Youth Sunday

A parish priest's postbag regularly includes a large envelope containing a full colour folder with "Liturgy Suggestions" for "whatever-it-is-this-month Sunday". The "Youth Sunday" pack is usually particularly silly. Over the past few years, these "resources" have been posted on the web as well. This year, with the increasing number Catholic bloggers, that strategy seems to have been a mistake. Normally, the parish priest throws the pack into the bin and that is the end of it. But now, intelligent young Catholics all over the world have been able to see the stuff. The resulting storm of sarcasm and fury is not pretty.

Anna Arco at her new blog Anna Arco's Diary looks on the bright side:
Something positive has emerged from the newest revolting antics of the Youth Services office. On the web, in emails, on Facebook, young Catholics have been discussing the Mass. Suddenly, the Justice and Peace posse are talking to the Theology of the Body gang, the mantilla-ed Trads are talking to the be-sandaled Charismos. It seems, everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and the words do not begin with "Brilliant God..."
You have probably read elsewhere about asking forgiveness for over-filling our kettles, the sheep and goats mime and the idea of giving out FairTrade chocolates after communion, wrapped with instructions to use low-energy light bulbs. Here is a link if you want to see a pdf of the whole liturgy pack.

Anna has hit the nail on the head with this comment:
Anyone over 16 who decides to continue fulfilling the Sunday obligation after leaving home has made a conscious decision to do so. There are no social pressures getting bottoms on pews anymore; the situation is quite the opposite. A Mass like the one proposed for National Youth Sunday merely patronises and trivialises that decision.
The "Youth Mass" ethos harks back to a time when young people felt under some pressure to go to Mass and it was thought helpful to try and entertain them. As well as being contrary to the nature of the liturgy, this was a failure on its own terms: even the most wacky "liturgy" will never be able to compete successfully with the secular entertainment available to the young and will simply appear ludicrous. (Hint: they are laughing at you, not with you.)

I haven't been idle, however, I have been over to Angelus Press to get some copies of "The Mass for Boys and Girls" and the comic-strip book "Know your Mass". They should be here in time for Youth Sunday.

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