How the Mass became community property.
The liturgical movement Liturgical movement
19th- and 20th-century effort to encourage the active participation of the laity in the liturgy of the Christian churches by creating simpler rites more attuned to early Christian traditions and more relevant to modern life. helped connect liturgy to people's lives. Does it need to be restarted?
That's the 9:30 Mass on All Saints All´ Saints`
1. The first day of November, called, also, Allhallows or Hallowmas; a feast day kept in honor of all the saints; also, the season of this festival. Day at Resurrection Church in Green Bay, Wisconsin Green Bay is the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin.
The city is located at the head of its namesake Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. . Father Paul DeMuth invites the assembly to help him with the gospel.
With piano keys tinkling tin·kle
v. tin·kled, tin·kling, tin·kles
1. To make light metallic sounds, as those of a small bell.
2. Informal To urinate.
1. softly in the background, the pastor begins the reading from Matthew in which Jesus teaches the Beatitudes--the Sermon on the Mount Sermon on the Mount
Biblical collection of religious teachings and ethical sayings attributed to Jesus, as reported in the Gospel of St. Matthew. The sermon was addressed to disciples and a large crowd of listeners to guide them in a life of discipline based on a new law of .
Cantor and choir, using bars from David Haas' "Blessed Are You," sing phrases that repeat what the priest proclaims from the pulpit. The assembly echoes these leaders of song, joining in with the chorus of a hymn with which the people at this liturgy are obviously familiar: "Rejoice and be glad, blessed are you, holy are you...."
The gospel takes on the impact of a dramatic reading as the pattern continues, presider reading scripture, choral repetition, and the assembly chiming in with the refrain. All around the semicircular semicircular
shaped like a half-circle.
the passages in the inner ear, in the bony labyrinth concerned with the sense of balance, especially the detection of movement. church building the assembly responds to the invitation of the presider to take ownership of this Sunday morning Sunday Morning may refer to:
They sing. They react to the homily homily (hŏm`əlē), type of oral religious instruction delivered to a church congregation. In the patristic period through the Middle Ages the focus of the homily was on the explanation and application of texts read or sung during the , laughing aloud at times, nodding heads in understanding often as DeMuth examines the irony of being poor, of being meek, tired, hungry, and lonely--and yet being blessed.
These are not unusual Catholics. These are not dissidents. These are not members of a small group of radicals. Resurrection Parish is in the affluent Allouez section of Green Bay.
This being a Packer Sunday, green and gold colors dot the congregation that spans the age brackets from crying babies to well-coiffed, upscale grandmothers. On this Feast of All Saints their pastor reminds Resurrection parishioners that they aren't all saints yet; he mentions several times the "journey to holiness" they and he are on together.
This Sunday their spiritual leader tells the People of God in the northeast corner of Wisconsin that the Sermon on the Mount challenges Christians to transform their world to gospel values wherever they are--and whether they are alone or working as a community. He tells anecdotes from a visit to Resurrection's twinning-parish partner in Okolona, Mississippi Okolona is a city in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 3,056 at the 2000 census. The name comes from a native american brave. Geography
Okolona is located at (34.0057, -88.7506)1. during the prior week. Transforming the world for some Wisconsinites the past few days meant putting up drywall and helping disadvantaged third graders with their reading.
The events in our lives can be reminders of the call to spread the gospel, DeMuth says on another Sunday. "Ours is a journey of faith. We are transformed by the Eucharist," he says, his left hand reaching out in the direction of the altar, "to transform the world," both hands spreading as wide as they can.
See, judge, act
"The idea," says Ed Marciniak, "is that what we do in church on Sunday should have an effect on what we do outside of church the other six days of the week."
Marciniak, president of the Chicago-based Institute of Urban Life, was in on the ground floor when "the idea"--the Catholic liturgical movement--blossomed in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. in the early 1940s.
"The purpose of the liturgical movement was to enhance the weekend liturgy, the Sunday liturgy, to get the `Sunday Christian' to think about being Christian Monday through Saturday so the liturgy would tie in to the rest of the week and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. ," Marciniak says.
That parts of the Mass should be prayed in the language of the people assembled in the church (instead of in Latin); that parts of the Mass should be sung by the people in the pews; that some roles in the liturgy should be played by the laypeople lay·peo·ple or lay people
Laymen and laywomen. of the congregation (as opposed to people watching People watching or crowd watching is a hobby of some people to watch those around them and their interactions. This differs from voyeurism in that it does not relate to sex or sexual gratification. as the priest did all the work)--those were the "church" portions, if you will, of the foundations of the early liturgical movement.
Transplanted from France and Germany earlier in the 20th century, the ideas began to grow more rapidly in the United States in the 1940s, and the movement began to realize at least a portion of its potential as it influenced more than just the way Catholics attend Mass.
"A whole configuration of ideas came out of a new understanding of the role of the laity," Marciniak says. "The Christian Family Movement, the Cana Conference [in which married couples prepared engaged couples for marriage], the Catholic labor movement, Catholic Action--all of these organizations flourished as a result of the liturgical movement. Take Catholic Action. We had 500 or 700 students gathering every Saturday morning during the school year."
At Catholic Action meetings, young people learned about social issues, discussed them, and strategized what they could do about them. The now well-known steps--see, judge, act--were formulated by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn Joseph Cardijn (November 13 1882 - July 24 1967) was a Belgian priest and the founder of the Young Christian Workers. Biography
Joseph Cardijn was born in 1882 in Schaerbeek, Belgium as the eldest son of Henri Cardijn and Louise van Daelen. , the Belgian founder of the most influential international Catholic Action movement, the Young Christian Workers The Young Christian Workers is an international Roman Catholic organization founded by Joseph Cardijn in Belgium as the Young Trade Unionists; the organization changed its name in 1924. In 1925, the YCW grew throughout Belgium and gained the support of Pope Pius XI. .
"That's where the leaders came from ... when those people became young adults in the later 1940s through the '50s and early '60s," Marciniak says.
The roots of the liturgical movement have been traced as far back as 1833, when monastic life and liturgy were restored at the French abbey of Solesmes under the leadership of Dom Prosper Gueranger. Early in the 20th century, interest in the connection between liturgy and life picked up again in Europe through the writing of Father Lambert Beauduin Dom Lambert Beauduin (1873–1960) was a Belgian monk who founded the monastery now known as Chevetogne Abbey in 1925. He had previously been a monk of the Benedictine abbey of Mont Cesar (Leuven) and been deeply involved with the liturgical movement in Belgium. of the Benedictine community at Mont Cesar in Belgium. Mont Cesar held its first "Liturgical Week" in 1910--a forerunner to similar weeks held in Chicago and other cities beginning some 30 years later.
In 1921, Beauduin was teaching in Rome, where another Benedictine, Father Virgil Michel from St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, was one of his students. Five years later, Michel began publishing a magazine on liturgy, Orate Fratres The exhortation Orate Fratres (the original Latin) "Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father almighty" is addressed by the celebrant to the people before the Secrets in the Roman Mass. .
In the 1920s, interest in relating what happens during liturgy to what happens in life began to catch on in Germany and Austria. As energy spread outward from monasteries, laypeople caught the fever of the movement. Liturgical, social, and artistic developments, for example, sprang from the German Catholic Youth Movement centered in Burg Rothenfels.
A revival in sacred music and sacred art Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. It can be an object to be venerated not for what it is but for what it represents; Roman Catholics are taught that such venerated objects are more properly called sacramentals. sprouted, fertilized fer·til·ize
v. fer·til·ized, fer·til·iz·ing, fer·til·iz·es
1. To cause the fertilization of (an ovum, for example).
2. by the fact that so many more laypeople--not just choir members--were singing during the liturgy.
While Michel and his successor at Orate Fratres, Father Godfrey Diekmann, O.S.B., led the Benedictines in spreading the concepts of the movement in Minnesota and elsewhere, Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand brought together liturgy and social-justice issues for the priests of Chicago as rector of the archdiocese's major seminary in Mundelein, Illinois Mundelein is a village in Lake County, Illinois, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 30,935, and estimated to be 32,774 as of 2005. History .
As the burgeoning world economies of the 1920s burst, leading to the Great Depression of the 1930s, scholars such as Michel, Hillenbrand, and Hans Ansgar Reinhold sought answers to social questions in the lit: urgy.
"The liturgy does not offer a detailed scheme of economic reconstruction Economic Reconstruction refers to a process for creating a proactive vision of economic change. The basic idea is that problems in the economy such as deindustrialization, environmental decay, outsourcing, industrial incompetence, poverty and addiction to a permanent war economy ," Michel wrote. "But it does give us a proper concept and understanding of what society is like, through its model, the Mystical Body of Christ
The Body of Christ is a term used by Christians to describe believers in Christ. Jesus Christ is seen as the "head" of the body, which is the church. . And it puts the concept of community rather than individualism into action in its worship and wants us to live it out in everyday life."
Throughout the 1940s and '50s, scholars, societies, and study groups tested use of the vernacular in liturgy, wrote about the relationship between liturgy and the arts, and put into practice the teaching that what people do at Sunday Mass should affect the other days of the week.
In Minnesota, where the social conscience of the Collegeville Benedictines spread to the major seminary of the Archdiocese arch·di·o·cese
The district under an archbishop's jurisdiction.
archdi·oc of St. Paul St. Paul
as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]
See : Bravery and Minneapolis, Msgr. William Busch referred to the liturgy as "a school of Catholic action," one that called people to work together rather than individually. Fellow St. Paul Seminary professor Msgr. Francis J. Gilligan opened labor schools to teach workers how to gain their rights.
Later, picking up on another passion of Virgil Michel, Gilligan became involved in race relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
, in 1948 chairing the Governor's Interracial in·ter·ra·cial
Relating to, involving, or representing different races: interracial fellowship; an interracial neighborhood. Commission that filed a 200-page report calling for constructive change in the treatment of blacks, Mexicans, and American Indians American Indians: see Americas, antiquity and prehistory of the; Natives, Middle American; Natives, North American; Natives, South American. .
Bringing liturgy home
One of the people involved early on in the transplanting of the nascent liturgical movement from Germany to the United States was a woman who helped bring the movement's concepts from the textbooks into people's home.
Therese Mueller may not have given birth to the liturgical movement in the United States, but she may well have been its midwife on this side of the Atlantic--or at the very least its nanny. From her book-filled home in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mueller recalls those early days when--speaking in her native German, her words translated into English by a bilingual priest--she told Catholic women who filled their parish halls how they could celebrate the church year in their homes with their families.
"People were amazed a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. ," says Mueller, now 93 but still a fiery advocate of the movement she first took part in more than 50 years ago. "Advent had to do with the family, I would tell them. Fasting had to do with the family. We do these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
The music video stars Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage. Track Listing
1. "These Things [Radio Edit]" - 3:17
2. at home--not in church."
The family, for Mueller, was the key to opening people's eyes to the power the liturgy could have if people went beyond being observers in church life to being active participants who knew what was going on and took part in the ritual action, in the prayers, in the song.
"When we talked about how much more people would benefit if the Mass was in English, some would say, `Oh, but Latin sounds so good.' But I would say, `But what did you understand?'"
To help people understand, she would relate what was going on at Mass to the family. The family was at gut-level understanding, she says, one in which a concept as deep as "the Mystical Body of Christ" could be explained.
"We used to love going swimming--all of us, Franz and the kids and myself," she recalls. "Well, one summer one of the boys hurt a leg and couldn't walk, couldn't swim. The whole family was impacted. One member of the family suffered, so the whole body of the family suffered.
"It is the same with the church. We are all washed with one sin, all affected, all loaded down. And as Christ the head suffered on the cross, so we make him suffer when we sin. When we receive the Eucharist at Mass, we implant Jesus in our hearts, yes, but Jesus implants us into him, too. He makes us a part of him."
Mueller gave so many talks on living out the church year in the home during the '40s and '50s that the pastor at a neighboring parish took to calling her "Mrs. Advent." "People wanted to ... be able to take the lessons from church into their homes where they could get roots," Mueller says.
Mueller taught their own children how to understand what was going on at Mass. "We sat the kids on the sofa Saturday nights and explained the Mass they were going to be part of the next day. We play-acted the gospels dramatically, and we made them real for the kids.
"I remember one Sunday the gospel was going to be about Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee or Lake Kinneret (Hebrew ים כנרת), is Israel's largest freshwater lake. It is approximately 53 km (33 miles) in circumference, about 21 km (13 miles) long, and 13 km (8 miles) wide; it has a total area of 166 , and the kids could really relate to it because we had trouble on a boat once during a family outing.
"We were play-acting the scene of the stormy sea, and, when Jesus calmed the waves, one of the boys shouted, `Hooray for Jesus!' It was a natural shout of joy from a child who was really in the picture.
"Well, I told this story to a group once, and a nun remarked, `How irreverent!'"
Challenges such as that religious sister's critical remark still exist for those who would promote continued work on making the liturgy more meaningful for people.
Father Charles Lachowitzer, pastor of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary. Parish in Maplewood, Minnesota Maplewood, incorporated in 1957, is a city in Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 34,947 at the 2000 census. Maplewood is conveniently located just ten minutes from downtown St. Paul. Maplewood stretches along most of the northern and eastern borders of St. , recalls the day he was accosted ac·cost
tr.v. ac·cost·ed, ac·cost·ing, ac·costs
1. To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with a demand or request.
2. To solicit for sex. in the sacristy by a visitor to the parish. "How dare you change the language in the liturgy," the visitor said. "You have no right."
The priest went over to the sacramentary he had used and pointed to the word "approved" in the text. He had been using the Vatican-approved Liturgy of the Eucharist for a Mass with Children. It was, after all, First Communion The First Communion (First Holy Communion) is a Roman Catholic ceremony. It is the colloquial name for a person's first reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist. Roman Catholics believe this event to be very important, as the Eucharist is one of the central focuses of the Roman Sunday for the parish's children.
The visitor left without apologizing.
The most extreme criticism of the liturgical-reform movement often comes from the traditionalist Catholic
Some statements may be disputed, incorrect, , biased or otherwise objectionable.
Vatican Council - each of two councils of the Roman Catholic Church .
"Its roots run deep in heresy," maintains Father Francesco Ricona, for example, on the Web site of Our Lady of Fatima Our Lady of Fatima (pron. IPA ['fa.ti.mɐ]) is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in Church in Spring Hill, Florida Spring Hill is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hernando County, Florida, United States. The population was 69,078 at the 2000 census, and was estimated to be 85,894 in 2005 by the American Community Survey. . "Heretics corrupted the liturgy in order to attack the faith itself," and the end result, he says, was "the wholesale destruction of the Mass."
Music is one of the battlefronts in the ideological division in the church, perhaps because music is like surf pounding away at the subconscious of U.S. Catholics as they attend Mass. The Church Music Association of America Overview
The Church Music Association of America is a non-profit 501(c)(3) association of Catholic musicians, and those who have a special interest in music and liturgy, active in advancing Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and other forms of sacred music for , for example, has sprung up as the conservative opposition to the progressive National Pastoral Music Association.
Liturgical music Liturgical music originated as a part of religious ceremony, and includes a number of traditions, both ancient and modern. Liturgical music is well known as a part of Catholic Mass, the Anglican Holy Communion service (or Eucharist), the Lutheran mass, the Orthodox liturgy and other as the NPMA NPMA National Pest Management Association
NPMA National Property Management Association
NPMA National Petroleum Management Association
NPMA National Project Management Association
NPMA Non-Preemptive Multiple Access
NPMA National Podiatric Medical Association sees it aims to inspire assemblies to works of justice, to live out the gospel the other six days of the week. NPMA members' tunes may be rendered on organ, piano, guitar, or other instruments, and the lyrics often carry messages the founders of the liturgical movement would appreciate: "One bread, one body"; "I am the Bread of life"; "Gather us in"; "Eye has not seen"; "Let us build the city of God"; "We are called, we are chosen, we are Christ for one another."
In so many words
"It all came to a point in Vatican II Noun 1. Vatican II - the Vatican Council in 1962-1965 that abandoned the universal Latin liturgy and acknowledged ecumenism and made other reforms
Second Vatican Council
Vatican Council - each of two councils of the Roman Catholic Church ," says Mueller, "but we did the yeoman's work to prepare for it."
Most observers see Dec. 4, 1963 as a high point in the influence of the liturgical movement. On that date the bishops participating in the Second Vatican Council approved the council's first document, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. This new teaching of the church "seeks to form and reform the very life of the church," wrote Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was professor Jaroslav Pelikan
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy calls all the faithful to participate in the liturgy through song and action. It also allows the use of one's own language for the prayers at Mass. More specifically:
* It teaches that people should be inspired "to become of one heart when they have tasted their fill of the Paschal Mysteries."
* It prays that they "may grasp by deed what they hold by creed."
* It says that during Mass grace is channeled to the assembly that "sets them afire."
* It declares that pastors are responsible that laypeople participate in the Mass "knowingly, actively, and fruitfully."
Lay pioneer Marciniak says the continued use of the vernacular is the primary and most obvious legacy of the liturgical movement. "The vernacular hasn't died, and it isn't going to go away."
He takes exception to those who would reverse the course of liturgical reforms because experimental liturgies at times go beyond the boundaries of the latitude allowed in Vatican II.
"If the Sunday liturgy is constantly jazzed up without any dignity, do you blame that on the liturgical movement?" Marciniak asks. "I wouldn't. But congregational participation was part of the liturgical movement, song became a part of the liturgical movement, and its importance in humanizing the liturgy can't be overestimated."
But is the liturgical movement over?
Chicagoan Marciniak says flatly that it is. "If you want to keep stretching it out, I'm not sure that's reasonable."
Others ask if the liturgical movement ended too soon. Did it leave unfinished business that liturgical experts today can complete? Is the liturgical movement undergoing a renewal or a revival? Does it need to?
Father Keith Pecklers, S.J. calls the liturgical movement "the unread vision" in his book of the same title (The Liturgical Press, 1998).
A professor of liturgical history at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute The Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, located at Sant'Anselmo on the Aventine Hill, promotes the study of the Sacred Liturgy. It is entrusted to the Benedictine Confederation, and has the role of training professors of liturgy and liturgical experts to promote the liturgy in of Sant' Anselmo in Rome, Pecklers believes the principles defined by the pioneers of the liturgical movement remain as valid and relevant today: "to find in our liturgical prayer the impetus for social action [and] to see the Eucharist as modeling a pattern of more just, more dignified human relationships."
Pecklers, who measures the liturgical movement's progress in overcoming poverty, acceptance of immigrants and ethnic minorities, and educational efforts to explain the Mass itself, concludes that despite some progress, the liturgical movement has not been successful in its main purpose.
"Thirty years after the [Second Vatican] council," Pecklers writes, "many American Catholics have yet to understand what they are doing when they gather for Sunday worship or why liturgical participation demands social responsibility."
But evidence of an effort to keep alive liturgical renewal--if not the liturgical movement--can be seen in recent pastoral letters on the Eucharist by Cardinal Roger Mahony His Eminence Roger Michael Cardinal Mahony (born February 27, 1936) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as the fourth Archbishop of Los Angeles, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1991. of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , Archbishop Rembert Weakland Rembert George Weakland, OSB (born April 2, 1927) is a Roman Catholic archbishop. He was the archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002.
Born in Patton, Pennsylvania, he professed his vows as a member of the Benedictines on September 23, 1946, and was ordained a priest on 24 of Milwaukee, and other U.S. bishops.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 1998 renewed the call to make what happens on Sunday in church affect what people do the rest of the week. The bishops approved a 3,000-word statement titled "Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst Hunger and Thirst (French original title La Soif et la faim) is one of the last plays by Eugène Ionesco. It was first published in French in 1966. The play has one act divided into four periods. for Justice," which challenges U.S. Catholics to meet "the demands of discipleship in the pursuit of justice and peace in everyday activity." It says, "Catholics are called by God to protect human life, to promote human dignity Human dignity is an expression that can be used as a moral concept or as a legal term. Sometimes it means no more than that human beings should not be treated as objects. Beyond this, it is meant to convey an idea of absolute and inherent worth that does not need to be acquired and , to defend the poor, and to seek the common good. This social mission of the church belongs to all of us. It is an essential part of what it is to be a believer."
Despite these signs, Mueller is convinced that most Catholics remain ignorant about the Mass.
"People are amazed that for every Sunday there is a lesson, a message that is wrapped up in the readings and in the sacrifice," Mueller says. "And people still say it is boring --`We don't get anything out of it.'"
She thinks she can pinpoint where things went wrong.
"The changes in the Mass that were made after Vatican II were not explained enough to people--they were `put upon' them, and anything put upon you you resist," she says. "If the clergy would have let the laypeople help them explain the changes to the Mass, they would have gone over so much better," Mueller says.
Are most Catholics ignorant about the Mass? Has the vision of the liturgical movement been unseen? To answer these questions, a farm couple in North Dakota North Dakota, state in the N central United States. It is bordered by Minnesota, across the Red River of the North (E), South Dakota (S), Montana (W), and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (N). and a corporate executive and his wife from Minnesota's Twin Cities agreed to take a test of sorts.
An hour north and an hour west of Fargo, North Dakota “Fargo” redirects here. For other uses, see Fargo (disambiguation).
Fargo is a city in Cass County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Cass County, located in the Red River Valley region. , the kitchen table at Randy and Evy Ressler's farmhouse always has something delicious to fill up five children, three in college this year and two in high school.
Their farm, 1,600 acres of fiat North Dakota land the Resslers and their children work together, sits just five minutes at most by car from their parish, St. Lawrence in Jessie. St. Lawrence doesn't have a resident priest. The Jessie parish and the one in neighboring Aneta are both served by a priest and the staff from St. George in Cooperstown, about 12 miles away.
Asked if they have ever heard of the liturgical movement, the Resslers look at one another over their coffee and admit that, while the phrase sounds familiar, they wouldn't be able to explain it.
Evy and Randy, however, are both very active at St. Lawrence. They have taught in the religious-education program and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (often abbreviated RCIA) is the process through which interested adults are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life. and served as eucharistic ministers and lectors for Mass. When it's their turn to proclaim scripture, they prepare to be able to do it well.
"It's hard for me to get up there," Randy says, "but I force myself to do it."
Are the Resslers changed by attending Mass? "I'd like to think so," says Evy, 41. "I get out of it what I put into it."
Randy, 48, adds, "I think going to church gives a guy something to work on--a reminder about why we're here and what we're supposed to be doing. Yeah, I think it changes me. If you throw enough mud against a wall, some of it sticks over the course of a lifetime."
Evy acknowledges she probably wouldn't do a very good job of explaining the Mass if someone of another tradition asked her to.
"In a way, it's sad," she says, and Randy nods. "You just go, and you don't give it a second thought," he adds.
Evy talks about her mind wandering, especially when she finds herself paying more attention to the couple's children than to what's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. at Mass. Randy admits, "At times, it's hard to focus, too.
"Life is so hectic. On the farm, depending on the time of year, you've got hay to cut, hay to bale, stuff to be combined, cows running over here." While thinking about all he has to do, all or a sudden it's Communion, and, Randy says, "At times you go up there thinking you're not worthy to receive." But when pressed about what they expect to get for themselves from receiving the Eucharist, the Resslers responded with an answer that would make Virgil Michel proud.
"It gives you the strength from God to become a better person by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ The Blood of Christ in Christian theology refers to (a) the physical blood actually shed by Jesus Christ on the Cross, and the salvation which Christianity teaches was accomplished thereby; and (b) the Eucharistic wine used at Holy Communion Salvation
For Evy, that means helping out a young family with childcare, a sacrifice at times given the long hours farm families put in. Along with his list of chores on the farm, Randy serves on the board of the Sheyenne Valley Electric Authority, a commitment to his neighbors and the rest of the community dependent upon power.
At Sunday Mass the Resslers and the rest of the parish get a reminder from Father James Cheney, the presider, about the broader aspect of community. He adds some extemporaneous ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous
1. Carried out or performed with little or no preparation; impromptu: an extemporaneous piano recital.
2. prayers to the prepared Prayers of the Faithful, asking the Lord to keep farmers safe in what is one of their most dangerous occupations--harvesting--and beseeching be·seech
tr.v. be·sought or be·seeched, be·seech·ing, be·seech·es
1. To address an earnest or urgent request to; implore: beseech them for help.
2. God's aid to give farmers a fair price for their crops.
During the announcements at the end of Mass, Cheney invites parishioners to the North Dakota Catholic Conference legislative workshop on rural-life issues to be held Wednesday in Fargo. The conference agenda includes a discussion of how Catholic social teaching meshes with the development of public policy on rural-life issues.
"I plan to go," says Cheney, who comes from a farming family himself, "and if just a couple of parishioners want to go along, I'd welcome the company."
Parishioners of St. Lawrence in Jessie have a pretty good handle on what it means to be a community. After the parish's one-and-only Sunday Mass, most of the assembly doesn't head for the grassy lawn that serves as a parking lot. Instead they cut down a hallway to their new parish hall to prepare things for the annual parish dinner that afternoon. The whole Ressler family is among those scurrying scur·ry
intr.v. scur·ried, scur·ry·ing, scur·ries
1. To go with light running steps; scamper.
2. To flurry or swirl about.
n. pl. scur·ries
1. The act of scurrying. to get everything done in time.
"It is such a close-knit community," Randy says. "We all know each other. We all have got the same causes. They mention at Mass to pray for somebody who is sick, and five families are related to that person somehow and know them."
Evy says being involved in all the things they are and have been over the years has knitted people's lives together in the parish.
"Lay ministry draws people together," she says. "You're more involved so you're pulled into your faith more."
All for one ...
Jim and Shelley Westerhaus live at the end of a cul-de-sac in a comfortable subdivision in Maplewood, a suburb of St. Paul. He's an attorney who heads up the rules and regulations division for Ecolab, a booming St. Paul company that makes ecologically sound cleaning products.
Active in prolife work, the Westerhauses send their children to their parish grade school and nearby Catholic high school. Shelley, who no longer works outside the home, has taken part in Bible-study groups. Jim can't remember all the committees he's served on at Transfiguration Transfiguration, in the New Testament, manifestation wherein Jesus appeared "shining" before Peter, James, and John. The traditional explanation is that in it Jesus' divine glory shone in his earthly body. Mt. Parish, but he says he did enjoy his time on the parish liturgy committee.
When this active, involved Catholic couple is asked if they'd ever heard of the liturgical movement, they too say no.
But as the conversation continues, the Westerhauses--just as the Resslers in North Dakota--provide plenty of evidence that the principles of the liturgical movement have indeed caught on. For many Catholics the core of the liturgical movement has become part of Catholic culture.
Jim Westerhaus, for example, says he prepares mentally for the family's regular 9 a.m. Mass at Transfiguration.
"I go to Mass to get recharged, to get a sense of reflection about my faith, to get an insight as to how I can manage my life--the problems in my home life, my work life," he says.
Shelley goes to Mass because of "the sense of community it gives me. I enjoy the support of the community. I like the idea that we're all there praying and we have the same values. Praying in a vacuum is not enough for me," she says.
Jim picks up on his wife's thought: "I think I need the Eucharist to remind me of the community of Christ Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, religious group that regards itself as the successor of the church founded by Joseph Smith. that I am a part of, that bigger picture.... I feel it the moment I say `Amen' to the priest's or the eucharistic minister's `the Body of Christ.'"
"I think I've experienced being changed by the liturgy," Shelley adds. "I've had many experiences when I've been moved at Mass to say, `Why didn't I think of that before--I can do that.' Those moments happen for me all the time. Our commitment to prolife comes from the liturgy and is reinforced by the liturgy."
Both the Westerhauses point to the impact of the music at Mass. "I'm very moved by the music," Shelley says. "It's definitely a part of the whole experience, feeling-wise--yes, you are `the center of my life,' as the song says."
Jim says certain refrains he sings at Sunday Mass come back to him during the week. "You play them through your mind over and over." That kind of subconscious awareness has had an impact for him on the job, he says. "We are called to act with justice"--a line from David Haas' "We Are Called," came back to him at work not too long ago.
"There was an issue of safety practices in a couple of the plants," Jim says. "I could have said we can get by with the way we were doing things, but that being called to act with justice just nagged at me. Finally I told myself, `Darn it, there are people at risk and I'm going to have to do something about it.' It was a direct call to action."
Even solid, traditional Catholics such as the Westerhauses see the need for liturgical renewal that adds some spice to the liturgy's ritual prayer. "Every Mass is so rote rote 1
1. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: learn by rote.
2. Mechanical routine. ," Jim says. "After a while, it sure can make your mind wander." The slow pace of Mass conflicts with much of the rest of life in this day and age of rapid sensory input, he adds. "At the same time, we've experienced some off-the-wall stuff [during liturgies], and you lose the prayerfulness."
St. Olaf Parish in downtown Minneapolis is a hub of sacraments and services in the heart of the business district.
Lynn Trapp, director of worship and music, says greater awareness of the role of the laity and their presence in the preparation and celebration of the liturgy broadens St. Olaf's approach of"bringing the church's ritual to a junction where liturgy and life"--including social responsibilities--"meet."
As successful as St. Olaf's is, though, Trapp might side with Pecklers that the liturgical movement could have made an even deeper impression on U.S. Catholics.
"Quality liturgy and catechesis cat·e·che·sis
n. pl. cat·e·che·ses
Oral instruction given to catechumens.
[Late Latin cat are still goals toward the fulfillment of the renewal," Trapp says. "Leadership is often in incompetent hands, liturgy/music budgets lose ground, RCIA RCIA Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
RCIA Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults
RCIA Retail Clerks International Association
RCIA Richmond Creative Investors Association
RCIA Request for Clarity, Information & Assistance groups spend too little time on liturgical catechesis, and homilists often shy away from Verb 1. shy away from - avoid having to deal with some unpleasant task; "I shy away from this task"
avoid - stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something; "Her former friends now avoid her" addressing liturgical issues because of the melting pot melting pot
America as the home of many races and cultures. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
See : America of devotional practices and beliefs present in the pews."
Trapp has a checklist of suggestions to make liturgy better: more focus on comprehension of Word and sacrament outside of Mass; better preaching and presiding; catechetical cat·e·che·sis
n. pl. cat·e·che·ses
Oral instruction given to catechumens.
[Late Latin cat tools on liturgy for the assembly; strong theological texts in music; better musical leadership; better flow of ritual; and better guidance in the participation and worship of the assembly.
To make liturgy better--that was the liturgical movement pioneers' goal in the first place.
RELATED ARTICLE: LITURGICAL MOVEMENT BASICS
LIVE THE LITURGY: Liturgy makes Christ present to us here and now, is at the heart of the church, and overflows into daily life--the streets, marketplace, work, home--so that all of life becomes a continual act of worship. Ultimately, how we live our lives is the test of authentic worship.
THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST: By uniting ourselves with Christ through the sacraments--especially the Eucharist--we unite with all others who are members of his Body--the church and ultimately the whole world. The early leaders saw the church more as the Mystical Body than as the People of God.
SACRIFICE: The liturgical pioneers never degraded the sacrifice of the Eucharist They were able to hold together sacrifice with social action because they saw sacrifice as not just giving up but giving: We offer ourselves to God and the service of others just as Christ did; as he laid down his life for justice and charity, so must we lay down ours for others. In this way sanctification sanc·ti·fy
tr.v. sanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing, sanc·ti·fies
1. To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.
2. To make holy; purify.
3. is both individual and social.
REVERENCE: The early liturgical leaders put a great deal of importance on reverence, seeing liturgy as from God and for us. They always held a place for praise and adoration and for the hierarchical ordering of the church. They also held in deep regard Popes Plus X, Plus XI, and Plus XII for their crucial contributions to the liturgical and spiritual renewal of the church.
PARTICIPATION: Active participation not just in the liturgy but in the whole life of the church and the building up of the kingdom is necessary. Participation leads to social reconstruction and the creation--not the accommodation--of culture.
HOW WE WORSHIP: The movement advocated imaginative observance of the liturgical year; recovery of the simplicity of the rites; care for the environment of liturgy--the quality of buildings, materials, and music; congregational singing; vernacular dialogue Masses: people responding to the presider in their everyday language; putting the ritual texts in the hands of the people and helping them to understand what is going on; seeing liturgy as the church's great teacher, the school of doctrine and prayer; and reverence for the inspired word proclaimed and preached.
RELATED MOVEMENTS: Catholic Action, the Christian Family Movement, Young Christian Workers, Catholic Worker, and the Grail grew up with--and in some cases out of--the liturgical movement
BOB ZYSKOWSKI is associate publisher of The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.