Preparing the Eucharistic Celebration

The eucharist is the most familiar liturgy celebrated in most parishes and the one with which liturgy teams will be most regularly involved. How can we begin the preparation for eucharist? What choices shall we make? What do we do first?

First, begin with the day, the season, the solemnity of the celebration. There is a principle in Liturgical Music Todaywhich speaks of “progressive solemnity.” While it is spoken of primarily in musical terms in this document, it can be applied to liturgy as a whole. Basically progressive solemnity means that not every liturgy looks the same; every day on the calendar is not Easter Sunday! On the other hand, if your Easter Sunday looks just like the 23rd. Sunday in Ordinary Time or Wednesday of the 16th Week of the Year, you are in trouble too! Different days, different seasons, different feasts demand different degrees of solemnity, different types of music, different considerations for environment and liturgical appointment. A children’s celebration at the Tuesday religious education gathering will not look the same as the parish eucharist on the Feast of Peter and Paul even though they may both fall on a weekday. The eucharist on Pentecost may be more festive and have elements of greater solemnity than the eucharist on a Sunday in July even though they are both celebrations of the Lord’s Day. We will need to draw on all the principles from the various documents and rites to help us prepare the community and the ritual elements--including music and the environment--for celebration.