Today was our EMHC annual meeting and mini retreat. The emphasis was on the Real Presence and how we as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should, by our example, teach others that Jesus is really present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Which brings me to this post about improving the Liturgy. I happened to come across an ARTICLE by Arlene Oost-Zinner and Jeffrey Tucker, which to me, made a lot of sense. I will post the main points but be sure to read the entire article.
"Boredom during the liturgy is something all Catholics have felt from time to time, and it’s never justifiable. No matter how mundane the architecture, how dull the homily, or how bad the music, what’s taking place on the altar is a miraculous sacrifice that gives us the grace for salvation. That reality should be enough to keep our attention..."
"...There are, however, ways to break with routine and inspire steadfastness and personal attachment to the liturgy. What follows are 14 very simple steps for repairing the weaknesses that mar many U.S. Catholic liturgies. Professional liturgists resist them because of the prevailing bias against anything that smacks of a pre–Vatican II sensibility. Nonetheless, the following suggestions are born of experience and a conviction that the first aim of liturgy is to aid inner reflection.
The suggestions below are simple and costless. They need not be implemented all at once. Small changes week by week will make a huge difference over time."
1. Turn down the volume.
2. Chant for a prelude.
3. Curb the announcements.
4. Choose plain, traditional hymns for the processional.
5. Sing the Kyrie.
6. Choose a plainer Gloria.
7. Fix the Psalm.
8. The Offertory should be a time of preparation.
9. Reduce and simplify the ‘Mystery of Faith’ and the ‘Great Amen.’
10. Shorten the Sign of Peace.
11. Begin the communion chant (a simple Latin hymn will do) after the priest receives.
12. Don’t force people to sing during communion.
13. Allow for silence after communion.
14. Don’t attempt a rousing good-bye.
Source: Holy Spirit Interactive