Over the years that I have been assisting in the liturgical life of the archdiocese, I have been privileged to meet hundreds of people who, in one way or another, are involved in the liturgical life of parish communities. Over those years I have also received many requests to provide training sessions, ongoing education and formation and practical resources.
The time seems more than right to ensure that there are many people in our local church who will be able to provide those very same services and hence PALS was born.
The process is about to begin! Shortly all parishes and chaplaincies will receive more detailed information about what this will involve over the next 18 months. It is up to the parish communities, pastoral areas and the wider community to discern who will be suitable to embark upon this time of learning, encouragement and faith sharing. In many ways the extent of its success will be determined by your response – so please do look seriously at PALS.
From Archbishop John Dew
The establishment of PALS (Pastoral Areas Liturgy Support) is a positive response to the Future Statements of the 2006 Archdiocesan Synod on the topic of Celebrating God in our Lives, Liturgy, Prayer and Spirituality.
The Synod on the Church in Oceania stated that ‘When God is no longer at the centre of human life, then life itself become empty and meaningless.’
From Lorraine McArthur
(Director of Arch Pastoral Services)
Imagine liturgies when that is our first focus! Alive, fully participative, creative, sacred, the total expression of God’s love for us, our love for God, and, in turn, ours for one another! And it is what the people of the Archdiocese of Wellington asked for during their Synod 2006 deliberations. Not an asking for, but a crying out for!
Liturgy for pastoral care
So many blessings are encountered when we gather together for our liturgical celebrations. We celebrate life in its many colours and we situate life in the embrace of God. Let’s then come rejoicing to the house of our Lord!
No more war, no more famine
If we truly believe in the Real Presence of our God and the power of that presence in our communities in word, in sacrament, in humanity, then our world need not be inundated by the level of suffering and prejudice quite simply because we become what we receive—the Body of Christ!
The message of Jesus
If we fully celebrate in our worship to God, we can discover again who Jesus was and what he really meant those centuries ago. What Jesus taught is more radical and at the same time mystical—do unto others as you would have them do to you—love your enemies, love those who hate and persecute you. It seems as if Jesus’ words defy human nature. If Jesus’ words are too radical to live by, what then was his intention? Or have we misunderstood a spiritual teacher who seems to be so clear, simple and direct? Jesus intended a completely new view of human nature, and unless we transform ourselves, we misunderstand what he had to say. Let liturgy be part of that transformation. Let PALS be part of that transformation!
Do unto others
Jesus wanted to inspire a world reborn in God. This vision is breathtaking in its ambition. It points us to a mystical realm, the only place where human nature can radically change. At this level we find out how to love our neighbour as ourselves, we are able to remove the obstacles that keep us from doing unto others what we would have them do to ourselves. Let PALS be part of that breathtaking vision of Jesus.
The liturgical life of parishes can be one place where we get the heartbeat of our communities. We can learn what is seen as important and what is not a priority. Any translation of texts alone will not make the perfect liturgy—whatever that may be. Any one group of people will not have the monopoly on what constitutes worshipping in spirit and in truth.
What lies at the heart of liturgy is when it does what it is supposed to do—draw us deeper into the transforming mystery of God and then we, in turn, experience something of the reign of God on earth as in heaven. Let PALS be a part of that vision of Jesus—the true liturgist and our model; the Jesus who knew no separation of his thoughts and God’s thoughts, his feelings and God’s feelings, his actions and the actions God wanted performed.