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November 6, 1964     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 6, 1964

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,,Friday, Nov. 6, 1964 Christian Culture Series (Unit 1 Chapter IV) (New Horizons in Catholic Worship, a booklet from which the discussion text for the 1964-65 Christian Culture Series is taken, was written by Rev. William J. Leonard, S.J., and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Leon A. McNeill, M.A, Published in 1964 by the Liturgical Commission, 445 N. Emporia, Wichita, Kas., 67202, the booklet is available for one to nine copies for 75 cents each or for 10 or more copies for 60 cents each. The booklet is also sold at all Catholic book stores in the Archdiocese.) y reason of his baptism, the Christian has been made one with Christ. This means that he shares to some degree in Christ's priestly character, and is empowered to join in Christ's worship. He should therefore take part in the liturgy, the Council declares (Sac. 14), with "full, active, and conscious participa- tion." The spixitual life of both the individual and the parish begins with the liturgy and derives its prin- cipal growth from it. Accordingly, no other means can be substituted for it or take precedence over it. Nor should anything preoccupy priests and people more than cultivating intelligent and active participa- tion in it. Not too many records of life in the early Church have come down to us, but those we have bear wit- ness to a vigorous liturgical participation. Our earliest account of it was written about 150 A.D. by St. Justhn the Martyr, himself a layman. The common worship was a eucharistic service presided over by a bishop or a priest. The people brought the bread and wine necesary for it, as well as gifts for the poor; they joined actively in the prayers, the processions, the songs, and the receiving of Holy Communion. We read of similar participation in the rites of baptism, confirmation, holy orders, penance (at least those rites surrounding the exclusion and reconcilia- tion of penitents). How it happened that the people fell gradually silent and ceased to take an active part in public worship is a long and complicated story. Local langu- ages developed, and Latin became an unknown tongue. Sacred music was embellished to a point where only trained musicians could sing it. In the popular mind our Lord's role as mediator between God and men was obscured, while the earlier vivid awareness of the Christian community and of each Christian's vital role in it faded considerably. Now, however, the Church "earnestly desires," as the Council puts it (Sec. 14), to restore to all her children the active share in social worship to which they are entitled by their baptismal character and by the nature of the liturgy itself. "ring the Bridg 1. Why does the Council desire that the laity be led to "'full, active and conscious participation" in the liturgy? 2. How does liturgical participation" today compare with that in the early Church? 3. What were some o/the causes of the decline in active participation? Liturgical Restoration The natural leaders in this restoration would be, of course, pastors; it has been proven over and over that the degree of the people's participation is in direct proportion to the understanding and guidance offered them by their priests. The Council therefore devotes careful attention to the training of priests (Secs. 15-9). Professors of liturgy are to be educated, and the study of liturgy is to be given a major rank among courses pursued in the seminary. Candidates for the priesthood are to live a full li.turgical life during their formative years. Priests already active in the ministry are to be assisted by every available means to appreciate the pastoral value of the liturgy and to initiate their people into a full liturgical li2e. But the liturgy itself must be reformed. As we indicated in Chapter I, it has had no substantial change since 1570. Instead of being the ready inter- preter to us of the mysteries of God, it stands itself in need of constant interpretation. The Church wants a liturgy that is adapted to contemporary understand- ing--one that modern Christians can use with ease because it is clear to us. Since the Council could not for lack of time com- pose the new texts and rites, postconciliar commis- sion has been appointed by the Holy Father to do this. It will work with the guidance of general and particular norms given it by the Council, and its work is to be done "as soon as possible" (Sec. 25). I. How are priests to be trained end helped to lead in the liturgical restoration? 2. Why and how did the Council provide for the reform of the liturgy itself? Norms Set Down by the Council The first of these norms contain a reminder that the liturgy, as the public worship of the Church, comes directly under the hierarchy' supervision. It will be regulated usually by the Holy See, but certain matters will be determined by the bishops of a partic- ular country or region. Changes are not to be made without careful study of both tradition nd recent experience. The Council then takes note of the fact that many of the words and actions of the liturgy are derived from the Bible, and insists that there can be no real liturgical reform unles our people come to know and love this sacred book. The second set of norms is based on the nature of the Church itself. The Church is a community unit- ed under its bishops and made up of members who have different ranks and functions in the liturgy. There is, then, a "distribution of roles," and each member or group of members is to speak those lines (if we may use an expression from the drama) and perform those actions which belong to him. For example, the celebrant will not read, even in a whisper, the parts that belong to the choir, and the choir will not usurp what belongs to the people. The people are to be encouraged to take part "by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily atti, tudes" (Sec. 30). In this way, each celebration of the liturgy will be a proclamation of the Church's character as St. Paul described it: a body made up of many members, each with its own contribution to the welfare of the whole, and governed by one head. 1. Who will direct and supervise the liturgical restora- tion? 2. Why is it necessary for our people to know and love the Bible? 3. What changes are called for by the nature of the Church itself? Instruction for the Faithful The Council then goes on to say (Sec. 33) that the liturgy, while it is first and foremost the worship of God, "contains much instruction for the faithful." It is made up of readings taken directly from revela- tion and of prayers and signs chosen by Christ or by the Church, all of which nourish faith and raise minds to God. Accordingly, the rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people's powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation (Sec. 34). A wider and more appropriate choice of readings from Holy Scripture will relieve tedium and acquaint the faithful with the entixe range of sacred history. The sermon, which is "a part of the liturgical service" (Sec. 35), must be faithfully preached; it should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God's wonderful works in the his- tory of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the cele- bration of the liturgy (Sec. 35). Pastoral zeal will devise other ways of giving li- turgical instruction as it is needed. The Bible services which in recent years have been gaining favor among us are explicitly encouraged, especially in places where a priest is not available. Finally, permission is granted for a more extended use in the liturgy of the vernacular languages; the decision as to whether and to what extent this privilege may be invoked will rest with the bishops of a particular region acting to- gether. Of all the changes prescribed by the Council, this last will be the most striking and in time no doubt the most appreciated. 1. Why does the Council call for rites that will "be dis- tinguished by a noble simplicity"? 2. What is to be done about the Scripture readings and the sermon? 3. What do you think will be the result of a more extensive use of the vernacular languqes in the liturgy? Adaptation to Local Traditions and Culture The last set of norms established by the Council explicitly reverses the trend of the last four hun- dred years; the principle of a single liturgy for vir- tually the entire Latin Church is relaxed (Sec. 37 ft.). Now variations based on the differing genius and cul- ture of various peoples will be permitted when these are considered sound by the board of local bishops. Mi, ssionaries will, of course, be especially grate- ful for this concession, but so will the native hier- archies now solidly established in what were once mission territories. Until now these bishops have had to employ a liturgy composed almost exclusively of Western European elements---elements which their people could not but consider alien. It is fascinating to speculate as to what new fea- tures will be introduced into the Roman Liturgy by the peoples of Africa and Asia. They can now give of their ancient cultures just as the peoples of Europe contributed from theirs during the first fifteen cen- turies of the Christian era. 1. Why does the Council permit the adaptation of the sacred rites to the genius and culture of various peoples? Why will this be so welcome in missionary terrltories-and those that were recently missionary in character? The Bishop As High Priest The Council concludes this section of the Consti- tution by reminding us that the diocesan bishop is to be considered as "the high priest of his flock, from whom the life in Christ of his faithful is in some way derived and dependent" (Sec. 41). Liturgical life cen- tered around the bishop and actively shared in by all God's people will always be "the preeminent mani- festation of the Church." But because the bishop cannot always preside over his whole flock, his place must be taken by the pastor of the parish, and therefore the liturgical life of the parish and its relationship to the bishop must be fostered theoretically and practically among the faithful and clergy; efforts also must be made to en- courage a sense of community within the parish, above all in the common celebration of the Sunday Mass. National and diocesan liturgical commissions are to be established, as well as commissions for sacred music and sacred art. Every means is to be taken so that pastoral- liturgical action may become vigorous in the Church, because zeal for the promotion and restoration of the ... liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential/ dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the IF Holy Spixit in his Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church's life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action (Sec. 43).. What is the primary role of the bishop, and how does Liturgical Renewal of Marriage :remony i the pastortakehisplaceintheparisb? 2. Whydoesthe Council call for the establishment of special commissions and, in generdl, for vigorous pastoral-liturgical action? Rev.pest.Patrlck Mulligan, At Longv,ew Some Things to Do St. Rose Church 1. Listen attentively to the Scripture readings and the Longvlew, Washington THE REV. PATRICK Mulligan was celebrant of the Nuptial Mass at which his niece, Mary Rose Mulligan, the bride of Glenn Philip KerR, in St. Rose Church, Longview, where Father Mulligan is pastor. The ceremony took place October 10, 1964. VERY bride has her own very special memories of her wedding day: little things that set her wedding apart from every otherNa free-wheeling flower girl, perhaps; a groom's ring that fits like Cinderella's shoe on an ugly step-sister; her father's brand new suit arriving the morn- ing of the wedding. Somewhere there is a wife who keeps her wedding ring pressed in her Bible, because 10 years ago. on her wedding day, the late Father Gerald Fitzgerald used the stem of a flower to replace the ring that the best man forgot. Four weeks ago at St. Rose Church in Longview, a girl with laughing Irish eyes was married in a ceremony she will never forget, for two very special reasons. She was married by her uncle in the . I I beautiful church that he had built. And secondly, her wedding was the first in that church in which the new English ritual was used. The lights had burned late the night before in the second-floor sitting room of that veteran pastor, Father Patrick Mulligan, as he studied the revised text, marking the changes from the old worn ritual that he had used for hundreds of weddings through the years. There are not many changes, really. But those that are there are full of meaning. The marriage itself takes place now after the Gospel. rather than before the Mass begins. This seems so very right. Epistle and Gospel are read aloud. Once the good news of Christ is proclaimed to the bridegroom and bride, they come forward to stand before the prieet, with the Word of God echoing in their hearts: I sermon at liturgical celebrations. 2. Assist at Sunday Mass in your own parish church whenever possible, and do all you can to encour- age a sense of community in the parish. "Wives should be submissive to their husbands as though to the Lord's." "Husbands, love your wives, Just as Christ loved the Church..." "... they are no longer two but one flesh." God has been teaching them about their 'marriage. Taking the lesson to heart, the couple make their response in their "I do". The new ritual makes it wonderfully clear that the bridegroom and bride are the ministers of the sacrament. As we hear the words in which the priest announces that a sacrament has taken place, we are suddenly aware that "she" has conferred a sacrament on "him"; that "he" has conferred a sacrament on "her". Such a high and holy mome, when a man and a woman not only receive a sacrament, but confer it. The priest announces, "By the authority of the Church, I ratify and bless the bond of marriage YOU have contracted. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." Nothing happens that has not happened before, in every Catholic mar- riage. But because of a few different words, we sense what is happen- ing with a new freshness. As Father Mulligan's niece, and her bridegroom, entered the sun- lit sanctuary of St. Rose Church on that very special day, they heard these words: "This Mass is offered for Glenn Kerg and Mary Rose Mulligan, who this morning will be united in the sacrament of Matrimony. This Mass is our prayer for them." The lector had begun his commentary. As the altar boys bowed low to speak their Confiteor, the young couple heard the friends who had come to offer the Mass with them speak their own sorrow for sin. As the priest asked rich blessings, for these two in the Collect, the whole congregation shouted their "Amen". As Father Mulligan brought the Bread of Life down to the new family, row after row came to the altar rail to receive the Body of Christ with them. Years from now, Mary Rose Kerg will have forgotten that the ring.bearer almost forgot his cue; she won't remember that she was drenched with rice as she came, laughing, out of the church; she may even forget that she carried blue-bells of Ireland. But she will remem- ber that on her wedding day, God's holy people gathered to offer with her and her uncle, a Mass to remember, always. THIS SERIES OF CCD ARTICLES ARE PUBLISHED THROUGH THE KIND COOPERATION OF THE FIRMS LISTED HERE SUNNY JIM FOOD I PRODUCTS I 815 S. Adams St. ] I Seattle MA. 3-8276 CATHOLIC MART INC. 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