Volume 18, Issue 10
Of all the things taught by the Second Vatican Council about the Eucharist, perhaps the two most often remembered are that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of the Church’s mission and that there should be a ‘full, conscious and active participation’ by the laity in the celebration of the liturgy.
Ever since the Council, this second statement about the ‘active’ participation of the laity in the Eucharist has been repeatedly misinterpreted. There has been a huge change in our culture, so that the visible has come to be valued over the invisible, and activity has been prized above restfulness and silence. ‘Active participation’ used to suggest outward busy-ness rather than an interior reality expressed with heart and voice focused on the profound mystery of our meeting with our God.