A Priest Offering Mass in Candlelight

Why We Repeat "Behold the Lamb of God" At Every Mass

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday January 19, 2020

Often times I hear the adjectives "rigid," "boring," and "ritualistic" to describe how Catholics worship. Somehow, the thinking goes, that the value of something is based on how new or fresh it is. I beg to differ. The things that stand the test of time will always outlast the fades. Our rigidity and ritualism, I contend, is a deep well of Catholicism genius.

Take the rigid and ritualistic words of "I love you" as a perfect example. A young couple will utter these words as their relationship gets more serious. They will say these words again during their engagement. "I love you" will reappear on the day of their wedding. When the first child is born, the couple will cradle this new child in their arms, gazing into each others eyes and whisper again, "I love you." As the husband lies on his deathbed, surrounded now with his grown adult children and his grandchildren, his wife of 50 years will grab his hands as he gasps his last breaths and repeat those rigid, ritualistic words, "I love you." Same words, but deepened.

Catholic worship is like that, if we allow it to change us.