Fr. Michael's Liturgy Q&A
This question-and-answer column has appeared in The Visitor, the newspaper of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, since January, 2009. While I no longer teach courses in liturgy, this column invites me to share my reflections with a classroom as wide as the readership of this newspaper. I am grateful for this opportunity to write about what I have learned as a teacher and student of the liturgical "craft."
Fr. Michael Kwatera, OSB
Q. I’ve noticed that we have Gospel readings from John on five Sundays this summer. I thought that we were in the Year of Mark. Why the Gospels from John?
Q. July 4 is our most important civil holiday, but I think we would do well to mark our Independence Day by going to Mass before going on a picnic or going water-skiing. Do you agree?
Q. I’ve seen some traffic on the Internet again about the best way to receive Communion: whether it’s OK to kneel if no one else in the Communion line is; if it’s OK for your parish priest to put back in a Communion rail; whether you should receive in the hand when you’re holding a child. I don’t know if it’s best to receive Communion in a certain way, or if it’s best to follow what everyone else in the parish is doing. Can you give your thoughts on this?
Q. I know that you are a member of St. John’s Abbey. During this Year of Consecrated Life, I was wondering how you see the role of liturgy in your own life and in your religious community.
Maybe we had to work hard this Lent, but for an excellent purpose: Through our prayer, fasting and works of charity, we tried to learn to be God’s people once more
Q. When I was a child, Lent was focused on the suffering and death of Jesus — not very joyful. Now we hear that Lent is meant to be a joyful season. Really?