Father McTeigue argued that we perhaps lose the interest of our youth when we try to entertain with theatrical or spectacular liturgies:
Whatever we are doing that might be attracting youth, we rarely keep them. One reason we don’t is because we can’t use worldly methods to beat the world at its own game. We’re kidding ourselves if we think we can equal or exceed the stimulation and novelty offered by pop concerts and video games. And we don’t keep the youth we initially attract because we don’t help them to become mature and committed Christians. We cannot win the future for our youth by exalting trendiness and depriving them of the heritage they need and deserve. Nevertheless, we give them gimmicks that flash, then fade. Theodore Dalrymple warns, “Our problem is not that we preserve the past; it is that we produce so little that is, or ever will be, worth preserving.” There was a time when Catholics were confident that they could hand on to their children a culture of faith with venerable and sacred roots, a culture that can and has stood the tests of time and persecution—a culture worth offering to the whole world, even at the cost of great sacrifice, including the blood of martyrs.
Are we trying a little too hard to get our youth’s attention or do we need to go further down the entertainment rabbit hole? What do you think?
Read More:St. John Paul II’s youth group
Growing up, your contributor remembers that before the homily the children would be led out of the church for a group activity. This would usually include a brief, simplified explanation of the Gospel followed by a faith worksheet. It was entertaining for the children, who may have otherwise become fussy during a long homily, but it also removed them from the church in the middle of a service.