Posted by catholicsensibility under Liturgy
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We’re not talking liturgical colors.
Teresa Berger posts on “Blue Christmas” on PrayTell. In my parish, we devote November to reaching out to those who have lost loved ones. So this sounds a lot like what we do, except the month before:
These are worship services designed for those who know that the upcoming Christmas celebrations will be painful for them, usually because of the loss of a loved one in the past year. A blue Christmas service allows people to acknowledge their sense of loss and the shadow it casts over this holiday season, with its deeply emotional and familial traditions.
Liturgy is a start, but by itself, doesn’t replace the necessary pastoral connections. People who attend a remembrance service for their deceased loved ones likely need (and recognize they need) further healing and those connections with people of their church community. I’m not sure that Advent, with reconciliation form II, one or two (8, 12 December) holy days, family and/or school events, and preparations for Christmas, is the best landing place for another liturgy.
Or perhaps it fills a need not covered at other times. Ms Berger is right that holiday time is a difficult time for people struggling with loss. Reforging interpersonal ties can start with worship, but it also needs personal invitation, and a sensitive reaching out to those in sorrow or pain. Does your community do anything along these lines?
The architect is a key person in a building project.
§ 198 § The architect, the primary agent of design, has an essential role in the building or renovation project. In choosing an architect, the parish will look for someone whose designs will embody the mysteries of the faith expressed and lived in the liturgical assembly. In addition to having the skills and exercising the appropriate standard of care required of a professional architect, those chosen to design church buildings should be able to
1. Create an environment by the use of space, sound, and visual aspects that will facilitate and encourage liturgical celebrations and the active participation of the faithful.(GIRM 288)
2. Give visual expression to aspects of doctrine and spirituality that words alone cannot adequately express, employing in their own designs, and requiring in those of others hired by them, the highest artistic standards for the inspiration, devotion, and religious formation of believers.(GIRM 289; SC 127)
3. Draw attention to and protect the significant treasures of the Church’s architectural and artistic heritage, whenever possible.
4. Be collaborative and willing to participate in the dialogue essential to the development of a building program that will fulfill the needs of the local Church.
5. Be sensitive to the financial realities of the parish and work within its budget.
Five good points.
On one, note the first includes “active participation,” the real hallmark of Vatican II liturgical reform. Not organic change.
Two, the “visual expression” of doctrine–a good image.
The others make for common sense.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Given the perception of a serious opportunity for spreading the faith, Pope Benedict declared the current Year of Faith:
4. In the light of all this, I have decided to announce a Year of Faith. It will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, [Fidei Depositum] with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith. This document, an authentic fruit of the Second Vatican Council, was requested by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 as an instrument at the service of catechesis[Cf. Final Report of the Second Extraordinary Synod of Bishops (7 December 1985) and it was produced in collaboration with all the bishops of the Catholic Church. Moreover, the theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that I have convoked for October 2012 is “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. This will be a good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. It is not the first time that the Church has been called to celebrate a Year of Faith. My venerable Predecessor the Servant of God Paul VI announced one in 1967, to commemorate the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul on the 19th centenary of their supreme act of witness. He thought of it as a solemn moment for the whole Church to make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith”; moreover, he wanted this to be confirmed in a way that was “individual and collective, free and conscious, inward and outward, humble and frank”.[Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Petrum et Paulum Apostolos on the XIX centenary of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul (22 February 1967)] He thought that in this way the whole Church could reappropriate “exact knowledge of the faith, so as to reinvigorate it, purify it, confirm it, and confess it”.[Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Petrum et Paulum Apostolos on the XIX centenary of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul (22 February 1967)] The great upheavals of that year made even more evident the need for a celebration of this kind. It concluded with the Credo of the People of God,[Paul VI, Credo of the People of God, cf.Homily at Mass on the XIX centenary of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul at the conclusion of the “Year of Faith” (30 June 1968)] intended to show how much the essential content that for centuries has formed the heritage of all believers needs to be confirmed, understood and explored ever anew, so as to bear consistent witness in historical circumstances very different from those of the past.
Did you know the last “year of faith” was 1967-68? It was before I became a Catholic. Do these “years” have a lasting impact? Or are we content to conjure anniversaries to make these connections with the past?
Note Pope Benedict’s dim view of 1968. I remember real disasters from those times–Vietnam, Biafra, not just student demonstrations in the First World.