If the church is going to evangelize as it hopes during the Year of Faith, then may all liturgies be as moving, uplifting and inspiring as the one celebrated Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist for the opening of the Year of Faith. From processional to recessional, this is what needs to be emulated parish by parish if we are to evangelize that 67 percent of the nominally Catholic and invite them to worship on Sunday. No one could say, “It’s boring” or “I didn’t get anything out of it.”
Oompah Time in Ordinary Time: Another example of a liturgical celebration that had the potential to evangelize was the Oktoberfest Polka Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, Milwaukee, Saturday, Oct. 13. All music had a polka beat. You have not “heard everything” until you’ve heard “Taste and See” as a polka.
And liturgical dance. During the preparation of the gifts, “The Summons” was played and a couple danced the polka in front of the congregation. For the recessional, the couple danced again, but this time, the celebrant cut in, and polkaed down the aisle as the congregation sang.
You know what I saw at that Mass? People smiling, because when we celebrate, we smile and laugh. When was the last time you saw that during Mass at your parish?
The music and dancing were not entertainment; they were part of the celebration of the sacrificial meal, which was also enhanced by an excellent homily, based upon the Gospel story about the rich man, that made one think, pray and act. Totally different approach than that at the Year of Faith opening Mass, but the result was the same: uplifting, moving, inspiring.
As I listened, prayed and watched, with thoughts of evangelization and the Year of Faith on my mind, I could only think, “This is what the other 67 percent need to experience.”
Full of faith: Anyone who thought Sunday night would end Packers 42, Texans 24.
Cross corruption? Still can’t figure out the ado about the cross on the helmets of the Messwood football team. Do some people in Shorewood have too much time on their hands? Are they concerned that by having a cross on helmets that some players might find God, or that God will find them? Speaking of people with too much time on their hands, that would be anyone who goes to Washington, D.C. for the Million Muppet March on Saturday, Nov. 3. Credit the entrepreneurs who developed this for knowing how to tap into a level of stupidity among those who will actually participate. PBS and the Children’s Television Workshop have to figure out how to get a piece of the T-shirt sale profits so that fewer tax dollars go into their coffers.
… and a copy for the vice president: At the archdiocesan opening Mass for the Year of Faith, catechists were presented with a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In fact, all catechists in the archdiocese will be receiving a copy. If there’s one left over, I hope someone, given what he said about his Catholicism during the vice presidential debate, sends it to Vice President Joe Biden so he has a better idea of what the church teaches. Better yet, since he lives across the street from the Vatican embassy, he could see if Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio the United States, might tutor him.