Questions on Life Teen

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mom26sofar

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My husband and I are new in the Church and our oldest two have been involved with LifeTeen. We attended 1 LifeTeen Mass and were very offended by the lack of reverence. All the raising of hands and clapping and talking seemed very disrepectful of our Lord’s presence. We have pulled them out and are hoping we have done the right thing. Our preference is more traditional and we don’t feel that the LifeTeen program is teaching them real Catholicism.

Thank you for any opinions.
 
LifeTeen is controversial.

I avoid it.

I’m allergic to Protestant flavor.
 
Praised be God! There is something to be said for reverence. Perhaps a nice Latin Mass? No shakin allowed. 😃 :tiphat: My hats off to you for holding fast to the traditions handed down.
 
Ok there are some things about Life teen masses that bother me too now. However there is also much good with it too. I guess a lot has to do with the Father at the parish.

I must say I have seen much good. I recall seeing many a time the kids on thir own praying the rosary. I have seen kids involvment in Life teen have mom and dad come back to mass. I have also have seen young converts to the faith do to the youth in the parish

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I think that the parish/priest has a great bearing on the reverence of the LifeTeen Mass. Christ the King in Ann Arbor has a good LifeTeen Mass that is packed with truly reverent teens.

I have a problem with the teens being invited to surround the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer and the nonstandard “sending forth” at the end of Mass, but at CTK these kids truly believe in the Real Presence.

Still, I’ll be honest and say that my own teen son does not attend the LifeTeen Masses and instead is a devout and reverent member of our own parish congregation.

'thann
 
Life Teen was just starting in our Texas parish, but we avoided it, and later our kids said they were glad - they didn’t like the ‘chaos’ and going up to the altar. Now, youth group is something else - that had lots of volume.

At that time there was a lot of involvement in Life Teen from people involved in the older Renew program and Call to Action.

God bless you and your family !!

Patti
 
I take my girls to one at our Cathedral. I wouldn’t want to go every week, but once every month or two is a treat. They love the music, which they’ll sing all week. The Masses are very solemn where I live. My 10 yr daughter did admit that quiet is nice too, after one particularly loud one.

I agree, I think the kids up at the altar is corny and unneccesary, and apparently against GIRM. The Monsignior at Cathedral is a bit of a showman, a very dynamic and extroverted personality, and extremely lovable. He’s done a lot for vocations in the diocese. He loves doing the Teen Mass, he really gets into it. He IS reverant, though, IMO.
 
Btw, they sing Michael W. Smith’s songs at Life Teen Mass.

The autrocity!!
 
If they were a little more discriminating in their choice of music, and could stay in their seats and kneel like everybody else, then Lifeteen would probably be a good thing.

The main problem is disobedience:

Redemptionis Sacramentum
114.] “At Sunday Masses in parishes, insofar as parishes are ‘Eucharistic communities’, it is customary to find different groups, movements, associations, and even the smaller religious communities present in the parish.”[202] While it is permissible that Mass should be celebrated for particular groups according to the norm of law,[203] these groups are nevertheless not exempt from the faithful observance of the liturgical norms
 
They kneel at all the proper times at this Mass. Some of the music is really uplifting. I love it. But, as I say, not every week. I didn’t go at all during Lent. It seemed too indulgent…
 
Life Teen is one of the best Youth Ministry programs in the country.

I have been to St. Timothy Parish in Mesa, AZ a couple times, and the Masses that I attended were both reverant and welcoming. The priests that I have meet that are part of Life Teen are committed to the church, the faith and the youth.

Life Teen’s founding was inspired by Mother Teresa, who told Fr. Dale that what teens need is to come back to the Eucharist. The eucharist is the center of the Life Teen program.

Ok, with that said …

Life Teen is just a program! In many ways, it is dependant upon the people who run the program at the various parishes. You need to separate out what the program is doing from how people implement it. Some places will have a great deal of reverence. Some will not. Life Teen’s primary mission is to bring teens into a closer relationship with Christ, primarily by bringing them into contact with Jesus in the eucharist through good liturgy.

Ok, with that said …

I agree that there are two practices that Life Teen promotes that need to be looked at. (1) Gathering the people around the alter during the consecration time, and (2) the sending off remarks - “The mass never ends. It must be lived. So let us go forth to love and serve the Lord”, is what I think it is.

The fruit of the program is exceptional. I have personally encountered hundreds of teens who’s lives have been radically changed by Christ through a Life Teen program. Life Teen is more that the Mass, there is the Life Night that typically follows Mass, and a core team for support, among other things.

:twocents:
God works through fallen humanity. Let’s not “throw the baby out with the bath water” as they say.
 
Yes, I totally agree. I dislike those two things. Also, at this one, instead of reciting the creed, they have you answer “I do” to questions about the creed. I don’t see the point of that.

After the Mass, the teens can participate in a youth group program. I think that’s great.
 
In some ways a priest celebrating a Life Teen Mass is in a position similar to that of a missionary celebrating Mass with an aboriginal tribe. He may find it necessary to bend certain rules in order to connect with that particular group of people so that they can understand the reality of the Mass.

Eventually that bending works its way into the culture of the universal Church. That is, it finds its proper scope of acceptance.

At some point the deviations from liturgical norms in the Life Teen Mass will be addressed, either by a modification or an enforcement of the liturgical norms.

Keep in mind that some liturgical practices are desgned to have a particular symbolism. However different cultures have different understandings of symbols.
 
I’ve had an excellent experience with Life Teen program in Legal Alberta. Legal and a neighboring town called Radway is home to most of the performers who sang, dance, and spoke at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. The Mass there was generally the same as any only at Sunday evening, mostly all youth there, a homily specially for youth, a drama skit during the homily, kids stood around the alter at consecration, and that’s it. I didn’t see any different send off, and there wasn’t any lifting of hands during Mass. Having Life Vision come and perform the music really helped set the tone for God. The discussions, games, music, fellowship, dance, and skits after Mass were just great.

I too have to admit that I didn’t care for the youth standing around the alter during consecration. However almost all of Canadian parishes can’t decide on if they should kneel, stand, or sit at consecration. CCCB (Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops) is still sorting this out. For now it is the toaster and popcorn effect during the Mass.

I’ve heard people that are radically against Charismatic Praise & Worship and people who are radically for it. One thought that comes to mind is that Satan doesn’t care which ditch your in just as long as you are in one. The incredible Praise & Worship that leads youth closer to Christ and is supported by the local Bishop should not be thrown out just because it looks Protestant. Exuberant dancing, singing, and lifting of hands has been around long before Protestants. David dancing before the Tabernacle comes to mind. It belongs in the Catholic Church not just to Protestants that hi-jacked it. Traditionalists didn’t like shaking hands at Mass because it seemed Protestant.

I do understand that the Rock & Roll band at Mass isn’t reverent and an attitude of (we need this thrash music or the kids won’t come) is completely absurd. Emotionalism is a horrible trap that makes an idol out of excitement. If it is orthodox, reverant, and leading kids to Christ, then great. If it is leading them away then cut it off.

Many of the smells and bells in Mass, statues, and even our Blessed Mother Mary; if abused in a radical devotion, could become idols and take us away from God. But with the proper respect and understanding of them, they can lead us much closer to God then without them. God gave us this physical world to encounter him. The sacraments themselves are sense perceptible signs. To throw the baby out with the bath water, because some people make an idol out of Charasmatic Worship is wrong. The Heart of Worship is a great song to get into the right attitude towards Praise & Worship.
 
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mom26sofar:
My husband and I are new in the Church and our oldest two have been involved with LifeTeen. We attended 1 LifeTeen Mass and were very offended by the lack of reverence. All the raising of hands and clapping and talking seemed very disrepectful of our Lord’s presence. We have pulled them out and are hoping we have done the right thing. Our preference is more traditional and we don’t feel that the LifeTeen program is teaching them real Catholicism.

Thank you for any opinions.
Catholics are not used to change when it comes to the Mass, mostly because change very rarely happens. So when we experience something in the Mass that is different, especially something that changes the entire atmosphere of the Mass, a bunch of red flags pop up.

I think that many people who are opposed to things like a LifeTeen Mass are opposed to it because it seems too “protestant” with all the contemporary music, clapping, waving hands, etc.

I think that there are many Catholic Churches that do LifeTeen Mass very well and I am not completely opposed to this sort of worship, however, what we need to be careful of is that it doesn’t become some sort of a “fun show” for entertainment rather than a worship service for God, which I am aftraid is what happens with too many teens. The focus is not on the Liturgy, but on the music. When the music starts becoming more entertaining and less worshipful and all the clapping, etc. is done for one’s own personal enjoyment rather than for the praise of the Lord, this kind of “worship” is wrong.

However, having played (I’m a bassist) for several LifeTeen Masses, I will say that this sort of Mass can be very good also. Everyone participates in the Mass fully. Even the musicians. We make sure that the music is ALWAYS appropriate for the occasion (be it the Gloria or the Agnus Dei) and we make sure that the music encourages participation in the Mass. There are joyful parts of the Mass as well as more solomn parts and showing enthusiasm (in praise of the Lord) during these joyful parts isn’t wrong, as long as the focus is on the Lord and not on other things.

I agree that a lack of reverance is wrong and you should find it offensive. The talking during Mass is DEFINATELY offensive and wrong. Knowing that this is going on would lead me to believe that the focus of this particular LifeTeen Mass is NOT in the right place and maybe it is for the best that you don’t go to this particular one anymore.
 
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WhiteDove:
… at this one, instead of reciting the creed, they have you answer “I do” to questions about the creed.
I don’t think that this is a part of the Life Teen program. I went to the training they have a couple years ago, and this was not part of it. Probably just a local thing.
 
Red flags go up anytime the Mass isn’t properly done.
If you read the GIRM, Mass is supposed to be reverant and have sections of silence.
No where does it call for loud music with bongo drums, clapping and stamping feet or any type of dancing.
 
I’m surprised at some of the answers here…
Red flags go up anytime the Mass isn’t properly done.
If you read the GIRM, Mass is supposed to be reverant and have sections of silence.
Right.
No where does it call for loud music with bongo drums, clapping and stamping feet or any type of dancing.
Clapping and stamping of feet, et cetera, does not go on every minute, does it? Certianly there are sections of silence.
My husband and I are new in the Church and our oldest two have been involved with LifeTeen. We attended 1 LifeTeen Mass and were very offended by the lack of reverence. All the raising of hands and clapping and talking seemed very disrepectful of our Lord’s presence. We have pulled them out and are hoping we have done the right thing. Our preference is more traditional and we don’t feel that the LifeTeen program is teaching them real Catholicism.
Thank you for any opinions.
Talking is very irreverant indeed. However, what is wrong with clapping and raising your hands if it is for praise and worship of God?

This is the question you have to ask yourselves and you have to have your kids ask themselves: “Is the the lifeteen program helping our Child’s faith?”

The Lifeteen program teaches all-catholic doctrine. There’s nothing non-catholic about it: Check out thier website: lifeteen.org

It most certianly is “real catholicism.”

I have seen first hand the fruits of the Lifeteen program implemented well: Increased faith in the youth of the parish, a young community developing, increased reverence for Catholic orthodoxy and interest in the faith, et cetera. I, personally, have been saved by the work of my church youth group with is very similiar to the lifeteen program (we will be officially joining this fall- I’ll be a core member)

There is nothing inherantly wrong or non-catholic in Lifeteen. Don’t be so quick to judge that Lifeteen isn’t for your kids. It will connect them with catholic teens of their own age whom they can relate to in a safe and faithful enviornment. What’s wrong with that?
 
Lifeteen is fine as long as the obey the GIRM and other documents on liturgy.
 
My wife and I attended a Teen mass at a parish near our house once. We will never attend that type of mass again.

It was very hard to be reverent and reflective when the music is so loud, and this was during the Liturgy of the Eucharist! There were no periods of silence to allow for quiet reflection.

At the end of the Mass the priest actually had a hula grass skirt on over his vestments. Which was quite shocking.

I’m sure in some parishes the LifeTeen masses may be reverent, but this one certainly was not.
 
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