Monday, July 16, 2012


   Imagine a Mass that's conducted as follows:

1.  At the beginning, the celebrant announces, "Today we will celebrate our public school teachers as the expressions of Christ that they are."  Then the teachers present will rise and receive a round of applause.

2.  After the homily, a teacher will come to the pulpit and speak for about five minutes, outlining how she/he incorporates her/his faith in the classroom, e.g., the spiritual disciplines, the principles of social justice, without imposing our religion on anyone.  She/he will explain the disciplinary and academic results of her approach. A printed version of her/his presentation will be included in that week's parish bulletin.

3.  At the Offertory, along with the bread and wine, and the collection (presently the  expression of who we are) a few teachers will bring up objects that pertain to teaching, e.g., a plan book, a marker, a text book, etc.  
     Then a few selected people from other expressions of our society can also bring up objects, e.g., a physician, his/her stethoscope; a secretary, her note pad; a plumber, his wrench, new parents, a baby blanket, etc.  These offerings will be placed at the foot of the altar, or on a covered bench in front of the altar, to ensure their cleanliness.

4.  Before the final blessing, the people will come to the altar and pick up their objects.  At the blessing, they will hold the objects up.  At the Dismissal, the celebrant will tell the people at the altar, and all the people in church, to go and bring Christ to the everyday world in the form of themselves and their work.

5.  Then the people with the objects will process out of the church with their objects held high.

  At other Masses, a different group of parishioners will be celebrated, e.g., secretaries, new parents, physicians, scientists, et al.

  In this way, the people will experience concrete evidence that they are the church and that the liturgy is truly the work/prayer of all the people.  And they will also concretely see that their spiritual life is in the everyday world where they are empowered and responsible to use the various objects of their life too help save the world in the Spirit of Christ.

  Imagine a teacher looking at her plan book in school that week, realizing that it was on the altar and offered to God.  Imagine a physician touching a patient with his/her stethoscope, remembering that it was on the altar and offered to God, etc.

  Ideally, the parishioners who work in the same field will come together, e.g., via email groups, a web site, and in person from time to time, to discuss and exchange views on how they incorporate their faith in their everyday lives and work.  

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