Tuesday, July 11, 2006

St. Benedict's day

“Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses...; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.

“From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action, surpassing all others” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 7. St. Benedict).

When I was searching for a church, it became apparent to me, early on, that I was being drawn to an apostolic, catholic and liturgical tradition. Apostolic in the sense that the teachings and traditions of the church had been handed down, Bishop to Bishop, since the beginning. Catholic in the sense that it was a universal, global body, and liturgical because it somehow made sense to me that the emphasis of the service had to be the Eucharist and the prayers to God... not the homily. This is about as radical a departure from Unitarian Universalism as you can get!

I do sometimes wish that my church was more charismatic. It wouldn't hurt us to have a few 'Amens' shouted out now and then. We tried dancing in the aisles once... when we had a U2 Eucharist. It was pretty obvious that most folks were pretty uncomfortable being out of the neat pews with the doors on them. But if I have to choose between singing a plainchant psalm or getting fired up by a preacher, I am going for the psalm every time.

Something happens in the process of the mass. Something shifts. The host becomes God. The wine is his blood. For me, there is no question that the real presence of God is there. How it happens, I don't know. Theologians have been fussing over that since the reformation. But however it works, I honestly believe it does.

I am not a theologian. I know nothing about the mechanics of any of this. What I know, is that every time I go to mass and take the body and blood of my Lord into myself, I am sanctified by it. I am transformed. Made whole.


revabi said...

"Something happens in the process of the mass. Something shifts. The host becomes God. The wine is his blood. For me, there is no question that the real presence of God is there. How it happens, I don't know."

Yes, yes, Rachel preach on sister. Preach on. Maybe one day we dance like David did before the Lord.

P+ said...

There was a great sermon about the sensuality of the Mass on Corpus Christi at the Church of the Advent on Brimmer Street in Boston (Just down the hill from all of the offices and buildings of the Unitarian Church!).
I had the privilege of being there that evening. "Anglo-catholic Ruminations" had a link to the sermon:

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Wow. The Sermon is beautiful! How cool that you were there to hear it. I am a little jealous! And even more jealous of the fact that you were parading through the streets of Boston, LOL.

e-Mom said...

Isn't it interesting that we're all different when it comes to what moves us spiritually? I'm so happy you've found a denomination that suits you. I'm somewhere smack inbetween "sacramental" worship and "charismatic." The homily (or sermon) is definitely what I go for. And then the music. I'm an artist art heart and you'd think the symbolism of the Eucharist would be what grabs me too. Praise God for his diversity!

Rachel's Big Dunk said...


I think it is really interesting! I have a dear friend who is a Pentecostal. And another who is a Roman Catholic. Many UCCs and UUs, of course. It seems to me that the Body of Christ is big enough for all of us.


SingingOwl said...

I wish I could be (at times) a liturgical, vestment-wearing preacher woman. But alas, such a thing is unheard of in my Pentecostal (Assemblies of God) denomination. Isn't it too bad that we just can't seem to have it all, when we need it?