Kanye West’s Jesus is King album is the centerpiece of his “Sunday Service,” a Gospel choir performance of his discography held in churches and concert venues on a weekly basis. The mix of pop culture entertainment and religious exuberance is a self-conscious expression of the entertainment complex writ large, a cultural liturgy led by a self-styled prophet that also generates a profit.
In The Spirit of the Liturgy, Romano Guardini describes the link between culture and the liturgy. Without the liturgy, culture turns in upon itself, becoming the religion of the aesthete. Without culture, liturgy desiccates, unable to lift the human spirit to adore the living God.
“Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
One of the defining marks of a Catholic school is the communal celebration of the Sacraments. Growing up as a student in a Catholic school, I remember having all-school Masses once each quarter. When I began teaching at St. Paul Catholic School in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was delighted to learn that our school gathered every week to celebrate Mass. As the middle school religion teacher, I had the opportunity to coordinate these weekly all-school Masses and facilitate student involvement. Here are a few of the best practices I learned along the way: