Finally there are areas [shown in brackets below like these] where those interested in the wondrous and those focused on the communal would almost always disagree.
- architecture, art, vestments, music, language
-of high quality,
-connected to tradition, and
-well done regardless of style
- a sanctuary easily visible to the congregation.
- a spotless church
- periodic pauses significant enough to be felt,
silence that punctuate each action, each reading, each prayer
- allowing space for the congregation to take in the words and make the prayers their own
- a nice long silence after communion
- [everything takes a long time]
- liturgy to be done by the books but done well and with care.
- follows all the rules in a creative and energetic way,
- the Mass to be prayed reverently, but naturally and without a lot of self consciousness
- [no ad libbing]
- naturalness in the liturgical action and a general lack of pomp and theatricality; the purposefulness and reverence balanced with a sense that the Mass is the most natural thing for the people of God to be doing rather than a theatrical performance.
- continuity between congregation and ministers, so that everyone is part of the sacred action and feels that they are.
- attentiveness from servers, musicians, lectors, communion ministers, clergy.
- good posture and articulate movement
- gestures which are large, slow, and deliberate.
- processions take a long time
- well blocked/choreographed
- [no liturgical dancing.]
- Scripture proclaimed from the heart
- carefully prepared and vigorous but not dramatic proclamation of scripture
- Scriptures easily audible.
- a lector who proclaims the scriptures in a way that touches my heart.
- readers who are well prepared and formed to proclaim the readings
- readers who read expressively in a way that betrays their own personal encounter not just with the words but with The Word
- cantillation (chanting)
- everything to be sung, including the propers as well as hymns for the people
- well sung: hearty, vigorous, with conscious meaning,
- fine music
- musicians who understand that music is truly the servant of the liturgy and so don’t seek to overpower the assembly and the ministers
- a choir that doesn’t think of itself as leading the assembly in song but as part of the assembly itself
- no one waving their hands or telling people they didn’t respond loud enough.
- true welcome shown to every member of the assembly
- sincere, warm welcome to those who come to church alone; the elderly, young single adults
- active and heartfelt responses to greetings and invitations throughout the liturgy
- audible, purposeful participation in song, prayer and dialogues
- [concentration on the word of God in proclamation, eyes up, not in books]
- people sitting near each other, in the same area, if the church is not full
- active participation that is first internally contemplative and then vocal
- attention to the word of God proclaimed and preached
- joyful participation in hymns, aided by choir and instrumentalists (organist)
- the people to sing/say the dialogues that pertain to them
- worshipers who seem engaged through their posture, their visage, their singing & praying, their listening, their offering, and their partaking of Holy Communion.
- priest reads the prayers as if he has prayed them himself
- spoken prayers are read so sincerely that we all think they are the priest's own words.”
- priest who is obviously directing prayer to God in a way that is personal (as opposed to formal or officious)
- a priest who understands that presiding in persona Christi does not preclude him from being present to God and to the assembly as who he really is. I have always found the notion that priests must lay their “personalities” aside as bizarre.
- homily easily audible.
- inspired preaching
- homilist who can make Jesus’ words come alive for me. Right here, right now.
- homilies that are brief, but relevant and to the point
- homilies that connect the scripture to the daily lives of regular people, to our fears and challenges, to the problems in our local community that we must deal with in a Christian way
- thoughtful, Scriptural, challenging preaching.
- Scripture explained with heart
- servers at least age of 13
- servers over 9
- clean and crisp looking server garb
- [altar servers wear the traditional black and white.]
- [servers vested in clean and neat albs.]
- fresh flowers
- [Gothic vestments and deacons in dalmatics. ]
- [a Eucharistic minister who takes time to let me bow before receiving the Eucharist]
- language in the Prayer of the Faithful that uses rich and poetic images for God.
- well composed prayers of the faithful, with invitation for petitions or names from the congegation.
- [priest faces the people. (Prayers are addressed up and out, to God). ]
- [priest and people face the same direction like we are all in this together]
- [“ad Deum/ad orientem” posture of the celebrant after receiving the offertory]
- [the Ordinary Form is used]
- [language in the liturgy which recognizes that both men and women are in attendance]
- [bells, especially at the elevation]
- [keep the sanctuary lights dim prior to Mass to encourage silence and prayer.]
- [the significant presence of an altar crucifix]
- [no distracting altar crucifix DURING MASS]
- [Mass in Latin]
- [Mass in the local language]
- [the exchange of the peace as a critical moment of the liturgical action.]