What is the Cursillo Movement About?
Cursillo is patterned on Jesus' own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo); He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Three-Day Weekend); He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day).
During this period, sponsors (i.e. those individuals that have been to the three-day Cursillo weekend and are living the Fourth Day) identify those Episcopalians who are leading an active Christian life and are a living witness to their love for Christ, recommending their candidacy. It is also the period that selected candidates are informed of what to expect at the three-day weekend and assisted in appropriate preparations.
The Three-Day Weekend brings together a diverse group of Episcopalians to share the richness of many modes of worship and to broaden each one's appreciation for our Church. Lay people conduct the weekend with two or three members of the clergy functioning as spiritual advisers. Cursillo presumes that those who attend are already well grounded in the faith. It is not intended to be a conversion experience but an enriching and deepening of what is already there. It often provides new insights into our faith as well as fostering ministry among lay people. The weekend begins Thursday evening spent in the Chapel with meditations, discussions, and Compline. Then blessed silence is kept until after the worship on Friday morning. After breakfast participants are assigned to table groups for the weekend. The three days are filled with talks and group discussions with emphasis on the doctrine of Grace, the Sacraments, and the great Cursillo tripod: Piety, Study, and Action. Plus there is fellowship, singing, good food, and time for privacy, meditation, prayer, and walks. Eucharist is celebrated each day.
The Cursillo weekend is not an end to itself. It is a starting point that lasts the rest of your life. It is a springboard to a long-range practice of the Baptismal Covenant in the life of the Church called the Fourth Day. The Fourth Day is composed of three major elements:
The Group Reunion the heart of Cursillo, is a small group of friends (usually 3-5) who meet weekly, and who hold each other accountable for their spiritual journey. They report on their piety, their study, and their apostolic action. A bonding develops that institutes a strong support group for life.
The Ultreya which is usually held monthly, is a "reunion of the reunions." It provides support and builds community by allowing the sharing of communal experiences.
Spiritual Direction is an important element of the Cursillo Movement. It is a commitment to seek out skilled lay persons or cleric for spiritual direction to provide help in deepening their union with Christ.