|Dimensions||6 × 0.49 × 9 in|
Lay-Led Liturgies for Prophetic Times
Roman Catholics are a communal people. We gather for worship because we are more than the sum total of our individual selves. Going to church on Sunday is not only a statement of faith. It is also a place of support and affirmation. Participating on sacred days such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, or to celebrate the sacraments, underwrites cohesion and identity as a People of God.
To lose all this during times of crisis, such as a pandemic, diminishes the communal enterprise and opens the door to the ills of isolation. This happened when public worship became a hazard with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The ongoing critical decline in clergy has aggravated the situation. Mass via TV has proven helpful, but as an isolating activity, it ultimately undermines the Catholic genius of the Communion of Saints and corporate witness.
Nothing can replace common worship in church, but we do what we can when necessary, and we are not without inspiration. The awareness of our need to include those traditionally excluded has provided another rich resource for legitimizing the gifts of the laity in many areas of the Church, including conducting public worship. In the end, when all pandemics are over, a more prophetic Church of shared and collaborative ministry may emerge. This book of lay-led liturgies foresees that day.