December 9, 2018 – Liturgical Ruminations by Fr. Pat

Since October 15, 2018, when Fr. Kevin, Deacon Al, and myself were assigned to the Mid Mon Valley churches, there has been a major shift in how we worship as a Church Family. First of all, there are, for at least two parishes, 3 new clergy members. Second, the Mass schedule has dramatically changed. We are now asked to Offer Mass at 3 different places within a new time schedule. If you think YOUR heads are spinning, think about what I, Fr. Kevin, and Deacon Al are going through; we are constantly using Google Calendar just to remind us where we need to be each day and when. It is daunting, to say the least. Over the next few articles I am going to ask you the reader to think about your Faith and how Worship is integral to everything we as Church do.
One of the most basic points of information to know about the Liturgy and Mass is that of the Language of the Church. I am not talking about the use of English, Spanish, or Latin. What I am talking about is more fundamental and some-thing that is not really thought about, mostly be-cause it is just done. That Language is our use of certain words, gestures, postures, and rituals. Why is it that when we visit a non-Roman Service, for example, a Protestant Service, we can become disconnected and lost. Why is it when Protestants visit a Catholic Mass, they are just as befuddled? It is because Catholics and Non-Catholics use different Language to express Worship. Remember, we are not talking about English, Spanish, or any other Cultural Language. We are talking about Rituals, Procedures, and the like.
Here are the upcoming pieces of information I intend to share: What do the rituals at Mass do? When we make the Sign of the Cross, for example, what are we trying to say by that action? When the priest imposes his hands over the bread and wine, what is supposed to be happening? When you visit a non-Catholic Service, what makes you disconnected? What are their actions and phrases trying to get across?

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