Confirmation of Spanish Language Funeral Rite
On March 9, 1999, Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, received confirmation of the Spanish language edition of the Ordo Exsequiarum from Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The decree which follows confirms the approval of the Ritual de Exequias Cristianas given by the de iure Latin rite members of the NCCB on November 20, 1994. That approval was amended on November 16, 1998 by a change in the translation used for the Scripture readings in this rite and by the addition of a Spanish language edition of the Appendix providing for the presence of the cremated remains of a body at the funeral liturgy. This appendix is a translation of the text originally approved by the NCCB and confirmed by the Congregation for inclusion in the English language Order of Christian Funerals. An unofficial translation of the decree may be found on page two.
|CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO
ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM
Instante Excellentissimo Domino Willelmo H. Keeler, Archepiscopo Baltimorensi, Coetus Episcoporum Civitatum Foederatarum Americae Septemtrionalis Praeside, litteris die 6 mensis decembris 1993 datis, vigore facultatum a Summo Pontifice IOANNE PAULO II huic Congregationi tributarum, interpretationem hispanicam Ordinis Exsequiarum, prout in adnexo exstat exemplari, libenter confirmamus.
In texti imprimendo inseratur ex integro hoc Decretum, quo ab Apostolica Sede petita confirmatio conceditur.
Eiusdem insuper textus impressi duo exemplaria ad hanc Congregationem transmittantur.
Ex aedibus Congregationis de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum, die 9 mensis martii 1999.
|The following is a translation of the decree found on page one:
In response to the request of His Excellency William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, President of the Conference of Bishops of the United States of America, made in a letter dated December 6, 1993, and in virtue of faculties granted to this Congregation by Pope John Paul II, we gladly confirm the Spanish translation of the Ordinis Exsequiarum annexed to this decree. In printed editions of the text there should be inserted in its entirety this Decree by which the Apostolic See accords the requested confirmation. Moreover, two copies of the printed text should be forwarded to this Congregation. From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 9, 1999.
Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez
March Meeting of the Committee on the Liturgy
On March 22, 1999 the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy met at NCCB headquarters in Washington D.C. Six major items were considered by the Committee:
- De Ordinatione Episcopi, Presbyterorum et Diaconorum: The Committee reviewed recent correspondence with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments concerning ICEL's revision of its translation of De Ordinatione. ICEL has informed the Secretariat that its revision is reaching completion. The Committee discussed ways in which it would assist the Conference President in bringing this revision to a successful completion.
- Plans and Programs: At the March meeting the Committee also discussed, amended and approved the Plans and Programs of the Secretariat for the Liturgy for the year 2000. Each year the Secretariat submits its Plans and Programs to the Committee on the Liturgy for its review and approval. The budget for the coming fiscal year is predicated on the priorities given in the approved Plans and Programs.
- Concelebration Guidelines: At its November 1998 meeting, the Committee first considered a revision of its Guidelines for the Concelebration of the Eucharist. A revised draft of these guidelines was approved by the Committee at its March meeting and will be submitted for the consideration of the NCCB Administrative Committee in September of this year. Once they have been approved by the Administrative Committee, the guidelines will be published as a Committee document.
- Weekday Communion Services: The Committee also discussed several pastoral questions surrounding the growing practice of weekday communion services in the absence of a priest. Specific consideration began with a review of a position statement on the question passed by the October 1998 National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Memphis, Tennessee. After a discussion, the Committee directed the Secretariat to conduct a consultation with diocesan directors and NCCB Secretariats toward the formulation of draft "Guidelines on Weekday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest." In fulfillment of the Committee's action, the Secretariat welcomes extended written reflections by bishops, Directors of Worship and the readership of the BCL Newsletter on this important pastoral question.
- Environment and Art: A revised time line for a new document on environment and art was also discussed. A revised document will be reviewed by the Committee at its June meeting. Should the Committee review this draft favorably, it would be available for general discussion at the November 1999 NCCB meeting and a possible final consideration in June of the year 2000.
- Translation Consultation: Also discussed was a report by the Secretariat for the Liturgy on its consultation on the translation of liturgical texts. A summary of the consultation may be found later in this Newsletter. At its March meeting, the Committee directed the Secretariat to continue the consultation on a continuing informal basis and to share the final report with officials of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Consultation on the Translation of Liturgical Texts
On November 9, 1997, the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy considered the response of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) to the ICEL translation of . In light of its deliberations, the Committee on the Liturgy approved the following motion:
"The Committee on the Liturgy instructs the Secretariat to conduct preliminary consultations with the Holy See, ICEL, scholars, and National Liturgy Secretaries in English speaking countries toward the formulation of a process for the clarification of principles of translation of liturgical texts."The Secretariat developed a series of five questions which would help to reveal the philosophy, practice and principles of translation which could be standardly used in interviews with various parties of the consultation. The questions assist in defining various approaches to the translation of liturgical texts in light of the concerns expressed by the Holy See's critique of the English language translation of De Ordinatione.
The way in which these questions were used in pursuing a consultation with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the International Commission on the Liturgy was described at length in the first report of this consultation, presented to the Committee in June 1998. Final consultations were conducted with officials of the Congregation from March 7-15, 1999. The responses obtained in that consultation were presented to the Committee on the Liturgy at its June, 1998 meeting.
Two additional consultations were carried out in the summer of 1998 with National Liturgy Secretaries of Episcopal Conferences in countries where English is spoken and among a select group of scholars. Consultations were conducted with the Congregation for Divine Worship from February 14 to March 2, 1998 and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy on February 5, April 21 and May 22, 1998. A summary of these consultations was presented to the Committee on the Liturgy at its March 22, 1999 meeting.
The final portion of the Secretariat's report consisted of a series of preliminary conclusions concerning future directions to be taken toward the development of principles of translation. These principles were derived from the consultations described above as well as the Forum on the Principles of Translation.
Father Moroney Named Consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship
On March 10, 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed Reverend James P. Moroney, Executive Director of the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy, as a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for a term of five years. Four American liturgists have served as consultors to the Congregation since its establishment in 1965: Monsignor Frederick McManus, Reverend John Rotelle, OSA and Reverend Thomas Krosnicki, SVD. Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the NCCB, said the appointment is a "wonderful recognition of the skill and wisdom Father Moroney has demonstrated in his service to the Bishops' Conference.
It is likewise an honor for the entire Church in the United States."
New Position of Staff Advisor for the Secretariat for the Liturgy
The United States Catholic Conference is seeking applicants for the position of Staff Advisor with a specialization in multi-cultural liturgy in its Secretariat for the Liturgy. Duties will include assisting the Executive Director in the development of vernacular typical editions of the liturgical books of particular ethnic and cultural groups; assisting with the development of responses to a wide range of liturgical inquiries from bishops, liturgy directors, organizations and others, particularly (though not exclusively) as they deal with his or her particular specialty; serving as Secretariat staff member to one or more of the committees and task groups of the Committee, including making arrangements for meetings, preparing all documentation for meetings, issuing the minutes of meetings, and providing follow-up work to those meetings. Other duties include research and preparation of documentation for meetings of the Liturgy Committee and its various subcommittees and task groups, assistance in the preparation of liturgies for the plenary meetings of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and in the oversight of the publication of liturgical books, development and editing of various publications and assistance in the preparation of the BCL Newsletter.
Qualified candidates must have completed at least the master's level or its equivalent in liturgical studies. In addition, he or she must possess writing and proof-reading skills, while a working knowledge of Latin is desirable. A fluency in Spanish language and a familiarity with Hispanic cultural and liturgical issues are essential. A reading knowledge of some other modern languages, especially Italian or French, is recommended. The candidate must have had experience assisting in the work of a diocesan Office for Worship, a center for liturgical research or similar responsibilities. Clergy/religious require prior approval from their diocesan bishop or religious superior before an application can be considered. Diocesan lay employees also require prior approval from the local bishop. Competitive compensation package including excellent benefits and relocation assistance. Qualified and interested applicants can submit their letters of introduction and résume with appropriate approvals no later than May 1, 1999. Position located at NCCB/USCC offices in northeast Washington D.C. Respond to: Office of Human Resources, United States Catholic Conference - LIT, 3211 Fourth Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20017 (FAX 202-541-3412).
January 1, 2000
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, falls on Saturday, January 1 in the year 2000. In accord with the NCCB decision of November 1991, confirmed by the Apostolic See in July 1992, the precept to attend Mass on this day is abrogated. Since the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated, the funeral Mass may be celebrated on this day (GIRM, no. 336). January 1, however, remains a solemnity and other ritual Masses are forbidden on this day (GIRM, no. 330). Since most marriages in the United States are celebrated on Saturdays, pastors should take care in scheduling weddings on this date. While the ritual Mass is forbidden on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the Mass of the day with the Nuptial Blessing may be celebrated and one of the readings may be taken from the Rite of Marriage. The Rite of Marriage Outside Mass may also be celebrated.
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God begins with Evening Prayer I on Friday, December 31, and concludes with mid-day prayer on Saturday. Evening Prayer I of the Epiphany of the Lord takes precedence (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 61). The Liturgy of the Hours on Sunday, January 2, is that of the Epiphany of the Lord. When Mass is celebrated on the evening of Friday, December 31, the Mass is that of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. If Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening, January 1, the Mass is that of the Epiphany of the Lord.
December 25, 1999
Also in 1999 the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) falls on a Saturday. Christmas retains the precept and should be observed as a Holy Day of Obligation. Christmas is not affected by the NCCB decision referenced above. The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph follows on Sunday, December 26, 1999. Because Christmas is a day of obligation, no ritual Masses, including weddings or funerals, may be celebrated (GIRM, no. 330). Since most marriages in the United States are celebrated on Saturdays, pastors should take care to avoid scheduling weddings on this date.
The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord begins with Evening Prayer I on Friday, December 24, and concludes with the celebration of Evening Prayer II of the Solemnity on December 25. If Mass is celebrated on the evening of Friday, December 24, the Mass is that of the vigil of the Solemnity 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.
December 9, 1999
The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is usually celebrated on December 12. In 1999, the Third Sunday of Advent occurs on December 12. The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar state that "because of its special importance, the Sunday celebration gives way only to solemnities or feasts of the Lord. The Sundays of the seasons of Advent Lent, and Easter, however, take precedence over all solemnities and feasts of the Lord" (GNLYC, no. 5). Accordingly, the Third Sunday of Advent takes precedence over the feast of Our Lady of Gaudalupe. The readings and Mass formulary for that day will be those for the Advent Sunday. Our Lady of Guadalupe may be appropriately honored in one or more of the petitions of the general intercessions, in the homily, and perhaps in one of the hymns during the liturgy. The singing of the Mańanitas early in the morning and the traditional Guadalupe procession later in the day should not detract from the character of the Advent Sunday.
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 which states that "in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission, an appropriate Mass may be celebrated on any day except solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season, days within the octave of Easter, on All Souls, Ash Wednesday, and during Holy Week" (GIRM, no. 332).
Bi-Lingual Edition of Administration of Communion of the Sick
USCC Publications has recently published its popular ritual edition of Administration of Communion of the Sick. Designed for use by all who bring Communion to the sick, this new edition is excerpted from chapter three of the ritual book Pastoral Care of the Sick. A unique feature of this new edition is the inclusion of the Spanish translation of the rite as found in Cuidado Pastoral de los Enfermos as approved by the Mexican Conference of Catholic Bishops. This new publication is available from USCC Publications by calling 1-800-235-8722 (ISBN 1-57455039308, $3.95).