Protopresbyter Božidar Mijač

Liturgy — the Main Factor of Renewal in the Life of the Church

pages: 106-124

Abstract

The first cathechetical symposium of the Archdiocese of Belgrade was held on the theme „Parish as a Living Community of Worship” in February 1978. In this symposium His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch German took part with several bishops, all the clergy from the Archdiocese, professors of the Theological Faculty, students and seminarians. The main thesis of this symposiium was that only through the liturgiical life of agiven conmunity we can transform and transfigure every and each individual believer as well as our contemporary secular society.

The first lecture was presented by Bishop Daniel of Marcha on the theme: „Parish as a Church in Miniature”. The second paper was read by Hieromonk Athanasios Yevtich: ,Liturgical Life — the Essence of the Parish Life”. Archpriest Bozidar Miyach gave a paper on the theme: „Liturgy — the Main Factor of Renewal in the Life of the Church”. „The Spiritual and Prayerful Life of the Parish Priest” was the title of the paper by Archpriest Milutin Ranisavlevich. The last paper was read by Hieromonk Amphilochios Radovich: „Liturgical Way of Expounding Cathechisis Its Significance”.

The basic conclusion of all these papers and discussions could be summed up in the following way: the genuine ecposition of Christian doctrinie and cathechism classes have not as a scope merely to render knowledge about Good; its real goal is to renew and transfigure every individual soul. This is to be realized only within the framework of a living liturgical community of prayer. The real cathechist uoght to be a spiritual father who bears his children in pangs, as St. Paul did. This role belongs primarily to the parish priest, who is always in an organic unity with his bishop, the head of entire liturgical life in every and each parish of his diocese. Of course, the parish priest should have his helpers in this edifying cathechetical work, the well-trained persons, although all the members of the parish community should help as the royal priesthood and chosen people of God. When a given parish is transformed in a burning liturgical conmunity of prayer then it becomes the best and miraculous collective cathechist and illuminator. Only then such a parish is able to radiiate the divine light quietly and irresistibly. That means that cathechical work is not a duty of any individual believer, regardless of his function in the Church. In the Church there is nobody above her: all the believers live their common belonging to the Church as the Body of Christ, and they together witness and preach to the world about the Church’s ineffable mystery, singing with one mouth and one heart the victorious hymn: „We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit”.

Consequently, the way of expounding the Christian doctrinie and cathe- chism classes method cannot be imported from without the Church as alien to her structure and life. The true cathechism grows out from the primeval roots of the Church herself, from her inward theandric ethos. And this is in reality the liturgical-eucharistic structure and ethos of the Church. From such a basis cathechism class methodology and the transmission of the holy Tradition should grow out.

The cathechetical work should not exist parallel to the Liturgy, as an artificial body, founded on the non-eucharistic principles overfed with scholastic and rationalistic ideas of the false Enlightment. A cathechisn copied from the Western European pretending wisdom and rationalistic school system shapes men who boast of superficial knowledge of faith and dogmas, however without the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, such an uprooted superficial cathecism classes have had the opposnte result: it formed men of luke-warm religiosity, which even justified the spread of atheism.

This symposium called back to the apostolic Liturgy as the only source of every Christian transfiguration.

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