Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to be a Good Parishioner--- from a Ukrainian Priest in London

I'm publishing an excerpt from this new blog not because I am gobsmacked jealous that he lives in London, but he has a lot of wisdom to share:

"1. Support the Liturgy. Little in terms of parish life is more central than the Liturgy. The purpose of the community coming together is to glorify God by seeking Him out in the Holy Mysteries, NOT the other way around. The more we realise this and appropriate it to ourselves, the more we will gain from the Church on a personal, spiritual, communal, and mystical level. In this respect, if the Liturgy is being celebrated in accordance with the Church’s instructions, and if it is being celebrated in a spirit of prayer and devotion, then one becomes entirely able to abandon oneself to the sacred action; if, on the other hand, the Liturgy is too subjective; too much the product of the priest’s personal sensibilities; too much the result of pressure from one special interest within the parish community, then it ceases to be for the benefit of all and a genuine source of nourishment derived from the Church. Indeed, this point cannot be overstated. Allowing the ancient liturgies of the Church to be hijacked by any one person’s, or group’s, interest, is to tear it from its origins and to alienate not only many of those visibly present and participating, but also our spiritual and literal ancestors, whose voices need to be heard if ours is to be a genuine ‘communion of saints’. So, ask yourself not to what degree the Liturgy is familiar to you, or to what degree it reflects what you want it to; ask yourself, rather, how faithful it is to tradition, and if it is being celebrated in sincerity and truth. Then ask what you can do to make that happen."

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