Thursday, December 28, 2017

Atheists at prayer for Christmas

From The Living Church (with a link to the Commonweal article)-

The Christmas Mass, as the pseudonymous parish priest Fr. Nonomen writes in Commonweal, is fairly unique. “This is the Mass where you politely ask people to finish their cups of hot chocolate and cans of Red Bull outside. … This is the Mass attended by the famous bi-annually faithful.” As such, Fr. Nonomen sagely notes, the Christmas Mass provides a “pastoral opportunity” that should not be wasted in minor displays of self-righteous annoyance or by desperately trying to impress visitors with “schmaltz” and “secular symbols” or (most tempting?) through attempting to conjure up guilt (“[D]o not say how you wish attendance could be good every Sunday”).

The presider should recognize that many different forces may have brought the participants to Christmas Mass, including those more familial than theological. Further, Nonomen counsels, “Be sensitive, too, to the many faiths embraced by those who are sitting in front of you.” Nonomen does not write, however, about those who may be agnostics or atheists, who may be in the pews for reasons as various as family solidarity, nostalgia, or curiosity.

More here-

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