Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Roman Catholic Mass, Rightly Considered

The current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has a few words which are very significant.  Not likely that the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Liturgy Office will publish this, so here are a few excerpts.

...The liturgy in its essence is “actio Christi”. [It is]the “work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God.” (n.5) It is He who is the great Priest, the true subject, the true actor in the liturgy (n.7). If this vital principle is not accepted in faith, there is the risk of making the liturgy into a human work, a self-celebration of the community....

...The Church, the Body of Christ, must therefore become in Her turn an instrument in the hands of the Word.

This is the ultimate meaning of the key-concept of the Conciliar Constitution: “participatio actuosa”. Such participation for the Church consists in becoming the instrument of Christ – The Priest, with the aim of sharing in His Trinitarian mission. The Church takes part actively in the liturgical action of Christ in the measure that She is His instrument. In this sense, to speak of “a celebrating community”” is not devoid of ambiguity and requires prudence. (Instruction” Redemptoris sacramentum”, n. 42). Participatio actuosa” should not then be intended as the need to do something. On this point the Council’s teaching has frequently been deformed. Rather, it is about allowing Christ to take us and associate us with His Sacrifice....
Yes. It was phrased another way by a scholarly older priest who often referred to himself as 'the Legitimate Liturgist', and his formulation was that "actuosa participatio" really meant that the participant underwent 'metanoia,' a conversion, by which he offers himself as sacrifice to the Father, as did Christ.
The Cardinal doesn't pull any punches, either: is deplorable that the sanctuary (of the high altar) in our churches is not a place strictly reserved for Divine worship, that secular clothes are worn in it and that the sacred space is not clearly defined by the architecture. Since, as the Council teaches, Christ is present in His Word when this is proclaimed , it is similarly detrimental that the readers do not wear appropriate clothing, indicating that they are not pronouncing human words but the Divine Word....
There's more at the link.  Worth your time.

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