Dear Parishioners and Friends,
If anyone asks about your faith, your first words can point directly to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. To live is Christ! (Phil. 1:21) But once that’s established, they may want to know something about the kind of church to which you belong. Do you have an elevator statement ready to answer them?
The description of the Ordinariate worship at this past week’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is helpful background. Here’s what it said:
Mass will be celebrated according to Divine Worship, a form of the Mass approved by the Holy See specifically for the Ordinariate. Clearly part of the Roman Rite, Divine Worship also accommodates language, ritual, and gestures that express the Anglican liturgical tradition, albeit now in full communion with the Catholic Church. This form of the Mass has its roots in the Sarum Usage approved for use in and around Salisbury Cathedral in the 11th century which heavily influenced the first Anglican Book of Common Prayer in 1549. Pope Francis approved the Ordinariate Missal for Mass in 2015.
That’s a summary worth keeping in your back pocket. However, know your audience and what matters most. If our first goal is to know Christ and to make him known, then how do we do that? Simply like this: we lift up Christ in the beauty of holiness.
That’s our parish mission statement because it’s both accessible and deep. The beauty of holiness begins in worship and flows through every aspect of our lives. You can share that concept in a moment or discuss it for an hour. This is why:
- We have reverent worship,\
- We embrace God’s Word, and
- We build community with the entire family.
You might add one more thing. We bring forward the roots of the faith with newness and vitality. Christ is best known not by accommodating culture or reinventing the wheel but by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Non nova sed nove, I like to say. “Not new but with newness.”
That’s all most people need to know until they’re interested in the distinctive aspects of our worship—when the longer description quoted above can help.
Of course, you have a lot more to say, but this is for the elevator. Going up!