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Full, conscious, and active participation

“the church earnestly desires that all the faithful be led to the full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebration….This full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered above all else”


We hear this every Sunday and it reminds me of a time when Greg and I were dating.  I had gone with Greg to visit his family and all of us went to Sunday Mass; Greg's father had been in the seminary so catholic practice and faith was very prominent in their family, it was something I admired and enjoyed about loving Greg and his family.  It was one of the things on my "what makes a good husband list", someone who has a deep and active Catholic faith life.

Well, here the congregation is signing the opening song and I am quite, not signing, our visit and the time I am remembering was during a time in my life when God and I were working one some serious issues, so I was praying, being comforted by the support I was feeling in this congregation, this family; and Greg turns to me and says:  "You aren't participating."  What!!! Why would he say that?  I was deep in prayer, speaking with God!

After Mass I said to Greg: "I was participating, prayer is a very important part of participating.  Please don't assume about my faith life."  I was a little angry.  And that has stuck with me when I am an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist  when someone comes to me and does not say Amen, I NEVER assume to say Amen for them, what do I know of what is going on in their spiritual life?

2 comments:

  1. There is a little boy, probably age 2, at St. John's Student Parish who admires the drummer in the choir. Every Mass he pounds out a perfect rhythm to the music on his seat cushion, mimicking that drummer in mirror fashion. He also has a plastic Easter egg full of beads that he uses as a shaker when the percussionist is shaking an instrument. AND he genuflects and attempts the sign of the cross. He is far too young to grasp the immensity of what is happening on the altar but I have never seen such "full, conscious, and active participation in a liturgical celebration" in my life! Watching that little guy enter into the spirit of celebration even though he doesn't fully understand everything makes my heart glad to share the Mass with him.

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