Have you noticed how coming late to mass impacts on so many aspects of your growth as a member of the Eucharistic Community ? The Liturgy committee agreed to address this situation and offer some thoughts on the matter.
Why is coming late a problem? At the outset let us say that it is not our intention to judge or name and shame anyone. We are aware that there can be a number of legitimate reasons why people are delayed or come late. Rather we wish to raise awareness about the value of being part of the community that worships together on a Sunday.
There may still be some elements of our early Formation in the Faith which have not evolved further; remembering how in the past attendance was emphasised, at the risk of mortal sin, for missing attendance at Holy Mass. The understanding of attendance may even have been understood as just physical presence at certain parts of the mass, e.g. the Offertory and Consecration.
Rather we are focusing on forming a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be part of a Eucharistic Community; a people who gather together to be fed and nurtured by our communal prayer; our listening and engagement with The Word and the sacramental presence of Christ in the Eucharist, so that we become more aware of our relationships with each other, as well as with God.
Certain principles help us do this more effectively.
- By arriving in good time for mass I can settle in, and become aware of the theme of the day’s celebration and be aware of those for whom I am praying for in a special way through the mass’s intention.
- I can join in the Entrance Hymn which brings my voice and heart and mind together with others.
- I can join in preparing myself for listening to the Word by reflecting on and asking forgiveness for my shortcomings that may be interfering with my hearing and receiving the Word with an open heart.
- Then I can listen to the Word with its messages for enriching and directing our lives.
- I can then remind myself of the essence of my faith by joining in the recitation of the Creed.
- As a member of the Faith community, I can join in praying for the many aspects of our community life which need attention as well as the special themes that have been chosen by the community- such as Families, Renewal, Vocations, etc. as well as bringing our tangible gifts to the altar.
- I am then ready to be truly part of the sacredness of the Eucharistic prayer and consecration, by partaking and committing myself to be part of the Body of Christ, in a community of love and service.
- Our communion hymns also raise my minds and heart to God in acknowledgement of the gifts we can be to each other.
- I receive the final blessing as an encouragement for the week ahead, after hearing about matters that relate to our community life.
Hopefully as you leave the church after the Recessional Hymn, you will take time to say “hello” to other parishioners and so cement the bonds of community. This is an opportunity not to be missed to enquire about ways of letting this awareness of community and service become part of your life during the week as well.
Please let us know if you have any thoughts on the topic that we may have missed. We would love to have a conversation on this topic….