Monday, February 10, 2014

Music and the RCIA in Seattle: Splendid Days

Monday greetings on yet another sub-zero day in Chicago. When will it end? After two hours here at the office, my feet still haven't warmed up!

What a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend in the Archdiocese of Seattle. On Friday afternoon, I did a presentation to about 30 pastoral musicians who were part of a two-day certification program. My topic: The Pastoral Musician: Three Judgmenst: One Evaluation. Then it was a break for a wonderful dinner hosted by the NPM Chapter leadership, then a two-hour WLP choral reading session: Sing the Seasons, in the chapel of Saint Ignatius on the Seattle University's Jesuit campus. What a blast! Wonderful singers. Gotta love the Seattle church.

Then on Saturday, it was a full day with over 100 RCIA ministers from around the Archdiocese. I gave four presentations (1. The Vision of the RCIA: Overview of the Catechumenate; 2. Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Forming a Parish Culture to Welcome Seekers; 3. Apprenticing Disciples in the Parish: The Role of Team, Sponsors, Assembly in Initiation; 4. Pastoral Issues: Adapations for Children, the Baptized, Canonical Concerns) to this spirit-filled group of people, which included several young adults; always a delight to see younger people taking up the ministry of Christian initiation. I then gave another session to the musicians: Music and the Rites of the RCIA. Then we all went to Saint James Cathedral next door to celebrate the 5:30 Mass, which included a combined rite of welcome and acceptance into the order of catechumens.

Splendid cathedral liturgy and our celebrant was one of my heroes, Fr. Michael Ryan, rector of the cathedral. Here are some photos I took of the interior of this magnificent space:

After the celebration, which included the acceptance of two new catechumens and five folks preparing for reception into full communion, those catechumens and candidates, as well as their sponsors, and the group of RCIA ministers then met together and I led them in a reflection on the rite. I was so pleased that the catechumens were so willing to share the power of the ritual experience with the entire group.

Needless to say, I was exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time. And a surprise awaited us as we left the cathedral: rare heavy snowfall in Seatle. Here was a photo I took yesterday morning near Pioneer Park in Seattle. This is a waterfall park right in the city:

Since the closing of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, dioceses and archdioceses across the United States and Canada have had to step to the plate to continue the implementation of the rite. Kudos to Andrew Casad, director of the office of liturgy in Seattle for his fine work in putting this weekend together. I am always willing to come to dioceses to do days like this one; feel free to contact me any time to help your diocese put a day like this together. And because I bring WLP's helpful RCIA resources, we help underwrite the cost of the event. (A little commercial!)

Thank you, Seattle!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Thom Ryng said...

Thank you so much for coming to Seattle and speaking with us. Your talks on RCIA really opened my eyes to what the Church calls us to do, and I say that as somebody who both facilitates RCIA at my parish and went through it himself.