A Better Dismissal?

great commission

There is another PrayTell discussion that interested me. Topic: sending people forth for justice. I think perhaps the discussion could be widened to sending people out for discipleship.

Until I read that piece and its comments, I was generally satisfied with Pope Benedict’s innovations for the dismissal formulas. Maybe, I thought, he was tossing us progressives a bone. I’m not aware of any serious discussion among liturgists concerning the ending dialogue of Mass. Except perhaps the LifeTeen insistence that the Mass never ends. Which I get to some degree. But I’m not going to put it on my car’s bumper.

But now, I feel dissatisfied with this conversation between the priest and people. Maybe it’s too human-centered, and doesn’t take God into account … enough.

Perhaps instead of a dismissal, the Church needs a commitment to discipleship. And in order to get that, we need to stay focused on God. And maybe not have this conversation about the priest telling us to go, and people essentially saying “Thank God!”

So there’s Matthew 28, which I like the best:

P: All power, Lord Jesus, has been given to you. In turn, you direct us to be disciples and to make disciples in the world.

R. You are with us always, until the end of the age.

And maybe Luke 10:

P. O Master of the harvest, we ask you to send these laborers on their way.

R. We give thanks, for the reign of God is at hand.

Or Ephesians 3:20-21, which seems like it could go either way:

P. O God, you who are able to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine, work your power in us.

R. To you, Father, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Or even something brief, from 1 Corinthians 1:8-9:

P. O God, you call us to Communion with Christ your Son.

R. Keep us firm to the end.

Maybe that last one works a bit better for the moment prior to the Communion procession. Anyway, use none of these. But I the whole point is to be a more missionary and evangelical Body, maybe alternate words would inspire others a bit more.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in evangelization, Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Better Dismissal?

  1. Noting that I write from Japan, and am engaged in migrant ministry, I have an ongoing battle with my musical director, trying to eliminate the Closing Hymn. One day, when he was absent we dropped it. I told the congregation, a group of about 40 at the English Mass at the announcements, that when I said, “Go forth, the Mass is ended”, I meant it. The native English speakers from the US etc did just that. I suspect the others, from a rich cross section of ethnic backgrounds, had trouble with the literary flourish we find in the expression, “Go forth”.

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