Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Liturgy: I figured out my problem.

I am an amateur. I am just a lay faithful. I am not a seminarian, not an ordained minister of the Church, not a scholar. I have no formal education in the field, no degree on my wall, no letters of recommendation.

But I've done all this reading, and I have technical knowledge about the liturgy. But what "voice" do I have? Who would listen to me, a "liturgical police[man]", an "unqualified individual", an "axe grinder"? Most likely not those who are willfully disobedient. Possibly those who are simply ignorant. Hopefully those who are as concerned as I am and do have a weighty voice.

I don't know how to present myself properly, I guess. I'm very willing to help! It's not like I just want to go around pointing out liturgical deficiencies and condemning people.

Any advice on the matter would be appreciated.


Mark said...

But, but... (he says) don't have a problem!

I'm not sure you require that many qualifications, just a desire to be civil and polite, conciliatory, and loyal to principles. Then all one needs to do is be informed, and understanding. From what I've read, you seem to be doing the right things anyway!

Liturgy said...

1) A problem is that when it comes to liturgy - most people regard themselves as experts :-)
2) Make five positive comments before one makes a critical comment - and keep to at least that ratio :-)


preacherman said...

Interesting post.
I am interested too.
Litergy thanks for your thoughts. and link.
Thanks for this post.
I hope you have a great weekend.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

Anonymous said...

As a lay member of Christ's faithful, the job that He gives you is to spread the fire of love quietly among your friends and all whom you meet so that when each one is set afire, the whole world becomes involved in the conflagration. The accomplishment of this lofty goal cannot be achieved by priests and liturgists, because it is your job (and mine). It does not leave much time for us to take up the cares of priests and liturgists, either.

It is often said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You appear to have read yourself beyond a "little" knowledge, but still, you have lost focus and become caught up in affairs that are not yours to work in.

Think about how you wish to be judged on your job as "lay faithful." Years from now, do you want to be the guy who's always griping about something being done incorrectly, or do you want to be the guy that people remember as the one who listened and encouraged them in their relationship with God? The one who set many souls on fire with love?

Yes, the big picture is important. Beautiful, lawful, correct liturgy is part of the big picture that attracts people to Jesus in His Church. But it's someone else's job. You and I as the lay faithful can pray for them and get on with our own jobs.

It's impossible to "unread" what you have read, to "unsee" what you have seen, to "unring" a bell. But you can pray for peace within your own soul as you turn your attention to bringing your family and friends to Christ one by one in love.

preacherman said...

This is such an interesting discussion. Japhy thank you for talking about this topic.