Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Importance of Ritual

Our readers are probably familiar with The Coming Home Network, an organization which helps to share the stories of people from all walks of life who have converted from other Christian denominations to Catholicism. There is also a regular Coming Home segment on EWTN; I know a few people who have found their way into the Church in no small part because of such testimonies.

I found this video particularly interesting as a testimony to the power of liturgy and liturgical rites to instill the truths of the Faith. Mr Nathan Wigfield, who is now the director of religious education at a Catholic church, speaks about his experience with the physical reality of Catholic worship. In the midst of his upbringing as an evangelical, his formerly Catholic mother used to bring him to a Catholic Church for the Good Friday ceremony of kissing the Cross. After this very simple act of participation in one of the most important Catholic rites, “I began to ask deeper questions in regard to the teaching of the Church.”
The power which this ritual exercized over him, which helped to lead him to the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church, reminds us why it is so important that the liturgy be celebrated with beauty, solemnity and reverence, in the fullness of Catholic tradition. Even the simplest ritual acts, and in this case, something which he at first experienced only once a year, and which was not even a Sacrament, can deeply plant the seeds of the Faith. It is the essential mission of all Catholic worship to make sure that such seeds be given the chance to flourish.

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