At Mass this weekend our pastor was all fired up.....seems he had attended some meetings this past week which clarified how certain things are to be done during Mass...ie, that the name of the sacramentary had been changed...the new name I forget...and then he talked about the ambo and what should/should not take place there. For instance, the word should be proclaimed from there, and and also the responsorial psalm, but no announcements. He also spoke of reverence in the church, how we dress, and how we physically respond to certain things (stand sit, etc). And he said that we have now been instructed to bow our heads before receiving communion.
Now....he didn't say that we needed to start bowing our heads THIS WEEKEND, but in general, the people in the church responded to the sermon and most of them tried to bow their heads when they received communion.
The priest was overwhelmed by the parish's resonse to this, and by their willingness to change. I thought it was all fine and good...the people's response AND his. But then...he complimented the people on their willingness to be open to change, and he also complimented them on their deep spirituality.
That caught my attention....mostly because I still get confused when I try to pin down just what spirituality is and I hear a lot of people throw the word spiritualy around and mis-use it, and although I'm STILL not too good at explaining what I THINK it is, I don't know that it much to do with bowing your head before communion???
Anybody have any thoughts on this??
Sounds like your pastor went to a liturgy workshop!
Yes, it's all fine and well to teach how to participate in a ritual, in what the symbols stand for, etc. I don't think a willingness to cooperate with this necessarily indicates a "deep spirituality" however. Sounds like he got kind of carried away in his gratitude for the cooperation.
Thanks for replying Phil. Yeah....I think you're right. I do get a little weary of people throwing the word "spirtuality" around to mean other things. Maybe that's because I've spent so much time trying to understand just what spiritualty IS (or isn't). My boss throws the word around sometimes too (usually in relation to a service project or something) and it really bugs me!!
I like to think of spirituality as the way one develops one's relationship with God, higher power, the Absolute, etc. It's very much process-oriented, and makes use of disciplines to deepen that relationship. As such, it takes into account one's state in life, personality type, etc.
A "deep spirituality" would imply that one is deeply invested in the process of seeking a growing relationship with God. Obviously, a little cooperation with some new liturgical teachings doesn't necessarily indicate this.
Religion, OTOH, give spirituality a content and form. Christian spirituality will be different from Buddhist spirituality because it's practices are informed by the truths of the Christian mysteries. The practices themselves might share similarities, but the faith-intent infusing the practices of both traditions bring different kinds of experiences of God.
Maybe that all helps. I think, too, we just need to recognize that people are sometimes a little imprecise in the words they use.
Hi Anne, Phil et al
"I don't think a willingness to cooperate with this necessarily indicates a "deep spirituality" however."
Phil, I couldn't agree more here. IMOP- Why we do things is perhaps more important than what we do... at least in the area of spirituality. If we bow our heads because the priest tells us to tells more about our relationship with the priest than with God. While our response is shaped by our tradition... it is not in response to our tradition but in response to our experience of God that our spirituality is expressed.
Does this make any sense to all of you?
That makes perfect sense, Wanda.
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