March 24th, 2011 - James-680227 said:
life teen can be good if it is run by people who know their faith well and can cut out the junk that is in it. i was part of a core team and one of the videos they had for the teens to watch was paralleling mass and the consecration of the bread and wine to hot dogs and pop. needless to say we did not show this one. it also waters down the teachings often. also, apparently the founder has been excommunicated.
March 14th, 2008 - George-166509 said:
To expand on Julie's remarks, I recall seeing a teenager at a LifeTeen Mass wearing a T-shirt that said, "Christianity is cool". But Christianity is not cool! To be a Christian, to go against the world and its false values, that's the most un-cool thing in the world! The modern Church, the liturgy since Vatican II, the ecumenical movement, the charismatic movement, and LifeTeen are all attempts to make Christianity cool, or seem cool to certain groups. CCD teachers and RCIA co-ordinators need to ask, on the first day of class, Do you want to be a good Catholic Christian? Then you must learn to be un-cool to the world.
March 8th, 2008 - Michael-221543 said:
LifeTeen as it is now works well in many situations as a supplement to the Catholic faith. It is not meant to be nor should it be the center of Catholicism for teens. As Catechesis, it is a good resource for parishes that many times lack well-seasoned Catechists that are prepared to do more than regurgitate the words of the Catechism. Of utmost importance alongside the orthodoxy and the Tradition we hand down to the teens is the manner in which we do it. LifeTeen is usually a pretty good way to do it, given some good volunteers who know how to work with teens.
As a musical resource, it is perfectly permissible and not up for us to debate. Sacred music is entirely subjective and varies place to place based on a wide array of factors, ultimately coming down to the preference of the pastor and/or bishop. My personal opinion is that contemporary Christian music is a way to bring kids in but should not be the mainstay of their liturgical worship. I think the best contemporary music ministries do a fine job at tying in old with new, being bold to use some Latin (Matt Maher's Adoration, for instance) and not watering down Church teaching to make a silly fun song. There is a way to do contemporary music tastefully for the Liturgy that inspires people and calls them deep into worship, which is the entire point of music in the Mass. The ability of music to that is why we use it, but the type of music that does so differs for each of us, which is why the Church not only permits but CELEBRATES diversity in Liturgy. One of my favorite expressions is unity over uniformity. To be One Body means there are many very different parts. The Church is quite clear on this in the Catechism and every document on Liturgy written since Vatican II. There remains a caution, though, that the music remain appropriate and always uplifting to and in service of the Eucharist.
Personally, I feel it's usually pretty easy to know where to draw the line, but sometimes there is gray area. An entrance song is very different from a communion song. The recessional is not even technically part of the actual Mass, as the Liturgy has ended, so it's usually the place most appropriate for the louder songs. By the way, regarding hand motions, I think it's often a cop-out by the youth minister and music director to try so hard to get kids to do these and really does them a disservice as it cheapens the worship and only allows the teens to go skin-deep. There is time for them to be fun (rallies, retreats and youth group) and a time where it's really taking the easy way out to say "our teens are involved in the Mass.) If you want them involved in the Mass, they need to understand it and want to participate in the way the rest of the Church does: 1 by being there, 2 listening and praying the responses 3 by singing. The Mass is perfect as is and does need us to add to it to make it better. There are things we can do differently, like music, but it's a slippery slope to start throwing things into the Liturgy because we think they're "neat." That's why teens are no longer supposed to stand around the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. Back to hand motions for a second... I recently found out from one of the adults who took part in the early years of LifeTeen at St. Tim's in Arizona that the hand motions developed from the deaf community, which liked the youth Mass because they could feel the bass and drums and instead of singing would use hand motions. The whole parish caught on. Kinda neat, but far from what most parishes do.
Finally, outside of the Mass... this is where the really fun, goofy stuff belongs. Keep it there. Use it. Let the kids have fun! Use that as a gateway into their hearts to explain the Mass and feed the spiritual hunger inside of them and they will come ready to truly worship instead of having to entice them by making the Mass look "cool." Guaranteed the Church is about as cool as it gets once you have their respect and they see Christ. Let's not cheapen that by assuming the worst about them.