The Archdiocesan Pastoral Services Team recently hosted a retreat at the Henley Beach parish hall for liturgical musicians. An invitation to take time in prayer, reflection, and renewal in the company of other musicians.
One Easter, not long after moving to Australia from the United States, my husband and I made a big mistake. We bought our children bikes so that they could play outside but they took it as a sign that Easter was a time for receiving gifts. Every Easter since they have provided us with a wish list and we find ourselves in an unwanted battle.
The postures of participants in the assembly at Mass can feel routine for those who attend regularly: stand for the Alleluia and proclamation of the Gospel, sit for the homily and stand for the Creed, etc. On the other hand, if you’ve ever been to a Catholic wedding or funeral, you have most likely witnessed family and friends who are less familiar with the actions and responses, gathering uncomfortably in the pews, looking around the room for prompts from the regulars.
It’s as true for children as it is for adults: faith must be practised. We can teach, certainly, and instruct and inform. But what will be remembered are those tangible, in-the-flesh actions that get God out of our heads and into our hearts and hands.
Lent is one of my favourite seasons of the liturgical year. As a family with young children, we use the Lenten season to become mindful of daily roadblocks that get in the way of being close to each other and close to God.