Liturgical Formation

Rev Edward Matthews, Liturgy Committee, Catholic Bishops' Conference

'Formation' or 'education'. Formation is more to do with attitudes, a state of mind. Liturgy not the only Christian influence but it is the central one. Not about worshipping or presiding correctly but a renewal of spirit, an understanding of prayer. Liturgy changes because the church/society/members changes. After Vatican II, which called for clergy training, liturgical commissions and institutes. At first historical qq, then theological. Now also lay ministers of Communion. Music is make-or-break but lit renewal plaque by second rate music. But also clergy! First course in liturgy given in a RC seminary in England given in 1964. Still, there is a need to instil centrality of liturgy, and tackle lack of communication skills, preaching, movement, gesture, silence, using signs and symbols. Often forgotten by priests that they are members of worshipping community. How the church is tackling this challenge; need to go beyond middle classes. But best formation is good liturgy.

Volume 20 Spring 1989, p13
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