Mestizo Worship: A Pastoral Approach to Liturgical Ministry

Elizondo, Virgilio P. and Timothy M. Matovina. Mestizo Worship: A Pastoral Approach to Liturgical Ministry. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1998.

Co-authors Virgilio Elizondo and Timothy Matovina present Mestizo Worship as a collection of essays designed to “explore foundational Mexican-American faith expressions and promote the celebration of these expressions in parish liturgical life.” The faith expressions in view – symbolic dramatizations of the people’s heritage of suffering and death – are Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, las posadas and marriage. Though not exhaustive of Mexican-American popular religion, these faith expressions serve as models for how the Church can study and learn from a community’s faith expressions and incorporate them within its liturgical ministry. <p> The book is divided into three parts. Part One, “Foundational Faith Expressions,” understands Mexican-American popular piety as the community’s deeply-treasured ritual response to their historical context. Chapter 1, “Living Faith: Resistance and Survival” and Chapter 2, “Popular Religion as Support of Identity” comprise the material for this section. Elizondo is the author. <p> Part Two is entitled “Guadalupe and the Two Conquests” and focuses particularly on the history, celebration and cultural symbolism of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Elizondo writes Chapter 3, “Our Lady of Guadalupe as a Cultural Symbol” while Matovina authors Chapter 4, “Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebrations in San Antonio, Texas, 1840-1841.” <p> Part Three urges pastoral ministers to celebrate the sacred of popular faith expressions within parish liturgical life. Chapter 5, “The Treasure of Hispanic Faith,” comes from Elizondo while Matovina pens the remaining two chapters: “Liturgy, Popular Rites, and Popular Spirituality” (Chapter 6) and “Marriage Celebrations in Mexican-American Communities” (Chapter 7). A short Conclusion invites readers to forge a dynamic mestizaje of popular piety and sacramental celebration in communal worship.