Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Importance of Reverence within the Sacred Liturgy

By way of the Catholic News Agency yesterday: Reverent liturgy helps us encounter Christ.

La Garde-Freinet, France, Mar 13, 2013 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Celebrating the liturgy with reverence and beauty helps facilitate the encounter with Christ during the Mass, reflected a monk involved in organizing a conference on liturgy in Rome this summer.

“Our liturgical nourishment must be ample and in accord with the mind and tradition of the Church if we are to take our place in the world as witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Dom Alcuin Reid, a Benedictine monk speaking from France, told CNA March 8.

Dom Reid said the importance of “liturgical nourishment” is analogous the importance of bodily nutrition, noting how “we know how essential it is for children to receive the sufficient and correct nutrition if they are to grow into healthy adults.”

Dom Reid is assisting Bishop Dominique Rey of the Fréjus-Toulon diocese in organizing “Sacra Liturgia 2013,” a conference which will discuss the role of the liturgy as a foundation for the Church's mission, all in the context of the Year of Faith.


Thus, the celebration of the liturgy is central to our relationship with Christ. While “some see it as enough that these rites are celebrated validly and licitly,” Dom Reid said it is “hardly sufficient.”

“If we take seriously that fact that we are bodily, sensual creatures whose connection with Christ is by means of created signs...we will celebrate the liturgy as well as we possibly can so as to optimize our connection, as bodily and psychological creatures, with the person of Jesus Christ.”

Liturgy matters, Dom Reid said, because “that connection is the foundation of all evangelization.”

He offered two contrasting examples, showing how different ways of celebrating Mass can have “very different effects” on those attending. A priest whose manner of celebrating Mass suggests reverence, profound faith, and “awe for the mysteries celebrated” may “easily bridge the way for those assembled to encounter Christ.”

On the other hand, a priest who emits “a desire to be finished as soon as possible,” even though his Mass is licit and valid, will be “mitigating optimal connection with the action of Christ,” at the level of human engagement.

“Where the liturgy is celebrated well, fully, making use of the multivalent riches of Catholic liturgical tradition, I am likely to be more engaged, better connected, with Christ,” Dom Reid concluded.

Read the entire article there.

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