Questions for Chapter 4

Jesus Being Baptized by John the Baptist (Harry Anderson)

How would you describe Jesus’ charisms or gifts?

110 a
Put into your own words the idea that Jesus was and is a sacrament of God.

110 b
When have you experienced personal sacramentality? That is, when has someone symbolized God’s love, God’s providence, or such for you? 

111 a 
If you have had experience with the charismatic renewal movement or with Pentecostal worship, what were the charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit that you witnessed or heard about? 

111 b 
Reflect on a time when you prayed or worshiped with a small group with whom you felt close, for instance, a youth group or a retreat group. How did the intimacy of that group affect your experience of prayer or worship? 

Imagine yourself as a Christian in the first centuries when small communities gathered in people’s homes to pray and worship. How might your group’s practices evolve over time? For ideas, draw on your own experience in your family, in school, in clubs, in organizations, etc. 

Look at one or more of the Orthodox liturgies on the Eucharist page of Sacraments in Motion to see what the Christian liturgy looked like in the fifth or sixth century. The liturgies of those churches were written during the patristic period and have not changed much since then. Even the Roman liturgy in those centuries would have looked more like one of these liturgies. What similarities and differences do you notice between the Eastern liturgies and today’s Western liturgy? 

Think of a secular ritual that is automatically effective, for example, becoming a naturalized citizen, or being sworn in to public office. Describe what happens during the ceremony and try to explain how its effect is produced. 

115 a 
Do you think of baptism and confirmation as being automatically effective? From your perspective, would you say there is a difference in the effectiveness of those two sacraments? Give reasons for your answers. 

115 b 
Think about your experience of going to confession or being anointed by a priest. What effects did you experience, if any, during or after that ritual? How might the effects be called automatic? If you have never participated in these sacraments, what do you imagine their effects might be?

Think about a wedding or ordination you attended. How did that ritual change the people involved, that is, what was different about them after the ceremony? How would you explain this automatic effectiveness? 

Think about a Protestant service that you may have attended or have seen on the Eucharist page of Sacraments in Motion. What parts of it, if any, did you experience as sacramental? That is, did you find yourself spiritually affected by the music, the prayers, the sermon, or some other aspect of the service? 

From your own memory, or after viewing one of the Latin Catholic Masses on the Eucharist page of Sacraments in Motion, how would you describe the sacramentality of that ritual? How would you characterize the spirituality of that style of worship?

119 a 
If you have lived through the changes in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, what differences in the liturgy had the greatest effect on you? 

119 b 
Have the questions and exercises in this book helped you to differentiate elements in sacramental worship that you did not notice before? If so, which elements or factors do you understand better, now that you have thought about them? 

120 a 
Catholic worship today allows for the integration of the old and the new. What are some old things that you are aware of, and what are some new things? Think about prayers, vestments, music, lay ministers, etc. 

120 b 
Today, Catholics worship in a variety of cultural styles. Have you attended Mass in a different country or in an ethnic parish? If you have, what differences did you notice between that liturgy and the Sunday worship of most American Catholics?

Last modified: Saturday, 16 May 2015, 12:41 AM