    While the initial L of ILM is called Leadership, rightful it should be call Servitude, we do not come to lead as much as to serve, to be washers of feet, to care for the poor, to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, and always work for a just society for all regardless of who they are.

    So I have come to the conclusion that Liturgy is the framework to forms one life round Jesus. To live a faith driven life, guided by the Liturgy, blessed by the celebration of the Eucharist and called to go forth and share the bounty of the Church to all.

    Thank you Nick for such an enjoyable learning environment. Hope to see you soon. Happy Thanksgiving. -tim

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/01baa3e18f737a117a709cf89e769ac30506e224a42c6f25c00ee09be71b9a32.jpg This is the image of Our Lady of Fatima in Youngstown, NY

  • Annette Mo

    I was brought up Catholic, however, by the time I went to college, I was done with the rituals. I decided that the obligation to attend mass was just too ridiculous and I had more important things in my life. But somehow, before I graduated, I found myself going back to the rituals. Eventually, I ended up going back to mass once a week (on my terms, I thought) from then on. When my husband passed away a few years ago, I found myself clinging on to the daily mass to keep me going forward. It was a reason to wake up every day. A little over a year after, I was invited to sign up for ILM, I thought it was a joke. Through the last three years of ILM, I became more active at the parish as a sacristan, I had the opportunity to participate in the preparation of the liturgy. I got to wear an alb in this year’s celebration of the Triduum, and after that service, a young woman said to our master of ceremony, “I want to volunteer doing what she does”. I was happy that we reached one person in that liturgy. It made me excited to get started on my third year of ILM, as I had signed up for the liturgy as my elective. In my mind, I will learn more about how the liturgy is planned and executed. Little did I know that when I take this class, I am to learn not only the elements of a beautiful liturgy, but how a beautiful liturgy can light up and restore our right relationship with God. I now understand that every liturgy echoes to us the teachings, and the life of Jesus Christ. It is in this celebration that we memorialize the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. A few months ago, I was requested to help in altar server training. With the help of one of my classmates in ILM, I got the confidence to train. What I noticed after the training is that, with what I have been learning in this class, I was able to share some of my learnings with our servers, I imparted with them the essence of what they are doing on the altar and why the reverence. And they seemed to get it. It was then that I realized that I can make a difference. Because of what I have learned in this liturgy class, I now appreciate the beautiful liturgy celebrations we have had, but also notice the things that do not flow in our liturgy at the parish. I am now assisting one of our parishioners get a workshop started to help develop our lectors learn the art of public speaking. Taking this class broke the mold of what I thought liturgy was. Scary, because now that I am a member of the liturgy planning committee at my parish, I find myself being critical of what we plan. I want to help develop our liturgy to be moving, inspirational, and help people strengthen their relationship with God. Apparently, this is not so easy, as I have already butted heads with a few people for one reason or another, but I am willing to learn from others on the correct ways to plan. One day I pray that with God’s guidance, I will have a hand in a beautiful liturgy where somebody will come up to me and say, I think I will be back next Sunday for mass, it was such a beautiful worship. Then I know I have done my best.

    Thank you, Nick, for your time and effort, for sharing of yourself. Thank you for making sure that I would never see liturgy the way I did before!

  • Frank Nguyen

    Just found out my post was completely gone!

  • Brigitte Chenevier-Donkers

    While, I came to the class with some apprehension on what
    the liturgy class will be like, I am blessed that God directed me to this specialization.
    It really matures my knowledge of how the mass is prepared and it gave me a
    deeper love for the beautiful celebration I am a part of every Sunday and more.
    It is so rich in meaning and it is never the same. I don’t know how God will use this experience yet, but I am open to his call. Thank you, Nick. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  • Annabel Tomacder-Ruiz

    Before this class started, I knew a little about what goes on during mass. This class helped me to understand the significance of what is being done during liturgy. So many things I did not understand about mass, but I found a little more clarity through this class. If anything, I find myself being more aware of everything around me: the music, environment, movement, everything. I pay closer attention to the prayers, the music and what is being said knowing that they are all connected to be one prayer. Since I have been in this class, I try to be more “present” during liturgy and understand that God is with us. I’m trying to make it habit to take away one new thing each time I go to mass. In reviewing my learning plan, I realized I have a long way to go. My plan is to go back and review the materials from the class; I will do my best to be present at mass at all times. Thank you so much for everything, Nick!

  • Annette Mo

    I was brought up Catholic, however, by the time I went to college, I was done with the rituals. I decided that the obligation to attend mass was just too ridiculous and I had more important things in my life. But somehow, before I graduated, I found myself going back to the rituals. Eventually, I ended up going back to mass once a week (on my terms, I thought) from then on. When my husband passed away a few years ago, I found myself clinging on to the daily mass to keep me going forward. It was a reason to wake up every day. A little over a year after, I was invited to sign up for ILM, I thought it was a joke. Through the last three years of ILM, I became more active at the parish as a sacristan, I had the opportunity to participate in the preparation of the liturgy. I got to wear an alb in this year’s celebration of the Triduum, and after that service, a young woman said to our master of ceremony, “I want to volunteer doing what she does”. I was happy that we reached one person in that liturgy. It made me excited to get started on my third year of ILM, as I had signed up for the liturgy as my elective. In my mind, I will learn more about how the liturgy is planned and executed. Little did I know that when I take this class, I am to learn not only the elements of a beautiful liturgy, but how a beautiful liturgy can light up and restore our right relationship with God. I now understand that every liturgy echoes to us the teachings, and the life of Jesus Christ. It is in this celebration that we memorialize the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. A few months ago, I was requested to help in altar server training. With the help of one of my classmates in ILM, I got the confidence to train. What I noticed after the training is that, with what I have been learning in this class, I was able to share some of my learnings with our servers, I imparted with them the essence of what they are doing on the altar and why the reverence. And they seemed to get it. It was then that I realized that I can make a difference. Because of what I have learned in this liturgy class, I now appreciate the beautiful liturgy celebrations we have had, but also notice the things that do not flow in our liturgy at the parish. I am now assisting one of our parishioners get a workshop started to help develop our lectors learn the art of public speaking. Taking this class broke the mold of what I thought liturgy was. Scary, because now that I am a member of the liturgy planning committee at my parish, I find myself being critical of what we plan. I want to help develop our liturgy to be moving, inspirational, and help people strengthen their relationship with God. Apparently, this is not so easy, as I have already butted heads with a few people for one reason or another, but I am willing to learn from others on the correct ways to plan. One day I pray that with God’s guidance, I will have a hand in a beautiful liturgy where somebody will come up to me and say, I think I will be back next Sunday for mass, it was such a beautiful worship. Then I know I have done my best.

    Thank you, Nick, for your time and effort, for sharing of yourself. Thank you for making sure that I would never see liturgy the way I did before!

  • Annette Mo

    me too Frank….I just re-posted for the third time now…..

  • Carmen Macias

    1) WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

    My habits, knowledge, and attitudes
    about Liturgy, began at St. Catherine’s with my family. I would attend mass
    without putting any emphasis on liturgy. The habits I learned from parents and
    school, I did not understand what all the motions and signs were about except
    for the sign of the cross. It never
    occurred to me to ask what it all meant. I became more knowledgeable when my
    dad, taught the boys to be altar servers, since I was a girl I could not be on
    the altar. However, I would sit or kneel in church watching my dad instruct the
    boys; he would explain the liturgy and the how and why our liturgy and rituals
    were/are important. I will continue to
    grow in my Faith.

    2) WHERE AM I NOW?

    I am at
    Queen of Apostles, and very involved in my parish. I am a Lector, Eucharistic minister, Wedding
    Coordinator, Baptismal Team, and Altar Server Trainer. With the knowledge that I have gained through
    the Liturgy class; I am aware of how much each individual has the yearning to learn
    more, because that is why they are in transition. When I borrowed the Sacramental Book from
    Fr. Thuc, I asked him what ideas he had in store for me, when ILM is
    complete. He replied we would discern on
    the topic after graduation.

    3) WHERE DO I WANT TO
    GET TO?

    To have a deeper one on one with God.

    4) HOW AM I GOING TO GET THERE?

    With the knowledge which I shown in our Liturgy class, I will not be second-guessing
    myself and not feeling anxious about the liturgy. For I understand that the
    Liturgy must flow from WORD, MUSIC, MOVEMENT, AND ENVIRONMENT, for without this
    flow we miss out on the most integral part the sharing of the BODY AND BLOOD OF
    CHRIST.

    5) HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE ARRIVED?

    I will feel a different glow in my heart,mind, and spirit. On the other hand,
    there will be a sign stating Carmen you have arrived!

    Nick, thank you for a great class. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Frank Nguyen

    I would like to thank Nick for this great class. I came to the class not knowing what I would expect. But the class interaction is informative, dynamic, and fun.

    I come now to Mass with more awareness and understanding, expecting to pay more attention to the words, especially the Eucharistic Prayers. As a lector, I have usually come well prepared,
    sometimes having practiced more than a dozen times for one single reading. But I always pray to the Holy Spirit to guide me and use me as an instrument to proclaim the Word of God.

    With the documents we learned from the class, I now have resources to refer to when in doubt, especially when I’m involved in the church decoration or helping the sacristans setting
    up for Mass.

  • Reina Hollero

    Thank you, Nick, for teaching the Liturgy for eight weeks. I am overwhelmed with all the important information that you have shared with us. The 2 books that we used will be great resources for me. I will definitely have to go back and read it again. I grew up knowing the importance of going to Church every Sunday, thinking that as long as I go to mass on Sunday, listen to the homily, and receive the holy communion then that will be enough to fulfill my
    role as a Christian. My Sunday mass has changed significantly knowing the new information that I have learned and listened to in class. Where am I now? Now, I am not just sitting in the pew and just concentrating on the homily. I have became more observant of the whole process of the four Liturgical arts, thinking back to the group exercise that we did in class to practice having an active and full participation of everyone in the liturgy. Where do I want to get? I am still currently involved on our Saturday mass choir. I am hoping to be able to join to the other ministries that we have in our Parish. How am I going to get there? Recently, our Parish has used distributing a form with a list of different ministries, and has asked the parishioners if anyone would like information to share their time and talents as one family to get involve. I thought that this will be a time for me to step in to get more involve to share the blessings I have received to those who are in need. How will I know that I have arrived? I will know that I have arrived when I see myself actively participating in the different ministries.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Ken. It was a pleasure having you in class. I’m sorry (not sorry) I ruined liturgy for you. :).

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Lerma. You’re a great asset to your parish. I’m glad you gained a greater appreciation of the liturgy from the class. Blessings.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Melby. I think you are going to be a big help in leading your parish in lots of ways. Thanks for your participation in the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Irene. I’m glad you didn’t miss the class! It was great that you were there. I’m sure your parish is going to benefit from your skills.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Yolanda. I’m glad you had such a positive experience of change. I’m sure Fr. Tito will find a lot for you to do. I wish you all the best.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Lou. I’m glad you emphasized the links among liturgy, catechesis, and serving the poor. That’s a great insight. Blessings.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Tim. Great conclusion about liturgy being the framework that forms our life around Jesus. I’m sure you are going to do great work in your parish.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Brigitte. I’m glad you were part of the class. I’m glad it was a good experience for you. I’m sure God will call you to something wonderful.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Annabel. I’m glad you gained a better understanding of the significance of the liturgy. I’m sure you are going to continue learning a lot. Blessings.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Carmen. It looks like you have a great plan. I like the sign stating Carmen you have arrived! I’m sure Fr. Thuc will have lots for you to do.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Frank. I’m sure you are a big help to your parish. I’m glad the class gave you more awareness and understanding for your work with the liturgy.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Reina. It’s great to hear that you want to get more involved in your parish ministries. I’m sure you are going to be great at whatever you get involved in.

  • Annette Moriera

    I was brought up Catholic, however, by the time I went to college, I was done with the rituals. I decided that the obligation to attend mass was just too ridiculous and I had more important things in my life. But somehow, before I graduated, I found myself going back to the rituals. Eventually, I ended up going back to mass once a week (on my terms, I thought) from then on. When my husband passed away a few years ago, I found myself clinging on to the daily mass to keep me going forward. It was a reason to wake up every day. A little over a year after, I was invited to sign up for ILM, I thought it was a joke. Through the last three years of ILM, I became more active at the parish as a sacristan, I had the opportunity to participate in the preparation of the liturgy. I got to wear an alb in this year’s celebration of the Triduum, and after that service, a young woman said to our master of ceremony, “I want to volunteer doing what she does”. I was happy that we reached one person in that liturgy. It made me excited to get started on my third year of ILM, as I had signed up for the liturgy as my elective. In my mind, I will learn more about how the liturgy is planned and executed. Little did I know that when I take this class, I am to learn not only the elements of a beautiful liturgy, but how a beautiful liturgy can light up and restore our right relationship with God. I now understand that every liturgy echoes to us the teachings, and the life of Jesus Christ. It is in this celebration that we memorialize the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. A few months ago, I was requested to help in altar server training. With the help of one of my classmates in ILM, I got the confidence to train. What I noticed after the training is that, with what I have been learning in this class, I was able to share some of my learnings with our servers, I imparted with them the essence of what they are doing on the altar and why the reverence. And they seemed to get it. It was then that I realized that I can make a difference. Because of what I have learned in this liturgy class, I now appreciate the beautiful liturgy celebrations we have had, but also notice the things that do not flow in our liturgy at the parish. I am now assisting one of our parishioners get a workshop started to help develop our lectors learn the art of public speaking. Taking this class broke the mold of what I thought liturgy was. Scary, because now that I am a member of the liturgy planning committee at my parish, I find myself being critical of what we plan. I want to help develop our liturgy to be moving, inspirational, and help people strengthen their relationship with God. Apparently, this is not so easy, as I have already butted heads with a few people for one reason or another, but I am willing to learn from others on the correct ways to plan. One day I pray that with God’s guidance, I will have a hand in a beautiful liturgy where somebody will come up to me and say, I think I will be back next Sunday for mass, it was such a beautiful worship. Then I know I have done my best.

    Thank you, Nick, for your time and effort, for sharing of yourself. Thank you for making sure that I would never see liturgy the way I did before!

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Annette. I’m glad the class “broke the mold” of what you thought liturgy was. It is scary, but you’re going to do great. Blessings.