For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
Vol. XXII, No. 3
What’s News Cardinal Sarah Talks Liturgical Silence egaining a sense of silence is a priority, an urgent necessity,” Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation on Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, claimed recently. His new book, The Strength of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, was published in French in October 2016. At the time of its release, the French journal La Nef interviewed Cardinal Sarah, excerpts of which appeared online in English in The Catholic Worship Report (October 3, 2016). Why is silence necessary today? “God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being,” Cardinal Sarah says. “By living with the silent God, and in Him, we ourselves become silent. Nothing will more readily make us discover God than this silence inscribed at the heart of our being. I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence. […] “God is silence, and the devil is noisy. From the beginning, Satan has sought to mask his lies beneath a deceptive, resonant agitation. The Christian owes it to himself not to be of the world. It is up to him to turn away from the noises of the world, from its rumors that run headlong in order to turn better toward what is essential: God. “Our busy, ultra-technological Please see SILENCE on next page
INSIDE A Liturgical Year of Mercy by Joseph O’Brien....................... 1 The Power of the Knee in Catholic Liturgy by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger...... 3 Ever Ancient, Ever New: Implementing Musicam Sacram Today by Adam Bartlett........................ 6 The Ambo: Launch Platform for the Word by Denis R. McNamara............... 8 News & Views.....................2 The Rite Questions...........10 Donors & Memorials.......11
AB/Monks of Norcia
The initial makeshift chapel, the Chapel of St. Bartholomew, served as ground zero for the return of daily life for the Benedictine Monks of Norcia, Italy, following the earthquake of August 24—St. Bartholomew’s Feastday.
A Liturgical Year of Mercy – Three Priests from Around the World Recall Pope Francis’s Extraordinary Jubilee By Joseph O’Brien, Managing Editor _____________________________
s the Extraordinary Jubilee of the Holy Year of Mercy draws to a close, observers of Pope Francis’s pontificate should not be surprised that a pope who seeks to make mercy a hallmark of his pontificate had called for this special year-long celebration of mercy in the first place. Nor should it be a surprise that priests around the world immersed in the sacramental life of the Church are finding in this Holy Year a renewed understanding of mercy within a liturgical context. In the April 11, 2015, bull of indiction announcing the Holy Year, Misericordiae Vultus (“The Face of Mercy”), Pope Francis reminds the faithful that his own pontificate is inspired by the example of Christ’s mercy toward Matthew the Apostle. “Passing by the tax collector’s booth, Jesus looked intently at Matthew,” Pope Francis writes. “It was a look full of mercy that forgave the sins of that man, a sinner and a tax collector, whom Jesus chose—against the hesitation of the disciples—to become one of the Twelve. Saint Bede the Venerable, commenting on this Gospel passage, wrote that Jesus looked upon Matthew with merciful love and chose him: miserando atque eligendo. This expression impressed me so much that I chose it for my episcopal motto.” In a larger context, Pope Francis’s words also indicate the special place that the liturgy has in this Year of Mercy. According to the Vatican, the words evoke not only Christ’s mercy within his pontificate but also the liturgical context in which Pope Francis found this same mercy when he first discerned a vocation to the priesthood more than 60 years ago. “The motto of Pope Francis,” states the Vatican website which explains Pope Francis’s coat of arms, “is taken from a passage from the venerable Bede, Homily 21 (CCL 122, 149151), on the Feast of Matthew, which reads: Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum, et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi, ‘Sequere me’. [Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, ‘follow me’.] “This homily is a tribute to Divine Mercy and is read during the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of St Matthew. This has particular significance in the life and spirituality of the Pope. In fact, on the Feast of St Matthew in 1953, the young Jorge Bergoglio experienced, at the age of 17, in a very special way, the loving presence of God in his life. Following confession, he
“All the liturgy is a place where mercy is encountered and welcomed in order to be given; a place where the great mystery of reconciliation is made present, announced, celebrated, and communicated.” - Pope Francis, August 22, 2016 Message for National Liturgical Week
felt his heart touched and he sensed the descent of the Mercy of God, who with a gaze of tender love, called him to religious life, following the example of St Ignatius of Loyola.” In Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis cites this same passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel to relate the many ways that Christ calls those he desires to serve the Church, including the call to heal the sick and feed the hungry: “Jesus, seeing the crowds of people who followed him,” Pope Francis writes, “realized that they were tired and exhausted, lost and without a guide, and he felt deep compassion for them (cf. Mt 9:36). On the basis of this compassionate love he healed the sick who were presented to him (cf. Mt 14:14), and with just a few loaves of bread and fish he satisfied the enormous crowd (cf. Mt 15:37). What moved Jesus in all of these situations was nothing other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered and responded to their deepest need.” As our Lord had done during his earthly ministry, so Christ continues to provide spiritual food and spiritual medicine— and mercy—to the world through the sacraments and the liturgy safeguarded by his Church. The Eucharist, that is, Christ himself, body and blood, soul and divinity, presents himself as the living food who nourishes the faithful soul while confession (and for venial sins, the Eucharist too) provides the spiritual medicine to heal the soul; both channels provide the grace necessary for those souls seeking eternal union with Christ. Like Pope Francis, priests throughout the world are responding to the call of mercy during this Holy Year. Every Please see LITURGICAL on page 4
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
NEWS & VIEWS
Underscoring the importance of silence in worship, this icon depicts the prophet Elijah, who sought out the Lord in the violent wind, the earthquake, and the fire, but heard him only in “a light silent sound” (1 Kings 19:12).
grace? “St. John Paul II warns us: a human being enters into participation in the divine presence ‘above all by letting himself be educated in an adoring silence, because at the summit of the knowledge and experience of God there is His absolute transcendence.’ “Sacred silence is the good of the faithful, and the clerics must not deprive them of it! “Silence is the cloth from which our liturgies ought to be cut out. Nothing in them should interrupt the silent atmosphere that is their natural climate.” Here again Cardinal Sarah echoes former papal teaching. Pope John Paul II, upon the 40th anniversary of the Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, called for “greater commitment [to] the experience of silence. We need silence ‘if we are to accept in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely to the Word of God and the public voice of the Church’ (Institutio Generalis Liturgiae Horarum 202). In a society that lives at an increasingly frenetic pace, often deafened by noise and confused by the ephemeral, it is vital to rediscover the value of silence. The spread, also outside Christian worship, of practices of meditation that give priority to recollection is not accidental. Why not start with pedagogical daring a specific education in silence within the coordinates of personal Christian experience? Let us keep before our eyes the example of Jesus, who ‘rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed’ (Mk 1:35). The Liturgy, with its different moments and symbols, cannot ignore silence” (Spiritus et Sponsa 13). No date has been set for the publication of the English edition of Cardinal Sarah’s book.
Motu Proprio Harmonizes East and West on Sacraments
Revised Grail Psalter Editor to Serve as OSB Abbot Primate
In a May 31 Apostolic Letter, De Concordia inter Codices, “On the Agreement between the Codes,” Pope Francis harmonizes variations in some sacramental practices between the Western and Eastern Churches. Particularly in our own day, suggests the Holy Father, when there is an ever-greater population of Eastern Catholics in areas of the Latin Church, due both to persecution and the general mobility of populations, it is necessary to bring the two codes into agreement. The changes authorized by the Holy Father were first studied and suggested by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. A first clarification to the Latin Code confirms that, in the case of parents where one is Catholic and the other is non-Catholic Orthodox, the baptized child is ascribed to the Church of the Catholic, whether Latin or Eastern (see revised Canon 111§2). Latin priests may also legitimately baptize children of any non-Catholic Christian (Orthodox or otherwise), as long as one of the parents (or guardian) asks for it and it is impossible for them to ask their own minister (see Canon 868§3). A second area of harmonization focuses on the clergy who receive marital consent. While the Latin Church admits priests and deacons to witness a marriage, the tradition of the Eastern Churches allows only a priest—a deacon who witnessed as minister the vows of an Eastern couple would do so invalidly. Consequently, a new third paragraph to Canon 108 reads: “Only a priest validly assists at marriages between eastern parties or between one Latin party and one Eastern party whether Catholic or non-Catholic.” A third, and related, area of concordance includes the permission of a Latin Priest to witness the marriage of an Eastern Orthodox couple, when other canonical conditions are met (see Canons 1109, 1116). An official English-language translation does not at present exist; the Latin text is available from the Holy See’s website.
On September 10, 2016, the Congress of Abbots of the Order of Saint Benedict elected Abbot Gregory J. Polan, OSB, of Conception Abbey, MO, as the tenth Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, succeeding Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, OSB, who served three terms from 2000 to 2016. As Abbot Primate, Polan will serve as the representative and administrative leader of Benedictines around the world. With his election, he also becomes Abbot of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, where he will now reside. Abbot Primate Polan is a skilled musician, linguist, and a scholar of Sacred Scripture. He has also served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship since 2013 and is the principal editor of the Revised Grail Psalter, confirmed in 2010 as the English liturgical psalter for the dioceses of the United States of America. When the Grail Psalms were first translated in the 1950s and early 1960s, the desire to retain strict rhythmic patterns similar to those found in their original Hebrew setting was a primary principle for the translators. In attempting to adhere to these rhythmic patterns, translators would often abbreviate or paraphrase a text in preference to a more literal translation. By doing so, some instances of the rich biblical imagery of the Psalter were lost. Furthermore, in later decades, significant progress was made in the understanding of Hebrew rhetoric and how to incorporate the Hebraic style in English translation. Finally, there also arose a desire to return to a more elevated sacred language, in contrast to the informal and colloquial approach of the 1950s and 1960s. Printed copies of The Revised Grail Psalms can be purchased from The Printery House of Conception Abbey (printeryhouse.org) or GIA Publications (GIAmusic.com/ RGP). The GIA web site also features an electronic version available for viewing as well as licensing guidelines, and an expanded history of this new Psalter: giamusic.com/ sacred_music/RGP/ psalmDisplay.cfm.
age has made us even sicker. Noise has become like a drug on which our contemporaries are dependent. With its festive appearance, noise is a whirlwind that avoids looking oneself in the face and confronting the interior emptiness. It is a diabolical lie. The awakening can only be brutal.” Pope Benedict XVI, upon his 2011 pastoral visit to the Carthusian Charterhouse of Sarra San Bruno, spoke similarly about the sickness wrought by unending noise. “Technical progress,” he says, “especially in the area of transport and communications, has made human life more comfortable but also more keyed up, at times even frenetic. Cities are almost always noisy, silence is rarely to be found in them because there is always background noise, in some areas even at night. In recent decades, moreover, the development of the media has spread and extended a phenomenon that had already been outlined in the 1960s: virtuality risks predominating over reality. Unbeknownst to them, people are increasingly becoming immersed in a virtual dimension because of the audiovisual messages that accompany their life from morning to night. “The youngest, born into this condition, seem to want to fill every empty moment with music and images, out of fear of feeling this very emptiness. This is a trend that has always existed, especially among the young and in the more developed urban contexts, but today it has reached a level such as to give rise to talk about anthropological mutation. Some people are no longer able to remain for long periods in silence and solitude.” In his October interview, Cardinal Sarah also spoke about silence’s importance for the liturgy. The liturgy is a school—or, as has been said, a womb—of human and Christian formation, and thus a place that teaches silence. “Before God’s majesty, we lose our words,” the Cardinal says. “Who would dare to speak up before the Almighty? St. John Paul II saw in silence the essence of any attitude of prayer, because this silence, laden with the adored presence, manifests ‘the humble acceptance of the creature’s limits vis-à-vis the infinite transcendence of a God who unceasingly reveals Himself as a God of love.’ To refuse this silence filled with confident awe and adoration is to refuse God the freedom to capture us by His love and His presence. Sacred silence is therefore the place where we can encounter God, because we come to Him with the proper attitude of a human being who trembles and stands at a distance while hoping confidently. We priests must relearn the filial fear of God and the sacral character of our relations with Him. We must relearn to tremble with astonishment before the Holiness of God and the unprecedented grace of our priesthood.” Pope Francis echoed these very same sentiments during his October 20 morning homily. “We cannot know the Lord without this habit of worship, to worship in silence, adoration,” he said. “If I am not mistaken, I believe that this prayer of adoration is the least known by us, it’s the one that we do least. Allow me to say this, waste time in front of the Lord, in front of the mystery of Jesus Christ. Worship him. There in silence, the silence of adoration. He is the Savior and I worship Him” (Zenit, October 20, 2016). The Cardinal Prefect went on to declare silence a “cardinal law” of the liturgy. He said: “Silence teaches us a major rule of the spiritual life: familiarity does not foster intimacy; on the contrary, a proper distance is a condition for communion. It is by way of adoration that humanity walks toward love. Sacred silence opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy. Under the yoke of secular reason, we have forgotten that the sacred and worship are the only entrances to the spiritual life. Therefore I do not hesitate to declare that sacred silence is a cardinal law of all liturgical celebration. “Indeed, it allows us to enter into participation in the mystery being celebrated. Vatican Council II stresses that silence is a privileged means of promoting the participation of the people of God in the liturgy. The Council Fathers intended to show what true liturgical participation is: entrance into the divine mystery. Under the pretext of making access to God easy, some wanted everything in the liturgy to be immediately intelligible, rational, horizontal, and human. But in acting that way, we run the risk of reducing the sacred mystery to good feelings. Under the pretext of pedagogy, some priests indulge in endless commentaries that are flat-footed and mundane. Are these pastors afraid that silence in the presence of the Most High might disconcert the faithful? Do they think that the Holy Spirit is incapable of opening hearts to the divine Mysteries by pouring out on them the light of spiritual
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Zenit, September 16, 2016
Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
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) non-profit corporation of the State of California. Nonprofit 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.
From the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship Newsletter, September 2016 and January 2011
Editor - Publisher: Christopher Carstens Managing Editor: Joseph O’Brien Graphic Designer: Danelle Bjornson Office Manager: Elizabeth Gallagher Phone: 608.521.0385 Website: www.adoremus.org Membership Requests & Change Of Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the Editor Executive committee P.O. Box 385 The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky ✝ La Crosse, WI 54602-0385 Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ email@example.com Contents copyright © 2016 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
Stand—Sit—Kneel: Colin Kaepernick and Liturgical Posture By Christopher Carstens, Editor __________________________
recent drive to work one morning found me listening to sports radio. The topic was San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand during the National Anthem. At the start of the NFL preseason, Kaepernick sat during the Anthem, saying he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” At the 49ers’ regular-season opener, Kaepernick knelt on one knee, which he has continued to do before each game until this time. Following his example, other teams and players, from the professional ranks to high school levels, have seen similar postures and protests, and these stories are now commonplace in the news. Even some who sing the National Anthem prior to NBA games have knelt while singing. On this recent sports talk show I was listening to during my morning commute, the host raised a particular question about Kaepernick’s change of posture: from at one time standing, and then to sitting, and currently to kneeling. Standing during the National Anthem signifies, among other things, respect, attention, and—as Kaepernick himself said—pride. On the contrary, sitting during this moment rejects the aforementioned sentiments—and wins for the quarterback a multitude of detractors. Would kneeling, instead of sitting, be somehow more acceptable to those angered by the sitting dissent, while still signifying his dissatisfaction with current cultural conditions? For a Catholic, especially a liturgicallyminded one, debates about posture are not new. When should we stand at the Orate, fratres (“Pray, brethren”)? Can one stand or kneel at the reception of communion? Should Father tell his congregation to sit during the lengthy reading of the Good Friday Passion narrative? Catholics—be they ordained or lay—may disagree about the answers to such ques-
As these players kneeling in prayer prior to a baseball game demonstrate, even on the human level posture is important. The liturgy’s various postures are first of all human postures which become signs and causes of grace in the supernatural life.
tions. They may also be unsure why or how such-and-such a posture accompanies a given action. But one thing that Catholics can agree upon is that postures are important. Standing, sitting, and kneeling are bearers of meaning, bodily expressions of internal sentiments. What I find noteworthy in the Kaepernick controversy—in addition to the current cultural questions it raises—is how these postures are used and understood by a secular world. Colin Kaepernick, sports radio host Dan Patrick, football analyst Tony Dungy, and the many others who find significance in the various postures possible during the Anthem are not, presumably, liturgical theologians. But one doesn’t need to be Catholic to understand the centrality of such things. “In human life,” the Catechism reminds us, “signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols. As a social being, man needs
signs and symbols to communicate with others, through language, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God” (1146). What Catholics have reinforced “in their bones” from the liturgy are first present by virtue of their humanity. Standing may mean readiness and respect on the human plane. Sitting can signify passivity and recollection on the natural level. Kneeling conveys humility and pleading in the cultural lexicon. The liturgy presumes the human condition and then heals, elevates, and perfects it. The roots, then, of liturgical posture are, in part, found in our own humanity. And to stand, sit, or kneel at given times is to do not simply something supernatural, but also to do that which is entirely human. (The same may be said of liturgical direction: as the men and women in the stadium together face the flag, or the protesters in the demonstration march together to the same destination, the participants of the liturgy may orient themselves as a unified body.)
But the Christian liturgy is not simply human: it is also entirely divine. To these natural, human postures are added other revealed meanings. Here, standing doesn’t simply mean readiness, but imitates the victorious and resurrected Christ, who St. Stephen sees “standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Sitting is not just relaxation, but at the service of hearing the Word of God and taking it to heart. Kneeling, too, receives a great deal of meaning from both Old and New Testaments: a sign of the Fall, of humility, of worship, of supplication, of adoration. The liturgy rightly understood and celebrated is a true school not only of Christian formation but of human formation. Jesus came not just to reveal God to man, but man to himself (Gaudium et Spes 22). And since Jesus is abundantly present to us in the liturgical celebration, we can be formed by him, becoming proud citizens not only of the earthly city, but more especially of the heavenly one to come.
The Power of the Knee in Catholic Liturgy By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ________________________
he spiritual and bodily meanings of proskynein [i.e., adoration on one’s knees] are really inseparable. The bodily gesture itself is the bearer of the spiritual meaning, which is precisely that of worship. Without the worship, the bodily gesture would be meaningless, while the spiritual act must of its very nature, because of the psychosomatic unity of man, express itself in the bodily gesture. The two aspects are united in one word, because in a very profound way they belong together. When kneeling becomes merely external, a merely physical act, it becomes meaningless. On the other hand, when someone tries to take worship back into the purely spiritual realm and refuses to give it embodied form, the act of worship evaporates, for what is purely spiritual is inappropriate to the nature of man. Worship is one of those fundamental acts that affect the whole man. That is why bending the knee before the presence of the living God is something we cannot abandon. In saying this, we come to the typical gesture of kneeling on one or both
knees. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament, the verb barak, “to kneel,” is cognate with the word berek, “knee.” The Hebrews regarded the knees as a symbol of strength; to bend the knee is, therefore, to bend our strength before the living God, an acknowledgment of the fact that all that we are we receive from him. In important passages of the Old Testament, this gesture appears as an expression of worship. At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon kneels “in the presence of all the assembly of Israel” (2 Chron 6:13). After the Exile, in the afflictions of the returned Israel, which is still without a Temple, Ezra repeats this gesture at the time of the evening sacrifice: “I…fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God” (Ezra 9:5). The great psalm of the Passion, Psalm 22 (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”), ends with the promise: “Yes, to him shall all the proud of the earth fall down; before him all who go down to the dust shall throw themselves down” (v.29, RSV adapted). The related passage Isaiah 45:23 we shall have to consider in the context of the New Testament. The Acts of the Apostles tells us how St. Peter (9:40), St. Paul (20:36),
and the whole Christian community (21:5) pray on their knees. Particularly important for our question is the account of the martyrdom of St. Stephen. The first man to witness to Christ with his blood is described in his suffering as a perfect image of Christ, whose Passion is repeated in the martyrdom of the witness, even in small details. One of these is that Stephen, on his knees, takes up the petition of the crucified Christ: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (7:60). We should remember that Luke, unlike Matthew and Mark, speaks of the Lord kneeling in Gethsemane, which shows that Luke wants the kneeling of the first martyr to be seen as his entry into the prayer of Jesus. Kneeling is not only a Christian gesture, but a christological one. For me, the most important passage for the theology of kneeling will always be the great hymn of Christ in Philippians 2:6-11. In this pre-Pauline hymn, we hear and see the prayer of the apostolic Church and can discern within it her confession of faith in Christ. However, we also hear the voice of the Apostle, who enters into this prayer and hands it on to us, and, ultimately, we perceive here both the profound
From The Spirit of the Liturgy
St. Stephen, the first to witness to Christ with his life and give it to him in death, imitates Jesus kneeling in Gethsemene and even echoes his words, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).
inner unity of the Old and New Testaments and the cosmic breadth of Christian faith. The hymn presents Christ as the antitype of the First Adam. While Please see KNEELING on page 8
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
splagchnizomai—because they were like a sheep without a shepherd,’” Monsignor Richter says, quoting from this passage in Matthew. “‘So he turned to them and said, ‘Beg the lord of the harvest to send out laborers to gather in his harvest.’ The Church understands and sees and teaches those very things he continues to do in the liturgy.”
An individual kneels before an Orthodox priest in an area separating police and anti-government protestors near Dynamo Stadium on January 25, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. In Confession, says Pope Francis, “there is fulfilled the encounter with the re-creating mercy of God.”
liturgical year offers mercy to those who seek it in the sacraments and so, arguably, every liturgical year is therefore a “year of mercy.” Yet, this particular liturgical year is conterminous with the Year of Mercy, which began last year in Advent, Dec. 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and ends on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, Nov. 20, Feast of Christ the King. Whether guiding the faithful in parishes, serving the Church through prayer in monasteries, or laboring in the missionary fields to gather souls for salvation, priests are finding a special significance to the liturgy within the context of mercy. Mercenaries for Christ As part of his announcement for the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis handpicked a group of priests whom he referred to in Misericordiae Vultus as Missionaries of Mercy—1,071 of them—to go out into the world to spread mercy’s message. The Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis writes, are to be “a living sign of the Father’s welcome to those in search of forgiveness.” Nominated by their diocesan bishops or religious superiors as exemplars of mercy, these Missionaries of Mercy lead the faithful to mercy through confession, celebration of Mass, preaching during Mass and parish missions, and in personal encounters with souls. The “mercenaries” of this thousandstrong army were commissioned this past Ash Wednesday, February 10 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Of those chosen, 700 were present that day to concelebrate Mass with Pope Francis, including Monsignor Thomas Richter, rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the Diocese of Bismarck, ND. Seeking in his work as Missionary of Mercy to minister to the Upper Midwest during Lent, Monsignor Richter’s travels took him to such places as Fargo, ND, Marshfield, WI, and Rapid City, SD. Ordained in 1996, Monsignor Richter says the experience has helped him focus on the role that mercy plays in the liturgy and especially in the sacrament of confession. “There really was an outpouring of grace and response to Pope Francis’s call to encounter the mercy of Jesus
“One day I sat in the confessional for 8 hours 15 minutes, non-stop.” both in the sacrament of reconciliation and in the prayer and preaching during the liturgy, Monsignor Richter says. “It was the first time it happened to me in my 20 years as a priest,” he says. “One day I sat in the confessional for 8 hours 15 minutes, non-stop except for a few brief breaks. It was a steady stream of penitents; the good people of God kept coming. It was very beautiful.” The power and efficacy of mercy, Monsignor Richter says, can be focused in a single word from scripture: σπλαγχνιζομαι (splagchnizomai). This Greek word, like Christ’s crucifixion, may sound ugly but, also like Christ’s crucifixion, it signifies, Monsignor Richter says, a beautiful expression of love. “The word is used 12 times in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke),” Monsignor Richter says. “Each gospel writer uses the word to communicate what happens when Christ is moved to compassion. Literally, it means ‘his guts were moved with pity.’” The word also shows up, Monsignor Richter notes, in the paramount parable of mercy—the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). “The father, seeing him far off and— splagchnizomai—ran out to meet him,” Monsignor Richter says. “The New American Bible translation of that word is ‘filled with compassion,’ and other translations say the father’s heart was ‘moved to pity.’ But no matter how you translate it, the word points to what Christ does in the liturgy.” The actions Christ performs in the liturgy, Monsignor Richter says, include teaching, feeding, healing, and communicating the importance of the priesthood. “Christ teaches every single day in the Mass, both through scripture and in the homily,” he says. “Christ’s guts are moved with pity and cramped with compassion to teach his truth through his body the Church. That’s the mercy in Jesus demanding the same of his
By feeding the faithful as an act of mercy, Monsignor Richter says, Christ offers himself in the Eucharist as another example of splagchnizomai. “In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Christ’s heart was moved and so he fed them,” Monsignor Richter says. “That’s what the Eucharist is all about. This mercy which is in the historical Jesus has not lessened in the heart of
AB/Monks of Norcia
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Benedictine Mercy While Monsignor Richter found the connection between mercy and liturgy in his roving ministry throughout the Upper Midwest, the Benedictine Monks of Norcia in Nursia, Italy, have found mercy’s same power active within the holy silence of the monastic life. Officially named Maria Sedes Sapientiae (“Mary Seat of Wisdom”), the Norcia monks’ monastery, which brews beer as a main source of income, has a special focus on the liturgy already as its monks celebrate both forms of the Roman Rite (ordinary and extraordinary) after the Vatican entrusted the community a special apostolate to do so in 2009. Founded in Rome in 1998, “the Monks of Norcia,” as they’re known, left the Eternal City in 2001 for a more rural setting, following in the footsteps of their founder St. Benedict who settled in Subiaco, about 45 miles east of Rome to establish monasteries in the late 5th and early 6th century. As St. Benedict’s 21st century spiritual sons, the Monks of Norcia reestablished a monastic presence in the saint’s birthplace, Nursia (the original Latin spelling by which the town is known in English) in central Italy’s mountainous region, a little more than 100 miles due north of Rome. Shattering the contemplative soli-
The monks visit their neighbors, especially those injured by the August 24 earthquake. “The liturgy always presents the saving work of God before our eyes,” says Father Cassian Folsom, reflecting on the days since Norcia’s quake. “It is this fundamental experience of being loved by God that flows over into love of our neighbor. At the same time, the mercy we experience from other people gives us an insight into the love of God for us.”
the risen Christ and in his Mystical Body. That’s why the Catholic Church instructs priests to celebrate Mass every day and feed the people. It is simply the mercy of Christ being lived out and poured out in every day and in every Catholic parish.” The Eucharist also provides a liturgical context for healing and forgiveness, Monsignor Richter says, recalling how splagchnizomai led Christ to heal so many, physically and spiritually, during his earthly ministry. Pointing to the moment Christ promised to send his disciples shepherds (Matthew 9:36), Monsignor also sees the priesthood itself as a gift of mercy to the Church. “‘When he saw the crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them—
tude of these monks, though, on Aug. 24, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck this same region of Italy. Its epicenter was located in neighboring Accumoli, with more than 2,500 aftershocks measured from the time of the initial tumult to Aug. 30. The quake caused 297 deaths and wounded another 395 (the monks survived without injury). While it did not take the full brunt of the quake, the Nursia monastery was not spared its share of damage. Founding prior Father Cassian Folsom, who made his monastic vows in 1980 and was ordained a priest in 1984, offered a reflection on the quake two days after the event. He wrote on the monastery’s website about what the monks experienced. “Wednesday, August 24th was the Continued on next page
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
Pope Francis’s Coat of Arms bears the phrase “by having mercy and by choosing” from Venerable Bede’s homily on the calling of St. Matthew.
with which God clothes us. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are effects or consequences of our experience of God’s mercy in prayer. St. Paul summarizes this nicely when he says: ‘He loved me and gave himself for me’ (Gal 2:20). It is this fundamental experience of being loved by God that flows over into love of our neighbor. At the same time, the mercy we experience from other people gives us an insight into the love of God for us.” The rebuilding process for the monastery and the surrounding community continues apace, and the Monks of Norcia welcome donations through their recently announced $7.5 million capital campaign drive—Deep Roots (en.nursia.org/donations).
“Practicing compassion and mercy is difficult for most without the help of God’s word and the strength of the sacraments.” Mercy for all East across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy, in the ancient Christian land of Jordan, Father Michael Linden works as a Jesuit missionary and serves as Jesuit Superior of Jordan. Entering the order in 1968 and ordained a priest in 1980, Father Michael has helped spread mercy in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Africa before coming to the Middle East. “One could say that my life is that of a contemporary missionary,” he tells Adoremus via email, “working with local churches, adding some of the Jesuit charisms and spirituality, and finding the Gospel as a ‘call to Mission’ which God has established for all who follow his Son Jesus.” The practice of mercy, this many years later, Father Michael says, keeps him focused on the work he fell in love with 36 years ago. “Somehow I feel as fresh today as when my earlier intuitions suggested that I could, might, and then should try to be a priest in the Society of Jesus,” he says. “I hardly ever look back, however—the past has no hold on me or any fascination. I go forward, looking for the areas of my experience where the Gospel seems alive, and I always find others there.” As if Africa and the Caribbean weren’t far enough to find new opportunities to spread mercy in the world,
Father Michael says he took on his work in Jordan as a way of living out the old Jesuit adage that the work of the Society is the work of frontiersmen. “My experience is that for any of us, indeed for any Christian, we will have to be at some frontier where our faith meets the ‘arena,’ where it faces challenge and can be sustained by God,” he says. “If you will, the ‘frontier finds us,’ rather than we find it. With that in mind, I knew with the mind of my superiors that my work in Jordan would be a good opportunity to depend more on God, to seek the life of the Gospel, to serve, and to be personally confronted at some frontier of life and faith.” One of the most difficult frontiers to cross in the region, Father Michael says, is that of Muslim-Christian relations. But even in this case, he adds, mercy is the answer—although never a pat answer. “Mercy is the antidote for hatred,” he says. “If believers undertake the merciful action, within their understanding of God’s mission, God cannot fail. This goes for Christians and Muslims. Hatred is the supposed state of Satan, and he has lots of company here; only a spiritually-sustained effort of mercy can counter the enormous power of evil.” Related to this challenge Father Michael struggled to help those affected by the deportation of Sudanese workers by the Jordanian government on Dec. 18, 2015. “The Year of Mercy began quietly for us, and I was wondering what it might mean,” he says. “Then, in December of 2015, the Jordan Government forcibly deported to original countries hundreds of Sudanese refugees.” Many of the more than 800 deported were students and coworkers in the education and family assistance programs that the Jordan Jesuits had organized, Father Michael says. “The Year of Mercy came alive with the need to protect, assist, and work more urgently for justice for these people and other refugees,” he says. “Our Jesuit community now tithes its salaries and other incomes to assist vulnerable people, and we work closely with Catholic and other resettlement groups to save these people. They were tortured, most of them, in Sudan, and Jordan has proven dangerous also. We miss our friends greatly; many have
ended up drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempted to flee Sudan again.” In his own daily dealings with mercy, Father Michael has found time to reflect on its power in the liturgy and how it has helped shape him as a priest and missionary. “By calling us to compassion and mercy, Pope Francis has defined a year of the mission of God,” he says. “Much of the Gospel speaks to compassion and mercy, especially the Gospel of Luke which we use on many Sundays. The people of God also have to be reconciled to the outcasts, sinners, refugees, undesirables—and this is very difficult for most without the help of God’s word and the strength of the sacraments. “And the actions of compassion and mercy can be fine humanitarian acts, as they are indeed for many, but for the people of God, they are divine acts in fidelity to the very mission of God for his most beloved vulnerable persons; we can announce this in our liturgical actions.” The faithful that Father Michael serve through the liturgy include many international workers, and while there are many languages to contend with, he says, all understand the basic language of the liturgy. “In Jordan, we have the honor of serving a large English-language population,” he says. “Many others are workers from Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, who take humble jobs in Jordan because they need to support their families back home. There are diplomats also, and some management of international companies; there are many NGO workers; there are also ‘internationalized’ Jordanians. These are the people we serve liturgically. “Our task has been to let the word of God and our Catholic worship learn to widen boundaries of love and care—to our own Iraqi Christians who have fled the Islamic State, to our Muslim brothers and sisters who have fled genocide, racism, violence, hatred. Yes, domestic workers and professionals have hard lives, but our sense of God’s mission among us has been widening to include so many others in our midst who are victims of unvarnished hatred. This is not easy, even for very good people—but the tools of the sacraments and the Gospel can both convince and sustain us in God’s work.”
feast of St. Bartholomew,” Father Cassian writes, “which meant that Matins was scheduled to begin at 3:45 a.m. Around 3:30—when all of us were already up, thanks be to God—the earthquake hit. We had experienced tremors before in the 16 years we’ve been living in Norcia, but nothing like this. It’s a very frightening experience to hear the earth growling and to feel the building swaying drunkenly this way and that. We all had the presence of mind to get out immediately and assemble in an open place—the piazza in front of the monastery. There we huddled together in the cold, as successive tremors caused the stone pavement to ripple under our feet. “The monks and townspeople instinctively gathered around the statue of St. Benedict which is located in the center of the piazza. The monks prayed the Rosary together and many of the townspeople joined in. We gave heartfelt thanks to God that our lives were spared.” Then on Oct. 26, another pair of aftershocks—each very much an earthquake in its own right, the first registering 5.5 magnitude and the second 6.1—struck the region again, adding further damage to the monastery, especially the monks’ living quarters, and surrounding towns and villages. Italian officials reported no further loss of life. In an email to friends and supporters around the world, Father Cassian writes that the Oct. 26 disasters had practically finished the destructive work of the initial August quake. “The Basilica fared the worst,” he writes. “Most dramatically, perhaps, the Celtic Cross which adorned the 13th century facade came crashing down.” Finally, on Oct. 30, Mother Nature completed her work of destruction to the basilica as another earthquake, this time registering a 6.6 magnitude—the largest such event in Italy in 36 years— shook the ancient church building to utter ruin. Comparing the devastation to the “bombed-out churches from the Second World War,” Father Cassian reported in another email to supporters and friends on Oct. 31 that, even amid the dust and rubble that litters the landscape of Norcia, faith had cause to wonder at God’s mercy. “The…miracle is that there were no casualties,” he writes. “All the fear and anxiety following the first few earthquakes now seem a providential part of God’s mysterious plan to clear the city of all inhabitants.” Finding time during the busy challenges of rebuilding, Father Cassian told Adoremus via email, the Year of Mercy has, suffice it to say, taken on special significance for the monks. “In the aftermath of the earthquake, we have often been on the receiving end of the corporal works of mercy,” he says. “So many friends have come to our assistance in order to begin the huge project of rebuilding. At the same time, it has been our privilege to give concrete help to needy families. We have also been exercising the spiritual works of mercy, especially ‘to comfort the afflicted,’ since the monastic presence and our interior attitude of faith and trust in God’s providence is a great source of strength for our neighbors here in Norcia.” In the liturgy, too, Father Cassian says, the monks have found mercy abounding and serving as a mainstay of consolation for the monks and their neighbors. “The liturgy always presents the saving work of God before our eyes,” he says. “Justice and mercy are like the warp and woof of a precious fabric
“Our task,” according to Father Michael Linden, Jesuit Superior of Jordan and Iraq, “has been to let the word of God and our Catholic worship learn to widen boundaries of love and care—to our own Iraqi Christians who have fled the Islamic State, to our Muslim brothers and sisters who have fled genocide, racism, violence, hatred.”
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
Ever Ancient—Ever New: Implementing Musicam Sacram Today Part I: Renewal of Sacred Music in Continuity with the Past
AB/Southern Nebraska Register
Sacram today is a critical task in our efforts for a new evangelization.
The Diocese of Lincoln, NE, held its first annual Sacred Music Clinic this past August where over 230 parish liturgical musicians and parishioners from around the diocese were offered formation in the principles enumerated by Musicam Sacram.
By Adam Bartlett ______________
n March 5th, 2017, the universal Church will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Musicam Sacram, the post-conciliar Instruction on Music in the Liturgy issued by the Holy See in the Spring of 1967. As Susan Benofy shows in the September 2016 edition of Adoremus Bulletin,1 the Vatican sacred music instruction largely went unimplemented in the United States following its release, and today it continues to be largely unknown to liturgical musicians and clergy alike. The post-conciliar instruction, however, remains authoritative and has lost nothing of its value. Just as the Church has been undertaking a process of mature reflection upon the fruits of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in recent years at the distance of a half century, it also seems opportune to undertake a re-reading of Musicam Sacram and to implement its timeless principles in our parishes today. The Instruction on Music in the Liturgy has already begun to see something of a resurgence over the past decade. The implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, in addition to the publication of a number of new liturgical and musical resources, have helped parishes of even the most humble means begin singing the Mass in the way that Musicam Sacram describes. Efforts in education and practical training have also been on the rise. Most recently, the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, held its first annual “Sacred Music Clinic” this past August where over 230 parish liturgical musicians from around the diocese were offered formation in the principles enumerated by Musicam Sacram. Though most participants were volunteers with modest abilities and varying levels of experience, everyone participated in both a fully sung Morning Prayer and concluding Mass, and were equipped with knowledge of the Church’s principles on sacred music and the liturgy as well as with the skills and resources to help make it a reality, bit by bit, in their parishes. Having been involved in this conference, along with dozens more like it in parishes and dioceses around the country over the past several years, I am convinced that the Church in America is ready and hungering for a deeper renewal of sacred music, and that a faithful implementation of the principles and directives of Musicam Sacram will be the key to this renewal. Renewal in Continuity with the Past Musicam Sacram was released by the Concilium that was established to implement the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. The Instruction describes itself as a “continuation and complement of the preceding Instruction…for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution” (MS 3) of 1964, Inter Oecumenici.2 Musicam Sacram “expound[s] more fully certain relevant principles of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” (MS 3), particularly those contained in its sixth chapter which is fully dedicated to sacred music. Musicam Sacram, then, not only bears
“Musicam Sacram remains today the Church’s official instruction on sacred music.”
magisterial weight and authority, but also is part of the Church’s formal effort to ensure a right implementation of the Council’s teaching on the sacred liturgy. It remains today the Church’s official instruction on sacred music. The liturgy constitution’s chapter on sacred music is relatively brief, being comprised of only nine articles. In the first article of chapter six, the constitution praises the musical tradition of the Church, calling it a “treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (SC 112). The document places itself within the context of the Church’s living tradition, recalling the recent Roman pontiffs—particularly Pope St. Pius X—who further developed the Church’s understanding of sacred music in the twentieth century. Before proceeding with its decrees on sacred music, the liturgy constitution states that what follows is “keeping to the norms and precepts of ecclesiastical tradition and discipline” (SC 112). It then proceeds to synthesize the Church’s teaching on sacred music as it developed from Pius X up through the Council,3 and enshrines it permanently in a constitution of an ecumenical council. The extent of this continuity is vividly shown in the footnotes included in the working drafts of the document during the Council.4 Similarly, Musicam Sacram states at the outset that it “does not... gather together all the legislation on sacred music” (MS 3). It does not claim to be a “juridical code of sacred music” as Tra le Sollecitudini of Pius X does (TLS par. 3), or to “put together…all the main points on sacred liturgy, sacred music and the pastoral advantages of both” as De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia does (DMSSL 3). It is clear in both the liturgy constitution and Musicam Sacram that this work has already been done, and neither document attempts to replicate or abrogate it. The Instruction on Music in the Liturgy instead only “establishes the principal norms which seem most necessary for our day” (MS 3), in relation to what the Church has already taught and previously expressed. It must be read, then, in light of the Church’s continuous teaching on the subject. The principles elaborated by Musicam Sacram are as relevant to our day as they were in 1967, and they are just as necessary. A full understanding of these principles requires not only that we take into account the Church’s continuous teaching, but also that we understand their role within the context of our contemporary situation. Central to the Second Vatican Council’s teaching is the conviction that the liturgy is the source and summit of the whole of the Church’s life and missionary activity.5 Since sacred music is not merely a decorative or incidental part of the liturgical celebration, but “forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (SC 112), the implementation of Musicam
What is Sacred Music? At the outset, Musicam Sacram states the principal purpose of sacred music, which is “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful” (MS 4). This definition comes from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (See SC 112) which took the definition directly from Pope St. Pius X’s 1903 Motu Proprio, Tra le Sollecitudini.6 The purpose of sacred music, according to Pius X, is the same as the purpose of the liturgy itself. The liturgy gives glory to God because it is Christ’s perfect prayer to the Father, “performed by the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, by the Head and His members…, an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ” (SC 7). When the faithful fully and actively participate in this prayer of Christ that glorifies God, they are in turn sanctified and filled with heavenly grace. Sacred music, according to Musicam Sacram, has no other purpose than to deeply engage the Church in the prayer of Christ that glorifies the Father and that in turn sanctifies the Mystical Body of Christ. Both Musicam Sacram and Sacrosanctum Concilium rely upon the 1903 Motu Proprio in many ways, especially when both documents speak of sacred music’s needed qualities. While the liturgy constitution states that the Church admits “all forms of true art having the needed qualities” (SC 112) into divine worship, it doesn’t in fact list what these qualities are. The reason for this omission is that these qualities have already been defined by Pius X and were well known and understood at the time of the Council. Tra le sollecitudini states: “Sacred music should consequently possess, in the highest degree, the qualities proper to the liturgy, and in particular sanctity and goodness of form, which will spontaneously produce the final quality of universality” (TLS 2). These three qualities proper to sacred music—holiness, goodness of form (i.e., beauty), and universality—are reiterated by Musicam Sacram, which says, “By sacred music is understood that which, being created for the celebration of divine worship, is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form” (MS 4a). The quality of universality is not mentioned explicitly by Musicam Sacram, but this is not necessary since it is already established that universality is spontaneously produced by holiness and sincerity of form. Sacrosanctum Concilium also states positively that the category of holiness requires music not only to be free of profane7 influence in its composition or execution, but that it be intimately connected to the liturgical action,8 echoing once again St. Pius X.9 In summary, sacred music—as expressed by Musicam Sacram in continuity with the Church’s continuous teaching—is: 1. Sacred song united to the words [of the liturgy] that forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy (SC 112). 2. For the purpose of the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful, which is the same purpose as the liturgy itself (See TLS 1, SC 112, MS 4). 3. Endowed with a holiness that excludes the profane and is instead intimately connected with the liturgical action (See TLS 2, SC 112). 4. True art that possesses a goodness or sincerity of form—that is beautiful (See TLS 3, SC 112, MS 4). 5. Universal, meaning that while “the Church approves of all forms of true art having the needed qualities, and admits them into divine worship,” (SC 112; See TLS 2) “still these forms must be subordinated in such a manner to the general characteristics of sacred music that nobody of any nation may receive an impression other than good on hearing them” (TLS 2). The purpose and qualities of sacred music as articulated and upheld within Musicam Sacram can guide our efforts of liturgical and musical renewal today. Before choosing the music that is sung in the liturgy, we should ask ourselves: Is it integral to the liturgy and the liturgical action, or is it vague, merely functional or superfluous to it? Does it contribute to the glory of God and are the faithful of my parish growing in holiness as a result of it? Is it holy and free of references to the profane and secular? Is it truly beautiful, or is it merely utility music? Is it universal to the extent that any other culture will see it as good and holy? Is the music that is sung in the liturgy truly sacred music? Continued on next page
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
AB/Southern Nebraska Register
Kinds of Sacred Music Musicam Sacram defines what kinds of music come under the title of sacred music. It provides the following list (See MS 4): 1. Gregorian chant 2. Sacred polyphony in its various forms both ancient and modern 3. Sacred music for the organ and other approved instruments 4. Sacred popular music, be it liturgical or simply religious The footnote following this list refers the reader to a document released nine years earlier, and only four years before the opening of the Council: the Instruction De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia. This document also produces such a list, but additionally provides further commentary on the use of these different kinds of music (DMSSL 4-10) which should be referenced when reading Musicam Sacram. The first kind of music mentioned is Gregorian chant. The liturgy constitution states that “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given the main place in liturgical services.”10 Adam Bartlett directs the choir during Diocese of Lincoln’s recent Sacred Music Clinic at the Thomas Aquinas Newman Musicam Sacram reiterates the primacy of Gregorian Center on the Campus of the University of Nebraska chant as expressed by the Council and as codified by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Though the Instruction incidentally places this conciliar Musicam Sacram clarified in a dubium response in 1969 Pius X reminds us, however, that fundadirective under the heading “in that the “rule [permitting vernacular hymns] has been mentally “the music proper to the Church sung liturgical services celebrated “The music proper superseded. What must be sung is the Mass, its Ordinary is purely vocal music” (TLS 15), and the in Latin,” the Constitution and and Proper, not ‘something,’ no matter how consistent, primary liturgical instrument, therefore, to the Church is GIRM make no such requirement, that is imposed on the Mass…. To continue to replace is the human voice. As Musicam Sacram just as Musicam Sacram itself purely vocal music the texts of the Mass...is to cheat the people…. Thus states, however, other instruments may also states that “[t]here is nothing to texts must be those of the Mass, not others, and singing be used in the liturgy, of which the organ prevent different parts in one and and the primary means singing the Mass not just singing during Mass.”12 is the first. The organ is primary because it the same celebration being sung The GIRM, however, does allow for hymns to be sung liturgical instrument, mirrors the anatomy and process of human in different languages” (MS 51). at certain moments, such as following the distribution vocal production, which produces sound At a bare minimum, the Instructherefore, is the of Communion (See GIRM 88). Similarly, GIRM 48, 74 through breath. The renewal of sacred mution reiterates the Constitution on and 87 allow for the singing of another liturgical chant in sic in our day should give prominence to the Sacred Liturgy’s requirement human voice” place of the proper antiphon, which in common custom the organ as the model of instrumental muthat “[p]astors of souls should has often taken the form of a hymn, along with a hymn sic and accompaniment in the liturgy. take care that besides the vernacuat the conclusion of Mass. But this custom—a holdover The fourth and final kind of music listed lar ‘the faithful may also be able to from the recited low Mass prior to the Council—does by Musicam Sacram is sacred popular music, be it liturgisay or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary not appear to be the hope of the Council Fathers or Mucal or simply religious. Once again, the Instruction relies of the Mass which pertain to them’” (MS 47). sicam Sacram, as evidenced in the Concilium’s dubium upon previous definitions provided by the Church in Many of our parishes today have made progress in response. order to understand this category of sacred music. Firstthis area, learning to sing at least the Kyrie, Sanctus and An implementation of Musicam Sacram today will inly, it should be understood that the term “popular” does Agnus Dei—and in many places much more—in the simvolve an increase in singing the texts of the liturgy as the 11 not connote secular “pop” music as we define it today, or plest Gregorian chant settings, just as scholas and choirs Church appoints them in the liturgical books, both by music that is culturally “popular” in the sense of being in parishes and cathedrals alike have increased their use the people and, at times, by the choir alone. It also will fashionable. The sense of “popular” music in Musicam of the more elaborate Gregorian chant propers found in involve fostering the singing of hymns and other reliSacram is music that is sung by the people, as opposed to the Church’s choir book, the Graduale Romanum. The gious songs in their proper places within the Liturgy of by the ministers or choir alone. primacy of Gregorian chant was strongly asserted by the Hours and in the devotional life, as a preparation for The term “liturgical” music used by Musicam Sacram, Tra le sollecitudini, which called it “the chant proper to participation in the liturgy. strictly speaking, refers to music that sets the liturgical the Roman Church…which she directly proposes to the text to music (See TLS 7-9), as it is given in the Church’s faithful as her own…,” as well as “the supreme model for Why Sing the Liturgy? liturgical books, whether it is the text of the Order of sacred music” (TLS 3). Sacrosanctum Concilium, MusiMusicam Sacram offers a beautiful reflection on Mass, the Ordinary of the Mass, or the antiphons and cam Sacram, and the GIRM have upheld this primacy various reasons why the liturgy should be sung, recalling Psalms of the Proper of the Mass. The Roman Missal and a renewal of sacred music in our day must take Grethe Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’s teaching that and Graduale Romanum provide musical settings for all gorian chant as its starting point and center of gravity. “[l]iturgical worship is given a more noble form when it of the texts of the liturgy that are meant to be sung, as The second kind of music mentioned by Musicam is celebrated in song...” (MS 5; Cf. SC 113) and elaboratfound in their normative Gregorian chant settings. Sacram is sacred polyphony, both ancient and moding upon it. Musicam Sacram offers five concrete reasons Music that is “simply religious” refers to a kind of ern, which is also specifically mentioned by the liturgy why the sung liturgy is the preferred form of celebration. popular music that is essentially non-liturgical in its purconstitution as being second to Gregorian chant in the First, “through [the sung liturgy], prayer is expressed pose. Religious music is “any music which, either by the category of sacred music (SC 116). The 1958 instruction in a more attractive way…” (MS 5). Beauty, according to intention of the composer or by the subject or purpose of on which Musicam Sacram relies defines polyphony as St. Thomas, is the veritatis splendor—the splendor of the the composition, serves to arouse devotion and religious “measured music which arose from the tradition of Gretruth, or the truth’s attractive power. When the liturgy is sentiments” (DMSSL 10). Such music “is an effective aid gorian chant. It is choral music written in many voicesung, it is made more beautiful and it more easily attracts to religion” (ibid.) according to the definiparts, and sung without instrumental accompaniment. souls toward participation in the tion of the 1958 instruction. This kind of It began to flourish in the Latin Church in the Middle reality that the liturgy expresses. sacred music is “very effective in fostering “When the liturgy is Ages, and reached its height in the art of Giovanni PierSecond, “the mystery of the litthe devotion of the faithful in celebrations luigi Palestrina (1524-1594) in the latter half of the sixsung, it is made more urgy, with its hierarchical and of the word of God, and in popular deteenth century; distinguished musicians of our time still community nature, is more openly votions,” (MS 46) according to Musicam cultivate this art…. When [polyphony] is composed spebeautiful and it more shown…” when sung (MS 5). Every Sacram. This support for religious music cifically for liturgical use it must be animated by a spirit part of the Mystical Body of Christ easily attracts souls has a liturgical role proper echoes the liturgy constitution’s statement of devotion and piety; only on this condition can it be to it, and that “[p]opular devotions of the Christian admitted as suitable accompaniment for these services” toward participation the manner and style of each sung people are to be highly commended” (SC (DMSSL 6-7). is distinct. This distinction is 13) in order to deepen and foster faith, Tra le sollecitudini also says that classic polyphony in the reality that the part lost when the texts of the liturgy and in order to help “the faithful come “agrees admirably with Gregorian Chant, the supreme are merely spoken. The mystery of liturgy expresses.” to [the liturgy] with proper dispositions” model of all sacred music” and that “it has been found the liturgy is more clearly revealed (SC 11). Strictly speaking, religious music worthy of a place side by side with Gregorian Chant…” by the layer of musical commen“is not to be used during liturgical cer(TLS 4). In our own efforts of liturgical renewal today, tary that the melodies of the liturgy emonies” (DMSSL 10) but is more suited to devotional the polyphonic tradition certainly has much to offer, place upon the liturgical text. use. both in its own right and as a model for new musical Third, “the unity of hearts is more profoundly achieved Hymns lie on the boundary between liturgical popular composition. It demonstrates one of the most excellent by the union of voices…” (MS 5). The chant of the liturgy music and religious music. The hymn has a deep hisways that the sacred music tradition has organically deis fundamentally music that is sung in unison. The unity tory in the sacred liturgy as a constitutive part of the Litveloped new musical forms out of those already existing, of sound in the sung liturgy is both a symbol of and an urgy of the Hours; however, the use of the hymn during namely Gregorian chant. aid to the unity of hearts and minds that the liturgy reMass is relatively recent. Musicam Sacram allows for the Next, Musicam Sacram lists sacred music for the organ quires. In the liturgy it is Christ who prays to the Father modern custom of replacing the texts of the Mass at the and other approved instruments, echoing Sacrosanctum in the unity of the Holy Spirit. The unity of voices in song Entrance, Offertory, and Communion to continue acConcilium 120. The primacy of the organ is constant in more clearly expresses this reality and more deeply encording to the judgment of the competent territorial authe Church’s teaching on sacred music, whether as a solo Please see RENEWAL on page 10 thority (MS 32), yet the same Concilium that composed instrument or for the accompaniment of singing. Pope
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016 Continued from KNEELING on page 3
The Ambo: Launch Platform for the Word By Denis R. McNamara ___________________
The Ambo, Naturally… In its Greek original, the word ambon (ἄμβων) simply means a rim or raised area. A raised platform called a migdal, frequently translated as “pulpit” in scripture, is mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah (8:4), and Solomon is recorded as having constructed a bronze platform upon which he stood at the consecration of the Temple (2 Chron 13). Over time, though, the term acquired its current meaning as a reading desk used in the liturgical setting. Perhaps the earliest written record of the ambo in ecclesiastical history comes from Canon 15 of the Council of Laodicea (c. 363), which spoke of those who sing from the ambo. Similarly, the fourth-century Church historian Socrates of Constantinople speaks of St. John Chrysostom mounting an ambo to preach.4 The use of the ambo grew widespread through next eight centuries before eventually declining. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia included an entry on the ambo by name and summed up the arc of the use of the ambo succinctly: “[T]hey were first introduced into churches during the fourth century, were in universal use by the ninth, reaching their full development and artistic beauty in the twelfth, and then gradually fell out of use.”5 The 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia noted that the term “pulpit” was gradually being replaced by the term “ambo” because the new Order of Mass of Vatican II directed that “the Service of the Word be not at the altar” but at the ambo.6 Here lies the essential distinction considered so important in the liturgical reform of the twentieth century. Pulpits, properly speaking, were primarily used for preaching, and developed in the late Middle Ages as a place separate from the proclamation of scripture. The twentieth-century development of liturgical theology included a new awareness that the readings of the Mass were meant to be proclaimed and not reduced to a silent recitation by the priest at the altar. The
AB/St. Matthew Cathedral
he General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) makes a striking claim: “[W]hen the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel” (no. 29).1 This high theology of sacramental revelation runs consistently through the Catholic liturgical worldview: human beings encounter heavenly realities through the mediation of earthly matter. At the top of this pyramid of sacramental mediation stands the Eucharist, the very Presence of the ineffable God taking a form that humans can see, touch, and eat. But church furnishings take part in this sacramental economy as well. The altar, for instance, represents Christ as the Anointed One standing amidst his people.2 Similarly, the ambo is more than a reading desk that conveniently holds liturgical books. It signifies and magnifies the importance of the “living and effective” word of God proclaimed in the liturgy, through which Christ “sanctifies humanity and offers the Father perfect worship.”3 According to the mind of the Church, the ambo extends in the visual realm the mission of the proclamation of the sacred scripture which “expresses the Father’s love that never fails in its effectiveness toward us” (LM 4).
The early twentieth-century ambo at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew in Washington, DC, indicates the rediscovery of the importance of the liturgical proclamation of scripture. In its elevation, size, and richness, it signifies and magnifies the importance of the Word proclaimed. The small wooden lectern to the left, used for non-scriptural announcements, is clearly secondary. The empty space under the ambo has been compared to the empty tomb of Christ.
“The ambo signifies the rediscovery and return of the liturgically-celebrated proclamation of Christ’s presence in the scriptures to the people of God.” same entry in the New Catholic Encyclopedia noted with a certain sense of regret that the architecturally significant ambos of the early Church had been reduced “to a mere bookstand on the altar.” When this public proclamation of scripture was “rediscovered,” the ambo was rediscovered as well. The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy reestablished the importance of the liturgical proclamation of scripture by framing it theologically as part of the liturgical action of Christ: “He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church” (SC 7). Later, paragraph 24 took the notion even further: “Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy. For it is from scripture that lessons are read and explained in the homily and psalms are sung; the prayers, collects, and liturgical songs are scriptural in their inspiration and their force, and it is from the scriptures that actions and signs derive their meaning.” The homily, too, was directed to be an expounding of the Word of God which “should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made
present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy” (SC 35). Then word “ambo,” then, is a richly charged term. It signifies the rediscovery and return of the liturgicallycelebrated proclamation of Christ’s presence in the scriptures to the people of God. It is no mere functional bookstand, but holds significant theological import as a signifier of the importance of scripture itself. Accordingly, it is a reserved place, one used exclusively by ministers of the Word. The GIRM explains how an ambo is to be used: “From the ambo only the readings, the responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; it may be used also for giving the homily and for announcing the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful” (309). The very reservation of the ambo to specific use is one way of indicating the importance of the scriptures proclaimed. But an ambo’s design can also lead a viewer to understand its purpose as a thing which reaches into the heavenly future and renders it present to us now. It then begins to contribute to a kind of visual mystagogical catechesis which is always concerned with “bringing out the significance of the rites for the Christian life.”7 In designing an ambo, the practical, functional needs are presumed to be taken into account, but after mere functionality, mystagogical catechesis comes into play. A simple lectern, for instance, by its nature indicates the idea of a book holder and stand. A properly designed ambo reveals something more: the deep, interior meaning of the importance of the proclamation of scripture. The architect’s choices either help or hinder the process of being led from the external signs to the Please see AMBO on page 9
the latter high-handedly grasped at likeness to God, Christ does not count equality with God, which is his by nature, “a thing to be grasped,” but humbles himself unto death, even death on the Cross. It is precisely this humility, which comes from love, that is the truly divine reality and procures for him the “name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:5-10). Here the hymn of the apostolic Church takes up the words of promise in Isaiah 45:23: “By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’” In the interweaving of Old and New Testaments, it becomes clear that, even as crucified, Jesus bears the “name above every name”—the name of the Most High—and is himself God by nature. Through him, through the Crucified, the bold promise of the Old Testament is now fulfilled: all bend the knee before Jesus, the One who descended, and bow to him precisely as the one true God above all gods. The Cross has become the worldembracing sign of God’s presence, and all that we have previously heard about the historical and cosmic Christ should now, in this passage, come back into our minds. The Christian liturgy is a cosmic liturgy precisely because it bends the knee before the crucified and exalted Lord. Here is the center of authentic culture—the culture of truth. The humble gesture by which we fall at the feet of the Lord inserts us into the true path of life of the cosmos. There is much more that we might add. For example, there is the touching story told by Eusebius in his history of the Church as a tradition going back to Hegesippus in the second century. Apparently, St. James, the “brother of the Lord,” the first bishop of Jerusalem and “head” of the Jewish Christian Church, had a kind of callous on his knees, because he was always on his knees worshipping God and begging for forgiveness for his people (2, 23, 6). Again, there is a story that comes from the sayings of the Desert Fathers, according to which the devil was compelled by God to show himself to a certain Abba Apollo. He looked black and ugly, with frighteningly thin limbs, but, most strikingly, he had no knees. The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical. But I do not want to go into more detail. I should like to make just one more remark. The expression used by St. Luke to describe the kneeling of Christians (theis ta gonata) is unknown in classical Greek. We are dealing here with a specifically Christian word. With that remark, our reflections return full circle to where they began. It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture—insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the One before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture. The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core. Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered, so that, in our prayer, we remain in fellowship with the apostles and martyrs, in fellowship with the whole cosmos, indeed in union with Jesus Christ himself. Reprinted with permission from The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), pages 190-4.
The twelfth-century ambo at San Lorenzo Fuori Le Mura Church in Rome, which is raised up steps on two sides, takes the shape of the “holy mountain” from which the Good News of the Resurrection is proclaimed in the scriptures.
On the Divine Liturgy has proven a rich source for the mystical meaning of the sacred liturgy, described the ambo as a mountain situated in a flat and level place, citing Isaiah in two places: “on a bare hill raise a signal” (Is 13:2) and the aforementioned “behold your God!”12 Centuries later, William Durandus (d. 1296) extended the notion of the ambo as symbolizing the life of the perfect, those held up in public for emulation, just as scripture speaks of the life and works of the apostles, prophets and Christ. Germanus also mentioned the ambo as manifesting “the shape of the stone at the Holy Sepulchre” described in Matthew 28. In this passage, the angel who rolled away the stone then sat upon it and proclaimed the news of the resurrection for the first time to Mary Magdalene and the women with her, noting that the tomb was empty and Jesus had risen (Mt 28: 1-7). The ambo, then, can be seen as the sacramental imitation and continuation of this singularly important Gospel message. Architect Dino Marcantonio has aptly analyzed many existing early ambos as fundamentally circular in plan,13 arguing that the stone that was rolled away from the tomb of Christ was then laid flat and became the first of the “holy mountains” from which was proclaimed the Risen Christ. As Marcantonio put it: “It is as though the disc-like stone of the Holy Sepulchre has itself been raised up so the priest standing upon it might more perfectly imitate the angel at the Tomb proclaiming the Gospel.” Correspondingly, the news of Christ’s resurrection corresponds not only to the stone but to the empty tomb, which the angel asked the women to come and inspect (Mt 28:6). The empty space below an
elevated ambo has been compared to the empty tomb, while the ambo’s design richness speaks of the glory of the good news of the resurrection.14 Elementary Contribution Unlike an altar, which has numerous theological meanings and many explanatory references in the Church’s liturgical books, practical directions for the design of an ambo are given in very general ways and in a relatively few places. The Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass simply notes that “there must be a place in the church that is somewhat elevated, fixed, and of a suitable design and nobility” (LM 32). An elevated ambo corresponds with both the practical considerations of being seen and heard as well as the theological concepts of the holy mountain and sacred stone. Similarly, an ambo is fixed to the floor for the same reason an altar is fixed: in each case the permanence of Christ amidst his people is indicated by immovable liturgical furnishings. Moreover, “nobility” carries significant theological import as well. The word “noble” has grown in modern parlance as a shortening of the English word “knowable,” which itself finds its origin in the Latin word noscere, meaning “to know.” So something that is noble is actually “knowable,” meaning that it reveals what it is at the level of its identity. Consequently, a noble ambo will indeed be one which indicates the importance of the proclamation of the resurrection. The ambo makes its particular contribution to the symbol system of the rite much in the way particular people contribute as members of the Mystical continued on page 12
The presence of Christ in scripture should not, however, be seen as competitive with the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Indeed, the presence of Christ in the scriptures, while important, is held in great reverence precisely because it leads to the Eucharist. The introduction to the Lectionary for Mass notes that preaching the word is necessary for proper participation in the sacraments because they are “sacraments of faith, and faith is born and nourished from the Word” (LM 10). Understanding and believing in the EuchaOne of the most glorious surviving examples, the Ambo rist, for example, is rooted of Henry II (c. 1002 AD) in Germany’s Aachen Cathedral in Christ’s life, death and reveals the importance of the liturgical proclamations of resurrection, which believscripture. Silver, gold, and precious stones used to adorn ers know from hearing the the ambo signify the radiance of heaven as described in the Book of Revelation. word proclaimed. While the scriptures do not substitute for faith in the EuchaContinued from AMBO on page 8 rist, they provide a role so critical that realities of Christ’s own word. Here in the Church offers the following phrase: a nutshell is the concept of “mystagogi“The Church has honored the word of cal catechesis:” a Christian is meant to God and the Eucharistic mystery with encounter the realities of God by seethe same reverence, although with not ing earthly “signs” and be lead through the same worship, and has always and them to encounter the heavenly realeverywhere insisted upon and sancties which break through.8 tioned such an honor” (LM 10). The Church gives a poetic and thorMystical Meanings ough description of this relationship Instructions given in liturgical books between word and sacrament: “The typically first establish the nature of Church is nourished spiritually at the liturgical things by laying out fountwofold table of God’s word and of the dational practical considerations. The Eucharist: from the one it grows in GIRM, for instance, gives the emiwisdom and from the other in holinently practical direction that there ness. In the word of God the divine be an ambo in a church and that it covenant is announced; in the Euchashould be located in a place where the rist the new and everlasting covenant attention of the faithful naturally turns is renewed. On the one hand the hisduring the Liturgy of the Word (309). tory of salvation is brought to mind by The Book of Blessings continues where means of human sounds; on the other the GIRM leaves off, noting that the is made manifest in the sacramental ambo must be “worthy to serve as the signs of the liturgy” (LM 10). place from which the word of God Logically, then, the trend of recent is proclaimed and must be a striking church design which relates the dereminder to the faithful that the table sign of the ambo to the altar through of God’s word is always prepared for material and ornamental motifs is a them.”9 The concept of a “striking repositive outgrowth of this rediscovery minder” indicates that an ambo should of the relationship between word and somehow claim the viewer’s attention sacrament. The Church asks quite conand give clarity to the importance of spicuously that the ambo be designed the word proclaimed. The Latin text to indicate the “harmonious and close of the blessing of an ambo from the relationship of the ambo with the alBook of Blessings does not use the word tar” (LM 32). And just as an altar indi“striking,” but rather the verb redigere, cates Christ in his eschatological glory, indicating that it should redirect or similarly this care should be extended render present in the memory of the to the ambo. faithful that this table of the Word is always ready.10 Indeed the concept Holy Mountain, Sacred Stone, of mystagogical catechesis is embedEmpty Tomb ded in this phrase; the external signs In scripture, mountains or other raised areas are clearly linked to conshould lead to the realities of the mystact with God: Moses received the tery. Growing from the nature of procTen Commandments on Mount Sinai, lamation of the scriptures, the ambo the Temple was built on Mount Mohas acquired several symbolic meanriah, the Transfiguration happened on ings which can provide helpful in unMount Tabor, and the Ascension at the derstanding their design: table of the Mount of Olives. Similarly, mountains Word, holy mountain, sacred stone, can signify places from which human and empty tomb. beings proclaim the Good News, as in Isaiah 40:9, where the “herald of Table of Contents good tidings” is told to go up to a high Because Christ is present in the scripmountain and say to the cities of Judah tures proclaimed and he himself pro“behold your God!” Christ gave the claims the Gospel through his earthly teaching of the Beatitudes by going up minister, the Church makes it clear a mountain (Mt 5:1) and is described that the reading of scripture is indeed in the Gospels as going up a mountain a liturgical act, not simply a classroom to pray (Mt 14:23, Lk 6:12) and taking lesson before the Eucharistic Prayer.11 the disciples up a mountain to appoint In liturgical celebrations, the realities the twelve apostles (Mk 3:13, Lk 6:13). of salvation history are not offered as The sacramentalization of this holy reminders only, but are “presented mountain in the liturgical setting has anew as mysterious realities” (LM 7), traditionally been made present by making them effective in the life of raising the ambo up a number of steps, their hearers. Under the working of as several of the earliest existing Rothe Holy Spirit, the Church aspires that man examples attest. St. Germanus of “what we hear outwardly [may] have Constantinople (died c. 730), whose its effects inwardly” (LM 9).
AB/Richard Mortel on Flickr
Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
This new ambo was designed to show its intimate relation with the altar of sacrifice, just as the Liturgy of the Word is meant to lead to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Chapel of Saint John Paul II, Mundelein Seminary, 2015. James McCrery, architect.
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The Rite Questions
: What is “intinction,” and is it allowed?
: “Intinction” is the practice of dipping the consecrated host into the Precious Blood and then receiving the “intincted” host in Holy Communion. Distribution of holy communion to the lay faithful in the Roman Rite can take place in a number of ways: either “by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) 245). These latter methods—via tube or spoon—as suggested by the U.S. Bishops’ Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America (Norms) are “not customary in the Latin dioceses of the United States of America.” Reception by way of intinction, however, is an option foreseen by both the GIRM and the U.S. Bishops. The GIRM directs: “If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a Communion-plate under the mouth, ap-
proaches the Priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, with a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The Priest takes a host, intincts it partly in the chalice and, showing it, says, The Body and Blood of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the Priest, and then withdraws” (287; see also Norms 48). The priest celebrant or concelebrants may also receive by way of intinction, where the priest himself dips the host into the Precious Blood and self-communicates (GIRM 249). The lay faithful, however, may never intinct the host themselves and then receive: “The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand” (Redemptionis Sacramentum 104). The US Bishops also emphasize this point: “The communicant, including the extraordinary minister, is never allowed to self-communicate, even by means of intinction. Communion un-
Continued from RENEWAL on page 7
ables participation in it. Fourth, “minds are more easily raised to heavenly things by the beauty of the sacred rites…” (MS 5). Once again, Musicam Sacram reiterates the importance of beauty in the liturgy. Beauty is not mere decoration in the liturgy but is an active agent that helps the faithful transcend the cares and concerns of the world and directs them toward the things of heaven, in which they give glory to God and are filled with heavenly grace. Fifth, “the whole celebration more clearly prefigures that heavenly liturgy which is enacted in the holy city of Jerusalem” (MS 5). The music of the liturgy sacramentalizes the hosts of angels and saints in heaven who ceaselessly sing praise and adoration to God and to the Lamb. Through liturgical chant, fallen human speech—the effect of Babel—is restored and made a symbol of the heavenly perfection toward which the pilgrim Church is journeying. It is for these reasons that Musicam Sacram recommends the sung form of the liturgy as its normal form of celebration, and states that “[p]astors of souls will therefore do all they can to achieve this form of celebration” (MS 5). The second part of this series on implementing Musicam Sacram today will explore the principle of Progressive Solemnity: Musicam Sacram’s plan for sung liturgy in every parish. Adam Bartlett is a composer and conductor of Catholic sacred music and serves as President and Editor of Illuminare Publications. He is composer and editor
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Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
The music of the liturgy sacramentalizes the hosts of angels and saints in heaven who ceaselessly sing praise and adoration to God and to the Lamb, as depicted here by Hans Memling (d.1494).
of Simple English Propers, and editor of the Lumen Christi Missal, Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, and Lumen Christi Hymnal. Active as a speaker, teacher, writer and clinician, Adam speaks and presents on topics of liturgy, music, and the new evangelization throughout the United States and English-speaking world. He resides in Denver, CO, with his wife and two daughters. ___________________________ _ _ _ __ 1. Susan Benofy, “The Instruction Musicam Sacram after Fifty Years: Rediscovering the Principles of Sacred Music,” Adoremus Bulletin, pp. 1, 4-5, http://adoremus. org/issues/Adoremus_Bulletin_2016_September.pdf. 2. Four more “instructions for the right implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium” after Inter Oecumenici were released in the following decades by the same congregation, the latest of which was Liturgiam Authenticam, promulgated in 2001, on principles of liturgical translation. 3. Most notably: Tra le Sollecitudini (1903), Divini Cultus (1928), Mediator Dei (1947), Musicae Sacrae Disciplina (1955), and De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia (1958). 4. See “Footnotes for a Hermeneutic of Continuity: Sacrosanctum Concilium’s Vanishing Citations”, Adoremus
Benofy Shout-Out Please thank Susan Benofy for the thorough background check of the 2007 USCCB document “Sing to the Lord” in the September 2016 issue. Very informative! — Martin Franklin Hibbing, MN A Corporal Work of Mercy Greetings to you. Can you please tell me if Adoremus has a prison ministry or is able to donate materials to a Cath-
der either form, bread or wine, must always be given by an ordinary or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion” (Norms 50). The topic of intinction begs a further question. Even though communion can be distributed by intinction, should it be? Pastors disagree. To its credit, communion via intinction means that each communicant receives the Blood of Christ under the form of consecrated wine. The practice also requires that the priest, the ordinary minister of communion, is the distributor. On the other hand, a host may drip the Precious Blood, although current intinction vessels lessen this danger. Also, the communicant himself cannot receive in his hand—which is considered a benefit by some, but not by all. Still others observe that the Lord’s command to “drink this” and not simply “receive this” is better signified by receiving directly from the chalice.
Answered by Christopher Carstens
Bulletin Vol. XXI, No. 1, pp. 8-9, http://www.adoremus. org/AdoremusSpring2015.pdf. The online edition also includes the whole of Sacrosanctum Concilium with the citations including full texts of the sources that were included in the Council’s working drafts of the document. The sixth chapter on sacred music, with pertinent passages from the early 20th century liturgy and music documents, can be found on pages 26-31. 5. See Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 10; Cf. Sacramentum Caritatis, art. 84 6. Tra le Sollecitudini, art. 1: “Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, participates in the general scope of the liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful.” 7. In the sense of the Latin word “profanus,” meaning “outside the temple,” pro- (meaning “before”) + fanum (meaning “temple”). 8. Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 112: “Therefore sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites.” 9. Tra le Sollecitudini, art. 1: “[Sacred music] contributes to the decorum and the splendor of the ecclesiastical ceremonies, and since its principal office is to clothe with suitable melody the liturgical text proposed for the understanding of the faithful, its proper aim is to add greater efficacy to the text, in order that through it the faithful may be the more easily moved to devotion and better disposed for the reception of the fruits of grace belonging to the celebration of the most holy mysteries.” 10. See SC 116. Emphasis added. The translation used here reflects the translation of the words “principem locum obtineat” given in the 2011 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which reads: “The main place should be given, all things being equal, to Gregorian chant, as being proper to the Roman Liturgy” (GIRM 41). This translation, updated according to the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam, is more literally faithful to the Latin text of Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Latin phrase “principem locum”, meaning, literally, “first place” has been commonly rendered as “pride of place” in the years preceding the most recent GIRM, which tends to weaken its significance. 11. These settings can be found in the booklet Iubilate Deo, issued in 1974 by Pope Paul VI to the bishops of the world as a personal gift. It contains a “minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant” in response to the request of the Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 54. The entire booklet can be downloaded in PDF form at http://www.ceciliaschola.org/pdf/jubilateb.pdf. 12. Notitiae 5  406; Cf. BCL Newsletter, Volume XXIX, August-Sept 1993, paragraph 9-11.
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Adoremus Bulletin, November 2016
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The Ambo and the Angelic Announcement As the Divine Word reveals more than first meets the ear, Denis McNamara shows the ambo holds up more than first meets the eye.
Liner Notes for Liturgy’s Musical Renewal Even if the 1967 instruction Musicam Sacram has not been universally appreciated, according to composer and teacher Adam Bartlett, it is renewning the life and direction of liturgical music today.
Pope Benedict and Colin Kaepernick Take a Knee Standing, sitting, and kneeling: bodily postures portray invisible ideas. Even if their ideas may differ, both popes and quarterbacks agree, the humble knee holds powerful meaning.
Reflections from the Fount of Mercy At the Year of Mercy’s close, priests find the liturgy a source of mercy—on the High Plains of the U.S., in the rubble of an Italian earthquake, and in the rugged religious landscape of Jordan.
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1. Here the General Instruction echoes Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraph 7: “He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church.” 2. For more on the mystagogical catechesis of the altar, see Denis McNamara, “Altar as Alter Christus: Ontology and Sacramentality,” Adoremus Bulletin, May 2016. 3. Lectionary for Mass, Introduction, 4. Hereafter referred to as LM. 4. See Socrates of Constantinople, Ecclesiastical History, Book VI, chapter v. 5. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, entry “Ambo,” accessed at www.newadvent.com. 6. “Pulpit,” New Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1967). 7. Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 64. Italics original. 8. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1075. “Liturgical catechesis aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ (It is ‘mystagogy’) by proceeding from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the things signified, from the ‘sacraments’ to the ‘mysteries.’”
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“Christ speaks the word to the ear through the sacramental mediation of his minister. The ambo shows the importance of that word to the eye.”
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Body of Christ. In every case, it does its particular part in revealing the eschatological glory that all liturgical things share. Through history, therefore, ambos have included precious metals, mosaics, colored marbles and even gemstones to indicate the jewellike radiance of heaven. Ornaments which grow from the nature of the ambo itself might include the cross, symbols of the gospel writers, other saint evangelists, angels as mystical announcers of the message of the resurrection, or ornamental patterns of leaves and flowers indicating both the garden of Christ’s tomb and the garden of the New Earth anticipated in the liturgy. More than a lectern and more than a pulpit, an ambo gives a glorified visual amplification of the minster of the word who sacramentalizes Christ himself speaking to his people. Christ speaks the word to the ear through the sacramental mediation of his minister. The ambo shows the importance of that word to the eye.
Denis R. McNamara is Associate Director and faculty member at the Liturgical Institute of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, a graduate program in liturgical studies. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has served on the Art and Architecture Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago and works frequently with architects and pastors all over the United States in church renovations and new design. Dr. McNamara is the author of Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2009), Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago (Liturgy Training Publications, 2005), and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture (Rizzoli, 2011).
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Continued from AMBO on page 9
FAQs on the Ambo Q: What’s the difference between an ambo and a lectern? A: The terminology for the ambo is sometimes used loosely and interchangeably, though there is a certain consensus on the use of the words today. Below is a handy glossary for understanding the meaning of each word. Bema: In ancient Greece, a raised platform for public speeches or legal proceedings. In Judaism, a raised platform for public reading of the Torah. In many Eastern Christian traditions, the raised platform of which the entire sanctuary is comprised. Lectern: In the Western Church, a relatively small and unadorned stand or desk for cantors or announcements outside of the liturgical proclamation of scripture. Pulpit: Properly speaking, a raised platform used for preaching rather than the proclamation of scripture. Today, many older pulpits are used for the Liturgy of the Word and are therefore used as ambos. Ambo: In the Latin Church, a fixed, raised and noble place for the liturgical proclamation of scripture and further commentary in a homily. In many Eastern churches, the area of the bema in front of the holy doors which projects forward into the nave. Q: Is there to be only one ambo in a church? Some older churches appear to have two. A: The Church’s liturgical documents do not specifically legislate the number of ambos in a church, though they always speak of the ambo (singular) and not ambos (plural). Before the Second Vatican Council many churches which proclaimed the Mass readings in Latin from their ambos on special occasions had one ambo for the Epistle and one for the Gospel. Therefore certain liturgical documents even up to the mid-1960s spoke of “the ambo or ambos.” Today, though, the unity of the word of God proclaimed in scripture is typically emphasized by the use of a single ambo, typically located in the sanctuary on the liturgical “south” side of a church, that is, to the left of the altar as seen from the pews.
9. “Order for the Blessing of a New Lectern,” Book of Blessings, 1173. 10. From De Benedictionibus, “Ordo Benedictionis Occasione Data Auspicandi Novum Anbonem,” (no. 900): “Ambo seu locus e quo verbum Dei annuntiatur, eiusdem verbi dignitati respondere debet et in fidelium memoriam redigere mensam verbi Dei semper esse paratam.” 11. “The celebration of Mass in which the word is heard and the Eucharist is offered and received
forms but one single act of divine worship” (LM, 10). 12. For a translation of Germanus’ On the Divine Liturgy, see Paul Meyendorff, St. Germanus of Constantinople on the Divine Liturgy (St. Valdimir’s Seminary Press, 1985). 13. Dino Marcantonio, http://blog.marcantonioarchitects.com/parts-of-the-church-building-the-ambo. 14. Daniel McCarthy, OSB, “The Ambo of Westminster Cathedral,” Westminster Record, November 2015, 12.