column was initiated in January of 2002 with a series on “The
Liturgy.” The series has been reworked and is presented again for those
who may have missed it the first time or would like to revisit the
material. Thank you for your support of Liturgy Matters. Your opinions
and comments have been very encouraging.
One of the results of the Second Vatican
Council was the desire of the Church Fathers to revitalize our worship
experience by reforming the ritual actions of the Mass.
Their aim was to bring about full, active and conscious participation by
the people, who, although they faithfully attended the celebration of
Sunday Mass, were often times unaware of all that was taking place in
The word liturgy comes from the Greek word
lietourgia meaning the work of the people. Liturgy refers to any
official form of public worship.
In his book, “Worshipping Well: A Mass
Guide for Planners and Participants”, Fr. Lawrence Mick helps us to look
at our liturgy by stepping back to gain a larger perspective. We begin
by naming the four basic elements of any human celebration:
A gathering of those who will celebrate together
Communication between those assembled, taking a variety of forms
Sacred ritual, commonly involving food and drink
Some kind of leave taking or dismissal
These elements happen in a variety of forms
and are found in any “get-together”, from a tea party for a child’s
imaginary friends to a formal banquet, from a group of teens gathering
together to “party” to the official inauguration of a president.
To illustrate this, over the next few
weeks, we’ll make a comparison of these elements as found in our
Eucharistic celebration (Mass), as well as in our common experience of
gathering for a family dinner party. Along the way perhaps we may
improve our understanding of the Mass and further enrich the continued
implementation of vibrant, meaningful worship here at Holy Trinity.
(May 1, 2005)