Monday greetings to one and all. Happy Valentine's Day.
We received word this morning that one of our talented music editors, Keith Kalemba, and his wife Claire welcomed a new baby into the world. Robert Andrew Xavier was born this morning. Congratulations to the entire Kalemba clan.
On Saturday I was privileged to give a morning workshop to initiation ministers in the Diocese of Joliet here in Illinois. Our focus was on the celebration of the Scrutinies. It was great to spend this time with a great group of people dedicated to initiation ministry. And, frankly, it was also kind of a relief not to be focusing on the Roman Missal!
Speaking of the Roman Missal, I was so struck at Sunday Mass yesterday in my parish by the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer. My pastor chose Eucharistic Prayer III to pray at Mass. I paid extra close attention to his praying of the prayer. He has it committed to memory and, throughout the prayer, it is clear that he knows to whom the prayer is addressed. He prays the prayer with his eyes lifted, clearly addressing the prayer to God the Father. Some people who experience a celebrant who engages the assembly through gestures and almost constant eye contact during the prayer might find my pastor's approach quite aloof. I find his praying of the prayer to be quite the opposite. When one experiences the prayer (through the celebrant's posture and focus) as rightly addressed to God the Father, it becomes quite apparent that what we are doing is, in the words of Eucharistic Prayer III is exactly what the prayer says we are doing: "All life, all holiness comes from you through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit. From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name."
When a celebrant focuses out attention to God the Father during the prayer, as my pastor did on Sunday, it becomes much clearer that this "perfect offering" is made to the glory of God's name. At least to this member of the congregation.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.