May 7, 2013 Leave a comment
If most people were as faithful to work as they are to worship, they would be unemployed in 2 weeks.
January 26, 2013 2 Comments
In the Catholic Herald, some good tips:
… I have recently been on holiday and during my time off I went to Church “disguised” as a layman and observed a few things. I am sure lots of people would like to put in their bit as to what goes into the new manual, but here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. Not all of them are of equal importance.
• Start the Mass on time. If it says six o’clock, then let it be six o’clock, not five past or seven past.
• The priest should turn up in good time. Seeing a flustered looking chap rush in at one minute to does not help. After all, Mass is important, and for important events we always turn up in good time, don’t we? Besides, ones needs to prepare.
• Wear a chasuble, and make sure it is the correct colour.
• When you preach, it really is not a good idea to go on too long. And to help you keep within a reasonable time frame it is a good idea to plan the sermon. Less really is more when it comes to saying things: say it concisely and people may get what you are saying; say it in a prolix manner and your meaning may well get lost in the verbiage.
• The same goes for bidding prayers. Short and sharp. And do we need them in the week? I doubt it.
• Do not leave bits of the Mass out. The Opening Prayer, the Creed, the second reading – why do these sometimes fall by the wayside? There can be no good reason for this.
• Do not ad lib, and especially do not as lib during the Eucharistic Prayer. The people surely want to hear the words of the Church not the words of Father Joe (or whatever he is called).
• When celebrating Mass, look at God, not at the people, especially not at the strangers in Church (you never know, one of them might be a spy from the Catholic Herald.)
All of the above applies to the celebrant, but there are some points that ought to be recognised by the faithful.
• Don’t answer your mobile in Church. And when you do, which you should not, do not converse in a loud voice on the said phone, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer. In fact, just switch the thing off.
• Arrive on time.
• Yes, you have lots of important things to discuss with your neighbour, but surely they can wait twenty minutes? After Mass, you can talk to your heart’s content. During Mass, talk to God. Silently.
• Leave your shopping alone. No need to rustle through the contents of that bag at all.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and I am sure that many readers can add further points, based on their own experience!
October 8, 2012 8 Comments
A question asked and answered in The Southern Cross:
Please enlighten me and perhaps others who read your newspaper, about an appropriate dress code for Sunday Mass. I find it disrespectful to see not only teenage kids but also adults at Mass as if dressed for a day at the beach. Dennis Langton“…Mass-goers can forget that they are taking part in solemn worship in a holy place, not out on the public roads. “
We all have biological urges that produce physical pleasure. Christians have to enjoy these in a healthy way and not go to such extremes as gluttony or lust. It is here we need to apply the virtues of temperance and modesty.
St Paul gave this warning: “We must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world” while waiting for Christ’s return (Titus 2:12).
The virtue of modesty, as you imply, is not being observed in the way many Catholics dress, especially in the pews at Sunday Mass. This could be because the modern world seems to care little about it, seeing no harm in provocative fashions and advertising.
Recent photographs of near-naked members of the British royal family published in some newspapers have raised awareness that everyone has a right to preserve their privacy, particularly that of their own bodies.
It is here that the Christian virtue of modesty comes in.
Modesty affirms the sacredness of the human person and so it preserves the human body from becoming an object of curiosity and lust.
The Catechism tells us that modesty is decency, inspiring one’s choice of clothing and keeping silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity; it is also discreet (2522).
Mass-goers should be made aware of this. Most do not intend to be immodest or provocative, but they can forget that they are taking part in solemn worship in a holy place, not out on the public roads.
St Peter’s basilica in Rome, for example, enforces regulations forbidding admission to those wanting to enter in shorts and skirts above the knee, sleeveless garments, transparent or tight-fitting garments and the wearing of excessive jewellery. This demonstrates that the basilica is not for commercial or other secular use, but exclusively for the worship of God, in which unbecoming clothing is inappropriate and offensive.
At Sunday Mass, similar restrictions ought to apply. This is not merely to stave off feelings of lust in others, but to help all present to focus on the sacred liturgy with as few distractions as possible.
Apart from these self-evident norms, there is no fixed dress code for attendance at Mass.
May 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Wait… Wait… I know you’re going to guess by who… Why yes, Anglicans of course!
Popular PlayStation 3 game, Flower, will be played by a group of congregants while they pray at Exeter Cathedral this Sunday.
Technology enthusiast, Andy Robertson, who pens a blog called ‘Geek Dad’ for Wired magazine, came up with the idea after experiencing a public performance of the relaxing game in 2009 and finding it a “spiritual experience”.
On Sunday, the plan is that Flower will be played collaboratively by the congregation while the game’s music will form the background for other elements of the service. The controller will be passed around while other parts of the worship continue, and then brought to a conclusion as the first level of the game is completed.
“I was inspired to choose Flower for the Cathedral service after experiencing a public performance of it at the GameCity festival in 2009,” Robertson wrote on his Wired blog.
“There, the game was performed by one person in a old shopping center, but for me it was an undeniably spiritual experience. I’m really looking forward to discovering how the experience fits, contributes to and changes the Cathedral service.
“Although at first this may sound like an odd thing to do, a video game is actually an excellent fit for this sort of expression of faith. Not only is it inclusive, in that everyone can participate, but it also visits themes of creation, nature and our response to the world. The proof will be in the pudding this Sunday (13th May at 7pm).”
All I can say, again, is: Thank God for Anglicanorum Coetibus!
April 28, 2012 Leave a comment
The Wall Street Journal online has an interesting article about the challenges of lifting Torah scrolls during synagogue services. You can read it here. I guess I can longer complain about the bulk and the weight of some of the study Bibles that I own!
April 28, 2012 1 Comment
The article describing the transformation of St. John the Evangelist parish in Thorold, Ont., saddens me no end. Long before we reach our parish in the centre of Winnipeg, we pass by a number of these “community” churches, which attract thousands with their massive shopping centre-style parking lots, bland big-box architecture, rock band music, projector screens and waving arms. Welcome to the Parish of St. Wal-Mart!
My parish may attract only 150 souls on special occasions. However, it is precisely the character of a traditional Anglican church that keeps me going to Winnipeg’s Parish of St. Luke. My formal worship time takes me out of the contemporary world into a place that gives me a glimpse of the heavenly kingdom. These hours refresh my faith, restore my energy and uplift my soul.
Let’s leave Anglican churches to preserve the traditions that many of us still value so highly.
Source: Anglican Journal
February 5, 2012 1 Comment
Just take a few moments and meditate on this picture. With all the overwhelming evil in our world right now, do not forget that God’s Almighty Hand is still in control. He could have called down ten thousand angels, but He submitted to the will of His Father. His Son bore our transgressions to the cross so that we might be raised to new life. He’s still in control in the midst of this apparent domination of evil. Even so, Lord Jesus, come!