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“All movements begin with a halo of mysticism (charisma). Then they need an organization; in the end, the organization ends up swallowing up the mysticism.”
The Deacon’s Beacon
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. I recently read an article that outlined the impact that Vatican II had on the life of the Church. It stated the Council shifted the Church from a recital to a sing-along way of operation. When you’re singing together, there is a spirit of inclusiveness even when some sing solo. You still need a good leader at a sing-along. In a way, it takes more skill to lead a sing-along than performing a recital. You have to take people where they are, draw them together as a group, teach them new songs, and be ready to learn new songs from them. Jesus taught his followers this kind of spirit when he said, “You know how those who exercise authority lord it over them... It cannot be that way with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all.” (Mt.20:25-27)
A recital is so different. All songs are preselected and rehearsed. The star (or stars) is there to give a performance. People are there with printed programs, and they are there to listen.
Vatican II began more like a recital. The first draft of the great document on the Church was supposed to begin with the hierarchy. After considerable discussion, it was drastically rewritten to begin with the people of God – the whole Church, the 99.9% of the Church. We have read a lot about the changes that resulted from Vatican II, but the great shift has been from a recital kind of Church to a sing-along kind of Church. This has been the greatest effect of Vatican II fifty years later. The essentials are still there – the musical instruments, the songs, the leaders.
But now everyone is singing together. Cursillo teaches us how to sing-along with great joy.