Regarding “Handbook aims for more mystery and awe in liturgy,” Jan. 4, Pages 8-9:

The new handbook for the liturgy which is described as adding “mystery and awe” is an example of what Pope Francis referenced as a basic problem in our church. The pope stated that sex abuse in our church stems from “elitism and clericalism, an inability to be near the people of God.”

Our catechism states that when we are baptized, we are “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet and king. When we come to the Eucharist, it isn’t just the priest who is offering the Mass, it’s all of us.

The Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook continues to set the priesthood apart from the people of God. What is truly a mystery is that there is still a lack of understanding from the hierarchy that the people of God understand the liturgy and know and appreciate the sacredness of the sacrament of holy Eucharist. 

Why is it that only the clergy can give grace-filled homilies or extend their hands in prayer? Why would extraordinary ministers wait off the altar or not be allowed to open the tabernacle?

JoAnne Burke