With Zenit on summer vacation, I have to rely solely on Rock for my Vatican news. (Not an altogether ignorant way to go, mind you.) Here’s his post from last week, Pope Benedict addressing a gathering of European altar servers. Here’s a snippet:
Dear servers, in reality you are already apostles of Jesus! When you participate in the Liturgy offering your service at the altar, you offer to all a testimony. Your thoughtful attitude, your devotion to the parts of the heart and those expressed in the liturgical motions, in singing, in the responses: if you do these in a proper way and not distractedly in whatever way, then yours is a testimony which touches others. The chain of friendship with Jesus has as its source and its summit in the Eucharist. You are very close to Jesus in the Eucharist, in the celebration of the Holy Mass and this is the greatest sign of his friendship for each of us. Don’t forget this! And for this I ask: don’t get used to this gift, so that it doesn’t become a sort of habit, knowing how everything functions and doing it automatically, but discover it anew each day that something so great is happening, that the living God is in our midst, and that you may be ever more closer and bring your contribution so that the mystery may be celebrated and reach the people.
I can’t help but point out the pope’s definition of active liturgical participation: thoughtful attitude, interior devotion, liturgical motions, singing, the responses. All this balanced with avoiding habitual mindless attendance.
As we liturgists like to say … booyah!