|RCWP Liturgies on Zoom|
- They will know it when they see it -- Real Presence
- Feed my sheep: A Reflection on the online celebration of the Eucharist in lockdown
- Celebrating an Expanding Theology of Christ Presence in Eucharistic Liturgies in Times of Pandemic
- Timeline of Catholic Women’s Ordination in the Context of Work by Women’s Ordination Worldwide
- Comments to the Editor
- Liturgical disruption – what it looks like -- both for the good and for the bad
- Real Presence and Virtual Liturgies
- Nothing Sacred -- Living out the Eucharist
- RCWP Canada Bishop's Message: Theological and practical aspects of using Zoom for liturgies
- Stirring WATERS a 35th Anniversary Splash!
- Restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy was first document of Vatican II
- Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology
- Eucharist with a Small "e"
- Eucharist and Human Liberation
- Francis Comics
- Comments to the Editor address and form
- RCWP Canada Links
- Related Links
Search The Review or
Theological and practical aspects of using Zoom for liturgies
Canada Bishop's Message
the global pandemic began to take hold, churches and communities of
faith scrambled to find ways to adapt liturgy and prayer to serve the
people. Live-stream programs from a centralized location were
made available to the people. They saw the presider and an
assistant or two say the Mass. As passive observers they could
follow along with the prayers and make an act of spiritual communion
while the priest consumed the consecrated bread and wine.
some communities gathered by Zoom or Facebook or Skype. These
options provided for engagement of the participants in the rituals and
prayers. Reflections on the Scriptures could be shared and the
community could say the Eucharistic Prayer together with the offerings
of bread and wine that each household prepared and then receive
communion at the same time as everyone else present.
most people thought of this as a short-term experience – that before
long, the coronavirus would be under control and we would be back to
safely gathering in our communal spaces. But weeks passed
and then months went by; we are now in the sixth month. The
question is no longer when, but if. Will we ever be able to
gather in churches or community centres who made space available to us
or as small faith communities in the intimacy of the house church
setting many of us experienced?
The May 15, 2020 issue of The Review
addressed the initial experiences of people using Zoom to gather.
Questions about the real presence were raised. As time has gone
on, more and more discussions are being held on using Zoom for
liturgies. Our faith calls us to reflect on our experiences of
life and seek wisdom and understanding of where and how we encounter
the risen Christ.
an on-line forum encouraged consideration of the theological and
practical aspects of using Zoom for liturgies. This present issue
of The Review gives you the opportunity to read the presentations given
at the forum. Other pertinent articles and messages to the editor
are included. I hope you will read them and give them your
consideration. You are always welcome to share your thoughts and
experiences on this, or any other matter. Send your responses to
the editor for inclusion in future issues.
On another matter, September 1st – October 4th is observed as the Season of Creation.
May our hearts be filled with gratitude to our Creator for blessing us
in abundance even as we are challenged to move over and make room for
the uninvited and unwelcome coronavirus.
What are we called to do at this time to allow the greater gifts of love to flourish and give glory to God?
Kryzanowski, Regina, SK
is bishop for RCWP Canada]
WATERS a 35th Anniversary Splash!
WATERS: Feminist Liturgies for Justice by
Diann L. Neu, 339 pages
MN: Liturgical Press, www.litpress.org, March 2020. Available in hardcover and
Kindle at amazon.ca
Review by Teresa Elder Hanlon, DMin, Lethbridge, AB
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)’s
anniversary celebration publication by Diann L. Neu
is a refreshing dive into a feminist
sea of liturgy. One entry explains “feminist” in its “Affirming
Feminist Ministries” ritual. The rite names numerous political,
community-building, theological, healing, gender and racial justice,
as well as leadership and organizational ministries. A sampling of
these socially conscientious activities includes “those who work
against trafficking and domestic violence, grassroots organizers . .
. those who work in partnership with women across religious
traditions . . . mentors, writers, religious educators and artists .
. . eco-feminists . . . those who work for racial justice . . .
community leaders” (152). With Stirring
WATERS you can take a walk of gratitude
with Hildegard of Bingen’s Viriditas,
learn about “ancient agricultural
rites” (132), “recall the female lineage in your family” on
Mother’s Day (208), move into solidarity with “Comradres
and Martyrs of El Salvador” (80) in
November. However women and others gather to name and remember.
Neu’s compilation provides words and actions to focus the community
the book’s title indicates, the forty-eight plus liturgies are
themed generally around justice. The services are arranged in four
sections of twelve months each under the subject headings of “Drink
from the Well,” “Step into the Pool,” “Let Justice Flow Like
Water,” and “Be Well.” They are rich in suggestions for
language, dance, food, song and they open up the reader to liturgical
seasons of the Christian church as well as American and International
commemorative days and earthly seasons. “Take Action” sections in
the liturgies kick-start possibilities for advocating, speaking out,
and tending to feminist causes for justice in one’s personal life
e.g. “Search for a woman online whom you admire, read her
biography, and let it inspire you to shape your own story” (197).
are also Eucharistic liturgies. “April,” in Section Three, for
instance: “Imagine a Church for Our Daughters and Take Them to
Work.” Its “Sending Forth” in part reads “In solidarity with
our daughters, let us go forth from this circle to spark courage and
hope in those who need healing, to speak truth to church leaders and
government officials, to tend the bold flames of justice and peace
for all” (205). Or December in that same section includes
“Blessing Bread and Water.” It names the “Nourishing One” and
the divine “Thirst Quencher”, invoking the gifts to “strengthen”
and “keep us alive” (252).
liturgies reach back in time and encompass the world around in their
readings, music, and thematic content. Section Five, “Ever-flowing
Streams” features four liturgies inspired by listening to
contemporary women such as those advocating for #MeToo. This section
also gives guidelines for putting liturgies together, forming
activist and worship communities, and meditating in a liturgy
setting. There are helpful indices of readings with authors,
blessings and prayers, as well as one for songs and composers. Their
inclusion encourages one to create liturgies.
these challenging times of pandemic, the book is very relevant. I
adapted a September liturgy for the RCWP Canada prayer circle meeting
on a Zoom platform by changing directions “to stand” when one
hears a ministry s/he is involved in, to “place a hand over your
heart.” As Mary Hunt says in her introduction to this historic
collection, “Add your own touches; leave out what does not fit or
work in your setting” (xii). For those engaged in prophetic
obedience to create or adapt liturgy, this resource is invaluable.
Restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy was first document of Vatican II
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to
that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical
celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such
participation by the Christian people as „a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4–5),
is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
Number 14, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium,
solemnly promulgated by Pope Paul VI, December 4, 1963]
Read More of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology
Excerpt from the book by Susan Ross
This is not a question of “playing Mass,” observes Susan Ross, “but of
challenging the powers that tried to keep the sacred bottled up in
expensive… clerical jars. My own sense is that the criterion for
authentic Eucharist ought not so much to be location or whether there
is an “official” presider but rather to what extent the Eucharist
“effects what it signifies- that is unity, community, a sense of
radical inclusion… a living out of the real presence of Christ in the
midst of human life…The sacraments are increasingly in the hands of the
community, not solely in those of the priest and, thus the
[Susan Ross, Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology]
Eucharist with a Small "e"
By Miriam Therese Winter, MMS
Book Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
A clarion call for Christians to live sacramental lives always giving
thanks to God, telling their stories, and walking in the Way of Jesus.
In this cogent paperback,
Winter challenges us at the outset with the words: "Imagine a
spirituality rooted in doing what Jesus did, one that adds a
sacramental dimension to our everyday lives." We are familiar with the
grace inherent in the Eucharist but the author is interested in
eucharist with a small "e."
Eucharist and Human Liberation
Tissa Balasuriya, OMI
The Eucharist presents us a paradox. Jesus gave a challenging spiritual
meaning to the festive meal of the Jews commemorating their liberation
from slavery in Egypt.
In bequeathing this to the community of his followers Jesus manifested his
genius as a spiritual leader of humanity.
Read More of this free downloadable 114-page book
sheep: A Reflection on the online celebration of the Eucharist in
Diane Willman, RCWP South Africa | August 20, 2020
The onslaught of the
pandemic has impacted many physically, emotionally and financially.
Some have lost family members, some lost jobs through lockdown, others
became trapped in homes that are violent, and many struggle with
depression and anxiety which has been identified as the hidden
pandemic. Some may have been impacted spiritually, asking God what is
the meaning of this suffering, or even blaming God for such suffering.
As both individuals and humankind as a whole, we need help to survive
this time in our history. Our faith in God is one such key support, a
faith that needs to be nurtured through God’s Holy Word and the bread
and wine, or body and blood of Christ.
At the start of
lockdown in South Africa (and indeed elsewhere in the world), Catholics
were encouraged to participate in the celebration of mass online by way
of spiritual communion. Attendance at mass was either through watching
a recorded mass, or attendance at a live online one but which was a one
way celebration with the celebrant saying the parts meant for the
priest and the faithful. There was and is little if any active
participation in the service by attendees. In respect of receiving Holy
Communion, believers were to participate through exercising their
spiritual imaginations of receiving the body and blood of Christ, or be
satisfied in receiving Christ in the form of the spoken Word, or find
value in their sudden enforced fast from actual bread and wine, that
is, the body and blood of Christ.
an Expanding Theology of Christ Presence in Eucharistic Liturgies in
Times of Pandemic
Bridget Mary Meehan,
| August 20, 2020
During this time of
pandemic, women priests and inclusive Catholic communities are walking
toward the future as we celebrate Eucharistic liturgies on Zoom. We are
co-creators of an expanding, evolving theology of the Christ Presence
within us, and within community in our Eucharistic liturgies.
9-minute video presentation
of Catholic Women’s
Ordination in the Context of Work by Women’s Ordination Worldwide
Women’s Ordination Worldwide holds a vigil in St. Peter’s Square during
the Synod on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment. WOW calls
for Votes for Women. Vatican police attempt to intimidate those
2018: Augustinian priest John Shea writes a letter to Pope
Francis stating that the exclusion of women from priesthood is a
heresy. He points out that the continuing discrimination against
women is puerile sexism.
2019: February - In a public address sponsored by WOW member group We
Are Church Ireland, Ireland’s Minister of Minister for Culture,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, lawyer, mediator and
Catholic warns that Catholicism’s prohibition on women priests is
‘brazen discrimination’ and could bring about the Church’s ‘slow
death’. In an address titled, ‘A Community of Faith: Why the Catholic
Church Should Open All Ministries to Women’, she says that
the role of women in the priesthood is still a taboo topic at the
highest levels of Catholic Church. ‘What is the Church afraid
of?’ she asks. She says further that unlike the priests who could
be censured by the Vatican, as an ‘ordinary member of the Catholic
Church’, she is ‘at liberty to speak about the inadequacies and
the discrimination that I see in the church.’
2019: In February, Pope Francis acknowledges a longstanding dirty
secret in the Roman Catholic Church — the sexual abuse of nuns by
priests. It's an issue that has long been kept under wraps, but
in the #MeToo era, a #NunsToo movement has emerged, and now
sexual abuse is more widely discussed. Sexual Abuse of
Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From The Shadows
[This is the fourteenth excerpt of a timeline we are
serializing here. For the full timeline, see the Women's
Ordination Worldwide website.]
want to express how much we appreciate the hard and work and dedication
that we have witnessed over the last two liturgical masses. Not only
from both the presider and the host, but other participating members.
It has been our pleasure to participate in a transformed Mass that is
inclusive rather than exclusive. We really appreciate the sharing
process in regards to the homily as it brings out aspects that we may
not have considered before. It allows us to hear many different
perspectives on the gospel. Thank you so much for all that you are
doing to bring about a new way of being Catholic.
and Heather, Nanaimo, BC]
I just watched
Bridget Mary Meehan's presentation...it pretty much
confirms how I have been led to believe about Eucharist. Because
of what she confirms, the Zoom liturgies from Saskatchewan that we
participate in are most meaningful and nourishing for me (us..I speak
for my husband here too).
This past weekend he
was out of town, but still I had the chance to
experience church with familiar faces, most of whom I have never met.
We live in Fort Frances, Ontario ... a good ten hours from where the
presider lives ... and the REAL Presence of Christ transcends that
space to make us the REAL Presence. "What good is it if the bread and
wine become the body and blood of Christ, if we don't?" I think
Joan Chittister said that ... or maybe Edwina Gaitley ... either way
... it makes sense.
So very grateful to
be a part of this new way to be church. Thank you.
Guimond, Fort Frances, ON]
liturgies on Zoom have allowed members of our Sourdough
community to keep in touch during the Pandemic. We’ve had some new
people ask to celebrate with us.
From once a month
meetings, we decided to meet twice, and will probably
move our dates to not coincide with liturgies in Regina and Calgary.
Not everyone is comfortable with Zoom, but everyone receives the
liturgy and can pray in union if not on line with us.
For now at least,
our members want to continue with the “women’s prayer
group” format. All of us are grateful to have Cathy as our Zoom
Our experience with
the online Eucharist with Mary of Magdala Inclusive
Catholic Community enhances our sense of family. We read the
Scripture readings together and discern what they meant to our lives.
It enhances our Sundays. We thank the presider and Zoom host for all
the work they put into this.
We were nostalgic
for the intimacy of our celebrations when we were
able to be together face to face. We miss the atmosphere, the hugs, the
feeling of family and the many conversations during lunches.
and Elizabeth, Regina, SK]
technology has made live interaction possible, I think we need to
remember that Zoom is not accessible to certain categories of members.
In order to access Zoom one needs good up-to-date hardware, reliable
Wi-Fi access, and the ability to work with new technology. This
eliminates many participants who cannot afford computers or
smartphones, or who cannot pay the monthly fees for service which can
run $70-100 per month, or who have limited or no local coverage.
As a point of
comparison, one local diocesan newspaper just printed its last edition,
and will only be available online from now on, even though the editors
acknowledge that this cost-cutting move will eliminate a significant
percentage of their most faithful readers, especially the elderly.
We need to think creatively about outreach and community-building beyond Zoom.
[A longtime supporter of RCWP, Ottawa, ON]
Liturgical disruption – what it looks like -- both for the good and for the bad
J.P. Grayland, international.la-croix.com | August 26, 2020
transference of Mass's performance-based ritual from the sanctuary to
the screen did not disrupt already existing liturgical behaviours;
priests did what they normally do – perform the rituals, and believers
did what they normally do – watch the rituals being performed.
Thus, the ritual behaviours didn't change because the already dominant operative behaviours were not disrupted.
disruption came with the inability to recreate the physical presence of
the community and physical participation in the shared eucharistic meal
– even to the point where concelebrating presbyters use separate
chalices and individually consecrated hosts rather than sharing these
the online mass has unwittingly contributed to the liturgical
disruption of the physical liturgical community through taking the
viewer from the pew to the couch.
Read More of this article which compares our current liturgies to disruptive innovation in business corporations
Real Presence and Virtual Liturgies
Felix Just, S.J., catholic-resources.org | April 28, 2020
pandemic, tragic as it is, is also inspiring pastoral reflection and
theological debates that will hopefully bring the Church to deeper
insights and renewed practices. One current topic of heated discussion
is the "virtual" celebration of the Eucharist, and the related question
of about what is "real."
(Part I) "Virtual" celebration of the Eucharist, and the related question of about what is "real."
(Part II) - The difference between watching Mass on TV and participating in a live-streamed liturgy
Read More of both parts
Nothing Sacred -- Living out the Eucharist
Nothing Sacred is a movie drama series. It stars a passionate
priest/teacher who questions his calling, his existence, and his faith
as he deals with the problems of the poor and the troubled.
Nothing Sacred is an focuses on the life and times of the
administration of St. Thomas' church, a Roman Catholic parish. It is a
realistic (if somewhat fast-paced) show that takes real issues facing
people today... and puts a religious spin on things.
Perhaps the best aspect of the show is its unabashed belief in the
existence of God. The main characters pray, and they talk about their
faith. We see actual Roman Catholic liturgy in action. We hear homilies
that drive the point home.
The overwhelming message of the show is that we are to love and care for other people, just as Christ did when he was on Earth.
For your convenience, here are direct links to the first two episodes:
Episode 1 -- Nothing Sacred -- Proofs for the Existence of God
Episode 2 -- Nothing Sacred -- Song of Songs