Putting Out Into the Deep! Focuses on the Sunday Eucharist

Participants begin the session with Morning

Participants begin the session with Morning Prayer

A rich day of learning more about the Sunday Eucharistic Liturgy began with Morning Prayer in the chapel as more than 80 people gathered for this adult faith development session on Saturday, March 25th, 2006 at the Diocesan Centre. Professor Susan Roll, an expert in Liturgy and Sacramental Theology, led participants through the mass, some of its history, ritual meaning, and its roots in the Documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Susan emphasized a new liturgical spirituality that emerged as a result of the teachings on the Sacred Liturgy promulgated at the Second Vatican Council. She mentioned that these changes have not yet, even more than forty years later, been fully understood and implemented. Thus, there is still much work to be done.

Susan explained that liturgy planned and celebrated well empowers and enlivens, shapes and strengthens our Christian life. It is the place to which the community returns to be nourished and to find its way. Susan expressed her hope that participants would find insights from the session to take back to their parishes to help create better celebrations.

Susan strongly emphasized that liturgical celebrations are public celebrations. More than being about personal devotion, the Sunday Eucharist is about the communal gathering. All of the music, the prayers, and ritual actions are in the service of the entire community. And we gather, not to have a private time with God, but to be with God and one another in Christian community, as the Body of Christ.

Participants had many questions, including why it is that there seems to be such disagreement and tension about when we should stand, sit, and kneel during the Sunday Eucharist. After explaining some of the reasons behind appropriate stances at different times, with special attention to explaining how standing is a very open, grounded, reverent position that speaks of our readiness to enter into a covenant relationship with God, Susan summed up these differences and tensions as a reflection of the fact that we are in a time of transition, still moving, and growing toward fully understanding and embracing the Liturgical changes expressed in the documents of Vatican II.

Participants spent considerable time in small groups in the afternoon discussing interesting questions related to the Constitution on the Divine Liturgy. People grappled with such issues as whether or not people were well prepared for the changes of the Second Vatican Council, how to encourage more active participation in the liturgy, and what reforms people would still like to see take place.

Participants expressed great appreciation for Susans leadership and the session as a whole. Many new insights about the Sunday Eucharist were acquired and people expressed a wish that more people would take advantage of learning opportunities such as this.

Prof. Susan Roll shares engaging

Prof. Susan Roll shares engaging information and insights about the Sunday Eucharistic Liturgy

The next adult faith development session will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2006, when Luc Tardif, OMI will offer the tools of Theological Reflection. Participants will explore how to bring lifes experiences and challenges into dialogue with the insights of our great theological Tradition, to help us live a deeper, richer, more faithful spiritual life. All are welcome!
Annmarie Brown, 738-5025 (x217) [email protected] to register, or Carol Kuzmochka, 738-5025 (x251) [email protected] for more information.

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