November Meeting of the USCCB
Cardinal George Chosen As Chairman-Elect
On Tuesday, November 13, 2001, the bishop members of the USCCB voted Cardinal Francis George, OMI, as chairman-elect of the Committee on the Liturgy. Cardinal George presently serves as a consultant to the Committee and is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as well as representative of the USCCB to the ICEL Episcopal Board.
Revised Adaptations to the Institutio Generalis Approved
On Wednesday, November 14, 2001, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a revised set of adaptations to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, Editio Typica Tertia for the Dioceses of the United States of America. This document was formerly known as the Appendix to the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States of America.
On Holy Thursday, 2000, Pope John Paul II approved the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia, popularly known as the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. This revision replaces the 1975 edition of the Institutio Generalis.
On June 14, 2001, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved adaptations to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani which were subsequently submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the requisite confirmation.
On October 31, 2001, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, responded to Bishop Fiorenza's request for confirmation of the USCCB action (Prot. N. 1381/01/L: Attachment #1 on page 24).
In his letter, Cardinal Medina affirmed the efforts of the USCCB for its "prompt action taken to assure timely implementation" of the revised Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani. His Eminence was likewise in sympathy with most of the particulars of the norms approved by the Bishops for use in the dioceses of the United States of America.
Noting that it is not possible to confirm a particular modification of universal law, until the universal law has come into force, Cardinal Medina presented his reflections in the form of a letter of intent,' asking the USCCB to make some minor modifications in its adaptations, in preparation for that day when the Missale Romanum is published and, simultaneously, when CDWDS would issue a decree confirming the USA adaptations.
Cardinal Medina requested six modifications to the text of adaptations submitted by the USCCB:
- That the provisions of the Appendix be incorporated into the wording of particular sections of the GIRM;
- That "Other collections" of Psalms (cf. GIRM nos. 48, 6, 74, 87) be approved by the appropriate authority';
- That the adaptation regarding the Sign of Peace be inserted at GIRM no. 154 and be amended appropriately;
- That the adaptation on standing to receive Holy Communion (GIRM no. 160) be adapted so that Holy Communion would not be denied to a person taking a variant posture;
- That the USCCB approve not just the texts, but also the melodies for settings from the Order of Mass and for special rites (GIRM no. 393);
- That additional materials for sacred vessels, furnishings, the mensa of the altar, sacred vesture, etc. be named specifically and not be left to the judgment of individual diocesan bishops.
The reason for the urgency of this request is twofold: (1) As previously reported, the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani takes effect as the universal law of the Church when the Missale Romanum is published with its accompanying decree; (2) The BCL has always hoped that the USA adaptations would be confirmed before or at the same time that the decree is published, so that the universal law would not be issued without the benefit of the USA particular law which modifies it. I suggest that our lives would be significantly complicated if the USA adaptations were not to enjoy the status of particular law once the general law has changed.After an extensive discussion, the bishops then approved the adaptations by a vote of xxx to 7, 176 votes being required for the requisite two-thirds majority of all Latin bishops. The adaptations will now be sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for confirmation.
The Committee received six amendments and made seven of its own. In group one, you will find the nine amendments we accepted. Included in this number are simple grammatical refinements and a relocation of the words applying to the posture after receiving Holy Communion to assure that standing, or sitting or kneeling may be allowed depending on local practice.
Amendment #1 concerns when the faithful would stand at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. In order to preserve the unity of the Eucharistic Prayer and to avoid requiring members of the liturgical assembly to sing the Amen while rising to their feet, we have noted that the faithful rise after the Amen.
We have restored the adaptation allowing for limited use of the Apostles Creed last June, even though we have received indication that the new Missale Romanum will contain an even broader option. Since the Missale Romanum has not yet been published and the exact nature of the rubric allowing the optional usage of the Apostles' Creed is not yet known, the Committee decided to restore this adaptation just to be on the safe side.
Finally, the Committee withdrew the adaptation to GIRM, no. 343 in favor of the language of the Universal law. GIRM 343 now reads: "In addition to the traditional materials, natural fabrics proper to the region may be used for making vestments; artificial fabrics that are in keeping with the dignity of the liturgical service and the person wearing them may also be used. The Conference of Bishops will be the judge in this matter."
Translation of the Institutio Generalis Remanded to ICEL
On Thursday, November 15, 2001, the Bishops considered a recommendation from the Committee on the Liturgy that the ICEL translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani be remanded to the mixed commission for revision in the light of Liturgiam authenticam.
On Holy Thursday, 2000, Pope John Paul II approved the revised Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), replacing the 1975 edition of this introduction to the Missale Romanum. The following June, the Committee on the Liturgy published a study translation of the document, noting in its introduction the need for a more definitive text subject to the requisite approval of the USCCB and confirmation by the Holy See.
In early June, 2001, the Secretariat for the Liturgy received a copy of a proposed translation of the Institutio from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. This translation was approved by the ICEL Episcopal Board and has been submitted to ICEL member conferences for their consideration.
At a special meeting on August 27, 2001, the Committee on the Liturgy reviewed the ICEL translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani. The Committee was pleased in general with its qualities. At the same time, the Committee recognized that ICEL labored under the handicap of producing this translation prior to the publication of the recent Instruction on liturgical translation, Liturgiam authenticam. Since the translation will, in all probability, be judged by the Holy See according to the prescriptions of this new Instruction, the Committee examined the ICEL translation accordingly.
One of the first concerns of the Committee was ICEL's decision to translate Missale Romanum as Missal (Sacramentary). In his letter to Bishop Fiorenza of July 21, 2000, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, expressed the desire of the Congregation that the phrase Missale Romanum be translated as Roman Missal, as is the case in the translations of all other major languages. The Committee expressed its belief that Cardinal Medina's observation be incorporated into the translation.
Judged through the requirements for greater precision, as set forth by Liturgiam authenticam, especially in regard to technical terms, the Committee found several other ways in which the ICEL translation required further work.
In the course of his remarks to the plenary assembly, Archbishop Lipscomb noted that the remanding of the ICEL translation is in no way intended to cast aspersions on ICEL's latest effort. Indeed, there is much to like in this latest work. At the same time, the Committee is convinced that this and all future translations must completed in conformity with Liturgiam authenticam."
The action was approved by a vote of 135 to 8.
National Day of Prayer for Peace
Also on Thursday, November 14, 2001 the plenary gathering approved a recommendation from the USCCB by the Committee on the Liturgy that January 1, 2001, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, be designated as a National Day of Prayer for Peace. The action was taken by the Committee at the suggestion of Archbishop James Keleher, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas and the Bishops of that state.
In the course of his remarks to the plenary assembly, Archbishop Lipscomb noted that "Those of us who were present in Washington D.C. for the last Administrative Committee Meeting (September 11, 2001) experienced first-hand the fear and terrible sadness which violence and war can bring to the human heart. I suggest that there is no better way to combat fear and to defeat the horrors of war than by designating a national day of prayer. Likewise, the prayers of the Mother of God, under her title as Mary, Queen of Peace, can, like none others, calm the human heart and still the soul in the face of violence."
Liturgical resources for this day will be distributed to Bishops and Liturgy Offices in early December. A devotional resource has been developed by the Secretariat for the Liturgy consisting of liturgical and scriptural reflections on the glorious mysteries of the Rosary. Under the title, A Rosary for Peace for The National Day of Prayer for Peace: January 1, 2002, the resource is available from the USCCB Publishing Office (see advertisement on page eight of this Newsletter). The introduction to this resource may also be found on page seven of this Newsletter.
November Meeting of the Committee on the Liturgy
On November 11, 2001, the Committee on the Liturgy met in Washington D.C. After considering amendments to its USCCB action items, the Committee discussed a proposal for an ICEL Revision of the Liturgy of the Hours. The Committee expressed its view that a thorough study of the significance and implementation of Liturgiam authenticam should precede any future projects by the mixed commission. A study on the question of the place of dance in the Roman Rite was reviewed in detail, with a request from the Committee that the Secretariat continue historial and theological research into the matter. Reports were also received from the Children and Liturgy Task Group and the BCL Music Subcommittee.
The New Roman Martyrology
In a press conference on October 2, 2001, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevιz, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented the recently revised Roman Martyrology. The following questions and answers are designed to explain its content and use.
- What meaning does sanctity have for people of our time?
- What does the new Martyrology contain?
- What is new in this edition of the Martyrology?
- What about previous editions of the Martyrology?
- What role does the Martyrology play in the choice of texts for the Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours?
- How else can the Martyrology be used?
The Martyrology recalls the universal call to holiness: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt 5: 48) The Second Vatican Council taught that every disciple of Christ should strive, with the grace of God, to strive for a life of holiness. The saints are those who have profoundly understood the implications of their Baptism and the meaning of the Christian life. In the press conference presenting this new liturgical book, Cardinal Medina recalled the words of Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Novo Millenio Ineunte, number 30:
"It is necessary to rediscover the full practical significance of Chapter 5 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium (LG), dedicated to the "universal call to holiness". The Council Fathers laid such stress on this point, not just to embellish ecclesiology with a kind of spiritual veneer, but to make the call to holiness an intrinsic and essential aspect of their teaching on the Church. The rediscovery of the Church as "mystery", or as a people "gathered together by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" was bound to bring with it a rediscovery of the Church's "holiness", understood in the basic sense of belonging to him who is in essence the Holy One, the "thrice Holy" (cf. Is 6:3). To profess the Church as holy means to point to her as the Bride of Christ, for whom he gave himself precisely in order to make her holy (cf. Eph 5:25-26). This as it were objective gift of holiness is offered to all the baptized.
"But the gift in turn becomes a task, which must shape the whole of Christian life: "This is the will of God, your sanctification" (1 Th 4:3). It is a duty which concerns not only certain Christians: "All the Christian faithful, of whatever state or rank, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity."
For each day, the text presents a list of saints and blesseds, with the date of their liturgical commemoration, usually coincident with the dies natalis, the place of death, the qualification of the saint or blessed, the proper title, ecclesial status (apostle, martyr, teacher of the faith, missionary, confessor, bishop, priest, virgin, spouse, widow), the activity and the charism of each blessed or saint.
The new edition of the Martyrology includes the numerous beatifications and canonizations proclaimed since 1956, including the more than twelve hundred blesseds and four hundred saints created by Pope John Paul II. In total, the Martyrology recalls the saintly memory of 6,538 persons. At the same time it should be recalled that the Martyrology does not seek to compile a complete list of all saints, but to compile a list of those for which there is evidence of an approved cult established by the Church.
The first Martyrology is described by Saint Gregory the Great in the fifth century as "a codex containing the names of almost all the martyrs from various lands and from different provinces according to their days, together with the date and place of their martyrdom." Once attributed to Saint Jerome, it is commonly known as the Hieronymian Martyrology and was drawn from Roman, Nicomedian, and African sources.
The last centuries of the first Christian millennium witnessed several "historical martyrologies" which embellished the earlier work with further details of the life of each saint. Among the earliest authors of such revisions was Venerable Bede (735), who described his work as "a Martyrology of the natal days of the holy martyrs, in which I took care to set down all that I could find, not only in their several days, but I also gave the kind of conflict which they underwent, and under what judge they conquered the world."
The Roman Martyrology was promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584 as a part of the Tridentine liturgical reform. Cardinal Baronius was its editor. Subsequent editions were published under Popes Urban VIII (1630), Benedict XIV (1748), Pius X (1913), and Benedict XV (1922).
In this regard, readers may find paragraph 33 of the Congregations' "Notification on Proper Calendars and Proper Liturgical Texts" to be helpful. The BCL's unofficial translation of this September 20, 1997 document, reads:
"It is good to remember, in addition, the possibilities offered by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (nn. 316b, 316c) to the priest celebrating on the weekdays of Ordinary Time, or those of Advent before December 17th, or of the Christmas season from January 2nd onwards, or on those of the Easter season. In such periods, even when there is an optional Memorial, the priest can celebrate either the Mass of the weekday or that of any Saint inscribed that day in the Roman Martyrology. The same holds, analogously, for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours (cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, n. 244).
It is perfectly legitimate, therefore, in such circumstances, to celebrate in honor of a Saint found in neither the General Calendar nor in a proper calendar. Obviously, such cases call for the exercise of pastoral good sense on the part of the celebrant."
For centuries the tradition of reading the Martyrology in the course of a communal celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours has been observed, especially by religious communities. Today, the book may appropriately be read whether during a communal celebration of the Divine Office, or at another time by small groups of the faithful.
In his introduction to the first American translation of the Martyrology, Cardinal Gibbons wrote:
"It will prove highly edifying and useful not only to the members of our religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity in general. Every day has here its record of sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to peruse daily with faith and with great profit the brief pages of each day's model of holiness."
Archbishop Lipscomb on the National Day of Prayer
The following reflections are taken from the introduction to A Rosary for Peace for The National Day of Prayer for Peace: January 1, 2002:
In the summer of 1915, the vicious brutality of the "war to end all wars" had enshrouded the hill towns of Italy and the streets of Rome. By the time Pope Benedict XV had celebrated the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, sixty thousand mothers had buried their sons; while later that same year, as he led the Church in commemorating the feast of the Immaculate Conception, that number had reached a quarter of a million.
Thus, amidst the fear and uncertainty of a dark Christmas Eve, the Holy Father gathered his Cardinals together to announce a plan for peace. His plan would marshal an army of pray-ers who would storm heaven with petitions to "the Mother of the Prince of Peace, Mediatrix between rebellious man and the merciful God." Confident that "with God all things are possible," Pope Benedict XV inserted the name of "Queen of Peace" into the Marian Litany of Loreto.
Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the first year of the new millennium, Pope Benedict's description of the Queen of Peace rings truer than ever before:
"She is the dawn of peace shining in the darkness of a world out of joint; She never ceases to implore Her Son for peace although His hour is not yet come (cf. Jn 2:4); She always intervenes on behalf of sorrowing humanity in the hour of danger; today She who is the mother of many orphans and our advocate in this tremendous catastrophe will most quickly hear our prayers."The day after the horrors of September 11, 2001, Pope John Paul II responded with a prayer to "the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Mercy, [to] fill the hearts of all with wise thoughts and peaceful intentions." Such a first reaction is expected in one who has repeatedly urged us to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title "Queen of Peace." Seven years ago, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father urged all who would be peace makers to look to the example of the Blessed Virgin:
Mary, Queen of peace, is close to the women of our day because of her motherhood, her example of openness to others' needs and her witness of suffering. Mary lived with a deep sense of responsibility the plan which God willed to carry out in her for the salvation of all humanity. When she was made aware of the miracle which God had worked in her by making her the mother of His incarnate Son, her first thought was to visit her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth in order to help her. That meeting gave Mary the chance to express, in the marvelous canticle of the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55), her gratitude to God Who, with her and through her, had begun a new creation, a new history.The Bishops of the United States have, therefore, designated the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, as a national day of prayer for peace. The reflections on the Glorious Mysteries in this booklet are designed to help you and the members of your community to pray for peace.
I implore the most holy Virgin Mary to sustain those men and women who, in the service of life, have committed themselves to building peace. With her help, may they bear witness before all people, especially those who live in darkness and suffering and who hunger and thirst for justice, to the loving presence of the God of peace!
Join with us, your bishops, to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculately Conceived, and Patroness of the United States of America. Ask her to intercede to end the fear, the violence and the hate we see in the world today. Ask the Queen of Peace to join with the Church in begging the Prince of Peace for that peace which this world cannot give.
It is the hope of your bishops, that on January 1, 2002, the rosary will be prayed in the same way it was by Pope Benedict XV in that cold winter of 1915. And it is our certain faith, that through Mary's intercession, God will hear our prayers:
"From every corner of the earth, from the majestic churches and the humble chapels; from the mansions of the rich as well as from the huts of the poor; from wherever dwells a faithful soul; from the bloodstained battlefields and war-swept seas, may this pious and ardent invocation arise to Mary, the Mother of Mercy who is all-powerful in grace! To Mary may be brought each anguished cry of mothers and wives, each tear of innocent children, each longing of generous hearts! May Her loving and most merciful solicitude be moved to obtain for this convulsed world the peace so greatly desired! And may the ages yet to come remember the efficacy of Mary's intercession and the greatness of Her blessings to Her suppliants!"