less happy about going to Mass in my own parish but I am worried about losing touch with local parish life.
Without doubt, you fulfil your obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Nevertheless, your desire to participate in the overall life of the parish is praiseworthy; such engagement in the whole life of a parish is an important part of the life of the Church.
In a parish, the priest and the people work together in the various activities that are at the heart of the Church's life. These include the catechesis of adults and children for the reception of the sacraments, apostolic and missionary work to spread the Gospel and to encourage the lapsed to return to the sacraments, as well as the family, social, and charitable activities by which we live out the grace of God which we receive through the liturgical life of the Church. . The provision in Summorum Pontificum for the establishment of "personal parishes" for celebrations following the ancient form recognises the importance of its being celebrated as part of the life of a parish. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos recently encouraged ordinary parishes to offer the celebration of the older form of the Roman rite: perhaps the most effective path for what Pope Benedict called the "mutual enrichment" between the two forms of the rite.
Nowadays there tends to be less "competition" between parishes and a greater recognition that different parishes may serve different needs. Parish priests well know that some people may come to the parish particularly because of the way that the liturgy is celebrated and others may go elsewhere for the same reason.
If there is no parish nearby where the ancient form of the rite is offered, I would suggest trying to keep in touch with the ordinary activities of parish life even if you ordinarily attend Mass some distance away and pray that the Holy Father's desire for the generous provision of the "extraordinary form", for the sake of the unity of the Church, will gradually be fulfilled in the ordinary life of the Church.
What's your view? And do you have a dilemma of your own? Write to us at the address on this page or e-mail [email protected]