I went to a liturgy workshop Sunday.
It was put on by a nearby church, and included liturgical ministers from several Gates churches. The speaker was Joan Workmaster, the former director of the Liturgy Department of the Diocese of Rochester.
I'm a double dipper - a musician and a lector. I was looking forward to it.
The first half was a general overview of liturgical ministries. I was pleased to hear Workmaster mention that she considered sacristan/servers and musicians as the two most important ones, and describe lectors as "storytellers" (which I am professionally).
She also made a point of pointing out that we should not call our Ministers of Communion "Eucharistic Ministers": The proper title is Extraordinary Ministers of Communion. She explained that normally Priests and Deacons should be the ones who distribute Communion, and the EMs are there to serve when there is a need (such as large numbers of people - as is the case in most churches on Sundays).
We then broke into groups. I chose to sit with the musicians. There were a series of questions that we were supposed to discuss. Alas, we had a woman with us who took over the discussion in our group, shooting down terms and ideas that did not fit in with her "orthodox" views. She jumped on top of something I was saying at one point, and when I pointed out that what she was stomping on was not what I was trying to say, she acknowledged that was possible, then did not let me finish and went on stomping.
Discussion at our group essentially ended as she went on.
Then Workmaster asked for questions. One man asked about who should say the homily, and Workmaster pointed out that the Priests and Deacons are the ones who are permitted to say the homily. Then a woman asked about why she remembered women preaching, but that that practice had stopped in the Diocese.
Workmaster began to explain that the Diocese had issued guidelines earlier this decade placing strict limits on the non-ordained delivering scripture reflections (not homilies), and that most of the women and laymen who had been doing it no longer could qualify or chose not to go through the involved process to qualify.
At that point, our discussion stomper stood up - interrupting Workmaster - and started going on about how only men could be Priests and Deacons, and the Magisterium determined that they were the only ones who could deliver homiles, attacked liberals, etc., and then stormed out.
A member of her parish tried to defend her, but a fellow musician and I both said we thought she had come with preconceived ideas and was not prepared to listen to what was actually being said.
Too bad. The day had been a good one until that point.
I went home with a headache.