30 August 2007

Good news from Honolulu

The Most Reverend Larry Silva is launching a catechetical series on the Liturgy in his Diocese.

The Bishop of Honolulu explains the purpose of this catechesis and shows that he is looking to the future:

I should mention that the bishops of the English-speaking world are currently working on an updated English translation of the prayers and responses of the Mass. None of these is ready for implementation, but by the time we finish this planned catechesis, the translation should be ready. By then we will be accustomed to learning about the liturgy, so instructions on the new translations should flow nicely from our present endeavors.
Referring to himself as the "Pastor and Chief Liturgist," Bishop Silva reminds his faithful about the importance of the Liturgy.

The liturgy is a living encounter in which we worship the Father, through his Son Jesus, our risen Lord, in the Holy Spirit. It is the source and summit of our entire Christian life. It should therefore be celebrated well and according to the rites given to us by the universal community of the Church to which we belong. The rubrics, gestures, postures and words are extremely important. But what is most important is the attitude with which we approach the liturgy. We are God’s creatures, not creators. The structure is given to us to help us encounter the deeper spiritual reality of God-with-us. We can “perform” the liturgy flawlessly, following all the directives beautifully, and still have a very dead liturgy, if we do not remember that the liturgy is primarily prayer. While it has elements of drama that engage us and our deepest emotions, it is never simply a performance. We must put our hearts and souls into the celebration of the liturgy. Most of all, we must open our hearts to the incredible power of the Holy Spirit that works on us and in us in the liturgy.
His Excellency also offers a worthwhile caution:

While it is important that we better understand the reasons behind what we do, it is more important that we avoid the temptation to become “liturgical police,” criticizing anyone and anything that does not conform to the rules. Sometimes the temptation is only played out in the silence of our hearts as we privately criticize the unfolding of the liturgy rather than enter into the worship with praise and thanksgiving. It is true that we are in the process of critiquing our liturgies for the sake of improving them, but Satan can easily lead us to turn legitimate critique into resentment toward our brothers and sisters, thus undermining the real purpose of liturgy.
Let's keep this effort in our prayers, and hope that more Diocese follow suit.


  1. Perhaps the good Bishop will invite you to Hawaii to be a presenter of the catechetical series. Now that would be an invitation you just couldn't pass up.

  2. If he called I'd be on my way to the airport in five minutes!

  3. It would take you a full five? ;)