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Friday, April 15, 2011


In comments exchanged on the Pray Tell Blog

the correspondents have offered brief lists of things they “want to experience ordinarily at Sunday Mass. … positives without mentioning ... negatives” at my request. Some of the responses below are combined, but none were eliminated. These are about ends rather than means. Establishing what are the various ends can provide a basis for evaluating means in other conversations.
  • Wonder and mystery
  • A sense of living tradition
  • A sense of the heavenly liturgy
  • Reverence for Christ in all His modes of presence
  • Poetry in prayer and in song
  • A sense of the sacred that goes beyond mysteriousness into the heart of the matter
  • A “gathered” community
  • The feeling that we are all here together, intentionally
  • A celebration that seems to break the bonds of time and space
  • A deepening understanding and awareness of God’s love, grace and energy
  • Closer union with Christ in the Eucharist
  • Strengthen faith and community
  • The celebrating priest or bishop as teacher and leader of the assembly and its host.
  • True welcome shown to every member of the assembly
  • A collective act rather than a place for private piety
  • Room for reflection and prayer.
  • Naturalness in the liturgical action and a general lack of pomp and theatricality
  • Attention to the word of God proclaimed and preached
  • Quality rather than any specific form
  • A sense of purposefulness and focus on the work
  • Continuity between congregation and ministers
  • Our very best
  • A foretaste of the Paschal feast of heaven
  • Encourage silence and prayer.
  • Prayer obviously directed to God in a way that is personal
  • Connection between what is done as church on Sundays with what is done at home, at work, at school, and at play.
  • A sense of God’s wonder
  • A sense of God’s beauty
  • A connection to Jesus
  • Connection to the people around me
  • Connection to the people who came before.
  • Reverently, but naturally, without self consciousness
  • Sincere, warm welcome to those who come to church alone
  • Connect the scripture to the daily lives of regular people
  • A sense of mission in the world.
  • Warm welcoming of new worshipers or visitors.
  • Joyful participation in hymns

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