Introducing a liturgy: reflecting on a moment of communication

Thomas O?Loughlin

A short introduction may perform a crucial function when people are gathered for the Eucharist, writes Thomas O?Loughlin, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham.

One direct consequence of the shift from Latin to the language of the celebrating community is the need to spend a moment at the beginning of every liturgy giving an unscripted word of welcome. The liturgy may have its formal introduction to mark the beginning of the celebration, but it needs to be complemented by an informal word which focuses the gathering in the living and spontaneous here and now. The same group may have gathered for any number of reasons, or perhaps this group has never been together before ? this is a special moment of togetherness, for in the presence of the Risen Lord, this group is going to engage in the activity of offering thanks to the Father. So the informal introductory moment has many demands on it:

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