"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

Liturgy of the Word AND of Silence 2

Published January 20, 2013 by Fr. Paul Counce

In my last morceau I noted out how silence is a part of worship. Remember how I recommended you take some silent time before Mass? During that time if you look over the readings, decide what your prayer intentions will be, and resolve to “pay attention,” you’ll get a lot more out of the Mass, I promise!

But good worship doesn’t only include “advance silence,” before things happen. The rules for Catholic liturgy mandate certain pauses and other periods of time for silent reflection after important things. After each Bible reading at Mass, including the responsorial psalm, there’s supposed to be a brief “pause” so that those who’ve heard the Word can apply it to their own lives. Ideally, the Prayer of the Faithful (the so-called “General Intercessions”) ought to be done rather reflectively, encouraging people to “pay attention” to each petition. And most importantly, after the homily – which is after all a longer “message” from the Lord, “filtered” through the insights and life of the priest or deacon who’s preaching – an even more substantial period of silence is supposed to follow.

Mostly this is just practical: immediately after preaching the last thing I want to do is quickly move on to something which might distract others from the message I’ve just shared! How can people put God’s Word into practice without a moment or two to decide how to do it?

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