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
  • mhkraintz

    Sorry for that. I must have hit something on my key board. As I was saying, Nick and Diane introduced a dynamic way of introducing information. Once I figured out what was expected, I was ready and very willing to pose a question to our very bright group. Each week, as, I was reading our assignments, I was on the hunt for questions that I could ask to the group. I began this class with just the love for the liturgy. I had very little academic knowledge on the topic. Nick and Diane opened the doors to my awareness of the liturgical arts, kiros time, the Jewish prayer style – Berakah, primary language, secondary language, doxology-Through Him, With Him and In Him. I could go on and on. I thought I was on fire before I began this class. I will continue to read the documents on the liturgy. Doing so it is my hope to deepen my knowledge on the topic. I also realize that it is not just knowledge that one should seek. I will also be deepening my relationship with God. I see things with new eyes. I feel things with an enlivened heart. Nick made a statement a few weeks ago. It was on the topic of the liturgical year. He stated that the Easter Vigil is our guide book to how we are to live. Nick asked us if our communities are any better with each passing year? Are we better people? Do we have a deeper relationship with God? Are we doing good liturgy? This is something that I have not been able to get out of my mind. These questions will be my guide as I go about my humble life. I am not sure if I will ever get to that perfect place. With God’s help and with the help from my ILM friends I am sure that the journey will be a fulfilling one. It is my hope that we can make a difference in our parishes and in the world.

  • Christopher Pacifico

    What I liked about the topic last Wednesday was the part about
    our challenge today – evangelization. The
    goal is to get people to love each other.
    When Jesus went to the temple, he was mad because the people made the
    temple into a market. He turned table
    over, he was loud and told people to pack their things and leave the premises of
    the temple. Basically he was harsh. Is
    the message better received if it is given softener? – Maybe. Sometimes the word or message is not heard if
    we are too nice or soft. I think it
    depends on who is the audience. To the
    children, Jesus was gentle, soft and nice when he was teaching them. In the Bible there are examples when he had
    to speak with authority like that in the temple but there were also times when
    he was soft like with the woman in the well. Today our challenge is “how do we imitate
    Jesus in a way that carries the message that continues the mission.” As we do our mission we have to remember that
    we are doing God’s work – we are the messengers. It is only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit
    that we will be able to carry out this mission so that we may be able to touch
    people, love each other and bring them back or closer to God.

    I’ve learned so much in this class in just few weeks. Liturgy should be a year class.

    Thanks to you and Diana. Happy Thanksgiving Day to both of you and your family.

  • Gina Pacifico

    At the end of last year’s class I thought of what I should take this year. We were told that we
    will be given choices. I was leaning towards Catechism because I am already involved in Generation of Faith and RCIA in our parish. After talking to one of our Deacons, my husband and I were both convinced to take Liturgy. Speaking for myself, though I know my husband
    feels the same way, I enjoyed the class very much and I’ve learned so much in such a short time. I wish the class would have been a year class.

    I’ll never see Liturgy celebration the same way before I took this class. I’d say that I’m a
    changed person in the sense that I am now more attentive in the mass. Now I have a full, active and conscientious participation in the mass. I have more understanding of the importance of the liturgy. I say these because now I catch myself sometimes tearing up on readings and the Lord’s Prayer. Now I understand that through the Eucharistic celebration we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. We encounter Jesus through the Eucharist. We are reminded of the unfailing and unconditional love of God by sending us his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. And now I’m more aware of what goes on during the mass.

    As I sang in the choir during one of our Baptism ceremony, I noticed something that can be improved. So I gave my input as to how to improve the flow of our Baptism ceremony in our parish.

    Thank you so much to you and Diana for your insights.

    Happy Thanksgiving to both of you and to your family.

  • Christine Tran

    Realizing that attending mass is the major part of practicing catholic faith but also realizing that it should be more than just to fulfill the obligation or to ask God for special favors… is the
    reason why I select the liturgy class.
    Thanks to Nick and Diane’s teaching and method, I can feel the transformation that this class has made on me even-though I can’t beautifully described it as my classmates have put in the blog. The one thing I know for sure is that now I celebrate mass with different mind and heart: It was bored before but now it is joyful, it was an “obligation” beforebut now it is to respond to my yearning to be closer to God, my source.
    So much to learn in so little time and so much more I need to learn: … the rites, the books, the liturgy of the Word, the liturgy of the Eucharist, the structure, the prayers, languages, symbols,
    music, movements … from the enchanting Responsorial to the exultant great Amen…liturgical calendar, the social justice … all have been well explained and created interesting discussion in the class.
    I sometime felt overwhelmed by such a heavy load of theological meanings in my such limited human span of attention during the mass… but the final juicy emotion of being connectedness to God the Father thru power of the Holy Spirit and in the mystery of Jesus Christ is what I have increasingly experienced as the class advanced.
    Without the new understanding from liturgy aspect, I would – like the majority of Catholic – attending mass as a routine thus eventually might easily lead us to a separation when our faith being challenged – due to the absence of our gratefully receiving of God’s incarnation into our personal life, thru liturgy.
    This new experience in my faith will obviously be reflected in my ministries especially as a member of liturgy board in my parish as well as with RCIA. I hear the calling to continue learning and growing in the Spirit to spread the good news of Liturgy and its transformation
    that indeed bring Light and Life to our journey on earth.
    Thank you ILM and a special thank you to Nick & Diane for this transformation.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Ramon. That’s a terrific summary of our discussion in the final class. I really like your statement that it just feels like the right thing to do. That tells us that our spirits are aligned with our words and actions. Thanks for your participation in the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Jerry. I think you are so right that liturgy is the key to getting people to hunger and thirst for the gospel. And I love the image of you humming all day long! Thanks for all your sharing during the class. I’m glad it was a good experience for you.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Maria. This is a great description of the class process. I’m intrigued that you thought the class on the liturgy of the Eucharist was the climax. They all blend a little for me, but I agree with you that folks seemed very engaged during that class. Thanks for all the effort you put into the preparation and for your participation.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Frank. I like the analogy of the garden. I think a lot of Catholics see liturgy that way. It’s fine to look at liturgy that way, but for those of us who are the gardeners (the liturgical leaders), we have to look closer. And I agree about the character of the students. All of you were wonderful. Thanks for your participation.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Diane. We’ve ever been called Batman and Robin before! Now I am wondering who is who. I’m glad the class was such a good experience for you. Thanks for time and energy you put into it, even when you were sick. It was great being with you.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Fred. I’m so happy it is clear to you why and how liturgy is the source and summit of our faith. That is such a key concept for all Catholics to grasp, but especially for liturgical leaders. I’m also glad you didn’t find the task of writing weekly comments too overwhelming. It was great reading your comments after each session. Thanks for all your contributions.

  • María Jesús

    I was speaking about the learning method, not the class
    topic. To me (and I believe to most of us) this was a new approach of learning.
    It took some time warming up to it, as when you start a new exercise program
    and need to get your muscles trained for it. It all works progressively up to
    the point where your body feels comfortable with it – knowing first with
    muscles to use and how to use them, then it’s just a matter of refining the
    movement and getting more intense and efficient with it.

    Coming from an engineering background, the subjective method
    was definitely a very different way to approach a class topic and to interact
    with the instructor and classmates in the class. I was never asked in class how
    I felt when studying some chemical reactions or how they made me see my life in
    a different way.

    In my opinion, it also took some sessions for the students
    to get used to this new method – the “different muscles” we had to use in class
    and with homework until it became more natural. It felt awkward at first and
    needed an added effort. I believe we basically reached this point at the
    Eucharist class where I sensed we students were more attuned to the dynamics of
    it. It might have also helped that we were very captivated by the new concepts,
    Greek names and the profound, touchy meaning of it all.

    Regarding the class topics, yes, they flowed and blended
    well from one week to the next.

    Thanks again for teaching us Liturgy using the subjective
    method.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Gary. I’m glad to hear the class was transformative for you. I love your story about the couple with the young daughter that reached out to you. What a great gift! I hope that even though you didn’t do a learning plan you are taking steps to help your parish get to the next level with their worship. Thanks for your participation in the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Dan. I’m glad you liked the class so much. I agree that the insight from everyone on the website comments was terrific. I’m especially mindful of your comments about compassion and justice during this moment when the country is experiencing so many protests and confrontations. I hope an pray our Catholic-ness can have some healing influence in all those places. Thanks for your thoughts and your contributions.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Maggie. I’m glad you are so on fire to learn more about the liturgy. If you run out of stuff to read, you might try “On Liturgical Theology” by Aidan Kavanagh. It’s a graduate level book, and I had trouble getting through it myself. But it really captures the idea of liturgy that we talked about in class. But that’s just extra. You have the core of it when you say that the questions we should be asking ourselves about the Vigil are a guide to your life. Thanks for all your participation.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Christopher. You make such a good point about the message needed to be tailored to the audience. We are the messengers, but we always have to keep in mind those to whom we are delivering the message. I’m glad you learned a lot in the class, and I’m grateful for your presence. Blessings.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Gina. I’m excited to know that you have a new way of seeing liturgy now. I’m glad you were in the class, and I’m thankful for your participation. I know you are going to use what you learned to lead your parish to a better experience of worship, and I hope it will also help you with your RCIA ministry. God bless you and your work.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Christine. I’m glad to know that you now celebrate the Mass with a different mind and heart. I know it can all be a little overwhelming, but it gets easier the more you dive into it. I say that, of course, and then I have some conversation with Diana in which she completely overwhelms me. So I guess I’m saying learning never ends. But you have made a great start. Thanks for all your contributions to the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Maria. Thanks for clarifying! Engineers and scientists that I’ve had in the class have had the biggest challenges with the learning method. But I would have never guessed you felt challenged. You seemed to dive right in from day one. Thanks for working so hard to make this such a good class.

  • Anai

    Thank you Nick for an awesome job you did in our liturgy class. I am very grateful for the experience and for all the sharing my classmates did. I left every class excited about all the neat things I learned. This class surely opened my eyes to the many ways liturgy works through my ministry as well as my life. And as for the question…
    1. Where have I been? Mass. Not just attending but being part of it. Ever since I can remember I enjoyed going to mass, there was a sense of excitement to be part of something big. When we went to mass it was in Spanish and always packed out the doors with people, and I wanted to part of what was going on. As I got older and received my first communion I became an altar server and that was a different kind of excitement that I got to be part of.
    2. Where am I now? I’m an active participating parishioner, a catechist, a member of a couple different parish groups, a mom… The list can go on with the many different hats that I wear for where I am at now. Before this class I didn’t realize that liturgy was in every nook and cranny of ones life. From individual prayer to celebrating mass on Sundays.
    3. Where do I want to get? I want to get to a place where I am not just me but transparent enough that God, Jesus, is seen. It is a tall order to ask for. It is something that I would like to be not only for myself but for all those around me, especially for my son….
    4.How am I going to get there? By doing what Jesus asks us to do. Not just in my parish community but also with the people outside of my community that I don’t know. Helping those that are in need, not only for food but the need for Christ. God’s Love. Being there as a friend, to help them and answer questions when they are in a place of not knowing.
    5.How will I know that I have arrived? I wont… But to really answer the question I guess it is when I truly experience God’s love. I know he loves me and I know he loves all of his creation. But to experience it through someone else because the felt Christ through you. That’s when I’ll know I have gotten there.
    Thanks again for the awesome class! Brights blessings!

  • Bella Arnaldo

    Prior to taking Nick’s class, I had a basic understanding and appreciation of Liturgy. Growing up Catholic, it always held an important part in our spiritual development. We were expected to attend Sunday masses and other Holy days of obligation, because it was simply that-an “obligation”. In my teenage years, a significant change happened (Vatican ll), although I did not fully appreciate it at that time, until last Thursday. I attended a funeral mass for a relative. The widow was considered a devout and very religious woman and insisted that the services be held in Latin. Although 90% of the attendees were Catholic only a very small handful of people looked like they knew what was going on during the mass. The priest had his back to the congregation most of the time, saying his prayers while accompanied by an unseen cantor, singing acapella. copious amounts of incense was used throughout the service. Only the gospel was read in English.
    For communion services, everyone was required to kneel and take communion only to their tongue. Although I tried to keep an open mind about the experience I kept flashing back to things we learned at Nick’s class: when readings, and psalm is proclaimed well, the environment and music is done well, the community is engaged. since we could not understand what was being said, elements of the Eucharist were lost to us and we were not able to participate in the celebration and finally I asked myself if this celebration increased my faith and those of others? From Nick’s class, I have a better understanding and appreciation of our present day format of mass from Vatican ll changes. It has sparked my interest to continue to learn more about Liturgy and a greater understanding of all its symbolism and meaning and will lead me to a greater understanding of God’s word and see His reflection in other people I meet.

  • Semi Gurbiel

    Where Have I been in Liturgy?

    When I started the liturgy class, I said that I was there because catechism was not provided. My knowledge in liturgy was very little. I had not discovered all the richness that the mass encloses; I never really paid attention to all the details of the mass. These classes have been very helpful to me. Thank you Nick for all the knowledge you have transmitted us.

    Where am I now?

    Now I am in state where I can relate better to the mass, now I can appreciate every detail of the mass and I’m able to see the connection of homily with the readings. I have a better understanding of how you do liturgy after mass has ended. I now know that even hospitality after mass can be part of the liturgy because of all the sharing you do with all the other parishioners.

    Where do I want to get?

    I want to be able to reflect God with everyone that surrounds me, especially with my family and the people in my ministry, I would like to be able to show the inmates how the Lord loves them even in the circumstance they are. I would love to be able to show them that by reading the gospels and by participating in the mass they are part of the liturgy.

    How am I going there?

    By preparing myself in the best way possible so I can be able to do what God is asking of me. And to be the reflection of God that I would like to be.

    How Will I know I have arrived?

    Probably I will not know that I have arrived there. But if I can see that I have made a difference in someone’s life I would be able to say, not that I have arrived, but that I am in the way to arrive there.

  • Laura Barker

    Where Have I Been?
    This class has taken me on the road to discovery, both of self knowledge and intellectual knowledge about the mass. I have a much better understanding of what is going on in the mass from our readings, class discussions and blog posts. I especially appreciate being able to read what classmates have written because it adds to the learning.
    Where Am I Now?
    I guess I am becoming a more confident Catholic even though the majority of my life has been spent as a Protestant. I definitely have a better appreciation of and for the mass, its intricacies and varied meanings. I love how it is steeped in nearly 2000 years of history and tradition and that around the world one billion people are raising their voices to God with one voice.
    Where Do I Want To Get To?
    Not being a cradle Catholic I still have a lot more learning to do, especially as it relates the specific vocabulary that defines the mass. This will take more time and more intellectual focus. It still fascinates me that we are all one church but there is definitely a different rhythm among churches not only in the United States, but around the world.
    How Will I Know I Have Arrived?
    I wrote in my initial answer to this question “When I am able to teach others.” I definitely have a lot more schooling to do on liturgy but I’m on the right path. I think cradle Catholics should have “refresher” classes to help them reconnect with the mass, its meaning and its importance to ones spiritual life. I still have people telling me mass is boring, they don’t have time, or they connect with God in other ways. As Mathew Kelly points out in his book Rediscovering Catholicism, the mass is one of the main pillars of the faith. Without it our foundation cracks and eventually falls.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Anai. I’m really glad you were in the class. Thanks for all your participation and comments. In this reflection, I really like the line: “I want to get to a place where I am not just me but transparent enough that God, Jesus, is seen.” That is such a great goal! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nick Wagner

    HI Bella. Wow, I barely remember Latin Masses. The shift happened in my diocese when I was starting grade school. I think the question you asked yourself is spot on: “I asked myself if this celebration increased my faith and those of others?” Sometimes celebrating the Mass in English or Spanish doesn’t always help increase the faith the participants, but if we do everything else as well as we can, I think faith will grow. Thanks for all your participation in the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Semi. This is great summary of your learning plan. I like your goal to show the inmates how the Lord loves them even in the circumstance they are. I think this is what the Jubilee Year of Mercy is all about. God loves all of us, without condition, no matter our circumstance. If we celebrate the liturgy well, not only will parishioners believe that more deeply, we will be a witness of God’s mercy to the world. Thanks for all your questions and comments in the class. It was great to have you there.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Laura. I really appreciate your enthusiasm for the liturgy and for the Catholic faith. As you point out, those of us who grew up in the faith can sometimes take it for granted. I’m glad your goal is to teach others about liturgy. You already know more about liturgy than many of the Catholics who come to Mass on Sunday, so go for it! Thanks for your participation in the class. I enjoyed having you there.

  • John

    My goodness, did the class really have to end? There was so much more to learn!

    Thank you Nick for guiding us through this process and helping us all love and appreciate liturgy more. Thank you Diana for coming in when you can to share your wisdom about liturgy.

    To answer your question about my habits, knowledge, and attitudes about liturgy …

    [ Where have I been? ]
    Before taking the course, my narrow view of liturgy was simply Sunday Mass and Vespers. Liturgy never extended beyond what happened during Mass nor fully understanding it and appreciating it. I never understood the background and the intention for every part of liturgy and every part of Sunday Mass. I didn’t realize liturgies is beckoning to the hearts of the faithful to have a relationship with God with a full, conscious, and active participation.

    [ Where am I now? ]
    After taking the course, I feel that my discernment during the first semester is reaffirmed through my charisms of administration, service, teaching, and most importantly, evangelization. Administration is used to make sure that a liturgy is flowing smoothly with the fine details taken into account and administered. Service is used to step in especially if something is needed or something goes wrong to ensure a successful liturgy. Teaching is used to train volunteers, lay ministers, and even priests to ensure a smooth liturgy. And lastly, and most importantly to me, evangelization is used to preach to Catholics and non-Catholics alike about the reign of God and living out the Gospel through word, music, movement, and environment.

    [ Where do I want to get to? ]
    I want to be able to organize and lead any liturgy. This can stem from a retreat, a parish, at the Diocesan level, an ecumenical gathering, or even interfaith. Using my charisms, I want to bring people not only closer to God but to have a full, conscious, and active participation. I want to know that the work I’m doing through liturgy speaks to everyone – and not only the Catholic elites!

    [ How am I going to get there? ]
    As part of my discernment process, I will start helping out Diana Macalintal at the Office of Worship. For starters, I will be helping Diana Macalintal at the Chrism Mass that is coming up in a number of weeks. After the end of our class tonight, I’ve been asked to contact past volunteers, find new volunteers, and train volunteers for a successful liturgy. Chrism Mass is indeed one of the most beautiful liturgies I’ve experienced and I thank Diana Macalintal for the first time I attended.

    [ How will I know that I have arrived? ]
    I know that I have arrived is when I’m able to organize and lead a liturgy at our own Diocese or another Diocese. My dream would be to organize and lead a Mass at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. I definitely understand that my goal post is set really high. However, if I meet this goal, I know that I sincerely have arrived because I’ve been called by others to organize and lead along with the many years of experience I’ve gained over time. I hope to see this dream come true!

    Thank you again!

  • Greg Ripa

    At the beginning of the course, my goal was to “have a greater depth to the liturgies I design and have them be very cohesive in structure, flow, and lyricism”. While I have not yet had the opportunity to design a complete liturgy myself yet, I was able to integrate better flow into one aspect of liturgy: the church environment for Lent this year. I’ve made the environment cohesive in terms of style and materials and I’ve integrated aspects of the season to have it ready to flow into the Triduum and then into Easter. Greater depth was achieved in the details such as including the Book of the Elect near the holy water font. Feedback from others has been very positive which is one way to know that I’ve arrived. Overall, without this class, I don’t think the Lenten environment would have turned out as well as it did with the greater emphasis on cohesiveness, flow, and depth.

  • John

    Although I am extremely sad that the course is coming to an end, I am extremely thankful to you, @NickWagner:disqus, for teaching this course. Having your wife, Diana Macalintal, come in when she’s able to also enriches our discussion while ending the necessary depthness and sense of humor. No doubt about it, the course has really opened my eyes on what liturgy is all about in hopes that I can continue carry out the mission for the entire congregation to have a full, active, and conscious participation.

    [ WHERE HAVE I BEEN? ]
    Before I started the course, I have been on the narrow view that liturgy was only the Sunday Mass. I didn’t fully understand why certain things happen and why certain things can and can’t be removed from liturgy. Although I understood the outline of a general liturgy, I could never fully appreciate it back then.

    [ WHERE AM I NOW? ]
    I am now at a more confident place in my life where I can articulate, understand, and explain the many parts of a liturgy. Given the community, I can work with the appropriate people to create a liturgy that is speaking to the heart of the universal church but also speaking to the heart of the congregation. With the knowledge of our resources, readings, and “nuggets” of information, I’m able to make the appropriate decisions while working towards having the entire congregation towards a full, active, and conscious participation.

    [ WHERE DO I WANT TO GET TO? ]
    I want to get to the point where I’m able to plan, organize, lead, and carry out a liturgy with little or no assistance. I’m hopeful to be able to understand and live out what it means by “liturgy” and following the clear mission of having everyone full, active, and conscious participation.

    [ HOW AM I GOING TO GET THERE? ]
    I’m going to get there by getting more and more involved with the Office of Worship at the Diocese of San Jose and within my parish on our Liturgy Committee. Although I’m a bit heartbroken that Diana Macalintal is stepping down, I’m hopeful to carry on her work with whoever is the new director. One of the first Diocesan liturgies that is on the list is to help plan, organize, lead, and carry out the upcoming Chrism Mass. I fell in love with Chrism Mass and I’m hoping to carry that love others. I’ve already reached out to Diana Macalintal and I’m planning to reach out to past volunteers while assisting with the training of the entire liturgy. At my parish, I’ll be one of the “storytellers” during the Triduum assisting with rehearsal and also the night of the events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.

    [ HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE ARRIVED? ]
    I know that I have arrived when I’m asked to plan, organize, lead, and carry out a liturgy that is at a similar scale as the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (RE Congress) in Anaheim, California. Although the bar is set very high, the only other one that would be higher is to plan, organize, lead, and carry out a liturgy for our Pope.

  • John

    Testing to confirm that I can see your post.

  • Jane

    Liturgy has been important to me ever since I started attending mass. Dating a cradle Catholic, he was most comfortable attending mass instead of a Methodist church service which is what I grew up with. That first mass was a life changer for me. Through sign, symbol and ritual I felt more connected to Christ and the early church than I ever had. Once I became Catholic I wanted to be a part of the Liturgy and became a Lector. Over time I worked in other liturgy ministries as well as a liturgy planning team. Questions still existed about why we do what we do – or not, why we don’t try out different ways and what tools are used to make the decisions. I signed up for this class to gain some knowledge and get some answers to these questions. Eight weeks later I’ve gained a lot of the answers and understanding I was looking for and then some. I love the concept of anamnesis – bringing the past and the future to the present through Christ. Again, connecting us to Jesus and the early church. Also the understanding of ritual text helps me appreciate the text we use in liturgy and now I listen to it with more appreciation. I felt overwhelmed by the list of various liturgies and which ones take priority over others. Lucky for us there are go-to references to get those answers. I appreciated the last session’s discussion of tying liturgy to justice, it gave me new insights to my discipleship. When I first took a stab at answering these questions my answer to the last one – how will I know that I have arrived – was probably never because change is constant. Even though I walk away from this class with much more knowledge about the liturgy I still feel this same way; which in itself is lucky for me because it means there is always growth and learning opportunities. I want to say thank you to all of my classmates for sharing these eight weeks with me. My heartiest congratulations on completing these three years at ILM and I will be praying for you on graduation night. Thank you, Nick and Diana for all the knowledge you have given us and I wish you continued success in all you do to share and strengthen the Catholic faith wherever you go. Blessings everyone

  • Stella Lal

    In the second year and this semester, we have studied a lot about Liturgy. Now, I know a lot more about Liturgy and yet I feel I know nothing. It is like having a pin prik window into a realm of knowledge and experience.

    However, in the last class reading and discussing, the story of “Joseph Who Loved The Sabbath” and the story of the Indian hunter, summed it all for me.

    Thank you Diana and Nick for making Liturgy so beautiful, poetic, deeply spiritual and a way of life for us. I hope more and more people can see it that way.

  • Phan Nguyen

    Thank you Nick and Diana for a wonderful class, very informative and spiritually enhanced. I have learned a lot in this class but there are so much more to learn. As I understand more about liturgy, my love for the liturgy increases greatly. The one thing I also noticed is there is a unity among the people attending mass on Sunday. The response during mass, the participating in prayer and in songs show that we are the celebrants not the spectators.
    This is the most dynamic class of ILM program. What makes it exciting is every class has a new theme and new format. We come to class to learn and share our understanding from reading the class materials. What we read is only a small portion of the information about liturgy. Even if I spend all my time to read these wonderful books and articles, I might not be able to fully understand the messages from the authors. Each message is inspired by the Holy Spirit and it enhances our understanding and respect for the liturgy. My goal and my hope is to forever love the liturgy, receive our Lord Jesus’ love and share his love with other people.

  • Mariann

    Liturgy is very important to me in my vocation, my ministry, and my spiritual life. That why I choose to learn liturgy deeply so that my faith will be fulfill with love to worship God and witness to serve others. Liturgy, rites bring people together to pray, to worship God and rites to relationship with others. Liturgy- Dialogue with God ; broken life the people in the world.
    Where I am now? Now, I know a lot more about Liturgy what I learn in this class. This class is wonderful. Thank you Nick and Diana for a team work in our Liturgy class. I am very grateful for all the knowledge you have given to us and for all the sharing my classmates did. Even though I did not share much in big group , I deeply understand and I am exited to share in small group and we learn from each others to share what we read in the book and material. I learn a lot from this class, from you and my classmates. I will used the knowledge I learn to bring people to God and help them to understand when they come to worship God and relationship with others. Thank you very much for your help in Liturgy class and May God bless you and whatever you do and share in your ministry.

  • Anthony Ordona

    Nick and Diana, Thank you for putting together a great class. Each class had concrete goals and more importantly, good discussion. It enhanced my learning. Both of you obviously put in a lot of prep time and it showed every class session. Prior to this class, I knew liturgy was important and thought that it just consisted of the mass. My main goal was to have a greater understanding of the theology behind liturgy and to understand why liturgy is structured the way that it is. This class accomplished what I intended on doing. Outstanding liturgy not increases our faith life as individuals but also as a community of faith. Liturgy is indeed the ultimate summit. As I have mentioned before in previous comments, I have come to believe that liturgy is the most efficient teaching method when it comes to teaching spirituality and theology. I take away from the class, two important items for me. First, that liturgy and justice are tied together, that we are obligated to treat others with mercy and compassion. We are also bound to serve the poor and to always our excess to them. As a Social Justice minister, it resonates with me strongly. The second thought was that of Amnesis, Jesus bringing past and present together through the liturgy. Again, Thank you for a great class.

  • Marcy Golebiewski

    My goal was to have a greater understanding of liturgy, the resources available to create Liturgy as measured by the ability to put together a liturgy. Thanks to this class, I now know that a wreath of resources and books exist that enable the liturgist to build the required elements into the flow. I also learned that it is much more than following a list. The participants need to be able to fully participate and the flow is essential not only to keep the attention of the assembly but to inspire the congregation to go forth to be disciples in the world and evangelize the good news.

    Who knew liturgy could fire you up so much?

    Last weekend, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in a sacremental prep class in one of the DSJ parishes. It seemed to be more focused on 1-to-many education on church teaching. I gave feedback at the end of the class that it was such a lost opportunity to engage the attendees to fall in love all over again with Christ and want to not on,y come to mass regularly, but to bring their future children to mass. I was imagining what Nick would think had he been a fly on the wall. I hope the lay ministers can change and see the congregation differently for the sake of the continuation of Christ’s bride, his church.

  • Lee Campbell

    Nick and Diana I enjoyed this class immensely. All these years attending mass at different parishes and could not until this course tell you what ritual and non ritual was or if it was good or not so good liturgy. Before this course I primarily focused on the readings, mainly the gospel and the homily. I have experienced a more profound union with the liturgy through the education you provided. I think I am more apart of the flow of the mass and now I like no interruption with announcements during the mass. That did not use to bother me, but I see the liturgy as a continuous prayer that should flow with a sincere devotion by the community. My goal from here is to participate more fully and recognize what we are trying to achieve spiritually. To be a complete devoted faithful follower of Christ through the liturgy. To help influence others by my action in the way I participate. You have given me plenty of tools to use and to recognize what is good and less good liturgy. I was at mass not to long a go and the service flowed well. The music was good, the lectors were good, the homily was good. It did not at first look like it was going to be a great liturgy until it was over and I could meditate on it. It had no flaws even though nothing about it was outstanding. I told the priest what a wonderful liturgy it was, and he said “Praise be to God”. He took no credit for it and his humility shined through. All that participated in the liturgy did what they could do to make it turn out beautifully and they were successful. I have a keener eye and it is helping me to see God more clearly. Thank you so much for your insights and I wish you all the best as you share your gifts with others.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Greg. I’m glad the class was able to help you with your goals. Thanks for your participation and your insights. I wish you the best as you continue to share your gifts with the communities you are involved with.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Jane. I agree with you that there is always growth and learning opportunities when it comes to liturgy. I am happy you were able to find so much value in the course. Blessings on your continued work in this ministry.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Stella. I know it can seem like you only know a little bit about such a big topic like liturgy, but you know more than you think you do. I know your parish is going to be blessed with your gifts and knowledge in the months and years to come. Thanks for your participation.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Phan. I don’t think it’s possible to understand all there is to know about liturgy. But you have learned and understood a lot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas during the class. I pray you meet your goal to forever love the liturgy, receive our Lord Jesus’ love and share his love with other people.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Mariann. I am glad you were able to grow in your understanding of the liturgy through your participation in the class. The people you work with are going to benefit from your knowledge and care for the liturgy. I wish you the best on your journey.

  • miguel guzman

    Thanks, Nick for sharing your thoughts, and insights. In presenting a great class. Also thanks to Diana Macalintal. What I learned from Liturgy and Catechesis. Learning about how Mass flows from the welcoming of people coming to Sunday Mass. You feel acknowledged as a person through the warmth and love that you feel, when you are welcomed.The Music is important as it reflects the readings from the Liturgy that are read by the Lectors, The Homily is well spoken to leave a message of Hope, Love, and Renewing our Faith in God. To drink the Bread and Wine in remembrance of Jesus dying on the Cross, for our Sins With Catechesis, the whole Parish Community is involved during the year, and through Easter Vigil. Praying for and sending forth the Catechumenates, on their journey. The Church, in its mission to serve the People, the Marginalized, and the Poor, throughout the World. The Liturgy helps me to be a better person, To trust and put my faith in God. To be humble, patient, and love for my fellow man. What I have learned, from you, Nick. I will take with me. To share in my Ministry in the Adult RCIA. With what I have learned from the past three years, Has given me a more broader insight and respect for the Church, The Bible, Old and New Testaments. The wealth of knowledge from our Instructors in ILM Class. The friendships from my classmates, from what they shared their knowledge and opinions opened and shaped me in understanding God’s teachings. I t gave me the ability to sit down and write a Term Paper. Which, I had never done before. But, it also helped me to get out and be able to up in front and talk to people. Which , gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone.Iam truly blessed knowing that I will use what I have learned as tools for me. To use in the RCIA Ministry. To better serve the Church, and the Ministry, that I am involved in. Blessings, Mike Guzman.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Anthony. I’m glad to hear that you were able to gain a greater understanding of liturgical theology and structure. I agree with you that good liturgy is a great way to teach. I don’t know if it is the most efficient, but I believe it is the most effective. As you point out, that effect has to be linked to a life of mercy and compassion. Thanks for your good thoughts on all this.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Marcy. It’s great to know that liturgy fires you up! Me too. I like your story of offering feedback to the sacramental prep leaders. It can be an uphill struggle to bring change to longstanding parish practices. I will pray for your success. Thanks for your contributions to the class.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Lee. I think a lot of people primarily focus on the readings and the homily. My hope is, that if we can celebrate well-formed liturgy, Sunday after Sunday, most people would still say they primarily focus on the readings and the homily. But they would notice when they go to Mass in other places, where liturgy is not so well done, that something isn’t right. They might not be able to name it as a lack of flow or diagnose what interrupted the flow, but they’d feel it. It’s good to know that you now have plenty of tools to use to help your parish improve it’s liturgical celebrations. Blessings on all your work.

  • Nick Wagner

    Hi Mike. I am thrilled you took away so much from the class. I know your ministry with the RCIA process will be stronger because of your deep knowledge of the liturgy. It’s exciting to read about your sense of acquiring expanded skills and greater confidence. Keep up the good work. Thanks for your participation in the class.

  • 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

    A popular question or statement from a child or teenager to the parents is “What do I get from going to Mass?” or “I don’t get anything from going to Mass.” Even as adults, we often see going to Mass to receive or request something, whether the Holy Communion or some personal petitions. We don’t normally see that at Mass, not only do we receive but we do share. We share our time, talents, and treasure to the community. However, the sharing is to be continued beyond our church, as we are charged by the Lord to go out and make disciples to the rest of the world.

    I have a long discussion with a young man years ago. He told me that he was very independent since his childhood and he did not need anybody to live, including his family, particularly his mother, so he did not have to share any of his hard earned money to anyone. I told him, when he was a baby, he was completely dependent. It was his mother who gave him everything while his father was away. Even when he grew up, worked, and had a lot of money, he still depended on others in order to live. To make my point, I asked him if he had billion dollars in the bank but he was the only person alive on earth, would he be able to use his money to buy any foods. There would be nobody to grow or sell foods, no banker for him to get money, no electricity, no running water, no gas, no TV, no internet, etc. In the end, he realized how much he depended on others to live.

    If we recognize our dependency on others, we will be more grateful for what we have received and willing to share with others whatever we have. In the Mass, we learn from our Lord Jesus to be a gift to others by listening to Him at the the liturgy of the Word, commemorating his passion, receiving the sacrificial gift of life of his Body and Blood. As we are the mystical body of Christ, we are required to take care of other members as well as anyone created in his image.

    How do we start to tell other parishioners to share their gifts? My answer would be starting with myself, my actions, my life, and if necessary my words. I have to start to give, first with the things that don’t cost me anything: a favorite outer seat in the pew, a gentle word or act of kindness, a smile, a simple greeting. Then let my charity grow in sharing my time, my talents, and my treasure.

    Lord, let me be a simple candle to carry Your Light so You can shine to others to see Your Way, to recognize Your Truth, so they can receive Your Life. Let me bring the fire of Your Love to others so they too can be candles to carry Your Light of Life to shine through all ends of the Earth. Amen.

    As we had our last session, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nick for a great and interesting class. I have learned much more than what I have expected. The knowledge I obtained would be useful in my ministries and personal life.

  • Ken Louie

    Thank you Nick! I thoroughly enjoy our class. I may not have a complete understanding of the liturgy, but I now have a good grasp of recognizing the good and not so good elements of it. Now I pay more attention to the details of the Liturgy such as how the Word is proclaimed (good today), to the homily which went on too long as the priest related a story from earlier in the day where an older parishioner did not see him at the sporadic Masses he attends and the priest telling him that he is doing the work for two priests and not to give him a hard time, to the unfamiliar selection of music at times – today was Song of Farewell during the collection, and to the use of some small artificial plants around the ambo. I could go on but as you said at the beginning of the course that you would ruin the Liturgy for us. Thank you :) Now I can guess why attendance is down at this parish.