A wonderful communion celebration during this 3rd week of Advent. For the first time, when it came time to pray for loved ones, A. announced he wanted to pray for us. Then, taking our little vial of oil, he anointed each of us on our foreheads and said the following:
To Dad: The Lord loves you and is praying for you.
To Mama: God loves you soooo much.
To baby brother L.: God loves you because you are His people.
Himself: God loves me and I love you too, God.
It’s these unscripted moments in the midst of our (semi)scripted family communion liturgy that makes me see anew the power of liturgy: it provides a structure from which we can explore, grow, bloom, and thrive.
My late friend Fr. Gregory Elmer, OSB, once made an analogy between the monastic life and a person taking piano lessons: “I discipline myself so that I have the freedom to play Bach.” It is the structure, the form, and yes, sometimes even the boring repetition that allows us to enter into fuller, deeper expressions of our faith.
Liturgy can enliven in us a creativity we didn’t know we had— and once we find it there, we realize we have come one step closer to becoming who God has created us to be. There is freedom in the routine.