Thoughts on SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS?

Link:

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html

I havn’t read the entire thing yet, but a few points stuck out. Think these are Benedict moving back to tradition? Looks like he is at least trying, though I had hoped he would be more forceful in delivering this message.

I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed (130) as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy (131).

He says this, but just prior he says that other traditions are praiseworthy. While this may be so, I think this statement will do little to stop a liberal liturgy. But, it may help those traditional priests who are being blocked by their Bishop.

Furthermore, I had hoped he would call for ad orientem, which I did not see.

Homily:

Given the importance of the word of God, the quality of homilies needs to be improved.

Made me laugh.

Even so, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion. It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one’s immediate neighbours (150).

Yay! I hope they listen! :smiley:

He had an entire section on Actuosa participatio which is a good read. A small quote:

Yet we must not overlook the fact that some misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning of this participation. It should be made clear that the word “participation” does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration.

Sounds good.

The location of the tabernacle:

in churches which do not have a Blessed Sacrament chapel, and where the high altar with its tabernacle is still in place, it is appropriate to continue to use this structure for the reservation and adoration of the Eucharist, taking care not to place the celebrant’s chair in front of it. In new churches, it is good to position the Blessed Sacrament chapel close to the sanctuary; where this is not possible, it is preferable to locate the tabernacle in the sanctuary, in a sufficiently elevated place, at the centre of the apse area, or in another place where it will be equally conspicuous.

I was torn. A step in the right direction, but then he follows with:

In any event, final judgment on these matters belongs to the Diocesan Bishop.

Basicly, he gave them permission to blow him off on this one.

I dunno guys. Exciting, but not nearly as exciting as I had hoped. It is a move in the direction of tradition for sure, and I hope it just sets up this mystical motu proprio.

I read it quick, did I miss some good, traditional news in it?

Found more good news!

In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church’s tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

Good stuff. I have never bought that arguement that lay people are too dumb to learn things like the Pater Noster in Latin. Aparently, the Pope doesn’t buy that either.

[LEFT]*** Large-scale concelebrations***[/LEFT]
[LEFT] 61. The Synod considered the quality of participation in the case of large-scale celebrations held on special occasions and involving not only a great number of the lay faithful, but also many concelebrating priests. (181) On the one hand, it is easy to appreciate the importance of these moments, especially when the Bishop himself celebrates, surrounded by his presbyterate and by the deacons. On the other hand, it is not always easy in such cases to give clear expression to the unity of the presbyterate, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer and the distribution of Holy Communion.** Efforts need to be made lest these large-scale concelebrations lose their proper focus**. This can be done by proper coordination and by arranging the place of worship so that priests and lay faithful are truly able to participate fully. It should be kept in mind, however, that here we are speaking of exceptional concelebrations, limited to extraordinary situations.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]*** The Latin language***[/LEFT]
[LEFT] 62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon the importance of such large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions. In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church’s tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

[/LEFT]


[LEFT]

Fantastic!!! Now those bishops who are resisting the resurgence of the Latin language will THEMSELVES have to celebrate the mass in Latin when they are with each other!!!

HAAAA!!!
[/LEFT]

  1. A convincing indication of the effectiveness of eucharistic catechesis is surely an increased sense of the mystery of God present among us. This can be expressed in concrete outward signs of reverence for the Eucharist which the process of mystagogy should inculcate in the faithful. (190) I am thinking in general of the importance of gestures and posture, such as kneeling during the central moments of the Eucharistic Prayer.

Hoorraaayyyy!!! :smiley:

**The Eucharist and Eschatology

**

  • a very profound section. :slight_smile:

Reading it now- looks excellent, but I doubt whether many Bishops in the west will care.

My question is does the call to celebrate the liturgies in Latin (outside of the readings, homily, and prayers of the faithful) apply only to the large-scale liturgies of international gatherings mentioned in the first sentence or does it apply to every liturgy?

It appears so from the context. And I don’t know about the English translation of this document, but the caveat “could” stands out.

Well, context does limit it to international gatherings, but does not limit size.(note he changes viewpoint)

So that could be everything from World Youth Day to parishes with immigrant faithful

There probably is more in undertones, and ANY Roman Liturgy could be said in Latin. This would be nothing new.

The other item of interest to me was in 17 & 18 dealing with the order of the sacraments of initiation. I realize in 18 there is some leeway given as to the ordering and timing of the sacraments, but the last sentence of 17 reads “The Holy Eucharist, then, brings Christian initiation to completion and represents the centre and goal of all sacramental life.” If it brings it to completion, why do we wait to Confirm until later in their life?

Everyone knows I value the vernacular mass, so I’m not dismayed by this, BUT…really, is there anything “new” in this document? When the Holy Father speaks of international gatherings, other than World Youth Day, what is he talking about? Papal masses in Saint Peter’s? Aren’t those already in Latin?

Did anyone read the bit about inculturation? Knowing our clergy and liturgist, I’m fearful of what they’re going to hive off and do with this.

Points worth noting:

11, 14: The Sacrificial nature of the Mass is emphasized.
21: Requests the limitation of the practice of giving general absolutions, promotes indulgences.
23: Empasizes that priests act in the Person of Christ and not themselves, so the Liturgy must not focus on the priest himself.
24: Upholds clerical celibacy.
25: Addresses the shortage of priests.
30-32: Excellent points on the Eucharist and the Last Things. Notes the importance of prayers and Masses for the dead.
35: The Liturgy should reflect outwardly it’s inner beauty.
39: Bishops need to lead by example in the celebration of the Liturgy (pray for the Archdiocese of LA).
40: Empasizes that the Liturgical books are to be followed.
41: The need for sacred art and architecture.
43: The importance of music, notes the importance of Gregorian Chant (His Holiness speaks of other music traditions, but I higly doubt he has Haugen and Haas in mind).
45: The Liturgy of the Word, encourages the practice of *Lectio Divina *.
46: The need for meaningful homilies.
49: The sign of peace should be “marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration” (no more going up and down the aisles anymore I suppose).
50: Makes a referance to lay communion ministers “adequate preparation and in cases of genuine need”, the need for thanksgiving after Communion, speaks of replacing the Mass with a non-Eucharistic Liturgy in cases where the Eucharist would not be given it’s proper place.
51, 55: Refers to “misunderstandings” with Active Participation.
56: Communion cannot be recieved by non-Catholics.
62: The Latin language and Gregorian chant, the faithful should be taught their common prayers in Latin.
66-68: Eucharistic Adoration
69: The location of the Tabernacle should be easily visible in a chapel near the sanctuary, or in the sanctuary itself (in which case it should be given a place of dignity and honor).
75: Eucharistic services in the absence of a priest must only be in a time of genuine need, must not confuse the roles of the priest and laity.
76-83: Some points on the Eucharist in the lives of clergy, religious and laity.
93: Promise of an up-coming compendium on the Eucharist.

Overall, I think that the Holy Father makes excellent and very meaningful points. However, much in regards to the Liturgy is very ambiguous and leaves too much up to the discretion of the local ordinary.

I hate to be gloomy, but this isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference in the West generally, and in the United States especially. I mean, how many different directives were issued by the Vatican which have been blithely ignored by the American hierarchy? Ex corde ecclesiae is the one which springs to my mind, but there have been others.

I really like the document and I think the points are beautifully made. I was at first excited but then I realized what some of you are already saying. His Holiness will likely be ignored. :frowning:

I mean technically speaking Rome has always had the right of these matters and has asked for liturgical loyalty and uniformity and they’ve been ignored in the West.

However, on the upside His Holiness could be simply officially reaffirming that these positions are in fact his own and this could be a “warning shot” across the bow so to speak. I have no doubt that the Pope isn’t done yet.

Now why are they still repalacing the plural with the singular in translation? :wink:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Using Latin at large-scale international gatherings will only serve to put everyone on an equal footing of unintelligibility if the faithful don’t also get Latin at home.

( :twocents: Which is why I am heartened by the latter part of #62,
Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)
Which, admittedly, is nothing new – But maybe by continued repetition it will come to pass. :gopray2: )

tee

I didnt read it all in detail but I was pretty sad and disappointed. It didnt say anything new really, and what it did say didnt carry the force behind it to really make a difference.

They were nothing more than suggestions, not genuine reforms, and we know what that means…they will be ignored. All in all I dont see anything positive on the grand scale from this document…unless this is just the start of more forceful documents to come???..we can hope cant we…:frowning:

Here in California, it might come out like this…


"Hey the Pope says incorporate culture into the Liturgy…

How about a Mariachi Mass! Bring in the tortilla chips, we will just make them out of wheat…"

I better shut up before I give anyone ideas.

The document looks good and well balanced.

God Bless
Scylla

I doubt that this will have much effect here in Los Angeles…

james, a member of that 1%

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