One of the things that I Miss about Church from my Childhood is a sense of sacred. When we would go to the church we new there was something special and indeed there is - The Presence of God! We would never pass the church with out blessing ourselves, even as children playing outside, when we passed the church we blessed our selves. We would never enter the church without blessing ourselves. Today I think we have lost a certain sense of the sacred especially when in the church, often now the church is loud or even in some cases people have brought food and drink into the church.
With the introduction of the New Missal this coming November we are being asked to return to a sense of the sacred. The liturgy will for example have an emphasis on silence at certain times in the mass. I for one look forward to this, because it is only in the silence will we be able to hear the voice of God. I am not suggesting that we are not allowed to talk in the church, but that we do observe prayerful silence at the appropriate times in order to maintain a sense of the sacred. I suggest that at least five minutes before mass we silence ourselves to prepare for our encounter with God. I think it is important that we greet one another as we gather and that we chat after mass, to support and encourage one another.
One area I think we can really improve is when people leave right after the final blessing. Please remember that the recessional hymn, is a part of the liturgy. This hymn is meant to cause us to reflect on our mission in the world. I understand that people do have to leave sometimes, but I am asking that we stay when possible until the end of the recessional hymn. Together let us enter into prayerful silence in order that we can listen to God. Let us never forget the sense of the sacred space that is our church buildings, for it is here that we encounter God in a very real way, Jesus in the Eucharist!