Sunday, February 27, 2011

What They Don't Know...Catechists and the Necessity for Ongoing Liturgical Catechesis

Recently, as I facilitated the University of Dayton VLCFF course "Introduction to Liturgy", one of the participants, a second grade catechist, remarked that until she took the course, she did not even know what the word "liturgy" meant.   This, coming from a catechist for those preparing for First Communion.  (I am very glad she took the course - obviously she had a large gap to fill and she is beginning to work on that!)

What do our catechists really know about liturgy? I suspect for many the answer is "only a little".  I have facilitated this course a number of times, and every time, when the course is over, participants, mostly the catechists, tell me how much they learned they had not known before.  I have watched as many of them learned there are three cycles of readings at Mass, that the second part of the Mass is called Liturgy of the Eucharist, and that the Offertory includes the bringing forward of bread, wine and gifts for the poor.  I have read comments from so many who cannot believe what a difference it makes when they attend Mass when they understand the structure, purpose and the importance of their role as members of the Assembly. 

These are the same well-meaning people who will be catechizing children and youth about the changes in the Mass next fall. There is still time for some liturgical catechesis in the parish to help them understand what the materials for the transition assume they already know - the basics of the Mass.  Need I say more?

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