The liturgy is evangelizing, because we can see the liturgy "as a very profound experience of responding to the Good News of Jesus." He notes the importance of Paschal Mystery and how it manifests itself both in life and in the Sacraments, which are a participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. The fullest expression of this, he says, is in the Eucharist.
However, in the last 40 years, Fr. Frank notes, we have seen a pulling away from eucharistic expression, toward a sensation-based worship service, rather than "the liturgy". Are we an audience or are we a congregation? he asks.
In his sincere, reassuring style, moving around a chapel with props, Fr. Frank goes on to explain in detail how the Mass is an interactive experience that celebrates conversion, calls us to re-commitment and sends us forth to be disciples. He then names and explains 5 ways we respond to the Word of God at Mass:
- The Creed ("I believe" is a response)
- The Offertory (We give ourselves in love and response)
- The Eucharistic Prayer (We respond in acclamations and give ourselves with Jesus)
- Holy Communion (We give ourselves to Christ and identify with him)
- The Dismissal (We accept the mission, sent forth, commissioned and affirmed as disciples, to live like Christ in the world.)
This 40-minute talk would be a great discussion-starter for parish liturgy or evangelization committees, or perhaps the RCIA, apart from their study of the basic structure of the Mass. That is not what this is about. Fr. Frank is concerned with the way we express the purpose and the underlying dynamics of the Mass. If everyone in liturgical ministry in a parish were to hear this message, it could make a difference in how well Mass is celebrated - and ultimately in the quality of parish life.
While he does not name many specific techniques, Fr. Frank does ask all the right questions. What he is doing here is issuing an appropriate "wake-up call" to parish ministers to get back to focusing on what is really important. Worth hearing.