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Post by MARYFA »

Did anyone attend the Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool? What was the music like at the Masses and Services?

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Post by alan29 »

No, despite living just across the river from Liverpool.
I am not terribly proud to be a member of the Church at the moment.

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Post by Nick Baty »

Live in Liverpool Archdiocese. But we never really found out what it was all about – well, apart from Jimmy McGovern answering questions about his TV series, Broken, in a local church.

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Post by JW »

I was there! All parishes were invited to send delegates and to support their delegates in prayer. So some priests are clearly at fault for not informing their parishes about this Bishops Conference initiative which was requested by Pope Francis... Both Archbishop McMahon and Cardinal Nicholls expressed shame for what has been happening in the Church. It is a pity, however, that, as a generalisation, our leaders don't understand that clericalism, misogyny and homophobia in the church needs addressing urgently, the Church's glacial pace of change won't wash in these circumstances. This applies to those in the Vatican as well as our bishops. The music was much as one would expect, with the cathedral choir working overtime. As this is a very long post, I would invite someone else who was there to comment more on the music - there were certainly some issues, with the lack of an animateur to lead the singing in the cathedral, haphazard communion distribution and the singing of Credo 3 antiphonally. Why does the choir have a conductor but not the congregation - who needs conducting most? There's a brief YouTube video of the Blessed Sacrament procession here -

Here is the report I prepared for my parish (it only covers those sessions at which I was present) I hope someone finds it helpful:

Liverpool, renowned for its 2 cathedrals, the Mersey and the Beatles, is a most vibrant city. The Echo Arena, Liverpool’s modern conference centre on the Riverside, saw about 3,000 pilgrims assembled on Friday and about 6,000 for the Saturday and Sunday events. The Saturday keynote talks were given by Bishop Robert Barron, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Los Angeles and a well-known Catholic speaker. The Pilgrimage Masses on Sunday morning were held in the cathedral, whose lantern, in the form of a crown, dominates the city landscape, together with the twin towers of the Anglican cathedral. The Blessed Sacrament procession on Sunday afternoon followed a route of about a kilometre from the cathedral, with Benediction from the top of the cathedral steps. All in all, the event was a strong witness to Catholic Christianity and the Blessed Sacrament procession was reported on the local BBC television news.

Friday 7 Sep: Keynote 1, Canon Mervyn Tower
Canon Mervyn spoke about the link between Scripture (Old & New Testament) and Eucharist. The church venerates Scripture as she does the Body of the Lord. Canon Mervyn also spoke on how the Eucharist interfaces with the following human needs:
• The need for structured adoration and worship – and for sacrifice.
• The need to belong to a community.
• The need to be altruistic and foster Justice & Peace.

Friday 7 Sep: Keynote 2, Canon David Oakley
Canon David spoke of the Eucharist as summit and source of the Christian Life. It is a memory and by catechesis we pass on this memory and our personal relationship with Jesus. The Church is at its best when praising God. We encounter Jesus in a Eucharistic way when dealing with the poor and marginalised. The Eucharist is for those on a pilgrimage. To receive Jesus in the Eucharist is to receive mercy. Also, in these days, our prayer, fasting and action joins us to the sacrifice of Christ.

Friday 7 Sep: Keynote 3, Sister Margaret Atkins
Sister Margaret spoke on teaching the Eucharist. She quoted Archbishop Rowan Williams in saying that it’s no use teaching something in an environment that doesn’t provide us with experiences to make sense of what we’re teaching. She drew out parallels between the Eucharist and a family meal: both are counter-cultural today and require time to meet together, preparation of the elements of the meal. Christ’s public life was one of self-giving and sacrifice. Our Christian lives are meant to be fruitful as well. Only by building Eucharistic communities can we teach the Eucharist.

Friday 7 Sep: Preparing children for the sacraments of initiation (principally First Communion): Dora Nash
There was an emphasis here on the teaching of doctrine. Dora Nash recommends that sacramental programmes should be concrete, not abstract and should build up the child’s personal relationship with Jesus. So teaching should be Christocentric. She advocates the need to hand down the tradition and the salvation story from Creation through the main Old and New Testament themes down to Pentecost.

Friday 7 Sep: Teaching children to pray before the Eucharist, Julie Rourke
Julie Rourke focused on Adoration, a practice we don’t often engage in. Adoration provides the child with an opportunity to and experience the life and love of Jesus and to be thankful. Praying before the Eucharist extends the grace of the sacrifice. Adoration needs space, time, the Blessed Sacrament displayed prominently, readings, songs, prayers, silent prayer. Before and after there should be a time of sharing. Create an environment with visual aids, light and music. Tell the children why the period of silence is there, tell them what to think about, who to pray for. Use mediations or short litanies after the silence.

Friday 7 Sep: Music for adoration, Christopher McElroy
Music can be a prime tool of evangelisation and might be remembered after Mass more than the readings or homily.
• Music speaks where words fail.
• Music can reshape our lives, directions, ourselves.
• Music can generate empathy.
• Music gives us a different relationship to times, helps us understand the seasons, and helps us to understand infinity.
Christopher McElroy made specific musical suggestions for Adoration, including use of hymns, songs, chants and psalms with responses.
We should ask ourselves “Does our music allow the congregation to enter into the mystery of Christ?”

Saturday 8 Sep: Keynote 1, Bishop Robert Barron
Bishop Robert spoke on the Mass, the source and summit of Christian Life. People need to be called back to Mass which is a privileged encounter with Jesus Christ. The Mass can be viewed as a call and response between the Head and members of the Mystical Body where the members become more connected. Bishop Robert then gave a meditation on the various parts of the Mass.

Saturday 8 Sep Keynote 2, Bishop Robert Barron
Bishop Robert spoke on 3 paths to holiness:
1. Find the centre: Jesus Christ. Where Christ is the centre of your life there is integrity, harmony and clarity. “Mary has chosen the one thing necessary”.
2. Know that you’re a sinner. Grace shows us that we are sinners. According to Aquinas, 4 substitutes for Christ are wealth, pleasure, power and honour. It’s only by filling the soul with self-emptying love that we are filled up.
3. Realise that your life isn’t about you. Like tribal initiation ceremonies, Christian life is an adventure in self-discovery. We need to have the ‘magna anima’, to find out what God wants us to do and to do it.

Other sessions and Liturgies
There was a moving drama by a young people’s group about Adoration and a presentation by young people from Youth for Christ about the impact that Adoration has had on their lives. There were further presentations by Aid to the Church in Need, Mary’s Meals and the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
Saturday ended with a solemn, humble, powerful time of Adoration before the Eucharist, Cardinal Vincent Nichols preaching and speaking of penitence and prayer, and leading us in kneeling with the vast, silent crowd.
There were so many for the Sunday morning Masses that two had been arranged. Archbishop McMahon spoke of the scandals in the church currently and said that we have to continue the work of the Church while hanging our heads in shame, because we still have the task of proclaiming the Good News.
The Lord has a sense of humour! As the cardinal and bishops came out to begin the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, the heavens opened! Nevertheless it was a joyous, good-natured celebration as we walked round the streets singing hymns. Some young nuns near us collapsed into giggles when we sang ‘Soul of my saviour’ “wash me with water flowing from thy side” in the pouring rain. At the end, the Tantum Ergo echoed over the streets, the monstrance was raised in a blessing from on high, a great roar of voices responded from below repeating the Divine Praises and finally the cathedral bells rang out over the city in thanksgiving. Something very special happened in Liverpool that day.

What happens now?
What steps are we now going to take to revitalise Christian life in our parish and our diocese? How can we proclaim the Gospel given the lack of esteem and respect for the institutional Church? Should we have a diocesan synod of clergy and laity?

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Re: Adoremus

Post by Gwyn »

Credo III sung antiphonally. Wonderful.

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