The Liturgy is the heart of this Community, and requires significant effort from all of us. Take a look here at the roles that exist, and how to get involved.
Here is a definition of Liturgy but in simple terms it means the public worship of the Church, particularly Holy Mass.
Ours is a Eucharistic community that arose out of two needs:
a desire to celebrate Holy Mass in our own language, English
a desire to celebrate Holy Mass with the whole family, including young children
…neither of which needs were met by the local Munich parishes in 1971, when the community was founded. This is not to say that only English is heard among us, nor that we never control our children at Mass, but these two strands are pretty much constant, whereas the fact that we have no one designated parish priest, but “borrow” a Jesuit from the house, means that many other elements of liturgical style vary, depending on who is presiding.
As with Catholics the world over, it is the Mass that brings us together and the Mass that binds us together by binding us all to the one Lord Jesus Christ, as one popular hymn has it, quoting 1 Corinthians 10:
One bread, one body, one Lord of all,
One cup of blessing that we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth
We are one body in this one Lord.
Apart from weekly Mass (the community has never yet failed to provide a Sunday Mass in all the nearly 50 years of our existence!) we provide (Sacrament of) Reconciliation services in Lent and Advent, baptism, first communion & confession, confirmation and weddings. Undoubtedly the high point of the liturgical year is the Easter Triduum. For more details, see Holy Week and Christmas.
In general our liturgy tends to be informal, lacking in alter-servers, choirs and “smells&bells”. We do try to involve the children as much as possible and yes, I admit we do all hold hands for the “Our Father” 🙂 We use an American missal (St Joseph’s) and a British hymn book (Hymns Old & New), which contains traditional carols and pre-20th Century classics as well as many of the “St Louis Jesuit” favourites. Our musicians are all amateurs and their goal is to “illustrate”, recall or underscore aspects of the readings through the communal singing of music that is hopefully accessible to all.
We provide children’s liturgy for two age-groups: below first communion, and first communion to (maximum) confirmation, where the children hear one of the readings (usually the Gospel) instead of all three, and engage in a related creative activity rather than listen to a sermon. With this format we hope to have found a charitable balance – helping our youngest members feel a welcome part of a worldwide Eucharistic family, whilst at the same time allowing those with a longer attention span to get the most out of three Bible readings, a sermon and the beautiful Roman Rite Mass in English.
Come and see for yourself – you will be most welcome. And if we can’t fill your liturgical needs we will be happy to help you find what you’re looking for. Remember though that liturgy is not an end in itself but only a means to one, and that end is perfect understanding, love for, and eventually eternal union with, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
If you are interested in getting involved liturgically, here are the relevant contacts:
- Readings & Eucharistic ministers: Ann Garcia
- Children’s liturgy: Heidrun Brittain
- Music: Peter Brittain
Current schedules of volunteers are located in the Members section.