Cardinal Francis George Appoints New Members to Committee
Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, has announced the appointment of new members, consultants, and advisors of the BCL. The seven member Committee consists of Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, former chairman of the Committee, Archbishop Justin Rigali, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Bishop Blase Cupich, Bishop John Smith , and Bishop Alan Vigneron. Consultants to the Committee include Cardinal Roger Mahony, Bishop Carlos Sevilla, S.J., Bishop Daniel Dinardo, and Bishop George Murry, S.J. Sister Janet Baxendale, S.C., Father Chrysogonus Waddell, O.C.S.O., and Monsignor Francis Mannion have been appointed advisors to the Committee in addition to those who serve ex-officio from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions and the Institute for Hispanic Liturgy. The new Committee will hold its first meeting on March 17, 2003 at the USCCB Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Report to the National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions
Each year the Committee on the Liturgy co-sponsors a national meeting of diocesan liturgical commissions with the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. This year's meeting was held on October 15-19 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Representatives from 89 dioceses gathered to hear addresses on the topic, Communion: Fruit of the Eucharist, by Father Edward Foley, Capuchin, Dr. Nathan Mitchell, Father Tom Richstatter, O.F.M., and Ms. Rodica Stoicoiu. A report from Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb, Chairman of the BCL was also delivered by Monsignor James P. Moroney, Executive Director of the BCL Secretariat. The report is provided here for the information of our readers:
I want to begin by saying thank you to Father John Burton and the members of the FDLC Board of Directors. During this past year, the mutual respect, care and fraternal commitment of the BCL and the FDLC has been deepened and reaffirmed. The FDLC was born from the side of the BCL and our familial bond has stood us in good stead this year.
This is one reason why we rejoice with you as well in your appointment of Lisa Tarker as your new Executive Director. The FDLC is not alone in welcoming new personnel. Last November the Conference elected a Chairman-elect of the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy as Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb approached the end of his term. Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. is well known to you as the Archbishop of Chicago. He currently serves as USCCB liaison to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and will take office at the end of the plenary meeting of the Conference in just a few weeks from now.
Since last year's national meeting, the BCL Secretariat has benefitted from the addition of two new staffers: Sister Doris M. Turek of the School Sisters of Notre Dame joined us as staff advisor and multi-cultural specialist. You know Sister Doris, I am sure, from her extraordinary work as Director of the Hispanic Liturgy Institute and many of you have benefitted form her expertise in the ten months she has been with us. Likewise, Monsignor Anthony Sherman, no stranger to the FDLC, joined us earlier this year as Associate Director. Monsignor Sherman's experience as a longtime Director of Worship and pastor in Brooklyn has already proved an invaluable addition to the Secretariat's considerable resources.
Finally, as but the most recent testimony to the intimate relationship of the FDLC and the BCL, the FDLC's own accountant, Dianne Jimmink, joined our staff just a few months ago as Staff Assistant. Please join me in welcoming Doris, Tony and Dianne as they seek to serve you and the Bishops of the BCL in the furtherance of the liturgical reform in our country.
While many liturgical items occupied the agenda of the BCL during the past year, the most notable was the welcome publication of the third typical edition of the Missale Romanum with its accompanying adaptations. I would be less than honest if I did not reference the scandals of clergy sexual abuse which have so affected our work. I would suggest that there are two ways we can react to the present moment. We can run about like Chicken-little and in a fit of panic spread the bad news that everything is falling apart. Encouraged by a voracious media and opportunistic special interest groups, some have chosen such a course. Or, as so many of you have done, we can embrace the challenges God puts before us as men and women of faith, trusting in the mercy which follows repentance and the inestimable power of the cross of Christ Jesus.
It was in such a spirit that I am pleased to relate a somewhat overwhelming experience at the Dallas meeting a few months ago. At the conclusion of their work, amidst extraordinary pressure and incredible security, the Bishops gathered to pray in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night. Before that adoration began, Bishop Gregory celebrated the Eucharist, using the formula Ad Compunctionem from the new Roman Missal, specially translated for this Mass. This formula, colloquially referred to as the Mass for Tears, has been added to the Masses for the Forgiveness of Sins in the section of "Masses for Various Needs and Occasions."
I saw tears in the eyes of many of your own Bishops as Bishop Gregory prayed: "As Moses brought forth water from the rock, so bring forth tears of repentance from our hardened hearts, O Lord." These are tough days for us all-days which call for penitence and prayer, days which need your special skills like never before.
In the light of the single agenda of the Dallas meeting, neither the BCL nor any other conference Committee proposed actions for the June assembly. Such is not the case, however for the Washington meeting of the USCCB in just a few weeks.
The Committee has proposed three action items which are pending consideration at the November plenary meeting of the USCCB in Washington D.C. The first action concerns approval of an initial evaluation tool for review of the Lectionary for Mass. You will recall that when the Lectionary for Mass was originally approved a decision was made to schedule a review of its effectiveness with a view toward incorporating revisions in a subsequent printing. After consultation with the FDLC's Eucharist and Liturgical Year Committee, the Secretariat proposed a process to the BCL, which in turn recommended action to the full body of Bishops. Should the action be approved, the survey will commence after the first of the year.
The revised ICEL translation of De Ordinatione Episcopi, Presbyterorum et Diacanorum is the second liturgical item on the November agenda. Earlier this year, the Congregation wrote to all Presidents of the ICEL-member episcopal conferences, noting that in derogation of Liturgiam authenticam, the Congregation had completed a revision of the ICEL translation which it presented for consideration by the member Conferences. The Congregation expressed a willingness to grant confirmation to the emended text, but did not "exclude the possibility of Conferences introducing further directions or changes to the text," though noting that such changes "might delay confirmation."
The BCL subsequently devoted close to ten hours to a consideration of the text and recommended the approval of the USCCB with a limited number of emendations. The view of the other member Conferences of ICEL were also requested and reviewed by a small working group at the ICEL Secretariat just last week. Thus the BCL will have the benefit of the view of all ICEL-member conferences when it gathers next month to provide its final recommendations to the full body of Bishops.
In this regard, I might recall the significant restructuring accomplished by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy in the course of this past year. In this regard, I am also happy to hear that the FDLC is considering a proposal for a commentary on the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani which could be such a valuable resource. Likewise, you are considering a resolution asking the BCL to produce a study guide on the communion rite.
During the past year, the joint commission of English-speaking Catholic Bishops' Conferences revised the statutes which govern the organization and appointed a new Executive Secretary in the person of Father Bruce Harbart. Father Harbart, an accomplished scholar and a priest of the Diocese of Birmingham, England is with us this evening and I am pleased to welcome him to this meeting of the liturgical leadership of the dioceses of the United States. The BCL Secretariat is deeply grateful to Fr. Harbart for his courteous and professional assistance over the past month that he has assumed this important post.
Thanks to the good work of ICEL in implementing the directive of Liturgicam authenticam, yet a third important item is under consideration by the U.S. Bishops in November: an English language translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani.
The Committee also approved an edition of the Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass, incorporating USA adaptations from the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, for publication by USCCB Publications and made available an extensive set of web-based materials for diocesan and parish formation programs in the light of the new Missale Romanum. Finally, this past year witnessed the publication of the Ritual de Exequias Cristianas, originally approved by the NCCB in 1994 and made the first steps toward the publication of the Leccionario based upon the biblical translation employed by the Mexican Conference of Bishops.
The Task Group on Children and the Liturgy completed two years of work in June, recommending that the Lectionary for Masses with Children be revised using the New American Bible translation as a base text, but including an abbreviated cursus and a limited variation in syntax and vocabulary. The Task Group will also revise the introduction to the LFMC, incorporating insights gained from thirty years of pastoral experience with the Directory for Masses with Children. In this regard, I am delighted to learn that one of your Position Statements for this meeting concerns an affirmation of the Directory for Masses with Children, including the Lectionary for Masses with Children in concurrence with the views of the Bishop members of the Committee.
The revision of the ritual book Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest continues apace thanks to the hard work of a task group led by Bishop George Murry, S.J. Three members of this Federation serve on that task group which is staffed by Monsignor Anthony Sherman.
Add to this the beginnings of the Music and Liturgy Subcommittee, the involvement of Committee members and staff in the Pontifical Committee Vox Clara, and innumerable other initiatives you have been reading about in the BCL Newsletter and it becomes clear that this has been a year in which God has blessed us with many good things.
I look forward to discussing these at greater length during the question and answer session scheduled for later in the week.
In conclusion, however, Archbishop Lipscomb had planned to offer you some brief reflections on the relationship of liturgy and law as we embark on an implementation of the revised Roman Missal. I ask you to permit me to read them to you.
We have made a profound journey these past forty yearsone which has abandoned a view of rubrics as rigid norms observed in the interest of mere ceremonial or spectacle. We have to a great extent seized a moment of grace and opened our hearts to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our own time.
Yet, still, some unhealthy and unrealistic attitudes toward the liturgy and her laws perdure. This has been made all the clearer in the months preceding and immediately following the publication of the new Roman Missal. Such individuals just want to know what to do and what to change and how to get on with it. The rich catechetical, historical and doctrinal elements of the Roman Missal are but an impediment to their efficiency.
Others become lost, to a remarkable extent, in endless speculation on the theological, ecclesiological and doctrinal significance of new liturgical laws. Their reflections, as ingenious as they are endless, petrify and preclude any real action.
Then there are those who use the law to resolve personal vendettas, to exercise control over those whom they do not trust. Such conflicts, rooted more in relational failures than liturgical issues, even gave rise to a too long lived and increasingly aggravating joke.
Finally, there are those who exercise an approach to liturgical law which lives by the motto: "the exception is better than the norm." They search untiringly for the exception to every particular norm and use it to justify the setting aside of the law itself. In the resultant vacuum, they gladly assume the role of sole remaining arbiter of the truth.
I suggest there is but one sufficient antidote to such self-serving attitudes toward liturgical law. It is the virtue of obediencea virtue even less practiced than it is appreciated. I ask you: if the heart of the liturgy is Christ's kenotic self-giving upon the cross, what virtue is more liturgical than obedience? That is what the antiphon for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time means when it proclaims: The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart. Each person who seeks to implement the new Roman Missal must be inspired and driven by precisely such a response.
That is why the new Roman Missal speaks about posture by saying: "The uniformity in posture, which must be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Scared Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the mind and spiritual attitudes of the participants"(GIRM, no. 50).
Patience, conviction, and courage are needed as we embark on an implementation of the new Roman Missal. Discernment is crucial and must be complimented by a strong measure of common sense and pastoral sensitivity. But in all this we must never lose an appreciation for the prescient words of the responsorial refrain for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
FDLC Position Statements and Statements of the Body Gathered
In the course of the National Meeting, members of the FDLC also passed several "Position Statements" and " Statements of the Body Gathered" which are provided here for the information of our readers:
PS 2002A: Commentary on the GIRM 2002: It is the position of the delegates to the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that the Board of Directors of the FDLC ensure the publication of a commentary on the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani 2002 including the adaptations for the Dioceses of the United States of America. This commentary would parallel the format of the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press, 2000) and would include history, context, explanation, interpretation and issues of inculturation of the various norms contained in the Institutio.
PS 2002B: The Communion Rite: It is the position of the delegates to the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that the Board of Directors of the FDLC in collaboration with the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy commission and publish a pastoral study guide in English and Spanish to aid in the implementation of the norms and variations of the communion rite as found in GIRM 2002 and the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America. This study guide should help ensure that all of the elements of the communion rite work together to embody the unity inherent in Eucharistic communion itself.
PS 2002C: Technology Based Liturgy Certification: It is the position of the delegates to the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that the Board of Directors of the FDLC establish guidelines, develop a course of study and an educational process for Liturgy Certification for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. The educational process should include on-line and distance learning.
PS 2002D: A Study of the Restored Order of Initiation: It is the position of the delegates of the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that the Sacraments Committee of the FDLC Board of Directors study the experience of the restored order of the sacraments of initiation for those baptized as infants for the theological and pastoral impact, and the effect on Eucharistic participation. The study will consist of the following actions: (1) to determine, at FDLC regional meetings in 2003, which dioceses have restored the order of the sacraments of initiation; (2) to develop a questionnaire and send it to the dioceses that have restored the order of the sacraments of initiation. This questionnaire will gather information on the experiences of these dioceses (the bishops of these dioceses would be invited to offer a reflection paper on their experiences of the restored order); and (3) to share the returned reports with the BCL and the membership of the FDLC.
PS 2002E: Lectionary for Masses with Children: It is the position of the delegates to the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Directory for Masses with Children, we affirm the need for a revised Lectionary for Masses with Children. We request that the BCL include the Directory for Masses with Children in the revised Lectionary for Masses with Children.
Statement of Body Gathered 1: The members of the 2002 FDLC National Meeting have an urgent and serious concern regarding the lack of Spanish translations of current legislative and pastoral documents and resources including Norms for Distribution of Holy Communion, Built of Living Stones, BCL Liturgical Calendar, and BCL Study Guides. We, as a body, urge the BCL in its publications, and publishers of pastoral liturgical resources to concurrently provide translations in Spanish.
Statement of Body Gathered 2: It is an urgent concern of the body assembled at the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that the upcoming consultative review of the English language translation of the Second Typical Edition of the Lectionary for Mass be conducted in a timely, expeditious and collaborative manner, so that errors and inadequacies in translation, grammar and intelligibility may be corrected as soon as possible.
Statement of Body Gathered 3: It is the position of the delegates to the 2002 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions that we regret the pain felt in our Church over the issue of sexual abuse by Church leaders. We offer our prayerful support for healing and reconciliation in our local churches.
Message of Pope John Paul II To The Italian National Liturgical Week
On August 26, 2002, Pope John Paul II instructed the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to send a letter to the Italian National Liturgical Week gathering in Assisi. The following excerpts are provided for the information of our readers:
But what style should we impress on the liturgy in order to communicate the Gospel in a changing world? In the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte the Supreme Pontiff writes: "Our principal attention must be given to the liturgy, the summit towards which the Church's action tends and at the same time the source from which comes all her strength'. In the 20th century, especially since the Council, there has been a great development in the way the Christian community celebrates the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. It is necessary to continue in this direction, and to stress particularly the Sunday Eucharist and Sunday itself experienced as a special day of faith, the day of the Risen Lord and of the gift of the Spirit, the true weekly Easter" (n. 35).
So there is a great need for listening and comparison; for theological foundations on which they can anchor the choices of pastoral liturgy; for priests - witnesses of the mystery - who allow themselves to be guided by the Spirit and are professional enough to follow the liturgical norms and apply them in the concrete pastoral situations; for Christian congregations who live the sense of participation, who are attentive to direction and ready to exercise a more adequate and informed liturgical service; for celebrations that can overcome the obstacles of dispersion, fragmentation of the community, passivity and indifference.
In this perspective, His Holiness encourages you and all who take part in the convention to consider how to make the Sunday Eucharist more living and better participated in. In this regard, His Holiness urges you: "Sharing in the Eucharist should really be the heart of Sunday for every baptized person. It is a fundamental duty, to be fulfilled not just in order to observe a precept but as something felt as essential to a truly informed and consistent Christian life" (ibid., n. 36).
Draw from the Eucharist the vigor for the renewal of parish life so that all may meet Christ...Indeed, the community that has the task of communicating the Gospel grows and matures around the Eucharist on Sunday, the Lord's Day.
Posture for Reception of Holy Communion
Among the adaptations of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmed by the Holy See is the determination that "the norm for the reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing." As reported in the July 2002 edition of the BCL Newsletter, this adaptation also reminds ministers of Holy Communion that "Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with the proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm."
A private reply, dated July 1, 2002 (Prot. n. 1322/02/L) and signed by Cardinal Jorge Medina-Estevez, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, addresses this question and was subsequently published in a recent edition of Notitiae, the journal of the Congregation (see Notitiae: November-December, 2002, volume 38: pages 582-583). Cardinal Medina's letter addresses a case in which a priest has refused Holy Communion to communicants who refuse to stand. In his letter, the Prefect notes that the Congregation has heard of a number of similar complaints in recent months "and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonicis, canon 213). In view of the law that "sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them" (canon 843.1), there should be no refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even when the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Insitutito Generalis Missalis Romani, n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds."
Cardinal Medina concludes his letter by noting that "priests would understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse."
Congregation for the Clergy: New Instruction on the Parish Priest
On August 4, 2002, Pope John Paul II ordered the publication of an Instruction from the Congregation for the Clergy, entitled "The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community." The following brief excerpts are provided for the information of our readers.
13. For the priest, the Eucharist must occupy "the truly central place both in his ministry and in his spiritual life", because all of the Church's spiritual good derives from the Eucharist, which per se is the source and summit of all evangelization. Hence, the importance of proper preparation before offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of its daily celebration, of thanksgiving and of the visit to the Blessed Sacrament during the course of the day.
14. In addition to daily celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the priest prays the Liturgy of the Hours, an obligation he freely undertook sub grave. The priest intensifies his love for the divine Shepherd and makes him present to the faithful from the immolation of Christ on the altar to the celebration of the Divine Office with the entire Church. The priest has received the privilege of "of speaking to God in the name of all", indeed of becoming almost "the mouth of the Church". In the Divine Office he supplies what is lacking in the praise of Christ and, as an accredited ambassador, his intercession for the salvation of the world is numbered among the most effective.
15. Among the various aspects of ecclesiastical discipline, docility to the Church's liturgical laws and dispositions, that is to say, fidelity to the norms which organize divine worship in accordance with the will of the Eternal High Priest and of his Mystical Body, merits special importance. The Sacred Liturgy is an exercise of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, a sacred action par excellence, "the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed...[and] the fount from which all her power flows". In this area, consequently, the priest should be even more aware of being a minister and of his obligations to act in accordance with the commitments he freely and solemnly undertook before God and the Church. "Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See, and, as laws may determine, on the bishop...No other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy of his own accord". Arbitrariness, subjective expressions, improvisations, disobedience in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist patently contradict the essence of the Holy Eucharist, which is the sacrifice of Christ. The same is true of the celebration of the other sacraments, especially of the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance through which those who are penitent and intend to amend their lives have their sins forgiven and are reconciled with the Church
Likewise, priests should be careful to promote an authentic and conscious participation of the laity in the Sacred Liturgy, since the Church promotes such participation. There are functions within the Sacred Liturgy which can be exercised by the faithful who have not received the Sacrament of Orders. Other functions, however, are proper and absolutely exclusive to ordained ministers. Respect for the different states of life, and for their complementary nature in the Church's mission, requires that all confusion in this matter be carefully avoided.
Meeting of the Vox Clara Committee
Earlier this year, Cardinal Jorge Medina-Estevez, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, established the Vox Clara Committee to provide advice to the Congregation on questions surrounding the translation of the Roman editiones typicae in the English language. At the conclusion of a meeting of Vox Clara Committee on November 18-19, 2002, the following press release was issued by the Holy See and is provided for the information of our readers.
The Vox Clara Committee has just completed a two day meeting in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of Bishops from around the English-speaking world was established by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 19, 2001, to advise that Dicastery in its responsibilities related to the translation of liturgical texts in the English language and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops. Its inaugural meeting took place from April 22 to April 24 of this year.
The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by Archbishop George Pell, Sydney (Australia), and includes among its Members Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Agra (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Archbishop Justin Rigali, Saint Louis (USA), who serves as Treasurer; Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia); Bishop Rolando Tirona, O.C.D., Malolos (Philippines); and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland).
In the course of its meetings, the Committee took up the work that had been entrusted to it on April 22, 2002, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The responsibilities include assisting the Congregation in the preparation of a draft ratio translationis (cf. Liturgiam authenticam, n. 9), which would serve as a guide for the preparation of future English language liturgical translations, as well as the review of translations of select portions of the Missale Romanum, intended to serve as exemplars of English language liturgical translations which meet the requirements of the Fifth Instruction (Liturgiam authenticam) for precision and proclaimability.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, who was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in October 2002, addressed the Vox Clara Committee on both days of its work. The Prefect emphasized the importance of an effective application of Liturgiam authenticam to the structures and processes undertaken for the translation of the liturgical books of the Roman Rite and expressed his gratitude for the work of the Vox Clara Committee in assisting the Congregation in its accomplishment of this end.
The members and advisors of the Vox Clara Committee also sent a message of thanks and best wishes to Cardinal Jorge Medina-Estevez, thanking him for his work. The Vox Clara Committee adjourned on Tuesday afternoon and will next meet in Rome in the Spring, 2003.
Task Group on Sunday Celebrations In the Absence of A Priest
The task group on the revision of Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest has met twice in 2002. Under the chairmanship of Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., the group has examined the introduction to Sunday Celebrations In the Absence of a Priest. Taking into consideration recommendations made by various people throughout the United States and Canada, sections of the introduction have been assigned from rewriting. The Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word was reviewed,with changes suggested to indicate even more clearly that this celebration is not that of Mass. Discussion was had about the problems created when this ritual is used throughout the United States. The group also reviewed the difficulty people have with the celebration of Morning or Evening Prayer in combination with the proclamation of all of the Sunday readings. The Task Group hopes to present finished material to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy by November of 2003.