TOWN HALL SUMMARY 8/28/2022
Sharing how CSH participates in the Eucharistic Liturgy.
The document promulgated at Vatican Council II on the Sacred Liturgy called all Catholics to full, conscious, and active participation:
“Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.” SC II:14
What does this mean in regards the way the members of the Community of St. Hildegard celebrate the Eucharistic meal? How has zoom enhanced or changed the experience?
Zooming in for Mass no longer means showing up late and out of breath on Sunday mornings. Since the pandemic, we have been using Zoom to remain connected and celebrate the liturgy as a global community. Many of us have grown more comfortable setting our own altars in front of our computers and consecrating the elements of the Eucharist. Breaking bread together as a community has changed for some the understanding of what it means to consecrate (bless) the everyday elements of bread and wine/juice into the body and blood of Christ.
At our recent Town Hall, many of us shared what vessels, vestments, and elements we have been using as we fully, consciously, and actively participate in the consecration of the Eucharist.
The Last Supper consisted of elements that were being shared and consumed by the community gathered. Bread and wine are not necessarily "magic matter" as it has evolved over the years. When we gather to "break bread" as a community, we believe we are invited to use everyday food and drink to celebrate the presence of Christ in our midst. Bread and wine are symbolic, but the real presence of Christ cannot be limited or confined to any particular matter. This has been one of the most challenging obstacles to move beyond for someone coming from a Catholic background. Is it still Eucharist (the Greek word means thanksgiving) if the elements are not the traditional elements of bread and wine? Is the presence of Christ in the Eucharistic meal controlled by matter and form as the law affirms? These are questions many of us are wrestling with as we grow in our understanding of what it means to break bread together.
The CSH members respectfully bring to the celebration elements that represent their tables. On some weeks the elements look familiar, and on other weeks, they may push us a bit outside of our comfort zones.
We are a creative and inspiring bunch!
Note: We will be rededicating / blessing the CSH altar and your home altars, technology that you use to connect on Sunday morning, stoles, and other vessels at our three-year anniversary celebration on September 17th. Please bring water and oil to the celebration!