The Lord is here! though a little out of focus.
I have been quit delighted to see the steady stream of people coming to pray with one another and with their Lord. It is good to see even some of of the local clergy and especially good to have children from our primary school coming into pray, some of them seem quite bored but others seem rapt in prayer. I am becoming increasingly convinced that our faith must before all else be one of 'experiencing' God. Prayer is that experience. Children are by nature mystics, and children above all need to be given the tool to participate in our mysteries, and the only real way of doing that is to teach them the value of silence and (forgive me) 'interiority'.
Noise and activity drive out the interior life. I had a discussion recently with a woman who brought her 'terrible two' to a friend's Silver Jubilee Mass in the old Rite. She was amazed and delighted at how well behaved the child was. It might have been that child was entranced by the beautiful well executed music or maybe it was just mum was quiet and didn't have to stand up, sit down, read a hymn book, sing, respond etc., just hold her child and pray and maybe the child was caught up in that prayer, I don't know. I do know that children at the old Mass are better behaved than children at the Ordinary Form, it might just be that their parents are more likely to pray with their children at home, so therefore they are more used to it in church.
The thing is though, that the old Rite seems to be more recognisable to children who pray as a prayer, it is obviously the silence but also the idea that several things can happen at the seem time and simply blend together.
Perhaps things might be helped if Bishops and diocesan liturgists actually took Cardinal Sarah's call seriously, but then this is exactly what Cardinal Canizares was saying when he was Cardinal Prefect, and come to think of it so did Cardinal Francis Arinze and for that matter Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, his predecessor; in fact all the recent Cardinal Prefects have stressed the same position.
Contrary to what has been sometimes claimed, and in total conformity with the conciliar Constitution, it is especially fitting that, during the penitential rite, the singing of the Gloria, the orations and the Eucharistic Prayer, all, the priest and the faithful, face together towards the East, to express their willingness to participate in the activity of worship and the redemption wrought by Christ. This could be fittingly put into action in the cathedrals, which should be the exemplars of the liturgical life.Why is it that bishops and maybe more importantly diocesan liturgists do not take the Prefects of the CDW at their word?
Forty Hours continues throughout the night tonight and ends at midnight tomorrow night with Benediction, come and join us if you are in Brighton.
Sorry if you can't see the picture, only special people can, apparently! It shows some children pray before the Lord.