By Dr. Jenny O'Brien
The words ‘through Christ our Lord, Amen’ are familiar to us as the conclusion to many of the Church’s formal prayers.
During Mass they end the Prayer over the Offerings of bread and wine, and the Prayer after Communion. At the end of the Collect (Opening Prayer) they appear in the longer form: ‘Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.’ And at the end of the great Eucharistic Prayer there is the even longer form: ‘Through him and with him and in him, O God almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours for ever and ever. Amen.’
You may be surprised to know that these simple phrases are extraordinarily rich in theological meaning. They help us to understand how we, the baptised faithful, relate to the risen Jesus and to the three divine persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Author: Jenny O'Brien
Early in June we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, often referred to as the “birthday of the Church,” when Peter and the other apostles presented the Good News of Christ to the Jerusalem crowds who heard them speaking in their own language. So we could say that, right from the beginning, the character of the Church has been multicultural!
Today our parishes are more and more made up of people from countries around the globe who have settled in Australia either through normal channels of immigration or because they have fled war or persecution in their home country. And yet, in many instances, long-term Australian residents remain unaware of the many different cultures that are represented in their parish and still see themselves as predominantly Euro-Australian. Since the first characteristic of any Christian community ought to be hospitality, we would do well to reflect on the way we celebrate our Sunday liturgies so that all members of the community feel appreciated and included in the liturgy. What is involved in preparing a “multicultural” liturgy?