Tuesday, September 02, 2008

FFM Parishes: O'Donaghue on being Catholic, 4

Another of our extracts from 'Fit for Mission? - Parishes' by Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster. Click on the 'label' FFM Parishes to see others. See the 'Fit for Mission?' website and download the full document. The previous title in the series, 'Fit for Mission? - Schools' is downloadable here (pdf). This generated a Facebook support group.

From section 7.4.2, p38.
Over the years I have observed in some of our parishes an over-emphasis on the community dimension of Mass that has at times eclipsed reverence and adoration of the divine. Of course, the role of the community is essential, but at times there are diversions and distractions, such as:
Performances within the Mass;
Noisy celebrations not conducive to prayer;
Concert pieces;
Extended signs of peace;
Endless commentaries and
Prayers of the Faithful that become collects or mini-homilies.

Such distortions can reflect the common Christological error of emphasising the humanity of Jesus, to the exclusions of any meaningful sense of His divinity.
I am certain that for liturgy to enable us to participate in the life of the Holy Trinity we must maintain a sensitive balance between human participation and reverence of the divine.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen