Pope Benedict’s new Apostolic Exhortation based on the work of the Synod on the Eucharist in October 2005 was released by the Vatican this morning under the title “Sacramentum Caritas” (that’s the link to the document in English.)
I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but the theme is a reflection on the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission. It has three parts. The first part is entitled, “The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Believed,” and it covers what the Church believes about the Eucharist in relation to the Trinity, to Jesus as as the sacrificial lamb, to the Holy Spirit, to the Church as her causal principle and basis of ecclesial communion, to all the sacraments, to the last things, and to the Virgin Mary.
Part two is called “The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Celebrated.” This covers the Mass itself, how it is to be celebrated, the role of the celebrant, music, art, adoration, and the “active participation” of the people. I suspect this is the part that most people will jump to first to see if there’s any clues as to a coming reform of the liturgy or of the expected motu proprio concerning the Tridentine Mass.
Part three is titled, “The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Lived,” and is as you might expect, about how the Church as a Eucharistic people bring Christ into the world. Evangelization and proclamation of the Gospel looks like a big part of this section.
I’m going to delve into the document today and see what there is. I suggest you keep an eye on Catholic World News today for a solid examination and analysis of it.
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