Something a bit different today.
Earlier in the year I was appointed to work with the National Liturgy Office of Aotearoa New Zealand. Given that the Sunday liturgy is the only way that most New Zealand Catholics are in visible contact with the church, the NLO has a challenging role which is also full of potential. Hopefully Catherine Gibbs (NLO Administrative Assistant) and myself can continue the good work that has been done by previous staff and provide effective support to parishes and schools for their celebration of the liturgy.
We thought that brief video clips which could be played at the start of liturgy committee meetings might be a good way to start.
Below you will find the first one filmed at the beautiful church of St Raphael in Hawarden, in the Hurunui district.
You can read more about the mission of the National Liturgy Office, and find a great collection of resources at www.nlo.org.nz.
The word “stillness” is evocative of the Presence we feel when we come into our church. No matter what is happening before mass,, we are all enclosed in a stillness we know so well but can’t describe. It makes us family. Thank you, John, for for sharing this with us.
‘Where my reality and God’s meet’. Thank you Fr John, now l can be at peace with my many thoughts that seem to scramble around in the ‘stillness ‘that l embrace before Liturgy or Mass.
Silence is Golden …
Christmas is a poignant time in our lives to awaken the reality of Peace, Joy and Love within ourselves.
In times of stillness and silence the nature of our true selves is realised
like the flowering of an exquisite rose.
Silence is God … +
Thank you on this Monday morning.To take time to be still and trust.
A wonderful reflection Father as always. Thank you.
Thank you Fr John for the reassurance that God is with me in the jumbled up thoughts as I settle to worship.
Fr John. Thanks so much for the reminder to be still and silent which is my preference when I enter a church prior to Mass. It saddens me that many of our churches are places of chatter prior to Mass. Let’s get back to stillness and silence in order to pray!
Thankyou for the reminder that in quiet and stillness we can open ourselves to God’s presence wherever we are but especially in Church.
God, please help me to be still so you may “visit” – thank you john for this simple and hope inspiring prayer
While a church can be a fine place for individual personal prayer, the Sunday The The Eucharistic Celebration is the coming together for prayer (Liturgy) of the COMMUNITY. Surely when the members of the community gather together before the liturgy commences, it is right and natural for them to greet/ converse with each other, John? Isn’t that a better recognition and reminder of the essential COMMUNAL character of the Mass, rather than everyone sitting in stony, isolated silence?
I agree with Peter that it is quite natural for people to greet and converse with each other, especially as we may only see each other at Mass on Sunday. However I would like to see a time of silence before Mass begins to give us time to prepare mentally and spiritually to be part of the Mass. Perhaps the alter bells could be rung two or three minutes before mass is to start to signal that silence should be observed.
The other thing I would like, is to dispense with the communion hymn. This is a time for us to commune with God and this is best done in silence. I suspect I will be shot down in flames though.
Unfortunately we can no longer drop into a church for a quiet prayer or time of reflection as they are now all locked. A great pity but a sign of the times.
Father John you hit it on the head when you said entering the church is like entering a little bit of heaven, you can feel it when you enter the church, especially an empty church, you know you are not alone.
Silence is golden. There is something precious about being in a quiet reflective state. It brings me peace.
Beautifully spoken, John. That place where God and humanity meet in the Eucharist, the very heart of our Catholic identity.