Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | July 16, 2010

Liturgical Catechesis for the Youth

At the NLM and over at Fr Tim’s there are mentions of an interview given by Cardinal Canizares I’d like to point out a few of the answers that he gave.

Regarding World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011: What do you recommend to young people who are curious about the old Mass?

The young people must be educated in the spirit of the liturgy. It would be a mistake to commit them to one or the other form in a polemical way. They need to be introduced to adoration and the spirit of the mystery. Praise and thanksgiving should be taught to them – and the whole which has made up the liturgical celebration of the Church throughout the ages. Today the young people are lacking above all in liturgical education – regardless of the form which they defend particularly. This is the great challenge for the near future, also for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Today we need a new liturgical movement, as there was in the 19th and 20th Century. And this is not about one or the other form, but the liturgy as such.

And how can this new liturgical movement become a reality?

We need a new introduction to Christianity. Also for children and young people. An introduction to the liturgy does not only mean to know something about the celebration, although of course that is indispensable both theologically and doctrinally. Young people and children should participate in liturgies celebrated with great dignity, which are entirely permeated by the mystery of God in which the individual knows himself to be included. Active participation does not mean to do something, but to enter into the worship and the silence, into listening and also the prayer of petition and all that which really constitutes the liturgy. As long as that does not happen, there will be no liturgical renewal. We have to turn around one hundred eighty degrees. Youth ministry should be a place where the encounter with the living Christ in the Church takes place . Where Jesus Christ appears as someone of yesterday, neither liturgical education nor active participation is possible. As long as the awareness of the living Christ does not awake again, nothing will come of the much-needed renewal.

My comments:

a. Christ is first and foremost encountered in the Holy Liturgy, Really, Truly and Substantially present in the Holy Eucharist, it is from THIS encounter that should flow the encounters in daily Life. It is for the fact that the Mass is the encounter with Calvary that attention must be paid to the proper celebration of rubrics. ESPECIALLY the music for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In the Music should be expressed the Catholic Faith. This is clearly best done by GREGORIAN CHANT (you know the one that’s supposed to have pride of place in the Liturgy, that one). Chants are taken directly from Holy Scripture (speaking of the propers) and convey the lesson that Holy Church is trying to convey to us. The so called Praise & Worship songs, even though well meaning for the most part deprive our youth of the true encounter with the Liturgy.

b. He is right in saying Liturgical formation amongst the youth in general is weak. (Not this humble blogger, but in general). The youth aren’t taught the Liturgy as that 2nd Vatican Council (yes, that one) taught to do. It doesn’t mean just head knowledge, of why we do the things we do in Holy Liturgy, and the rubrics, but an encounter with mystery, Adoration as he mentions. One thing that people who tend to quote the psalms where clapping and dancing are mentioned, that these acts of dancing and clapping occurred OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE LITURGY 😀 (Sorry for the all caps, just trying to emphasize)

c. There’s only one Liturgy, 2 expressions of that for the Roman Rite. The Bottom line is that people should be exposed to the full expression of both forms of the Roman Rite. By fullness, I mean solemn celebrations of the Mass. Propers, Ordinary, Latin, all the good stuff that we’re suppsoed to do. A clearer layout coming when I discet the ceremonial for Bishops (yes, I’m a nerd and have a copy) in the OF.


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