Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WYD and the Liturgy

The Catholic Weekly of Sydney, Australia has an article on the liturgical preparations for World Youth Day, 2008.

Some are concerned with the direction that the liturgy might go, given past experience. This is one of the reasons why the presence of Juventutem can be a very positive influence, particularly if they can be apostles to bring others into their own WYD pilgrimage, and invite others along to join in their worship. Such experiences can result in liturgical epiphanies as people are confronted with the Roman liturgical tradition in all its power. Others may not have that epiphany, but seeds might be planted.

Fr. Peter Williams is the director of liturgy for WYD2008 and comments that the liturgical music must "touch the hearts of the young". This could of course mean almost anything. But let us hope and pray that, with the guidance of the Holy See and Cardinal Pell, that there might be a shift away from a sense that having one's youthful heart and mind moved by sacred music is about modernity or pop-culture. Study after study is demonstrating the thirst for something deeper and more traditional amongst the young. Ultimately we need remember that how one is moved is more important than that one is moved any which way. Our movement must be the movement of worship and sanctification that is characterized by the objective worship and praise of the Church.

One should not expect liturgical miracles of course. We are in a rebuilding phase, but at very least the shoots might be planted.

It is encouraging to see Fr. Williams acknowledge that “Music is such an extraordinary vehicle and has great power in being able to move people emotionally and spiritually,” ... “And from that point of view as Catholics we have a 2000-year treasury of music that we can draw upon.”

Let us hope and pray indeed that it is drawn upon, as the Church would have it be.

Fr. Williams goes on to note that “Cardinal Pell has already identified a number of times and Bishop Fisher has reinforced that World Youth Day is not about what happens in 2008,” ... “Therefore it is critical that we get this right so that we can engage our existing Catholic youth and enthuse them to take up the challenge to be part of the Church as it moves forward in this century."

Amen to that. The principles here are correct. Now we must pray for the faithful application of those principles formed by the mind of the Church, rooted in her tradition and faithful to her decrees.

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