Reuben asked:

How can we pass on the importance of the liturgy to our younger generation and children?

Archbishop Alexander Sample replied:

"... It really begins, I think with catechesis. Understanding what the mass is. I think this has been one of the great tragedies. The results, if you will of the liturgical renewal is that that which was supposed to make the liturgy more accessible to the people by bringing it into the vernacular. Even reforming the rights to make them more simplified and understandable so that people could really plug in again, if you will, and understand the liturgy has not happened.

People do not know what the mass essentially is to a large degree ... By and large most people if pressed could not accurately describe what mystery we are celebrating in the holy mass. I think to help the younger generation to appreciate the liturgy and come to a profound appreciation for it is to help them understand what's taking place. That we are in the holy mass making present again, representing the once for all sacrifice that Christ offered on the altar of the cross for our salvation..

When we celebrate the holy mass ... we are at the foot of the cross. We are there in the upper room as Jesus celebrates the first mass. We're there at the empty tomb when he arises from the dead. These events of our salvation come to us across time and space and are truly made present for us in the holy mass. That's what we're celebrating there. Even in a mass ... that is celebrated not with the greatest beauty, not with the greatest music, not with the greatest preaching nevertheless we are coming in contact with the very mystery of our salvation in Jesus Christ.

If we are to receive communion we are receiving the fruit of that mystery. New life, the taste of eternal life in his own body, blood, soul, divinity. I think we need to help our children and our young people understand what the mass is. We're not going there to be entertained, to get warm fuzzies. We're there to participate and to be made present, and to give divine worship to God at the mystery of our salvation ... I think we need to properly catechize ourselves first, then the younger generations ..."


Catholic Answers, "Getting the Liturgy Right" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: October 4, 2013

Name of show: Getting the Liturgy Right

Guest comments by: Archbishop Alexander Sample

Question appeared in show: 28:28

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