Liturgical Formation and Renewal Program 2023

Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter Desiderio Desideravi of June 2022 highlighted the need for liturgical formation.

A program of liturgical formation and renewal has been prepared for the Archdiocese. At the heart of this program of renewal, there should be a rediscovery of the richness of our Catholic faith in the Eucharist, including our belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ under the sacramental signs of bread and wine.

Five short videos have been produced to be played throughout the Season of Lent.

In this first video, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn explains, What is Sacramentality?

One of the unique features of our Catholic faith is our sacramental life. This sacramental life is most commonly expressed in the celebration of the seven sacraments.

Today in your parish community, you are gathering or have gathered to celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist or as is commonly expressed, the Mass.

One of the great gifts of the Catholic faith is that it can enables us to look at and experience creation, people and events through a particular lens.

This lens is sacramentality.

In this second video, Centre for Liturgy Director, Sr Kerry Willison RSM, explains What is Liturgy?

In Pope Francis’ recent document Desiderio Desideravi, which means ‘I have earnestly desired’, he shares his reflections on the central nature of the Liturgy in the life of the Church.

He goes on to say that he is simply offering prompts or cues for reflection that can aid in the contemplation of the beauty and truth of the Christian celebration.

The video ‘What is Liturgy?’ is offered in the spirit of Desiderio Desideravi, to be a prompt for further reflection on the essence of liturgical rituals with a focus on the Eucharist.

Each time we celebrate a liturgical ritual of the church, it is an opportunity for us to open ourselves to the words and actions of each part of the ritual and allow ourselves to be transformed by the presence of Jesus.

In Baptism, our body is washed, and we are spiritually cleansed. In Confirmation, hands are laid on the head of a person and the Spirit comes alive in our hearts.

In the Eucharist, we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ and we are nourished with the spirit to live out our faith in our day-to-day lives.

Just as the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, when we receive the risen Jesus in the Eucharist, we are transformed and become the Body of Christ in the world.

Through our words, by sharing of our faith in the way we live, Jesus Christ is alive and present in the world.

By belonging to a community of worship and prayer, we can make a difference within the church community and be an example to the wider community in which we live.

In the spirit of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, this video reflects the call for fully conscious, and active participation in the liturgy (SC 14). So that by listening to God’s Word and receiving the Body and Blood of the risen Christ, we can live a Eucharistic life beyond the ritual.

In this third video, Catechist Formation Services Field Officer Mildred Rego talks about Signs and Symbols. The Catholic Mass is full of signs and symbols. These signs and symbols point beyond themselves to a spiritual reality we cannot fully comprehend or perceive. They are the visible or tangible signs which the sacred liturgy uses to signify invisible divine things that have been chosen by Christ or by the Church. “Signs” are a means of grace pointing us to an experience of God. When the Church community prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking part is nourished, and their minds are raised to God so that they may offer him their spiritual homage and receive his grace more abundantly. (SC:33) They include reverent gestures such as a genuflection, bowing and kneeling. “Symbol” comes from the Greek word meaning “to bring together”. Symbols convey a meaning in what they represent, for example a crucifix, candle and incense. Symbols help us to deepen our faith and shape our prayer. The signs and symbols used within the Catholic liturgy and in the sacraments go beyond words and help to “materialise” the spiritual realities that we can experience. These simple elements, originating from everyday life and items, are brought forward and made sacred, and invite us to reflect on the mystery of our faith. God acting in our lives. Light, water, clothing, oil, hands, bread, and wine are transformed from ordinary objects into the gift of God’s grace and presence with us, and we too are transformed into images of Christ. The signs and symbols in our liturgies are intended to move us to a conversion of heart, thereby transforming us in the mission of the Church to be Christ in our world.