Palm. North cathedral decides less is more


PALMERSTON NORTH — Less is more. That is the policy of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit when it comes to projecting texts on screen during Mass.

Liturgy committee chairman Forrest Chambers said the committee would progressively remove text slides from the screen to enable people to concentrate more on the Mass.
“The aim is to memorise it and internalise it so it’s in there, rather than just read on Sunday and forget,” he said.
“What I sense when I visit the different parishes is that there’s just, in my view perhaps, an overuse of screens with all the responses, all the things that people already should know or do
know,” he said, “and that they don’t need to have them up on the screen at all.”
Mr Chambers explained that in the past, people would be looking at missals and not really focusing on the liturgical action on the altar. He said screen projections are in danger of replacing missals.
He also pointed out people are becoming more reliant on screens in daily life. “But maybe Mass time is the time when we have no screens. We focus on the people and the Word and the Eucharist,” he said.
They started by taking out the screen for Lamb of God. Mr Chambers said there are Mass responses people have already memorised.
He said the removal of some Mass texts from the screen started in August.
The committee is still gauging parishioners’ reaction.
One parishioner said the point of getting the projector was to enable people to participate more. Another said he was okay with fewer texts on screen.
Mr Chambers said they are happy to receive feedback. “Feedback is always a two-way street as well. If they come with a comment, we would reply with why we’re doing it,” he said.
He assured they are not going to be too prescriptive about it. “It will have to work for everybody. We won’t be too dogmatic about it,” he said.
He said some parishioners, for whom English is a second language, told him they want to keep the texts on the screen. He added others are quite happy to lose the Acclamation as well as the
Our Father.
Mr Chambers said the diocesan office gets a number of queries about the best way to use screens and what are appropriate images.
“The thing is, there is not really much clear guideline on that question. I would encourage the local diocesan offices to have some principles and guidelines that they can give the parish
liturgy committees,” he said.

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Rowena Orejana

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