I have been appointed by our pastor to our parish’s Liturgy Commission, and will likely begin serving after Easter (after being received into full communion with the Church). So I’m wondering if anyone with experience serving on a liturgy commission/committee has any suggestions on how best to serve. I have never served on any sort of church committee before–my only committee experience was in law school.
We are an OF parish (EF has never been brought up, to my knowledge). But we are fortunate to have a pastor who doesn’t tend to abuse the liturgy, and I am grateful that he pretty much “says the black and does the red” to the best of his abilities. So luckily, I shouldn’t be finding myself in situation where I’m trying to stop “clown masses” and the like.
From what I understand, the Commission will be undergoing a revitalization, from its current role in doing not much more than decorating the parish, to its originally intended responsibilities of Liturgy, Decorating, Music, Art and Environment. The primary reason that I signed up is not because I wanted to serve as the “lay liturgical police,” (like I said, it’s probably not needed), but because I am interested in helping plan and implement our parish’s implementation of the new translation of the Missale Romanum.
That said, there is not a single person out there without some sort of agenda, and here are a few things I would like to see:
I would LOVE it if our OF masses would be done the way they are often done at Daily Mass on EWTN, with the primary prayers done in Latin and with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end. I don’t think a small touch of Latin would be “weird” for the laity, because we have a large Hispanic community that is a major part of parish, so we are used to hearing bilingual things at Mass sometimes.
I would like to have either an (a) Rosary led from the ambo before 11 a.m. Mass or (b) Angelus after the 11 a.m. Mass. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of Marian devotion in our parish outside of the Hispanic community, although we had a rosary every Sunday for a month prior to the National Pro-Life March recently.
I would love to replace some of the hymns with Propers/Chants/Antiphons. Really unsure about how this would work, but… Right now, we sing a lot of songs like “Unless a grain of wheat shall fall…” and “Would you come and follow me if I but call your name…” I would also like to replace some of them with Marian hymns to further reinforce a desire for Marian devotion.
I would like to suggest a Benedictine altar arrangement, with the six candles and crucifix on the freestanding altar. After the Council, the marble altar was severed from the Reredos and moved forward. The Reredos with tabernacle are still there, behind the now freestanding altar. I figure I have a snowball’s chance in hell at getting them to put the altar back up against the wall, so I figure the Benedictine arrangement is a good compromise.
I would like to have regular Benediction services, maybe prior to the primary (11 a.m.) Sunday Mass. Maybe another time would be better, but it seems like it would be a good way to get people into the right “mood” so to speak? Figure since it would be in between Masses, an associate priest could do this while Father gets a break before 11 a.m. shrug
I’d like to find some resources about ordering new missalettes and/or hymnals for the new Mass translations that have a traditional bent to them.
I’d like to find a way to promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation in our regular services… I dunno if asking Father to preach about it would be the right way, but maybe working it into the announcements, getting it into bulletin inserts, along with other “teaching excerpts.” Nothing is more frustrating to a convert than abstaining from the Eucharist while in RCIA, knowing that your Catholic friends haven’t gone to confession since they were kids. So that is a personal thing.
I’m sure I could sit here and think of more little things I’d like to do, but this is probably enough to get this thread going. I’d appreciate it if anyone has any views about this, especially on (1) how to accomplish these goals, (2) which of these goals would be easier to do or more important to get done first, (3) any likely pitfalls I would encounter, including sources of resistance, and (4) how to attempt to do this without seeming like a control freak on a vendetta or offending people (worse, offending the pastor).