Pope John Paul II Announces Year of the Eucharist
In the course of his homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), June 10, 2004, Pope John Paul II announced a "Year of the Eucharist" to run from October, 2004 to October, 2005. The text of his homily is reproduced here for die information of our readers:
- "As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim die Lord's death until lie coules" (I Corinthians 11:26). With these words St Paul reminds the Christian of Corinth that the "Lord's Supper" is not only a convivial meeting but also, and above ail, the memorial of the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. Those who take part in it, the Apostle explains, are United with the mystery of the death of the Lord, and indeed, "proclaim" him. Thus, there is a very close reiationship between "building the Eucharist" and proclaiming Christ. At the same Lime, entering into communion with him in the memorial of Easter also means becoming missionaries of the event which that rite actualizes; in a certain sense, it means making it contemporary with every epoch, until die Lord cornes again.
- Dear brothers and sisters, we are reliving this wonderful reality in today's Solemnity of Corpus Christi, during which die Church does not only celebrate the Eucharist but solemnly bears it in procession, publicly proclaiming that the Sacrifice of Christ is for die salvation of the whole world. Grateful for this immense gift, her members gather round the Blessed Sacrament, for that is the source and summit of her being and action. Ecclesia de Eucharistia vive! The Church draws her life from the Eucharist and knows that this truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery in which she consists (cf. Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucaristia, no. 1).
- Ever since Pentecost, when die Church, the People of the New Covenant, "began her pilgrim joumey towards her heavenly homeland, die Divine Sacrament lias continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope" (ibid.). Thinking precisely of this, I wanted to dedicate the first Encyclical of the new millenium to die Eucharist and I am now pleased to announce a special Year of the Eucharist. It will begin with the World Eucharistic Congress, planned to take place from 10 to 17 October 2004 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and will end with the next Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, that will be held in the Vatican from 2 to 29 October 2005 and whose theme will be: "The Eucharist: source and summit of the life and mission of the Church." Through the Eucharist, die Ecclesial Community is built up as a new Jerusalem, a principle of unity in Christ among different persons and peoples.
- `You give them something to eat" (Luke 9: 13). The Gospel passage we have just heard offers us a vivid image of the close bond that exists between the Eucharist and this universal mission of the Church. Christ, "the living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6: 51; cf. Gospel Acclamation), is the only one who can appease the hunger of human beings of every time and in every corner of the earth.
However, he does not avant to do this on his own, so he involves the disciples, as he did in the multiplication of the loaves: "Taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd" (Luke 9: 16). This miraculous sign is the symbol of the greatest mystery of love which is renewed every day at Holy Mass: through the ordained ministers, Christ gives his Body and his Blood for the life of humanity. And all those who partake of his Banquet with dignity become living instruments of his presence of love, mercy and peace.
- "Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem! Sion, praise the Saviour your guide, your pastor with hymns and canticles."
With untold emotion, we hear this invitation to praise and joy echoing in our hearts. At the end of Holy Mass we will carry the Divine Sacrament in procession to the Basilica of St Mary Major. Looking at Mary, we will understand better the transforming power that the Eucharist possesses. Listening to her, we will find in the Eucharistie mystery the courage and energy to follow Christ, the Good Shepherd, and to serve him in the brethren.
March, 2004 Meeting of the Committee on the Liturgy
The USCCB Committee on the Liturgy met in Washington D.C. on March 22, 2004 and considered a Ovide range of liturgical matters, though the bulk of the meeting was devoted to the USCCB consultation on the ICEL draft translation of the Ordo Missae.
The USCCB consultation originated in a letter of February 13, 2004 by Cardinal Francis George, OMI, chair of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, to all Bishop members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops presenting the draft translation of the Ordo Missae completed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and requesting their participation in a consultation on the text. Fifty one members of the Conference contributed to the consultation with 941 individual comments, which were discussed by the members of the Committee for over eight hours. A five volume summary of the consultation was forwarded to ICEL on May 18, 2004.
In its report, the Committee repeatedly emphasized the extraordinary difficulties inherent in crafting a vernacular edition of the Order of Mass for English speaking Catholics throughout the world. At the saure time, the Committee expressed its gratitude to ICEL for the substantial progress it had made in this regard. In particular, the Committee commended the mixed commission for the:
- Significant attention paid to developing a precise translation of most Latin texts, and especially to areas neglected by the 1970 translation. ICEL's work on the Gloria (0M, no. 8) was particularly appreciated;
- The rendering of some fairly difficult texts into memorable English prose, such as the Te Igitur (OM, no. 84) in the Roman Canon;
- The willingness to struggle with the rendering of highly technical vocabulary, such as the translation of the word Sabaoth (OM, no. 83), or perturbation (OM, no. 125);
- The attempt to deal effectively with deprecatory language, extended subordination, and the challenge of authentically rendering the meaning contained in Latin syntax;
- Documentation: The Committee was frequently handicapped in its review of the text by a lack of appreciation of the rationale for many of the changes. Conscious of the requirement of Liturgiam authenticam, no.79 iii that the final edition of any translation should note "any changes that may have been introduced in relation to the previous translation of the saine edition of the liturgical book [and that these] be indicated clearly, together with the reasons for making such changes" (LA, no. 79iii ), the Committee expects IÇEL to provide significant general and particular rationales for its renderings in all future proposed translations.
- Parts Memorized by the Faithful: Recalling Liturgiam authenticam 's urging that "the parts [of the Mass] that are to be committed to memory by the people, especially if they are sung, are to be changed only for a just and considerable reason" (LA, no. 74), the Committee has, in several instances, recommended the retention of renderings presently committed to memory. There was near unanimous agreement among bishops who wrote that changes to the peoples' parts of the Mass should be made sparingly and only for very serious reasons and that too many changes cumulatively had been made to the peoples' parts in the proposed translation.
- Proclaimability: The Committee found several passages difficult to proclaim either because of the awkwardness of the syntax used to render die Latin into a too rigid English, or from the use of orally ambiguous words for die listener, such as "the peace" (0M, 128).
- English Style: Many Committee members found the translation frequently affected by an uncritical adaptation of the Latin style of the Missale Romanum to English. This includes issues in syntax, meter, stress patterns, sybillants, and the flow of sentences in which phrases that are connected in meaning may be best juxtaposed radier than separated. There was general agreement that what Liturgiam authenticam, no. 27 refers to as a liturgical vernacular had not yet been fully achieved in this first draft, but that continued revisions would be necessary to reach that goal.
- Vocabulary: Special concerns were raised by some Bishops regarding the semi-archaic quality of words such as "deign" and "disquiet", which were also thought to reflect a British English unsuitable at least to American Catholics.
The observations from all the English speaking Conferences of Bishops on the draft ICEL translation of the Ordo Missae were considered in late June at an extended meeting of the ICEL Editorial Committee for the Roman Missal. The ICEL Episcopal Board will meet for a definitive consideration of this text toward the end of July.
June 13, 2004 Meeting of the Committee on the Liturgy
The USCCB Committee on the Liturgy met in Denver, Colorado on June 13, 2004 and considered a number of different liturgical matters, including the following:
Chant for the new Roman Missal
The Secretariat gave a report on two days of consultation with more than thirty prominent composers and Scholars of Gregorian Chant which was held in Washington (May 2, 2004) and Chicago, Illinois (May 10, 2004). This meeting was called as the International Commission on English in the Liturgy completes its work on the Ordo Missae from the Missale Romanum, ediito typica teria.
The Committee endorsed seven suggestions derived from the consultation, which were subsequently conveyed to ICEL for consideration in its work on the chant for the new Roman Missal, addressing such issues as the relationship of chant to hymns, the need for die new chant to focus on the tee, the normative nature of the chant in the editio typica, the necessity of making the chant accessible to all priests, and assuring the relationship of the chant to prit English language forms. The Committee also endorsed the expressed desire of the consultation for a sufficient time to be devoted to the task by qualified persons, and die use of focus groups in the refinement of the work.
USCCB Adaptation of the Order of Mass
The 1970 edition of The Sacramentary for use in the dioceses of the United States of America contained within it certain adaptations of the Missale Romanum, editio typica (1969) that were approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by die Holy See (Prot. No. 1762/73, February 4, 1976), including: (1) the printing of the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water before the Penitential Rite; (2) the provision of two additional introductions to the penitential rite and permitting the use of the priest's own introduction to this rite "in similar words;" (3) the provision of seven additional versions of Penitential Rite form C; (4) the addition of the memorial acclamation "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will corne again;" (5) the provision of two alternate introductions to the Lord's Prayer; and (6) the provision of two alternate forms for the Dismissal.
Now that the International Committee on English in the Liturgy has submitted to its member Conferences for preliminaity consideration die draft translation of the Ordo Missae from the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, these six elements were reviewed by the Committee to insure their incorporation in the Roman Missal for the United States. With some minor editorial revision, the Committee approved the adaptations to be submitted for consideration by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at its November, 2004 plenary meeting.
Review and Approval of Plans and Programs for 2005
The Committee reviewed and gave its approval to the 2005 Plans and Programs of both the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy and the Secretariat for the Liturgy.
USCCB Style Sheet for Capitalization
The Committee reviewed this work and made some recommendations which were forwarded to die USCCB Committee on the Catechism which was working on this project together with the USCCB Publications Department. The Committee is of course aware that with Liturgical texts this uniform guide does not always apply.
Review of the Evaluation of the Lectionary for Mass
In the course of the 1997 consideration of the revised text of the Lectionary for Mass (in consideration of the Sunday readings), and again in 1999 (in consideration of the weekday and other readings), the Bishop members of the USCCB voted to authorize, aller a period of five years, a full review of the Lectionary with a view to its possible updating. Following consultations with the Eucharist and Liturgical Year Committee of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations, the Committee approved a review instrument for distribution to all USCCB Bishop members and to pastors in the dioceses of the United States of America. On January 22, 2003, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, chair of die Bishops' Committee on die Liturgy sent a letter, with response sheets, to the bishops of the United States requesting that all responses be retumed by June 1, 2003.
The Secretariat developed a special computer program to track the evaluations as they came in. With die help of that program, die evaluation was completed and reviewed by a special Ad Hoc committee. The problems which were described in this report involved questions of suitability for Liturgical Proclamation, Poetic Expression, Grammar and Vocabulary. On April 12, 2004, a joint task group of the Committee on the Liturgy and die Ad-Hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations held a conference call meeting to consider this report. The Task Group was chaired by Bishop Arthur Serratelli. Members included Cardinal Justin Rigali, Bishop Blase J. Cupich and Bishop Richard J. Sklba.
At its lune meeting, die Committee on die Liturgy considered the report of the task group and directed the Secretariat to:
- Conduct an experimental revision of the readings of the present Lectionary for Mass for Advent and Lent in consideration ôf the present critique. The experimental revision would engage pastors, scripture scholars, and those with special skills in proclamation and literature.
- Conduct a special study of the New English Version of the Scriptures, in die light of its apparent adherence to many of the principles of Liturgiam authenticam.
F. Revision of Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers
In May of 1982, the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy established a subcommittee on the Book of Blessings, which eventually produced a "home edition," under the title Household Blessings and Prayers, which was approved by the Administrative Committee in March of 1988.
More than 65,000 copies of Catholic Household Blessings in Prayers have been sold in the past fifteen years. At its lune, 2004 meeting, the Committee on the Liturgy considered a request from the USCCB Publications Office to consider a revision of the 1988 text. The Committee directed die Secretariat to proceed with such a revision, with special attention to Trinitarian language provisions for official liturgical rites, revisions in the translation of some prayers, attention to the translation of traditional prayers, and the simplification of the book's structure. In addition, die Committee directed that special attention be paid to providing some of the rich and culturally diverse prayers and blessings that are presently in use in use throughout the dioceses, of the United States of America.
Year of the Eucharist
The Committee spent some time exploring what could be done to assist Bishops in regard to die Celebration of the Year of the Eucharist which extends from die World Eucharistie Congress (October 10 17, 2004) in Guadalajara, Mexico to the Twelfth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 2 -29, 2005 in Rome. The Secretariat will provide extensive web-based materials over die next several months.
This year the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) falls on Saturday, December 25th, while the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph occurs on Sunday, December 26th. The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord begins with Evening Prayer I on Friday, December 24th and concludes on December 25th. If Mass is celebrated on the evening of Friday, December 24, the Mass is that of the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord. If Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening, December 25, the Mass is that of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The date assigned in the liturgical calendar for the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December l2~. This year, the feast &Ils on the Third Sunday in Advent. Because "Sunday must be ranked as the first holy day of ail,"' it gives way only to solemnities or feasts of the Lord. "The Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter...take precedence over all solemnities and feasts of the Lord."2 On Sunday, December 12, 2004, therefore, only the texts and readings for the Third Sunday of Advent may be used.
However, in the light of a growing realization in the churches of the United States of the important rote played by Our Lady of Guadalupe as the patroness of the whole American hemisphere, individual Catholic communities may wish to commemorate Our Lady of Guadalupe in a more particular fashion. Without violating liturgical law, which seeks to safeguard an integral celebration of Sunday and the Season of Advent, there are many ways in which the prayers and readings for die Third Sunday of Advent are enhanced by reference to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the homily on that day. Homilists might recall, for example, that just as die Spirit of the Lord descended upon Isaiah that he might announce good tidings to the poor and oppressed, so we hear Mary proclaim that God who lifts up die lowly has looked upon her in her lowliness. As the desert cries of Isaiah and John the Baptist announced the coming of the Lord, so die roses blooming in die arid soil of Tepeyac symbolized die blossoming of Christianity in the Americas. Our Lady of Guadalupe claimed justice for die people of Mexico, raising up those who were oppressed. Thus she is a "mande of justice" for all who are oppressed.
The image of the pregnant Virgin of Guadalupe is likewise an apt reminder of the focus of this Sunday on the imminent celebration of the birth of Christ. Particular attention to the preparation of liturgical space for this Sunday might, therefore, include an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Likewise, the rose colored vestments prescribed for the Third Sunday of Advent have also been associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe since the time of Pope Benedict XIV. Intentions in the Prayer of the Faithful may appropriately include themes reflecting concerns for unity of the Americas, and may conclude with the collect customarily used for the Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Processions in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe are appropriate on the Third Sunday of Advent as well. Many other local traditions, including the re-enactment of the story of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe outside die liturgy may likewise enhance the celebration of the last weeks of the Advent season.
Finally, in those places where the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe has very special significance, the liturgical celebration may be transferred to Saturday, December 11, or Monday, December 13. This is in accord with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 374 which states that "in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the diocesan Bishop or with his permission, an appropriate Mass may be celebrated on any day except solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter, days within the Octave of Easter, die Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day), Ash Wednesday, and Holy Week"
The Third Sunday of Advent this year provides us with the opportutiity to maintain the importance of the Sunday celebration of the Third Sunday of Advent while enriching our experience of the Lord's incarnation by a remembrance of his mother's care for die Church in America.
- General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, no. 4, see Sacrosanctum concilium, no. 106
- GNLYC, no. 5.
Public Cuit in Honor of A Blessed
In recent months, the Secretariat for the Liturgy has received numerous inquiries concerning liturgical and devotional aspects of the public cuit in honor of a Blessed who has not yet been canonized. In particular, this question has been raised in regard to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Having consulted with the postulator for the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and with officiais of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Committee is pleased to provide the following clarifications in this regard.
The Church distinguishes between the cuit of a Blessed and that of a Saint. The act of beatification provides the faithful the opportunity to offer public veneration to a Blessed within set limits. The extent of there limits is significantly altered by the inscription of the Blessed on the diocesan calendar. The inscription of a Blessed on a diocesan calendar is an altogether exceptional occurrence and is regulated by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,3 which requires that each Diocesan Calendar be confirmed by the Holy See before its publication.
In this regard, the Notification notes that "it is important to be cautious about adding the newly Blessed or newly canonized Saints to the calendar of a diocese, of a country or to the general calendar of a religious family. Often it will be better to create a celebration limited to whichever locality is more closely tied to the Blessed or Saint,4 and that "the celebration of a Blessed and of a Saint generally requires, in fact, that the celebration of a Blessed be limited to a given geographical area."5
|In Dioceses which have not petitioned and received the approval of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to inscribe the name of a Blessed on their local Liturgical Calendar:|
- See the Notification on Certain Aspects of Proper Calendars and Proper Liturgical Texts. Notitiae 35 (1997) 284-297.
- Notification, no. 28.
- Notification, no. 29.
|In dioceses which have requested and received the annroval of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments to inscribe Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in their local Diocesan Liturgical Calendar:|
During die year following a beatification, special votive Masses in honor of the Blessed may be offered. These thanksgiving Masses are celebrated with the Gloria and optional Nicene Creed.