How will your Pentecost liturgy define your idea of “church?”

How will your Pentecost liturgy define your idea of “church?”

Seventh Sunday of Easter

As we near Pentecost, some parishes may be preparing to incorporate various languages and cultural elements into the Mass. Many of these communities are already multicultural, so intercultural worship is a necessity for their unity. On the other hand, in some parishes, everyone shares the same language and ethnic background. Yet at appropriate times in their worship they still strive to represent the diversity of the church.

Why sing and proclaim texts and incorporate cultural expressions and Catholic traditions that are not native to our local community? The answer lies in how we define “church.”

The mystery of the church is bigger than the reality we see or hear before us every Sunday. Click To Tweet

If “church” is our local parish or more narrowly “the Mass I go to,” then our definition is incomplete. Even if we expanded the boundaries to include our diocese, it is still inadequate. Whether or not the makeup of your local community reflects it, the church is multicultural because it is universal. Its members are the body of Christ, the faithful who have gone before and will come after us.

The mystery of the church is bigger than the reality we see or hear before us every Sunday. When we recognize that the church is bigger than “us,” we begin to understand better Jesus’s prayer that all may be one.

This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”

Image credit: Debby Hudson, Unsplash, CC0.

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