Friday, June 30, 2006

MCW 1-9

The Theology of Celebration

1. We are Christians because through the Christian community we have met Jesus Christ, heard his word in invitation, and responded to him in faith. We gather at Mass that we may hear and express our faith again in this assembly and, by expressing it, renew and deepen it.

2. We do not come to meet Christ as if he were absent from the rest of our lives. We come together to deepen our awareness of, and commitment to, the action of his Spirit in the whole of our lives at every moment. We come together to acknowledge the love of God poured out among us in the work of the Spirit, to stand in awe and praise.

3. We are cerebrating when we involve ourselves meaningfully in the thoughts, words, songs, and gestures of the worshiping community—when everything we do is wholehearted and authentic for us—when we mean the words and want to do what is done.

4. People in love make signs of love, not only to express their love but also to deepen it. Love never expressed dies. Christians' love for Christ and for one another and Christians' faith in Christ and in one another must be expressed in the signs and symbols of celebration or they will die.

5. Celebrations need not fail, even on a particular Sunday when our feelings do not match the invitation of Christ and his Church to worship. Faith does not always permeate our feelings. But the signs and symbols of worship can give bodily expression to faith as we celebrate. Our own faith is stimulated. We become one with others whose faith is similarly expressed. We rise above our own feelings to respond to God in prayer.

Kinda like how, if you look in a mirror and force yourself to smile, you will just about always feel better?

6. Faith grows when it is well expressed in celebration. Good celebrations foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations may weaken and destroy it.

I don’t know that I’d say a poor celebration per se weakens/destroys faith, but it makes it easier to discard one’s faith.

7. To celebrate the liturgy means to do the action or perform the sign in such a way that its full meaning and impact shine forth in clear and compelling fashion. Since liturgical signs are vehicles of communication and instruments of faith, they must be simple and comprehensible. Since they are directed to fellow human beings, they must be humanly attractive. They must be meaningful and appealing to the body of worshipers or they will fail to stir up faith and people will fail to worship the Father.

Hmm....is a liturgical sign necessarily directed to fellow human beings?

“Appealing to the body of worshipers”.....this doesn’t seem to jive with the formational character of the liturgy; growth in Christ is not always appealing to us at first, and we don’t always perceive the instrument of that growth as such. And of course, very few things are appealing to everyone; even when they are, appeal is not the goal of liturgy.

Meaningful....not sure I agree here, either. As a general rule, yes, but there are some things that we only understand with time.

8. The signs of celebration should tee short, clear, end unencumbered by useless repetition; they should be "within the people's powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation."'

If the signs need explanation to communicate faith, they will often be watched instead of celebrated.

Quoting from Vatican II CSL. This is tricky - obviously, the sign of the Cross requires some explanation, as does the elevation and other elements of the liturgy.

9. In true celebration each sign or sacramental action will be invested with the personal and prayerful faith, care, attention, and enthusiasm of those who carry it out.

Good stuff, that.

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