Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's in an experience?

Near the end of April, we had a Lead Us to the Water event in our diocese, sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with ValLimar Jansen and Tom Kendzia. This was billed as a day... "To experience the power of using ritual as the basis for sacramental catechesis; to look at how the quality of our liturgical life shapes the work of catechesis; to explore practical ways to prepare, experience and break open the prayer life of the commmunity: to model how catechesis is rooted in the sacraments of initiation and the teachings of Christ."

The day was almost totally experiential - they led us through quality song, story and ritual to an understanding that if we step out fearlessly to present our very best - our best proclamation, dramatic and musical skills, we can turn what might be mundane celebrations and prayer experiences into powerful ones.

How many times have YOU experienced gatherings where the quality of the story and song was so high that you were lifted out of the realm of the ordinary? What difference do well-chosen music, well and enthusiastically performed, well-proclaimed story and large-scale liturgical symbols and gestures make in the assembly's ability to engage in full, conscious and active participation in the celebration? What would be needed in your parish to make this happen?

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