Monday, March 13, 2006

Back to the future

Thoughts on the Eucharist in a new key
by Pete Szafran

To catch the spirit of Jesus and move beyond present day clericalism in worship, we need to get back to the first three centuries of the church and the early Christians. To me that means small worshiping communities.

Rote meaningless recitations of the Eucharistic Prayer by the presider and/or the attendees do not make for meaningful liturgy.

I was at a home mass yesterday. There were about 15-20 people there. We had met together before and knew each other for the most part, but went around and introduced ourselves again. The liturgy of the word was in a circle, with readings and sharing. The presider wore no vestments. After the liturgy of the word we ate together, a pot luck meal. At the end of the meal, we had the liturgy of the Eucharist. The Eucharistic prayer was alternately read by men and women, with all saying the words of consecration. My experience was not one of rote recitation or mindless reading. It was a prayerful experience for me and I’m glad I went and hope to go again. It certainly met my needs.

I have been a presider at such a Eucharist, and the response from those present was, this is how it should be. As I was leaving the area and would be many miles away, I encouraged them to continue to do this themselves, taking turns as presider.

I don’t think we need uniformity, and I’m glad that we are exploring, and hope we continue to grow by sharing ideas and experiences. Speaking the truth with love.

No comments: