In the last contribution to this series, I addressed the need for a liturgical interruption relative to Catholic school curricula. These curricula often presume that human beings are made for work and thus contribution to industry. This assumption is at the heart of STEM curricula. A ST(R)E(A)M curriculum simply adds religion and arts to the mix, without awareness that this addition might upset the whole basis of the curriculum to begin with.
Thus far in this series, we have looked at the intersection of liturgy and education in both the school and the parish. Here, I turn to the last educational milieu we will consider in this series: the family.
In the first part of this series, I argued that schools are not the exclusive space where Catholics receive an education. Education is the cultivation of one’s humanity. For this reason, the parish is also an institution dedicated to education. Liturgical formation in the parish should invite all parishioners to an authentic Christian humanism.
Over the last three years, I have been working with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, addressing the quality of Eucharistic celebration in their schools. Almost universally, school leaders, especially at secondary institutions, recognize that all-school Masses are rarely occasions of prayer for faculty or students. Here are three questions for schools in this situation to consider.
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.