SPRED Partners is grateful to have received a grant from The Catholic Community Foundation to help promote the growth of SPRED in urban parishes in 2017.
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Catechesis and the Liturgy
Catechesis (faith formation) carries out the command of Christ to proclaim God’s message of salvation to all. SPRED catechesis was developed to assist members of a parish to welcome persons with developmental disabilities into small communities of faith so they may be prepared to participate in the liturgical life of the parish.
Using a model of friendship and evoking life experiences with our friends with developmental disabilities in our small faith communities helps us all become aware of God in our everyday lives.
A parish’s liturgical life, especially the Mass, provides a dynamic context which can help our SPRED Friends to break out of isolation and discover others as believers. This liturgical life helps each parishioner to have the courage to risk something of self in order to create solidarity, to build unity, to build up the Body of Christ.
Participation in SPRED Masses gives our Friends, along with the entire congregation, a history, a parish family, a feeling of joy in belonging and provides a touchstone for further growth in faith.
A SPRED liturgy incorporates gesture and movement, song and silence, reverence and awe. The Word is made accessible to all through gesture which creates a visual focus and conveys meaning and spirit during its proclamation.
A beautiful table is prepared with reverence while the gifts of bread and wine are brought forth and presented. A sense of the Sacred is instilled evoking desire for communion with God. Through these ritual actions so prevalent in SPRED catechesis, we are drawn to a deep awareness of GOD with us.
As a renewed parish community, we are better able to celebrate our joy in being together and our recognition of GOD within each of us.*
The Experience of a SPRED Mass
•A SPRED group does gestures during the psalm at a SPRED Mass.
•There are sometimes two (instead of three) readings that are read from the children’s lectionary.
•The priest will often give a shorter homily in the style of SPRED and spoken directly to its participants.
•Gestures to the readings are done by volunteer catechists.
•Gestures to the psalm are done by the whole SPRED community, who has become familiar with the song in order that it will evoke a familiar experience for our friends with disabilities. The whole congregration is invited to join in with the simple gestures.
•The SPRED community participates in the processions and the presentation of the gifts in a special way.
*Taken from Queen of Angels SPRED website, 2014 - queenofangelsspred.org
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