Liturgical Catechesis of Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest
Boek 13 uit de serie Liturgia Condenda.
The number of Catholic communities with no priest available to celebrate Sunday Eucharist has increased steadily over 60 years. For many, other forms of Sunday celebration are the statistical norm. This dramatic development coincides with Vatican II's insistence on liturgical catechesis: for the baptised the main source of their Christian spirit comes from active participation in the liturgy, especially the Sunday Eucharist. Celebrating the liturgy in all its symbolic fullness leads to inner participation in the mystery. A more profound appropriation of this living relationship with Christ comes about through well-celebrated rites and reflection on personal experience of the rites. Yet, liturgical catechesis is largely ignored or dismissed because it is not understood. Liturgical celebrations frequently lack the vitality capable of leading people into the depth of the sacred mysteries they celebrate. Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest are no exception. This book presents a systematic treatment of the modern church's teaching on liturgical catechesis. It proposes ten general principles of liturgical catechesis. These principles are used to explore and criticize the "Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest" (1988), as well as the rituals prepared from the "Directory" by the USA, and Canada. Even when there can be no Sunday Mass in parishes, hospitals and nursing homes, navy ships and jails, liturgical prayer is to be a privileged place of evangelisation, catechesis, spirituality and discipleship in Christ.