Vol. XXI, No.4
Grace, Danger, Challenge: The Constitutions Fifty Years On by Father Douglas Martis — page 4
The Wondrous Design of Your Love: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Matrimony and the Nuptial Blessing by Father Randy Stice — page 6
When the Pope Comes to Town: A follow-up in-
terview on the papal Masses in Philadelphia — page 8
The Holy Door and the Year of Mercy by Monsignor Robert J. Dempsey – page 9
Year of Mercy Hymn Review by Adam Bartlett – page 10
Departments News and Views — page 2 Donors and Memorials— page 11
The Holy Door at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wi., was sealed on November 9. Photo by Sister M. Ancilla Matter, FSGM
The Jubilee’s Holy Door “will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” – Pope Francis
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
NEWS & VIEWS
Liturgical Institute announces ‘Elements of the Mass’ Video Series As part of a new initiative to help the faithful better appreciate the beauty of the Mass, the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ill., has created a new free video series that takes viewers through every detail of the Mass. Titled Elements of the Catholic Mass, the series is a collection of short 2-5 minute videos on different aspects or elements of the Mass. New episodes are uploaded every Sunday morning on YouTube. “We have got to open up the riches of the Catholic Liturgy so that the people can fully benefit from it,” says Father Douglas Martis, in a recently created trailer for the video series. Father Martis is a Liturgical Institute instructor and the video series host. According to Father Martis, a common response to his lectures and presentations on the Mass can be summed up in a few words: “This stuff is so beautiful! Why didn’t anyone tell us before?” The Liturgical Institute’s new assistant communications director and editor of the films, Jesse Weiler, had a very similar reaction. “I find that after filming each episode I have to complain
about not knowing these things before we can even go on to the next one,” he said. Weiler and Father Martis have been a two-man crew filming as early as 6 a.m. in the university library to get there before it opens. They have filmed almost 30 episodes already and hope to complete a full season before Advent 2015. Each episode also comes with a free study guide if the viewer wants to dig
a bit deeper into the material covered in the short video. The first episode was released on Sunday, November 1st. A new episode is released each Sunday, and every episode can be watched on YouTube or Facebook. Those interested can receive episodes by e-mail or view them on the series’ website at www.ElementsOfTheCatholicMass.com. Father Martis is the featured first
speaker in the first season of Elements of the Catholic Mass. He is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., and currently teaches at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake and the Liturgical Institute. He received a doctorate in Sacramental Theology from the Institut Catholique in Paris and a doctorate in the History of Religions and Religious Anthropology from the University of Paris (Sorbonne). He is a popular speaker at parishes and academic events. The Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake promotes the liturgical life of the Church through its academic degree programs, and through publishing, research and special projects. The Institute’s doors open to the wider public several times each year for lectures and conferences. Its innovative and scholarly publishing imprint, Hillenbrand Books, advances the Catholic theological tradition in the areas of liturgy and sacramental theology. For more information about the Liturgical Institute, visit the LI website at www.liturgicalinstitute.org, or call 847-837-4542.
Confirmation of New Missal for Personal Ordinariates The October 2015 Committee on Divine Worship Newsletter relates the Holy See’s confirmation of the new Missal for use by Personal Ordinariates. Pope Benedict’s 2009 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus allowed groups from the Anglican tradition to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church while maintaining elements of their own tradition, including various ritual elements. The groups themselves exist as “Personal Ordinariates,” one in England and Wales under the patronage of “Our Lady of Walsingham,” a second “Our Lady of the Southern Cross” in Australia, and a third ordinariate in the Unit-
ed States and Canada, the “Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Ritual texts of the Ordinariates exist under the name Divine Worship. The first collection, Divine Worship: Occasional Services, appeared in 2014 and contained rites for baptism, weddings, and funerals. The second book, Divine Worship: The Missal was approved by the Holy See in May 2015 and may be used by Ordinariate communities at the beginning of Advent in 2015. The Secretariat on Divine Worship explains the limitations of the text’s use: “Priests who are incardinated in one of the Ordinariates may use Divine Worship in public celebrations – inside
or outside an Ordinariate parish – and in private celebrations. Other priests who are not members of an Ordinariate do not have the right to say Mass with Divine Worship, except when they offer Mass for an Ordinariate community out of pastoral necessity, in the absence of an Ordinariate priest. A priest who is not a member of an Ordinariate may, however, concelebrate a Mass offered using Divine Worship.” Any Catholic, whether a member of an Ordinariate or not, may participate in a liturgy according to the Divine Worship collection of rites. The details of these liturgical books will be the topic of future entries in the Adoremus Bulletin.
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Archbishop Kurtz reflects on Synod on the Family On Oct. 25, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of the Archdiocese of Louisville (Ky.) posted to his archdiocesan blog a reflection on the recently concluded three-week Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome (Oct. 4-25). In his post, “Lessons from the Synod: Mission of Families Flows from the Tenderness of God,” Archbishop Kurtz, who is also president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, addresses three concerns raised at the synod regarding marriage and family life. “First, last evening Pope Francis decided to release the synod text given to him for discernment,” Archbishop Kurtz writes. “He wisely reminded delegates three weeks ago that the synod is not a parliament that issues legislation but an action of communio cum and sub Petro. This is to say that we deliberated prayerfully with Pope Francis, and ultimately he prayerfully received the text – the fruits of this act of communio. In a page 2
sense the synod is an act of a family of Jesus, bound in faith, truth, and love.” The archbishop also speaks in his post about sections of the final synod text which seek a pastoral, that is prudential, response to Our Lord’s teachings through his Church on divorced and remarried persons who, without the benefit of a declaration of annulment, are currently living in an adulterous relationship and therefore cannot receive Holy Communion. “These sections are very important for the pastoral care flowing from this synodal process, but please do not glide over pages of very deliberate discussion and advice on what it means to be rooted in Jesus and the tradition faithfully conveyed over the centuries,” he writes. On his blog, Archbishop Kurtz also addresses how best to serve families in light of Our Lord’s teachings on adultery and the indissolubility of marriage. “Even when there was disagreement about the best pastoral course to take
in serving families who struggle in the short term and long term, there was unanimity that the best course must be rooted in Church teaching and must be carefully discerned,” he says. “Some initial discussions focused on the role of the local and universal Church and the part that episcopal conferences might share. In these debates, the focus was on what pastoral issues are best handled at what levels. We are at the very early stages of these discussions, and we will look to Pope Francis for deeper guidance. However in all of this, the love of Jesus and the love of the family – the desire to do what is truly best in walking with those who struggle – motivated the heart of each of the delegates.” The complete post is available at Archbishop Kurtz’s blog on the Archdiocese of Louisville website: http://www. archlou.org/2015/10/25/lessons-fromthe-synod-mission-of-families-flowsfrom-the-tenderness-of-god/.
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Website: www.adoremus.org Adoremus Executive Committee: The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky ✝ Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ Contents copyright © 2015 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved. Adoremus Bulletin (ISSN 1088-8233) is published six times a year by ADOREMUS—SOCIETY FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE SACRED LITURGY, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. ADOREMUS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation of the State of California. Non-profit periodicals postage paid at various US mailing offices. Change service requested. ADOREMUS—SOCIETY FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE SACRED LITURGY was established in June 1995 to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Adoremus Bulletin is sent on request to members of ADOREMUS. Suggested donation: $40 per year, US; $45 foreign.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
The Joy and Hope of the Liturgy By: Christopher Carstens Editor
ecember 8, 2015, marks 50 years since the close of the Second Vatican Council. The day before the Council’s end in 1965, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Council’s final two (of sixteen) documents, Dignitatis Humanae, on religious freedom, and Gaudium et Spes, meaning “joy and hope,” the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Much as its first document has had longstanding impact, so too has the Council’s last. In what is perhaps the Council’s most memorable line, the Fathers teach in Gaudium et Spes that “only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light…. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and his love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (n.22). In his first Encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, Pope Saint John Paul II called this passage a “stupendous text.” After contributing to the preparation of Gaudium et Spes as an auxiliary bishop of Krakow, much of his papacy would direct our gaze toward the face of Jesus so that we could learn from him not simply who God was, but who we ourselves are called to be now and forever, how to find joy in the present life while hoping for eternal life with God. As the Council explained, and the saintly Pope related, “by his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart.” The God who was man showed the value of the unborn and of the child; the necessity of father and mother and family life; the goodness of labor; the call to serve and teach and pray; the merits of suffering; and the path to eternity for
Photo by Sam Valadi
Christ the Redeemer above Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
which we hope. Our Redeemer’s humanity gives example for our humanity now. And like Christ, our faith and its practice have implications not simply for the world to come but in the world at hand: it is eminently human, giving joy to everyday life. Central to this endeavor both here and hereafter, the Catholic liturgy is a source of joy and hope, for its substance is the God-made-man, Christ who not only reveals God to man but reveals “man to man himself.” Liturgical scholar Louis Bouyer warned of both “Nestorian and Monophysite liturgies.” He meant that the errors that befell our understanding of Christ— emphasizing his humanity to the detriment of his divinity, as the fifth-century bishop Nestorius had done; or elevating Jesus’ divinity to the diminution of his humanity, as Eutyches and the Monophysites had done—are also dangers for liturgical practice and understanding. The liturgy, like the incarnate Christ, does and must use human, natural
things: bread, water, human speech, doors, music, and marriage bonds. But the Church and her liturgy don’t simply keep these elements on their natural plane but elevate them to a supernatural end: man’s bread becomes the panis angelicus; natural washing effects supernatural cleansing; human communication enters a divine dialogue. By using ordinary things in an extraordinary way, Christ the High Priest of the liturgy reveals to us our humanity and our divine calling. The topics treated in the present issue can similarly be seen through the lenses of Christ, human and divine. In preparation for the forthcoming second edition of the Rite of Marriage, Father Randy Stice clarifies some aspects of the Church’s traditional theology of marriage. Still, as sacramental marriage does have a divine dimension, matrimony “has this specific element that distinguishes it from all the other sacraments: it is the sacrament of something that was part of the very economy of creation” (citing St. John Paul II).
In addition to December 8 marking 50 years since the Council’s close— about which the Liturgical Institute’s Father Douglas Martis offers his thoughts in this issue—the day also inaugurates the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy called by Pope Francis. A key element marking its opening, both in Rome and throughout the world, is the opening of a Holy Door. While a door is most obviously a human creation, Monsignor Robert Dempsey explains how the Church sees the Holy Door as equally divine—if for no other reason than Christ calls himself “the door” (John 10:9)—and how natural passage through the Door of Mercy should be a prayer and a revelation of Jesus Christ, who is “the face of the Father’s mercy” (Pope Francis). These liturgical elements, and others, when celebrated and seen correctly, are a source of joy and hope in this modern world, for they are encounters with Christ who “fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (n.22).
Grace, danger, challenge: The Constitutions Fifty Years On By Father Douglas Martis
Introduction When the Second Vatican Council closed its doors on December 8, 1965, it had bequeathed to the Church a textual monument that has been a steady source of teaching, inspiration, and debate. The sixteen documents promulgated by the Fathers of the Council include nine decrees, three declarations and four constitutions. Each category of document carries its own magisterial weight. The most significant are the constitutions on the liturgy, the Church in se, divine revelation, and the Church in relation to the world. Each has had its own significant impact on the postconciliar Church. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the conclusion of the ecumenical council, it is opportune to consider their broad impact, in particular in relation to the Church’s public prayer. The dreamer sees only the good; the cynic revels in highlighting the bad. We will emulate the realist who tries to recognize in this marvelously mixed and often mixed up world different expressions, competing visions, and various values in tension. We will consider each of these conciliar documents from three perspectives: first, noting the grace, i.e., the significant contribution that each has made to
Among those participating in the Second Vatican Council was liturgical scholar Aimé-Georges Martimort, at center.
the renewal of the Church, particularly from the liturgical perspective; second, pointing out the danger that has become salient in the lived experience of the Church since 1965; and finally, offering a particular challenge engendered by each constitution as the Church continues to draw from the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Fifty years is not much time in the history of the Church, and although the great event of the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council can sound like ancient history to Gen X and Millennials (such as those whom I have been teaching and forming at Mundelein Seminary since 2002), half a century is not enough distance to be able to fully and accurately evaluate the Council’s value. We revisit these documents not to ascribe “good” or “bad,” but to consider what we have yet to learn, what insight there is to gain, what inspiration has yet to be derived from the event, the phenomenon and the teaching the Council has offered. Undoubtedly advances in technology, social change, upheaval between nations, setbacks and progress in medicine, and the pace of the modern world have all changed the landscape in which the principal themes of the Continued on Page 4
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Council unfolded. But timeless truths always emerge as perennial remedies for the world’s ills. Let us not miss the opportunity to note that the Church does not treat the documents of the Second Vatican Council as a mere chronicle of a debate to be catalogue and shelved, as the forgotten work of bureaucrats only to be discovered with cries of “Eureka” by nerdy doctoral students in some musty Vatican basement centuries hence. As she had done with other texts of the tradition, the Church has woven the principal themes contained in these four constitutions into her liturgical prayer, in particular the Liturgy of Hours. They continue to instruct and inform both prayer and action in the world. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy The fact that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, was the first document to be produced by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council (December 4, 1963), should not be interpreted to mean merely that the Fathers considered the liturgy to be “most important.” It was also due to the fact that the study group was prepared to produce such a document. The liturgical movement had been underway for nearly two generations; liturgical renewal had been going on for decades. Pope Leo XIII had already called attention to participation in the Mass, referring to it in Mirae caritatis (1902) as the “font and most important gift.” Even the classic liturgical battle cry, “active participation,” had already passed its sixtieth birthday by the time it was redacted into paragraph 14 of the Constitution. Nor must we forget that that term, coined by Pius X to insist on the restoration of Gregorian chant, had been reiterated by Saint Pius’ successors. In Divini Cultus (1928), Pope Pius XI echoes his predecessor’s claim saying …so that the faithful take a more active part in divine worship, let Gregorian chant be restored to popular use in the parts proper to the people. Indeed it is very necessary that the faithful attend the sacred ceremonies not as if they were outsiders or mute onlookers, but let them fully appreciate the beauty of the liturgy and take part in the sacred ceremonies, alternating their voices with the priest and the choir, according to the prescribed norms. (DC 9) Just fifteen years before the opening of the Council, Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei reminds the Church of the im-
The Council Fathers in session.
The opening of the Council’s second session.
portance of the Eucharist in the life of the Faithful. Through this active and individual participation, the members of the Mystical Body not only become daily more like to their divine Head, but the life flowing from the Head is imparted to the members, so that we can each repeat the words of St. Paul, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross: I live, now not I, but Christ live in me.” (MD 78) The call of Sacrosanctum Concilium for a participation that is not only active, but also full and conscious, represents a honing of the Magisterium’s teaching. In this context we can see the overwhelming grace offered by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. It articulates not only a “program” for renewal but also put language to a movement that was well underway. The perception by some that liturgical changes in the years after the Council were drastic and rapid puts us at risk of forgetting the decades-long desire, repeated by every pontiff since 1903, for a more complete engagement of the faithful in the source and summit (fons et culmens) of the Christian life. The noble desire of these liturgical leaders was the opening of the riches of the sacred liturgy so that the people could benefit more fully from the graces to be given. It is a conviction we would do well to retrieve today.
There is still much to be learned from study of the teaching of the Church, the research of scholars, and the efforts of pastors in the years leading up to the Council. Their desire that knowledge of the liturgy should not be the domain of an academic, or even pastoral, elite should motivate us today to facilitate access to the divine mysteries. Despite progress made in liturgical renewal (liturgical reform is a separate question), several dangers exist. The widespread use of the vernacular has no doubt been of tremendous benefit, but where it has led to a contempt for the Latin language, some serious examination of conscience must be done. In the new global dynamic that fosters a growing appreciation of the contributions of different cultures and languages, the liturgical language of the Church must be recognized as an important, even essential, part of our cultural heritage. Vernacular expression can aid liturgical comprehension, but it cannot replace much needed and necessary liturgical catechesis. Continuing liturgical renewal must face the challenge of presenting the fullness of Catholic spirituality, emphasizing the Church’s official public forms of prayer, including the Divine Office, without compromising forms of personal prayer and private devotion. Authentic public prayer is predicated on a life of consistent personal prayer.
Only when this is better understood can the spectrum of prayer be mutually enriching. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Genuine liturgical participation is grounded in the dyad of internal awareness and external expression. In like manner, the Second Vatican Council’s ecclesiological understanding treats the Church in se and ad extra. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (November 21, 1964), represents a sustained reflection on the nature of the Church, as she is in herself. The grace of this text can be described as a growing self-awareness on the part of the faithful that they belong to a dynamic, living, growing organism. Chapter Two of Lumen Gentium is especially important in that it retrieves the notion of “People of God,” called by God into an assembly. This assembly is, in essence, a liturgical assembly: the people are called and united for the purpose of praising of God. This view emphasizes the divine initiative—it is God who calls, God’s voice which transforms individuals into a people. It highlights our connection as the new Israel with Israel of the alliance of old. It
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articulates the role of this People vis-àvis the world, that is, our responsibility to give witness to the mystery of the Gospel. It draws from the fountain of scripture, grounding its teaching fundamentally in the insight of the New Testament, especially I Peter 2:9, “You are a royal priesthood,” echoed constantly in the liturgical texts. The danger with such an emphasis is that—while the Constitution itself does not do this—it can lead to the diminishment of other significant, evocative images of the Church. Lumen Gentium speaks of the Church also as the Body of Christ, as Spouse and Mother, as sheepfold, gateway, as God’s building and as the “Jerusalem which is above.” Coupled with the social upheaval of the 1960s, in some places the notion that the Church is “People of God” resulted in an anticlericalism, a kind of rejection of the Church as institution. One would hear “We are the Church,” that we are a self-determining People. This is religion as revolution, rather than as call to conversion. There can be a temptation to forget Chapter Three of Lumen Gentium which describes the hierarchical nature of the Church with its “variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body” (LG 18). The challenge for us today it to embrace the well-founded image, without turning it into an idol; to reap the good fruit that the image bears without yielding to the temptation to fashion it according to contemporary political agendas. The remedy is given by the Constitution itself: recognize the preeminence of Christ. Christ, the one Mediator, established and continually sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as an entity with visible delineation through which he communicated truth and grace to all. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. For this reason, by no weak analogy, it is compared to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed nature, inseparably united to him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body. (LG 8) Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation The Church expresses unequivocally her appreciation for sacred scripture. The richness of the “fare” is perhaps one of the most salient experiences of the Council’s liturgical reform. The availability of the texts of the Bible in the vernacular is likewise a particular concern of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (November 28, 1965). Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful. That is why the Church from the very beginning accepted as her own that very ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament which is called the septuagint; and she has always given a place of honor to other Eastern translations and Latin ones, espe-
cially the Latin translation known as the vulgate. But since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church by her authority and with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in cooperation with the separated brethren as well, all Christians will be able to use them. (DV 22) In some ways, Sacrosanctum Concilium had already expressed the Church’s commitment to the Word of God: The treasures of the bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word. In this way a more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years. (SC 51) Certainly Catholics are more aware of the biblical basis of the Mass; certainly they benefit today from a wider use of the vernacular. The Church is less susceptible to the anecdotal critique that “Catholics don’t believe in the Bible.” The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body. (Dei Verbum 21) But by a strange and ironic convergence, the Council’s call for better access to scripture in the liturgy coincided with the near-annihilation of the scripturally-based antiphons of the Mass. Musicians and composers seemed to be unaware of the teaching of Musicam Sacram (1967) that called for the singing before anything else of the Order of Mass and promoted the chanting of the Entrance, Offertory and Communion antiphons. Even though this teaching was clearly grounded in Sacrosanctum Concilium and honored Pius X’s insistence that one “sing the Mass,” contemporary music has emphasized hymnody and newly composed songs. Energies were spent on compositions that downplayed the scriptural foundations of the Eucharistic liturgy. Even the early work of groups like the St. Louis Jesuits which made some effort to use scriptural texts in their modern compositions eventually dissembled into the admission of nearly any text intended to express a religious sentiment. The great danger was that for the sake of being relevant, the new composition created more distance between the Mass and the scriptures, and has shifted people’s expectations of the purpose of sacred music. Perhaps the argument can be made that before the liturgical reform more scripture was included in the Mass. The challenge for the future will be to honor the sacred text in the way envisioned by the Church and to see its musical expression not as a quaint addition, but as integral to the liturgical act. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today The fourth constitution promulgated by the Second Vatican Council was in some ways the Council’s final word to the world. The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes (December 7, 1965), reveals in the document’s opening words the stance of the Church toward the world as envisaged by the Fathers of the Council. Clothing its sentiment
As an auxiliary bishop of Karakow, Poland, Karol Wojtyla attended sessions of the Council and was involved in developing the text of Gaudium et Spes. He would say later, “The great intimate knowledge of the genesis of Gaudium et Spes enabled me to appreciate in great depth the prophetic value and to widely undertake the contents in my Magisterium from the first Encyclical, Redemptor hominis.”
in the virtues of hope and joy, it expresses in a positive light the relationship between Church and world. It balances new discoveries of science with the profound, enduring truth of religion. The pioneers of the liturgical movement, too, knew that prayer and action in the world go hand in hand. In Gaudium et spes the Church and the world are not an adversarial relationship in which each is suspicious of the other, but rather the document expresses the clear conviction that the Church has the answer to the difficulties and challenges posed by the world of today. Today, the human race is involved in a new stage of history. Profound and rapid changes are spreading by degrees around the whole world. Triggered by the intelligence and creative energies of man, these changes recoil upon him, upon his decisions and desires, both individual and collective, and upon his manner of thinking and acting with respect to things and to people. Hence we can already speak of a true cultural and social transformation, one which has repercussions on man’s religious life as well. (GS 4) Herein lies the modern dilemma. Since all these things are so, the modern world shows itself at once powerful and weak, capable of the noblest deeds or the foulest; before it lies the path to freedom or to slavery, to progress or retreat, to brotherhood or hatred. Moreover, man is becoming aware that it is his responsibility to guide aright the forces which he has unleashed and which can enslave him or minister to him. That is why he is putting questions to himself. (GS 9) Created by God, destined for eternity, man’s virtue of religion links him in “this earthly exile” with the power of the divine. The Pastoral Constitution suggests that the Church has the answer to the world’s deepest questions. The Church must present Christ to our time if she is to fulfill her mission in the world. The Church thus proposes a kind of accompaniment with the world: to walk along with it and reveal by its witness of evangelization the beauty of the Christian faith. The Church, then, is a
mentor, a companion, a guide through the dangers of this world, always pointing to that New World, prepared by Divine Providence and proclaimed by the gospel of Christ. As the years have gone by, the risks have become evident. Unless they remain grounded in the truth, mentors have the danger of falling into same trap as those they are trying to help. If we neglect in our preaching the constant reminder of the afterlife, if we give the impression that here is all there is, social justice becomes only social work. Disconnected from the larger mystery of salvation, medicine becomes a matter of self-determination rather than a witness to trust in the mercy of God. There is a persistent danger in walking lockstep with the world. That is the temptation to forget that we are destined for another world, to forget that here is not the end. The risk in meeting people “where they are at” is that we can easily forget the call to conversion and instead simply endorse the status quo. If the Church will be faithful to her mission and responsive to the call of the Second Vatican Council, she will both accompany people on their journey and remind them of their heavenly homeland. She will manifest God’s love to the world, but also call it to conversion, preparing it for God’s work of a new heavens and a new earth. Engage The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, in their writings, especially the dogmatic and pastoral constitutions on the nature of the Church and the constitutions on Divine Revelation and Sacred Liturgy, offer a challenge to the world today to be engaged in the Church’s prayer and in her witness and action in the world. As with the legacies of previous councils, the course charted by Vatican II continues to articulate the teaching of the Church and shape the way her faith will be expressed to future generations. Father Douglas Martis is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet-in-Illinois. He holds doctoral degrees in Sacred Theology and History of Religions and Religious Anthropology. He is professor of Sacramental Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake where he also directs the Liturgical Institute.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
The Wondrous Design of Your Love1: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Matrimony and the Nuptial Blessing By Father Randy Stice
he Church defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman by which they establish a partnership for “the whole of life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1601). Christ raised this covenant “to the dignity of a sacrament,” making it an efficacious sign, the sacrament of his covenant with his Bride, the Church (CCC 1601; 1617). The Church expresses the mystery and power of this—and every—sacrament preeminently in the liturgical language of the rite itself according to the ancient principle of lex orandi, lex credendi: “The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays” (CCC 1124). Thus if we want to know what the Church believes about marriage, we need to look at the marriage rite. In this article, after a brief overview of the sacrament of Matrimony, we will explore its meaning and power by looking more closely at the sacramental epiclesis, the nuptial blessing, from the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal. But we begin by listening to our Lord’s teaching on marriage. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about the legality of a man divorcing his wife “for any cause,” he replied, “From the beginning of Creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mk 10:36). It is the teaching of Christ himself that marriage was part of the original design of Creation, specifically in the creation and union of man and woman, a truth reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council: “God himself is the author of marriage” (Gaudium et spes, 48). The fact that Marriage is an inseparable aspect of Creation makes it unique among the sacraments, as St. John Paul II noted in his 1981 apostolic exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (FC): “The sacrament of Matrimony has this specific element that distinguishes it from all the other sacraments: it is the sacrament of something that was part of the very economy of creation; it is the very conjugal covenant instituted by the Creator ‘in the beginning’” (FC 68). This elevation of nature by grace is affirmed in the Ritual Mass for Marriage (RM): “For you willed that the human race, created by the gift of your goodness, should be raised to such high dignity that in the union of husband and wife you might bestow a true image of your love” (Preface C, RM). Since it is part of Creation that God proclaimed “good,” marriage manifests and contributes to this inherent goodness. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” (GS 47.1). The sacrament of Marriage is a covenant “by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life” (CCC 1601). This partnership exists for the good of the spouses and the generation and education of children, what are traditionally known as the “ends” of marriage. It contributes to the good of the spouses by a distinctive sharing in the life of Christ: “The content of participation in Christ’s life is also specific: conjugal love involves a topage 6
God draws Eve from the side of sleeping Adam. The marriage of Adam and Eve symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Bride, the Church. The original image by Michelangelo appears on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
tality, in which all the elements of the person enter—appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will” (FC 13). The generation and education of children is also a participation in the love of the Trinity, for it requires a wholehearted cooperation “with the love of the Creator and Savior” (GS 50 §1; CCC 1652) who enriches the spouses so that “their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice” (CCC 1654). The grace of the sacrament enables the spouses “to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church” (CCC 1661), for “in the wedding covenant you foreshadow the Sacrament of Christ and his Church” (Collect B, RM). This covenantal relationship enables the couple to grow in holiness and so “bear true witness to Christ before all” (Preface A, RM). Christian marriage possesses four goods and requirements: unity, fidelity, indissolubility and openness to fertility (CCC 1643). These four are intrinsically related, for the unity of marriage is “a deeply personal unity, the unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility” (FC 13). They cannot be separated. They mirror in a specific way the mystery of the Trinity, which is an indissoluble unity of Persons whose reciprocal and fruitful love gives rise to the immense richness and beauty of the world. They are also intrinsic aspects of the two ends of marriage, for “the intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them” (GS 48.1). The goods and requirements of marriage, which are “the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love,” receive through the celebration of the sacrament “a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values” (FC 13). As with all sacraments, the sacrament of matrimony “signifies and communicates grace” (CCC 1617), the divine life and power of God. This grace perfects the spouses’ human love,
strengthens their unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (CCC 1662). The sacrament “gives the spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church” (CCC 1661). In addition, through the sacrament God establishes between the spouses an indissoluble bond that “is a reality…and gives rise to covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity” (CCC 1640). “Their belonging to each other is the real representation, by means of the sacramental sign, of the very relationship of Christ with the Church” (FC 13). This communion of man and woman “represents the mystery of Christ’s incarnation and the mystery of his covenant” (FC 13). Like the sacrament of holy orders, the sacrament of marriage “introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children” (CCC 1631). Marriage, a sign of Christ’s selfgiving love for his bride the Church,
is intrinsically related to the Eucharist, and so the sacrament of marriage should normally be celebrated within the Mass. St. Paul affirmed the spousal character of both sacraments: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water and the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27). St. John Paul II elaborated on the relationship between these two sacraments, calling the Eucharist “the very source of Christian marriage,” because it “represents Christ’s covenant of love with the Church, sealed with his blood on the Cross (Jn 19:34)” (FC 57). The Eucharist, the sacrament of charity, is a re-presentation “of Christ’s sacrifice of love for the Church,” his Paschal Mystery, and so becomes for the faithful “a fountain of charity” (FC 57). The spouses “seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but ‘one body’ in Christ” (CCC, 1621). Furthermore, as God blesses the couple with children, the Eucharist becomes for the Christian family “the foundation and soul of its ‘communion’ and its ‘mission’”, becoming one body and so revealing and sharing “in the wider unity of the Church” (FC 57). Christ’s Body given up for us and his Blood shed for us is “a never-ending source of missionary and apostolic dynamism for the Christian family” (FC 57). Nuptial Blessing: The Epiclesis The invocation of the Holy Spirit is one of the central elements of every sacrament. This invocation is called the epiclesis, from the Greek word meaning “to call upon.” Every sacraContinued on Page 7
Jesus and his Spouse: “For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth ‘the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church’” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.5). Fresco by Fra Angelico.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015 ment includes an epiclesis, a “prayer asking for the sanctifying power of God’s Holy Spirit” (CCC glossary). It is accompanied by the biblical gesture of blessing: extending the hands over the persons or things (bread and wine; oil; water) to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. The epiclesis ensures that “there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present” (CCC 1104). The epiclesis of the sacrament of marriage is the Nuptial Blessing, through which “the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of the love of Christ and the Church” (CCC 1624). The Nuptial Blessing, which follows the Lord’s Prayer, begins with the priest’s invitation to the assembly to pray. The invitation summarizes the meaning of the Nuptial Blessing. One form asks the Lord to “mercifully pour out the blessing of his grace and make of one heart in love those he has joined by a holy covenant” (Form A, RM). A second form asks that the spouses “may always be bound together by love for one another” (Form B, RM). A third form asks for God’s blessing, “that in his kindness he may favor with his help those on whom he has bestowed the Sacrament of Matrimony” (Form C, RM). The Holy Spirit is invoked to unite in love those “now married in Christ” (Form A, RM). The Holy Spirit now bestowed will be a constant source of help throughout the couple’s life together. The priest then extends his hands over the bride and bridegroom in the epicletic gesture and proclaims the Nuptial Blessing. The present rite offers three forms of the Nuptial Blessing (referred to here as A, B and C, following the Roman Missal). This blessing consists of several distinct sections, which are summarized below.
Nuptial Blessing Form A Summary of Creation Sign of Covenant of Christ Invocation of Holy Spirit Petitions for each spouse Petitions for couple Petition for final salvation Structure of the Nuptial Blessing All three Nuptial Blessings begin by placing marriage in the plan of Creation. The fullest treatment is found in Form A: “O God, who by your mighty power created all things out of nothing, and, when you had set in place the beginnings of the universe, formed man and woman in your own image, making the woman an inseparable helpmate to the man, that they might no longer be two, but one flesh, and taught that what you were pleased to make one must never be divided.” This opening section teaches God’s creation of the world from nothing, the creation of man and woman in God’s image, and unity and indissolubility of their union. The next section describes Marriage as an image of Christ’s covenant with the Church. “O God, who, to reveal the great design you formed in your love, willed that the love of the spouses for each other should foreshadow the covenant you graciously made with your people, so that, by the fulfillment of the sacramental sign, the mystical marriage of Christ with his Church might become manifest in the union of husband and wife among your faithful” (Form B). This section concisely weaves together several important covenant themes: God’s covenant
Cullen and Theresa Gibbons on their wedding day. “This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.” —Ephesians 5:32
with his people Israel, the covenant of marriage, and Christ’s covenant with his bride, the Church. The covenant of marriage was foreshadowed by God’s covenant with his people, and through the sacramental sign the spouses manifest “the mystical marriage of Christ with his Church.” This is followed by the epiclesis proper—the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the couple. Each Nuptial Blessing reveals a different aspect of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Form A emphasizes the gift of the Spirit as the source of marital fidelity: “Send down upon them the grace of the Holy Spirit and pour your love into their hearts, that they may remain faithful in the Marriage covenant” (RM). Form B refers to the power of the Spirit: “Graciously stretch out your right hand over these your servants (N. and N.), we pray, and pour into their hearts the power of the Holy Spirit” (RM). It also makes explicit reference to the epicletic gesture, asking God to graciously stretch out
Nuptial Blessing Form B Summary of Creation Sign of Christ’s Covenant with Church Invocation of Holy Spirit Petitions for couple Petitions for each spouse Petition for final salvation his right hand over the couple. Form C asks for the gift of divine love: “May the power of your Holy Spirit set their hearts aflame from on high.” Fidelity, power and hearts aflame with the love of the Trinity are specific gifts bestowed on the couple by the Holy Spirit. The next sections of the Nuptial Blessing invoke blessings on each spouse and on them as a couple. These will be discussed below, since they reveal important aspects of the meaning of the sacrament for the whole of the couple’s life together. The Nuptial Blessing concludes with petitions for the final salvation of the couple. Form A asks that “they may come to the life of the blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Form B asks that they “may one day have the joy of taking part in your great banquet in heaven.” The petition in Form C is the simplest: “May they come to the Kingdom of Heaven.” As the above summary makes evident, the nuptial blessing illustrates a fundamental sacramental principle: “The liturgical word and action are inseparable both insofar as they are signs and instruction and insofar as they accomplish what they signify” (CCC 1155). By listening carefully to the words of the nuptial blessing we can learn how, through “the power and
working of the Holy Spirit” (Eucharistic Prayer III), marriage completely permeates the lives of the spouses and brings them into an abiding covenantal relationship with the Blessed Trinity. The nuptial blessings contain petitions for each of the spouses and for the couple together that reveal the meaning of the sacrament of matrimony for the whole of life. The petitions for the bride ask that she “follow the example of those holy women whose praises are sung in the Scriptures” (Form A, RM) and that she would “bring warmth to her home with a love that is pure and adorn it with welcome graciousness” (Form B). The petitions for bridegroom ask that he “may be a worthy, good and faithful husband” and, when appropriate, “a provident father” (Form B). There are also petitions for his relationship with his wife, that he may “entrust his heart to her,” “acknowledge her as his equal and his joint heir to the life of grace,” and cherish and honor her “with the love that Christ has for his Church” (Form A). These prayers look ahead to the home and family that the couple will establish. These individual petitions are enriched with several petitions for the couple. The Spirit is implored to help them persevere in the faith so that they will “hold fast to the faith and keep your commandments” and so “be blameless in all they do” (Form A). The gift and blessing of children is found in all three Nuptial Blessings. Nuptial Blessing A asks that they would “be blessed with children, and prove themselves virtuous parents, who live to see their children’s children” (Form A). Nuptial Blessing B asks the Lord to “sustain…by their deeds, the home they are forming (and prepare their children to become members of your heavenly household by raising them in the way of the Gospel)” (Form B). The
Nuptial Blessing Form C Summary of Creation Petition for each spouse Invocation of Holy Spirit Petitions for couple Petition for final salvation third Nuptial Blessing asks that “living out together the gift of Matrimony, they may (adorn their family with children and) enrich the Church” (Form C). Nuptial Blessing C looks ahead to the blessings and challenges of a long life together, asking that “in happiness may they praise you, O Lord, in sorrow may they seek you out, may they have the joy of your presence to assist them in their toil and know that you are near to comfort them in their need… and after a happy old age, together with the circle of friends that surrounds them, may they come to the Kingdom of Heaven” (Form C). Finally, through all these experiences, may they “share with one another the gifts of your love and, by being for each other a sign of your presence, become one heart and one mind” (Form C). The Nuptial Blessing also illuminates the meaning and power of the marital bond. God himself establishes the marital bond “in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity” (CCC 1640). Rooted in the covenantal love
of God, it is perpetual and exclusive. This means that the marital bond is not some sacred “thing” – rather, it brings the spouses into a new and perpetual relationship with the Blessed Trinity, which springs from Christ’s covenant with his bride, the Church. St. Paul explains the relationship between the married couple on the one hand, and Christ and the Church on the other, in his letter to the Ephesians. After exhorting husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25–30), he writes, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:31– 32). It is of great significance that in this explanation, the mystery of Christ and the Church precedes the mystery of Christian marriage. “What the sacrament adds is…the love of Christ and his Church in which the husband and wife will share. The mystery comes first; it both reveals the divine meaning of the union of the spouses and makes that meaning a reality in them.”2 What takes place through the sacrament is a mysterious identity between sacramental sign and spiritual reality: “In a sacramental marriage there is a personal covenant uniting bridegroom and bride, but ‘bridegroom and bride’ here refer inseparably to Christ and the Church and to this man and this woman.”3 This new, covenantal relationship with the Blessed Trinity is effected by the Holy Spirit, bestowed through the Nuptial Blessing. “The covenant… is the Holy Spirit himself. He is the source of the unity of this undivided love; he is its divine bond, which human sin cannot break.”4 This work of the Holy Spirit is expressed in the Nuptial Blessing. The epiclesis asks the Lord to send down upon the couple “the grace of the Holy Spirit and pour your love into their hearts, that they may remain faithful in the Marriage covenant” (Form A). Another form implores God, “Graciously stretch out your right hand over these your servants (N. and N.), we pray, and pour into their hearts the power of the Holy Spirit” (Form B). The third form asks, “May the power of your Holy Spirit set their hearts aflame from on high” (Form B). In the sacrament of marriage, as in every liturgical celebration, “the Holy Spirit is sent in order to bring us into communion with Christ and so to form his Body. The Holy Spirit is like the sap of the Father’s vine which bears fruit on its branches” (CCC 1108). This new relationship with the Blessed Trinity, guaranteed by God’s own fidelity, endures for the whole of married life. Upon approval of the Rite of Marriage, Second Edition, in English, Father Stice will explain further the various aspects of the Rite and how they express and foster the Church’s belief about this sacrament. Fr. Randy Stice is the Director of the Office of Worship and Liturgy for the Diocese of Knoxville (TN) and the pastor of St. Mary Church in Athens, TN. He holds an STL in Systematic Theology from Mundelein Seminary and an MA in Liturgy from the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary. He is the author of Understanding the Sacraments of Healing: A Rite-based Approach (LTP, 2015). His articles have appeared in The Heythrop Journal and Sacred Architecture. 1 Preface B, “Ritual Mass for the Celebration of Marriage,” Roman Missal. 2 Jean Corbon, The Wellspring of Worship, 2nd ed., trans. by Matthew J. O’Connell (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 173. 3 Corbon, The Wellspring of Worship, 173. 4 Corbon, The Wellspring of Worship, 173
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
“Whether it’s the Holy Father or any priest celebrating, it’s the Mass…” – A follow-up interview on the papal Masses in Philadelphia
By Joseph O’Brien Managing Editor
n the September 2015 Adoremus Bulletin, Father Dennis Gill spoke in an interview about how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was preparing for Pope Francis’s historic Sept. 25-27 visit, especially as it related to the two papal Masses he celebrated in the city. The first of these papal Masses was celebrated on Sept. 26 at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia. Pope Francis celebrated the second Mass on Sept. 27 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as part of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) taking place at that time. This second Mass, by most media accounts, was attended by several hundred thousand faithful. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1983, Father Gill serves as rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, and the Director of the Office for Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Following up on the papal visit, Adoremus once again spoke with Father Gill about what he – and the faithful of Philadelphia and around the country – experienced and learned from Pope Francis’s visit. Adoremus Bulletin: How did the papal visit fail, meet or exceed your expectations in terms of what went on in the papal Masses in Philadelphia? Father Dennis Gill: I would say that overall things went very well. We had worked hard and prepared well for the celebration of the sacred liturgy. Our focus was to celebrate the liturgies during the WMOF and with our Holy Father in the most authentic way possible, being attentive to the Roman Rite and celebrating a stational [i.e. normative] Mass with our Holy Father. I think because we were properly guided by the liturgy itself, it was a wonderful experience for many people. They were able to enter into the mystery of Christ and people found it to be very delightful and pleasing to celebrate Mass here on Saturday in the Cathedral and on Sunday on the Parkway. AB: What did you learn about the role of the liturgy in the Church from the pope’s visit? FG: I would say the most instrumental figure for us here in Philadelphia was Monsignor Guido Marini [Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations]. Prior to the papal Masses, Monsignor Marini had several practices for the liturgies, and the practices were truly spiritual experiences. He was very much concerned that the seminarians who were serving at the Mass approached the liturgy as the mystery of Christ. He wanted those who were priest masters of ceremony at the two Masses to be guided by the same thought as well. Throughout the course of the liturgy, Monsignor Marini allowed nothing to get in the way of that understanding. I found that to be very impressive.
AB: It’s no secret – it was in the national news – that priests and deacons near the sanctuary with the pope were taking pictures during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lack of catechesis is a big part of the problem page 8
here, as you noted, but is there anything concrete that can be done at this point to prevent such mishaps in the future? FG: To be honest, the priests were reminded not to take pictures or otherwise be distracted from the main purpose of the event – the celebration of Mass. I think it says a lot about our understanding of what happens during the liturgy and our role. The priest should see himself as a concelebrant – linked, one, united with the main celebrant. When I’m teaching seminarians and priests about concelebrating, I tell them that they should never take on a posture or vesture or gesture that doesn’t harmonize with the principal celebrant. That same idea would have applied to every other activity as well. All of a sudden each of these priests moves from being a concelebrant to being a spectator, and that’s where the problem was. AB: Were there any quiet or hidden moments you’d like to share – glimpses of things that confirmed for you that people got a sense of what was going on? FG: Personally, the most moving moment was when the Holy Father entered the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul [for the Sept. 26 Mass], and I presented him with the image of Christ crucified, and he venerated the crucified Christ. For me, that focused everything – the liturgy is the death and resurrection of the Lord. We’re to preach Christ crucified – it was the crux for me [no pun intended] of the whole experience of the Holy Father’s visit to Philadelphia. AB: Why was that such a special moment for you personally? FG: I was the one who was presenting Pope Francis with the cross to venerate. When he walked into the Basilica, I welcomed him, and I presented him with the cross. It was very moving. I have a picture of that moment on my desk. AB: What is the liturgical importance of that moment – that welcome at the door with the crucifix? FG: Whenever a bishop visits his cathedral church, he can experience that rite – whereby he kisses the cross and blesses the people. We don’t have that practice in the US except when a bishop is being installed in his diocese, but with the Bishop of Rome – the pope – it becomes his prerogative to do that in every cathedral church that he enters, no matter where it is in the world. As simple as that gesture was, kissing the cross and blessing the people with holy water, it spoke with symbols about the founding works of the Church – that is, to celebrate the mystery of Christ, his saving death and resurrection, as it comes to us through the sacraments. So he’s kissing the cross and blessing us with holy water, reminding us of our baptism, and leading of course to the Holy Eucharist. It was a rich and impressive few moments during his visit to our cathedral church.
AB: What will you be telling future priests and seminarians about the Papal visit? What was the “teaching moment” for the liturgy and the priesthood?
AB/contributed by Mary Cullinan
On Sept. 26 at the start of the first of two papal celebrations of the Mass in Philadelphia during Pope Francis’s visit to the United States (Sept. 25-27), the Holy Father enters the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, and venerates the crucifix being held by Father Dennis Gill, cathedral rector and director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
FG: I would say the most lasting and valuable moment for me was how the liturgy, whether celebrated by the pope or the parish priest, is accessible by everyone. The papal visit reinforced that idea. Some people have this idea that the papal Mass is some type of celebration that is extremely extraordinary
in itself, perhaps in rite or in celebration. But I think what is so remarkable is that whether it’s the Holy Father or any priest celebrating, it’s the Mass. I find it a very comforting and consoling thought – and a rich thought too. There’s an epiphany about the thing – as there should be about every Mass.
In memoriam: James E. Wallin November 22, 1941 - September 26, 2015 Although many Adoremus members have interacted with our staff over the years, very few readers have had occasion to know anything about the man who ensured that the Adoremus Bulletin was printed and delivered to your mailboxes. For as long as I can remember, that man was James Wallin. A print broker based in Brainerd, MN, James was surely better known in that town as its mayor, a role he held for 17 years until his unexpected death in September. It’s impossible to overstate what a good friend Adoremus had in James. He always put in the extra effort to ensure things worked as seamlessly as possible. When postal regulations changed, James would let us know about that, already having devised a new plan for us to continue to print and mail Adoremus affordably. If he foresaw a way to make things run more smoothly, he would let us know that as well. And he was so generous to us. On more than one occasion when times were lean for us, James had the Adoremus printed at cost, making no profit. Once when our budget was too tight to print enough copies of a booklet that we needed, James paid for the extras out of his pocket. If ever there was an error in his favor, he (a Lutheran) would make an extra donation to Adoremus in memory of my mother’s Methodist parents. When James and Minna, his wonderful wife of 49 years, traveled, they sent us each personalized gifts made by crafts-
people they met on their journey. These are just the kindnesses James showed us that I remember off the top of my head. Doubtless all who knew James could rattle off similar lists of their own. Above all, James was our friend. If there was a fun event in Brainerd for which he had to dress in a silly outfit, he made sure to e-mail us photos so we could laugh along with him. He was well known in our office for his cheerful stoicism, no matter how brutal the winter temperatures in Minnesota. We loved getting e-mail and phone calls from him because his upbeat and friendly demeanor would always put smiles on our faces. Some of us were very fortunate to have a visit from James and Minna in St. Louis in 2006. As James put it at the time, it was like visiting with long-lost relatives. They were just as kind and giving in person as we knew them to be through all of our interactions over the years. We were all terribly sorry to learn of his passing. James was dedicated to service and was in the National Guard for 35 years. He was first elected to Brainerd’s city council in 1977, before he was elected mayor in 1998. In addition to Minna, James is survived by his four children, their families, and six of his siblings. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. —Hilary Hitchcock
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
The Holy Door and the Year of Mercy Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Dempsey, M.A., S.T.D. The doorway to life “We are Christians and Catholics not because we worship a key, but because we have passed a door, and felt the wind that is the trumpet of liberty blow over the land of the living.” So remarked G. K. Chesterton in The Everlasting Man, written shortly after his conversion to the Catholic faith. Doors, which serve a practical purpose in any house of worship, have always had deep religious symbolism in the Church. The first of the ancient minor orders was that of the porter, who before his ordination was urged by the bishop to use his words and example as spiritual keys to close the hearts of the faithful to the devil and open them to hearing and fulfilling the word of God (cf. Pontificale Romanum, “De ordinatione ostiariorum”). To this day, the baptism of infants and the rite of acceptance into the catechumenate begin at the church entrance, for all Christians pass through an entranceway, the sacramental portal of baptism, which the Council of Florence (1439) called the “door to the spiritual life” (DS 1314), and which the Code of Canon Law still calls the “door to the sacraments” (can. 849). The door which is baptism, however, derives its force and meaning from the One who said of himself: “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (Jn 10:9). Because of baptism, we are now able to enter through Christ, the Good Shepherd, into the pastures of divine life. In the same passage, though, Jesus also says that “whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (Jn 10:2-3). In this verse he is referring to himself not as the gate but as the One who has passed through a gate and leads us along with him. Here the gate means our access to the eternal dwelling of the Father. Jesus passed through this gate at the moment of his own Passover when he offered himself as the true paschal lamb, as the Letter to the Hebrews says: “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” (Heb 9:11-12). Living the Christian faith, then, is essentially a rite of passage: a passing over from the old life of slavery to sin and death to the new life of divine adoption, through the One who is our gate and shepherd and in whom we can “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy” (Heb 4:16). The moments of that passage are fittingly expressed by the metaphor of a door: as we close the door on one chapter of our life, we open it to a new one. Crossing that kind of threshold, though, also requires the opening of an interior door, the door of our hearts, so that we may welcome the One who “stands at the door and knocks” (cf. Rev 3:20). Through baptism, the “door to the spiritual life,” we open the door of our heart to that Divine Door through whom we make a fresh start and enter the new life of grace and mercy. The final transition will be our passage from this life into the eternal king-
The Holy Door at St. Peter Basilica. Inscribed above the door are two panels marking that last two uses of the Holy Door. The panel on the left reads: “The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II Opened and Closed the Holy Door —which had been Opened and Closed by Pope Paul VI in the Year of the Jubilee 1975— in the Year of the Jubilee of Human Redemption 1983-1984.” The panel on the right: “The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II again Opened and Closed the Holy Door in the year of the Great Jubilee from the Incarnation of the Lord 2000-2001.” Following the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a new panel with similar text will supplant that marking the 1983-1984 Holy Door.
dom. Just as the gates of Paradise were closed to the human race after the sin of our first parents (Gn 3:23-24), it is Christ who “has unlocked the gates of heaven” (Preface IV of the Sundays in Ordinary Time), so that “we, his members, might be confident of following where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before” (Preface I of the Ascension of the Lord). After we have opened the door of our hearts to him who is the Door and by whose grace we have passed through the door of baptism into a new life, we can then follow our Good Shepherd through the final gateway that leads to the verdant pastures of eternal happiness.
Holy Years and Holy Doors As the year 1300 approached, Pope Boniface VIII saw the turn of a new century as the opportunity to make the gifts of grace and mercy more abundantly available to the faithful. What to call this special year of mercy? There was perhaps no better term than “jubilee.” According to the Book of Leviticus, after seven weeks of years (i.e., forty-nine years) the ram’s horn would sound throughout the land, proclaiming a special year when debts would be pardoned, slaves freed, and property returned to its original owners: “You shall treat this fiftieth year as sacred. You shall proclaim liberty in the land for all its inhabitants” (Lv 25:10a). The
whole people were to “feel the wind that is the trumpet of liberty blow over the land of the living,” as Chesterton put it. From the Hebrew word for ram’s horn (yôbēl) comes our English word “jubilee,” and the idea of a universal restoration to the way things should be in God’s sight became the theme of the Christian Jubilee, when the Lord’s mercy would be joyously celebrated through the sacramental grace of Penance, the lifting of censures, the granting of indulgences, and pilgrimages to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul. In Pope Boniface’s original plan, a Jubilee Year was to be celebrated at the turn of each new century. However, it soon became apparent that the ninetynine-year span between Holy Years would exceed most lifetimes and thus many people would be deprived of the Jubilee graces, so Pope Clement VI decreed in 1342 that Jubilees would be celebrated every fifty years, as in Leviticus, starting with the Holy Year of 1350. Pope Paul II would later increase the frequency to every twentyfive years, beginning in 1475. That has remained the pattern down to our time, with some notable additions: the Extraordinary Holy Year of 1933, to celebrate the 1,900th anniversary of human redemption, and the fiftieth anniversary of that Holy Year in 1983. The Holy Year that opens this December 8 is also
an Extraordinary Jubilee. It is not entirely clear when the granting of the Holy Year indulgence first became associated with passing through a designated “holy door,” but it certainly seems to have been established by the middle of the 15th century, about 150 years or so after the first Holy Year of 1300. From what has been said above it is easy to see the rich symbolism of crossing the threshold of a doorway to mark a new life, a fresh start, the transition to a renewed relationship with God. Liturgical celebrations of the Holy Year apply Psalm 117 :19-20 to the opening of the Holy Door: “Open the gates of righteousness; I will enter and thank the Lord. This is the Lord’s own gate, through it the righteous enter.” These verses originally referred to entering the Jerusalem temple, which was permitted only to the righteous Jew, but since Christ in his risen body has become the new temple (Jn 2:19-22), and our destiny is the new and eternal Jerusalem (Rv 21:10-27), the fuller Christian meaning of this text can be seen in all its spiritual and eschatological significance. Pope Francis has invited the entire Church this coming year to celebrate the gift of divine mercy and to make its spiritual fruits even more available to the faithful. An essential ritual element of this celebration will be passing through a Holy Door to symbolize our desire in Christ to leave behind any affection for sin and to open our hearts to his gift of mercy and reconciliation: “On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter Misericordiae vultus, 3). The Holy Father has also stipulated that every cathedral should also have a Holy Door, which is to be opened on December 13, the Third Sunday of Advent, after he has opened the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 8 to inaugurate the Year of Mercy. In this way any member of the faithful can obtain the Jubilee indulgence without having to make a pilgrimage to one of the papal basilicas in Rome. In conclusion, this coming year is an opportunity to reflect on the deep spiritual significance of the Holy Door as a symbol of God’s mercy, taking to heart what St. John Paul II said when he opened the Holy Door for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: “You, O Christ, the Son of the living God, be for us the Door! Be for us the true Door, symbolized by the door which on this Night we have solemnly opened! Be for us the Door which leads us into the mystery of the Father. Grant that no one may remain outside his embrace of mercy and peace!” (Homily, December 24, 1999). Msgr. Robert J. Dempsey, a native Chicagoan, holds an M.A. degree in philosophy from Loyola University (Chicago), an S.T.B. from the Pontifical Gregorian University, an S.T.L. from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, and an S.T.D. from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome). Ordained a priest by Pope John Paul II in 1980, he worked as an associate pastor in three parishes. From 1991 to 2001 he was editor of the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper. He is currently pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Northfield, IL., and serves as a member of the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, the Archdiocesan Bioethics Commission, and as a visiting lecturer at the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
A New Hymn for the Year of Mercy
by Adam Bartlett
n preparation for the forthcoming Year of Mercy, the Pontifical Council for Culture has commissioned and released an official hymn for the Jubilee year entitled Misericordes sicut Pater (Be merciful as your Heavenly Father). The hymn takes its name from the theme of the Year of Mercy itself, and its text was composed by Father Eugenio Costa, S.J., while its musical setting was the work of the English composer Paul Inwood. The text and musical score of the hymn have been posted on the website of the Pontifical Council for Culture in Italian, French and English for free download, in SATB scoring with organ accompaniment, along with an audio recording featuring the Sistine Chapel Choir under the direction of Monsignor Massimo Palombella.1 When compared to previous hymns that have been composed for festive Church years—such as the hymn for the Year of Faith only two years ago2—the hymn for the Year of Mercy is strikingly liturgical in its form. The Year of Faith hymn was characterized by pop-inspired, syncopated, driving rhythms and irregular verses followed by short, broad, quasianthemic refrains. In contrast, the hymn for the Year of Mercy—as can be heard in the stunning recording of the hymn by the pontifical choir—is truly sacred in character and is in clear continuity with the Church’s sacred music tradition. Although it is not, strictly speaking, a liturgical piece (i.e., it does not set an appointed liturgical text), it could be sung by parish choirs with great success as a prelude, perhaps as an Offertory, or also very fittingly as a hymn of praise following Communion. It could also be sung in devotional and catechetical contexts such as at parish missions, youth group meetings, during Eucharistic adoration, and even by families in the home. The hymn is in a minor mode and its form is simple and clear, with a highly repetitive refrain that is described by the composer as being “in the style of Taizé.”3 The refrain repeats the Latin phrase “misericordes sicut Pater” a full four times over two melodic repetitions in a strong and clear 4/4 meter. The verses that follow are strikingly falsobordone in character— a 15th to 16th century style of choral singing—with each beginning with a choral recitation of the verse text on a reciting tone in four part harmony, followed by a change of chord on the penultimate accent of the phrase before suddenly returning to duple meter for the concluding phrase. The verses are composed in the litanic form of Psalm 136 (135), with every line beginning with an invocation of praise in English (or in French or Italian as the case may require) followed by the familiar response “in aeternum misericordia eius” (his mercy endures forever) sung in Latin. While the strophes of the verses are not quoted verbatim from the Psalms, the text quotes or references the Gospels six times, in addition to references to 1 Corinthians and the book of Revelation. After four verses, there is an optional “polyphonic coda” at the end of the hymn which is full of extended harmonies and sonorities that contrast somewhat with the rest of the hymn. This ending would certainly require a well prepared and able choir in order to render it well. The contrast between the simple and straightforward refrain and the litanic falsobordone verses conveys a very clear liturgical sensibility—one that is rather distinct from many of the hymns that are heard in our parishes today—and the sound of the Palombella recording is unmistakably sacred in character. In fact, this musical setting for the Year of Mercy might even serve as a kind inspiration for a new liturgical composition in our day. This hymn presents a simple and singable refrain taken from the scriptures (which within the liturgy we might call an “antiphon”), followed by verses that are not essentially metric in nature and that are chanted in the rhythm of speech (as is done with the Psalms). Although the verses in the score suggest that they should be sung by the assembly, clearly the repeated refrain would be more easily sung by all present. In addition, the verses would be fittingly sung with a lively chant rhythm by a well prepared choir or schola, with the people replying with the simple antiphon refrain. This form of alternation between the choir or cantor and the people is the form of singing that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) prefers for the manner singing at the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion processions.4 Therefore the musical theme for the Year of Mercy might be better page 10
The Sistine Chapel’s recording of the Hymn of the Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordes sicut pater, as well as the hymn’s score, is available on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion to the New Evangelization: http://www.im.va/content/gdm/en/giubileo/inno.html
Hymn of the Jubilee of Mercy Misericordes sicut Pater! Misericordes sicut Pater! [cf. Lk 6,36] [motto of the Jubilee] 1. Give thanks to the Father, for He is good in aeternum misericordia eius [cf. Ps 135/6] He created the world with wisdom in aeternum misericordia eius He leads His people throughout history in aeternum misericordia eius He pardons and welcomes His children [cf. Lk 15] in aeternum misericordia eius 2. Give thanks to the Son, Light of the Nations in aeternum misericordia eius He loved us with a heart of flesh [cf. Jn 15,12] in aeternum misericordia eius As we receive from Him, let us also give to Him in aeternum misericordia eius Hearts open to those who hunger and thirst [cf. Mt 25,31 ff.] in aeternum misericordia eius Misericordes sicut Pater! Misericordes sicut Pater! 3. Let us ask the Spirit for the seven holy gifts in aeternum misericordia eius Fount of all goodness and the sweetest relief in aeternum misericordia eius Comforted by Him, let us offer comfort [cf. Jn 15,26-27] in aeternum misericordia eius Love hopes and bears all things [cf. 1Cor 13,7] in aeternum misericordia eius 4. Let us ask for peace from the God of all peace in aeternum misericordia eius The earth waits for the Good News of the Kingdom [cf. Mt 24,14] in aeternum misericordia eius Joy and pardon in the hearts of the little ones in aeternum misericordia eius The heavens and the earth will be renewed [cf. Ap 21,1] in aeternum misericordia eius Misericordes sicut Pater! Misericordes sicut Pater! called a “liturgical chant” (to use the term given in the GIRM) than it would be called a “hymn.” To sing it in our parishes during the Year of Mercy would do much to draw our people more deeply toward the musical forms that belong to the liturgy itself. Thanks are due to Paul Inwood for providing the Church with a chant for the Year of Mercy that both draws from the wells of tradition and that gives fresh expression to the sacred music tradition today. This dynamic interchange between past forms and present situations, between the culture of the Church and contemporary culture, has always been present throughout the history of the Church. As Pope Emeritus Benedict has noted, the true success of an artist’s creativity is measured by his ability to hold these aspects in tension, and to create an expression that connects in the present time with “the many.”5 It seems that the hymn for the Year of Mercy in a certain way has accomplished this, and parishes who take it up will have the opportunity to give thanks to God for his mercy in song in a way that is both connected to our tradition and that is very much alive today. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus, quoniam in aeternum misericordia eius! 6
Adam Bartlett is an internationally recognized composer, editor, conductor and teacher of Catholic sacred music. He serves as assistant director and faculty member of the Liturgical Institute, lecturer
in Liturgical Chant at Mundelein Seminary, and editor of Illuminare Publications. Active as a teacher, workshop leader and speaker, Bartlett has travelled around the country offering catechetical and training workshops on topics of Catholic sacred music and liturgical chant. He has served as a parish music director for over ten years, most recently as Director of Sacred Music at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ. He has contributed articles to Adoremus Bulletin, the journal Sacred Music, and has written for the Chant Cafe blog and for the New Liturgical Movement. He resides in Mundelein, with his wife and two daughters. http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/ gdm/it/giubileo/inno.html 2 http://www.annusfidei.va/content/dam/novaevangelizatio/documenti/inno/CREDO_DOMINE_ EN.pdf 1
h ttp://www.praytellblog.com/index. php/2015/08/06/official-hymn-for-year-of-mercyselected-its-by-paul-inwood/ 4 See GIRM 48, 74 and 87 5 See Ratzinger, A New Song for the Lord, p. 132-137. The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996. 6 (Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever). Cf. Psalm 136 (135): 1. 3
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
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Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 4 — November 2015
1. Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. The Father, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person1 reveals the mercy of God. 2. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness. 3. At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective. The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the page 12
throes of evil. And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope. On the following Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome – that is, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – will be opened. In the following weeks, the Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened. On the same Sunday, I will announce that in every local church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year. At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion. 4. I have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. With the Council, the Church entered a new phase of her history. The Council Fathers strongly perceived, as
a true breath of the Holy Spirit, a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The walls which for too long had made the Church a kind of fortress were torn down and the time had come to proclaim the Gospel in a new way. It was a new phase of the same evangelization that had existed from the beginning. It was a fresh undertaking for all Christians to bear witness to their faith with greater enthusiasm and conviction. The Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world. We recall the poignant words of Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity…. The Catholic Church, as she holds high the torch of Catholic truth at this Ecumenical Council, wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness toward her separated children.”2 Blessed Paul VI spoke in a similar vein at the closing of the Council: “We prefer to point out how charity has been the principal religious feature of this Council… the old story of the Good Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the Council… a wave of affection and admiration flowed from the Council over the modern world of humanity. Errors were condemned, indeed, because charity demanded this no less than did truth, but for individuals themselves there was only admonition, respect and love. Instead of depressing diagnoses, encouraging remedies; instead of direful predictions, messages of trust issued from the Council to the present-day world. The modern world’s values were not only respected but honored, its efforts approved, its aspirations purified and blessed…. Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channeled in one direction, the
Excerpts from Misericordia Vultus,
“Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” promulgated in Rome at St. Peter’s on April 11, 2015, the Sunday of Divine Mercy.
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Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
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CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee Year of Mercy
service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need.”3 With these sentiments of gratitude for everything the Church has received, and with a sense of responsibility for the task that lies ahead, we shall cross the threshold of the Holy Door fully confident that the strength of the Risen Lord, who constantly supports us on our pilgrim way, will sustain us. May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of believers in cooperating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy.4 5. The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace. We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future. How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst! 1
Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 4. Opening Address of the Second Vatican Ecumenical
Council, Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, 11 October 1962, 2-3. Speech at the Final Public Session of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 7 December 1965. 4 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic 3
Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 16: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 15.
The November issue of Adoremus Bulletin is available featuring Fr. Douglas Martis, Fr. Randy Styce, Msgr. Robert J. Dempsey, and Adam Bartle...
Published on Nov 15, 2015
The November issue of Adoremus Bulletin is available featuring Fr. Douglas Martis, Fr. Randy Styce, Msgr. Robert J. Dempsey, and Adam Bartle...