New Vatican document on liturgy soon

New Vatican document on liturgy soon

Catholic World News is reporting that the long-awaited new document on the liturgy from the Vatican will be released soon. And—surprise!—all the strongly conservative rules leaked to the press back in September will have been removed.

The document was promised by John Paul II last April when his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia was published. It is supposed to be juridical in nature, laying down rules and regulations for the liturgy, reining in all the innovations and abuses that have multiplied since Vatican II. The Congregation for Divine Worship was under pressure to produce a document that doesn’t cause controversy by taking “extreme” positions,” so it is basically a repetition of previous Vatican statements.

Again, regardless of whether it was a draconian law or easygoing guidelines, the real question is whether it will be enforced. That can only be determined by action from diocesan bishops and the Vatican. We shall see.

  • Pardon my ignorance, I should know this, but I don’t-how is this different than the GIRM?  My cynic self asks Do you think anyone will pay real attention to this because we’ve been debating and implementing the GIRM?

  • Your emphasis on music and homilies as the keys to good liturgy show a lack of understanding of what the Liturgy is and should be. It is not entertainment, a show, or a classroom. It is the worship of God through the sacrifice of the Son, a unified worship with all Catholics throughout the world, in the past, present, and future. It is the extension of the heavenly banquet here on Earth.

    Abuses that you so easily dismiss in favor of good music and snappy homilies are precisely those things that detract from the worship of the Father as decreed by the Son and entrusted to the Apostles. It is up to the successors of the Apostles to determine the correct form of that worship, not freewheeling priests, liturgists, or musicians.

    It is precisely the mindset of the Mass as entertainment that is one of the reasons so many people have walked away from it in in the past 50 years.

  • Ahh, the beauty and curse of living the word “Catholic”.

    Being in parish ministry and striving towards orthodoxy (which, let’s face it means different things to different people) I find that there are others who I don’t agree with but are not outside the boundaries of what we call Catholic.

    While I agree that there are liturgies that are “high” and use Gregorian chant and/or beautiful organ music, and that we can look to them as something wonderful and holy, I think a Mass which keeps, to some degree, the parishoners in mind does a great service.

    PMC, your arguement may be that we need to keep the High Mass as our goal,  however, I would say to you: Where are the youth? Will they engage in something that they don’t relate to?  What would you say to a young person who holds out her hymnal and says “this was written in the 1800’s!”

    We do have a Teen Mass Band, and we do use guitars and drums. Heck, we have clarinets, violins, trumpets, even tubas-and we strive to use our instruments to bring about the worship of God’s people: To engage the youth in a way that they can relate to and find Christ and His Sacrifice as something that is meaningful in their life.

    I would challange any notion that this takes away from the Mass.  My work with the Teens in the band reminds them that when they play they play first to praise God then to bring others into the praise and worship of Him. And the other teens who come respond. And their families respond, and come more often.

    Music, while not essential could assist in making or breaking worship.  The Eucharist, yes, is central.  Absolutely.  But instead of looking to follow a set of rules all the time, why not find a way to bring Christ to the people? And the people to Christ? (Within those bourndaries, of course) There are a lot of things that are not nailed down as law, why? Because we are not all the same and won’t all respond to Christ the same.

    There are certain absolutes, to be sure, and we need to be sure that we are doing them. However, I’m a little sad when is seems good hearted people go looking for absolutes where even the Church has not prescribed them.

    (Dom, I hope I didn’t just give you heart failure.  ) grin

  • There are absolutes and there are things which are preferable. For example, Sacrosanctum Concilium doesn’t say the organ must be used at Mass, but does give it pride of place. The same for Gregorian chant and Latin.

    But on another point: why does it seem that we always (not just the Church, but all of society) think we have to adjust ourselves for young people. We have to be hipper, cooler, trendier. We never say, “Here’s something beyond your experience, older than you are, that is wonderful.” Are we selling young people short by “meeting them where they’re at” rather than calling them on to do more and be more than they already are?

  • I’m with you Dom-My work is mostly with the youth, so that is where I tend to try to bring Christ and his Church together.  Though, I will say the older generation quite enjoys seeing the younger ones there.  But, no. Liturgy is not just for the young people, not at all. It’s for all! (If only we’d all accept it!)

    But, James, while that is absolutely the best, I do not believe that we are “dumbing down” the Mass.  In fact, these same kids wonder why some adults do not honor the Eucharist as much as they think we all need to!  They are the ones who often stand up for the reverance and beauty. 

    I don’t believe in performance, it’s not about performance. It;s about bringing others deeper into worship. When my teens get the nerves about playing in front of their peers I remind them that it’s not about them. They need to do only what God has asked of them, with their talent, and bring others into deeper worship with those gifts.

    And ditto on your last statement. I couldn’t agree more.

  • JenB, I’m with PNC.  I’d love to just do away with the cacophony our “musicians” call music.  It’s just awful and a huge distraction.  It’s about as musical as traffic noise.

    Mass is not about being popular.  It’s not about trying to attract anyone.  It’s not about performing or teaching or being relevant.  It’s about the worship of God, period.

    It’s about time those who like to be constantly entertained shut up for a while and stopped pushing their entertainment mania on the rest of us.  Enough.  We wish you would go watch TV for a while or something.

    Up to this point, we’ve managed, more or less, and we continue to manage around the chaos.  It’s not pleasant.  It’s not prayerful.  It’s not thoughtful of you and your fellow “liturgical entertainment types.”  We don’t hate you or anything.  We’re just tired of listening to you go on and on and on like a spoiled toddler, in spite of the fact that other things are going on which we would rather pay attention to.

    I hope I don’t sound mean, but I also hope I have made myself understood to those who are a little hard to reach, frankly.  Stop talking to yourself and us and listen, just once.

  • PMC and michigancatholic I understand and accept that you have preferences for how you wish to hear music at Liturgy (thank goodness for the varity of Masses to attend) and PMC I absolutely agree with your statement:

    “but one can also make some objective statements about artistic merit.”

    However, while unfortunately being branded a “liturgical entertainment type” I’d like to bring a reminder that there is room for culture and tradtions of peoples as in the following statement from the Vatican II Document on the Liturgy:

    D) Norms for adapting the Liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples

    37. Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Anything in these peoples’ way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy and, if possible, preserves intact. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit.” 
    -Constitution On The Sacred Liturgy

    michigan catholic, it IS about trying to attract.  You are correct in stating that it’s not about performing (which, if you see in my earlier statement, I make sure that the Teens involved in ministry know that it’s not about them, its about serving and not performing) but it IS about teaching, and it IS about being relevant.

    If the Mass is not relevant to our lives, what’s the point?  If we cannot bring the Truth of our faith in a way that others can understand, how will we do it?

    I am not pushing “entertainment mania” on anyone.  If you prefer other music, a different style of prayer, of Mass that is great! That is what is relevant for you and speaks to you.  While not bowing to a relativistic mindset (whatever works for you, do it) because there are absolute norms for Mass, I do think there is room in the Liturgy for absolutes and to “foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples”