On Saturday July 5th Mr Paul Moynihan, Master of Ceremonies to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, visited the Archdiocese of Cardiff to host a training day for Senior Altar Severs and MCs. Approximately 50 servers from around the Diocese attended the day long event held at the Cornerstone at St David’s and St David’s Cathedral.
Archbishop George Stack started the day with a short 30 minute talk during which he emphasised the importance of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Cycle to the the life of the Church. He emphasised how the Liturgical Calendar is the best way of convening our year through the use of signs and symbols and the various liturgical colours etc. He then focussed on how Liturgy transcends time. Linear time stops and we enter into deep time for deep experiences. The Archbishop also highlighted how the role of the Altar Server helps achieves this experience before handing over to the guest speaker.
Paul Moynihan started his talk by quoting Gregory Dix’s “The shape of the Liturgy”. The Liturgy is an obedient response to Christ’s commanded “Do this in memory of me”. Century after century and throughout the whole world, in the liturgical action of the Church the people of God obey this command of Christ himself.
Mr Moynihan continued his session by highlighting his experience of serving before asking those in attendance for some of their background. The day then continued by coming to better understand the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the rulebook for Liturgy), the roles of the bishop, priest, deacon and server before considering some of the the theoretical and practical aspects of serving through, discussion, workgroups and practical demonstration.
The day was a great success and a desire was expressed for a follow up day. The Archdiocese is grateful to Paul for giving up time in his busy schedule to come and provide this day.