Today’s Question: Worship Leaflets or Number Boards
In looking at a recent congregational worship leaflet, I came to the realization that much of what is printed there is unnecessary for people’s active and intelligent participation. For the most part, the only congregational parts that change from week to week are the hymns and the responsorial psalm. These could easily just be posted on a number board. Without a worship leaflet we become immersed in the liturgy, unencumbered by a rigid structuralism which at times forcefully attempts to unfold kairos into chronos. In other words, instead of always looking down at the worship leaflet focusing on what comes next, one looks up and focuses on being in the moment. Using a number board has other benefits as well: it saves a tremendous amount of paper.
I grant that printing a worship leaflet can be an act of hospitality for guests and visitors who have not internalized the structure of the Mass. They can also guide people through the way in which a particular community celebrates Mass within the various options provided in the official books. But I’m not sure these gains are worth the price.
What are your thoughts? Does your community use a worship leaflet or a number board? If you prefer a worship leaflet, why? How detailed do you make it? If you prefer a number board, why?
Moderator’s note: “Non solum” is a feature at Pray Tell for our readership community to discuss practical liturgical issues. The title comes from article 11 of the Vatican II liturgy constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Therefore there is to be vigilance among holy pastors that in liturgical action not only are laws for valid and licit celebration to be observed, but that the faithful should participate knowingly, actively, and fruitfully.” (Ideo sacris pastoribus advigilandum est ut in actione liturgica non solum observentur leges ad validam et licitam celebrationem, sed ut fideles scienter, actuose et fructuose eandem participent.) May the series contribute to good liturgical practice – not only following the law, but especially grasping the spirit of the liturgy!