Amy Welborn is reporting that the LifeTeen program is about to be changed to bring "LifeTeen Masses" into conformity with the Church's liturgical law. She writes:
A letter has been sent by Msgr. Dale Fushek, founder (I think) and director of Life Teen, regarding a June meeting that Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix had with Cardinal Arinze [head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments] specifically about the program.
As a result of these and other discussions, the letter states:As the founder of this youth movement, I am writing to confirm our adherence to the new GIRM, and as always, our obedience to our own local Bishops. In this spirit of obedience, we are asking all parishes that implement the LIFE TEEN model to make the following changes:
1. In accordance with the new GIRM, teens are no longer to enter the sanctuary for the Eucharistic prayer. Being in the sanctuary is to be reserved for the priest celebrant, concelebrants, and those performing a specific ministry.
2. The GIRM very specifically offers three options for the end of the Mass. We are to cease using the phrase “The Mass Never Ends, It Must Be Lived” and begin using one of the three prescribed endings found in the Missal.
3. After music practice or welcoming, please make sure there is a period of silence to begin the liturgical celebration.
4. As we have always taught, please make sure the music does not in any way detract from the action at the altar, ambo, or chair.
5. Please make sure that full implementation of the GIRM is done in accordance with your Diocese and accomplished with a spirit of joy.
I am sure these issues will be hard on some parishes and teens. But, let me assure you, our cooperation with Rome and the BCL will only enhance our liturgical celebrations and our mission in the Church. It will be essential that we catechize our teens and their families on what we are doing, and why we are doing it.
One of the commentators on Amy's post writes:
As a member of the LifeTeen ministry team at our parish, I can definitely say that this will be a difficult transition--especially for our teens.
I entirely sympathize. Though creative ways to may be found to present the changes to teens so as to minimize their emotional impact (e.g., this represents a challenge to be "radically faithful" to the Church and a call to even greater holiness), undoubtely many teens will be disappointed.
This illustrates the problem that is generated when individuals diverge from Church law (or teaching). Doing so encourages people to think and act in objectively problematic ways and to form emotional attachments to things that are at variance with the Church's praxis (or doctrine). Consequently, people are set up for a rude awakening when they find out that what they have been taught or habituated to is not, in fact, what the Church requires.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to such disappointements due to the intellectual and emotional conditions to which they are subject. Some may feel such sharp disappointment that it may injure their inner adherence to the Church, which could lead to lapses in the practice of the faith or outright rebellion and alienation from it.
It is much better for all if programs are built on a solid foundation from the beginning, for a house built without a solid foundation will encounter problems.
It is praiseworthy that LifeTeen has had the courage to make this change. Let us be supportive of it and the teens to which it ministers. Let us do what we can to help smooth the transition and hope that LifeTeen goes on to provide an invaluable spiritual service to countless future teens at a crucial and difficult time of life.