Monday, August 3, 2015

Question: Building the Church

Please help.

This weekend's and this week's readings open discussion about cravings. After last weekend's retreat driven by community atmosphere ahead of Sacramental gifts, my husband desired the Eucharist like a severe craving. He desired it to be in a reverent setting with kneelers, quiet reflection before Mass, genuflecting, and a tabernacle present behind the altar.

Full disclosure: I follow the
"be in unity with your congregation" policy
(credit: CatholicMemes)
Therefore, we participated in Mass at a parish in another part of town. Why? Because, frankly, we have not found those things at our parish.

Mass at the church we visited this weekend was so beautifully reverent, we both joyfully teared up prior to receiving the Eucharist. It felt like letting out a big bubble of air: the kind you kept taking in as little sips of breath over and over until there was no more room.

It's a point of struggle for me: stay at the parish where my parents attend, where I received all of my Sacraments (including matrimony), and where my husband and I involve ourselves in multiple ministries, or go to another parish.

We could be a part of bringing our current parish community closer to understanding the Eucharist and the fulfilling joy it brings. On the other hand, the parish was founded with a specifically community-focused atmosphere instead of one with a Sacramental emphasis (can you tell how hard I'm trying to word this?). There are many beautiful, joyful members of the parish who exude Love. However, there is a profound dip in attendance (you've heard that before) and I know attention to the Blessed Sacrament would help heal us.

Help me. I have been somewhat against church shopping, but I keep feeling a call to celebrate Mass in a more reverent setting. What do you think?

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Emily said...

I think if you are struggling to really feel that sort of Eucharistic presence and that joy, then I'm all for going somewhere where Mass is more meaningful. I don't consider it church shopping if you really do feel better going somewhere else, even if it's not as convenient.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, I tend to agree these days. However, the question of whether or not we can be a part of changing it or at least evangelizing from within keeps getting to me.

Liesl said...

I was raised in a parish that is really similar to your current parish. After moving to DC and learning what Mass is *really* supposed to be like, it is really difficult for me to be "as invested" when I go to Mass at home (obviously the same Mass - but it just feels like something is missing). I guess my question would be - how do you think you can evangelize your current parish and be a part of bringing reverence? I feel like it would be very difficult to change the feel and style of an entire parish (vs. a few people) - it almost might speak loudly for you to switch parishes and when people ask why, you can explain that you were desiring more reverence in the Eucharist and that could be kind of a jumping point for discussion?

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