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Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Importance of Gathering

 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Mt 18:20

There was an important, and in some circles, still controversial document that emerged from  the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1979. Entitled Environment and Art in Catholic Worship, and never formally approved by the entire assembly of bishops, it became enormously important for the principles it used to guide architects and liturgical theologians in redesigning Catholic churches after the Second Vatican Council.

One principle especially was very important to me personally. Architects, it suggested, must never forget that when we gather for worship nothing is more important than the assembly of believers. Therefore, they should make sure there was a place, whenever possible, for people to gather in faith in preparation for the Eucharist.  This principle resulted in many churches in the United States having large vestibules, sometimes called narthexes or foyers, and served to remind us that when we come together in faith, bringing with us all that has happened to us personally and communally during the previous week, we proclaim that Christ is always among us, always empowering us. 

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” changes everything. God is with us, not only in the person of the priest, in the word and in the breaking of the bread, but when we gather in faith to celebrate Christ among us.

Take a moment today to thank God for the gift of soul friends who walk with you in faith.

How important is the assembly of believers to you when you gather for the Eucharist?

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