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Thursday, December 03, 2009


"Eucharist is not about our ideas, or about us, in that sense. It is about meaning, the meaning given to it by a young Jew named Jesus and his offering of himself in love to the Father.

"We are not called to create the meaning for ourselves all over again; we are called to enter into it."

We do not invent the meaning of the liturgy, we receive it, and it is protected by the rubrics that give both direction as to how the liturgy is to be celebrated and the parameters within which it is acceptable to celebrate.

Liturgical prayer and personal prayer are two are distinct forms and while personal prayer nurtures and nourishes liturgical prayer, they are not interchangeable.

Liturgical prayer is the prayer of the Body of Christ, usually addressed to the Father, and is about what God has done for us in Christ. Devotional prayer is individual, or in groups, and can be addressed to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, Mary or one of the saints.

Liturgical prayer has a shape that is significant and is repetitive and familiar. Changing liturgy is similar to changing the rules each time the team comes out to play the game. You would no longer be able to function as a team if that happened.

The posture of the assembly, in standing or kneeling at the Consecration and following Communion, is a sign of the unity of the assembly.

While both are liturgically correct, the assembly should be unified in its action since this is not a time for personal, private prayer, she said.

Fr. Bill Burke

Director of the National Liturgy Office of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops

Western Catholic Reporter

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