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Adoremus Bulletin


For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Vol. XXII, No. 2

What’s News Ad orientem debate comes full circle



ardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, once again called for priests and bishops to consider praying ad orientem during some parts of the Mass. Speaking July 5 to the Sacra Liturgia UK 2016 Conference in London, Cardinal Sarah asked priests “to implement this [ad orientem] practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people. Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’ (see: Introit, Mass of Wednesday of the first week of Advent) may be a very good time to do this.” The Cardinal asked bishops: “Please

Like these singing angels in the Ghent altarpiece, liturgical music is directed to the Victorious Lamb and his glory.

The Instruction Musicam sacram after Fifty years: Rediscovering the principles of Sacred Music

Please see DEBATE on next page

INSIDE The Instruction Musicam sacram after Fifty years: Rediscovering the principles of Sacred Music by Susan Benofy......................... 1 Towards an Authentic Implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium by Cardinal Robert Sarah............ 3 The Wondrous Design of Your Love: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Matrimony, Part II by Father Randy Stice................. 6 Doing the World in Truth – and Beauty and Goodness: David Fagerberg’s Book Explores Practical Side of Salvation Reviewed by Roland Millare........ 9 News/Views.........................2 The Rite Questions...........10 Donors & Memorials.......11

By Susan Benofy _____________

“We must sing the liturgy, rejoicing in the treasury of sacred music …, most especially … Gregorian chant. We must sing sacred liturgical music not merely religious music, or worse, profane songs.”1


hese remarks by Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, express what the Church has taught for centuries, and what recent popes and the Second Vatican Council have explicitly commanded. The reform of sacred music is the particular concern of a series of Vatican documents from the 1903 “motu proprio” letter Tra le sollecitudini (TLS) of St. Pius X through the Instruction Musica sacra et sacra liturgia in 1958. All these documents agree on certain fundamental principles of sacred music enunciated by TLS: - Purpose: “Sacred music… participates in the general scope of the liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful. … [I]ts principal office is to clothe with suitable melody the liturgical text” (TLS 1). - Qualities: “Sacred music should consequently possess … 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). - Gregorian Chant: “These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian chant, which is, consequently the chant proper to the Roman Church” (TLS 3). “The above-mentioned qualities are also possessed in an excellent degree by classic polyphony … hence it has been found worthy of a place side by side with Gregorian chant” (TLS 4). - Organic development: “Gregorian chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that … the more closely a composition for church approaches in its move-

ment, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes” (TLS 3). “The different parts of the Mass and the Office must retain, even musically, that particular concept and form which ecclesiastical tradition has assigned to them, and which is admirably brought out by Gregorian chant” (TLS 10). The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium (SC), of the Second Vatican Council devotes its Chapter VI to sacred music, basing it on these same principles and stating that its decrees were made “keeping to the norms and precepts of ecclesiastical tradition and discipline” (SC112). Practical details of the liturgical reform called for by SC are given in a series of Instructions drafted by a group of bishops and liturgical experts called the Consilium, and promulgated by the Congregation of Rites. Among these is the 1967 Instruction Musicam sacram (MS), which explains the role of music in the reformed liturgy by “expounding more fully certain relevant principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy” (MS 2). The principles of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, like those of the earlier documents, promote the singing of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony and preservation of the treasury of sacred music. Yet since the Council chant has been heard infrequently at Mass, and polyphony almost never. So again today the Prefect of the CDW finds it necessary to urge adoption of what the Vatican Council called for more than fifty years ago. Clearly SC Chapter VI and MS have not been adequately implemented. Why not? The lack of implementation of MS has its roots in a conflict over how best to implement the participation asked for by TLS which developed in the decades before the Council. At that time there was a clear difference between two types of Masses. The Missa lecta, in which all texts were spoken, was the more frequently used form before the Council. The less common Missa in cantu, required that prescribed texts be sung. All liturgical texts, said or sung, were in Latin. TLS favors a sung Mass, urging that the people participate by singing their parts in Gregorian chant. Some liturgists, however, viewed chant as ideal in theory, but pastorally impractical. They advocated singing vernacular hymns as the most suitable form of participation in ordinary parishes. They thus favored the read Mass, where devotional hymns in the vernacular were Please see MUSICAM on page 4

Continued from DEBATE, page 1 lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the center of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as fellow worshippers united in the one same act of adoration. Please facilitate this simple but profound reform in your dioceses, your cathedrals, your parishes and your seminaries.” His remarks on ad orientem, and especially his encouragement to implement its return this coming Advent, led some to ask whether a particular mandate or official directive would be forthcoming from Cardinal Sarah’s Dicastery. In an attempt to alleviate any confusion, the Holy See Press Office offered a July 11 communication: “It would appear opportune to offer clarification in the light of information circulated in the press after a conference held in London a few days ago by Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship…. Some of his expressions have…been incorrectly interpreted, as if they were intended to announce new indications different to those given so far in the liturgical rules and in the words of the Pope regarding celebration facing the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass. “Therefore it is useful to remember that in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), which contains the norms relating to the Eucharistic celebration and is still in full force, paragraph no. 299 states that: ‘Altare extruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. Altare eum autem occupet locum, ut revera centrum sit ad quod totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur’ (‘The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. Moreover, the altar should occupy a place where it is truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns’.) […] “Therefore, new liturgical directives are not expected from next Advent, as some have incorrectly inferred from some of Cardinal Sarah’s words....” But confusion arises from the clarification. While Father Lombardi and the Press Office emphasize that “new liturgical directives are not expected next Advent” and “new indications different to those given so far in the liturgical rules” aren’t forthcoming, Cardinal Sarah and the Congregation for Divine Worship insist that the ad orientem direction is a practice “permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite” (July 7 address). In other words, even if some were confused by reports of the Cardinal’s comments, Cardinal Sarah himself never indicated that new directives were coming, as a reading of the Press Office’s communiqué might suggest, but that the ad orientem practice is already allowed by the Missal in the Ordinary Form. Another element of the Press Office’s response is similarly confusing. Citing GIRM 299, the July 11 clarification recalls that “The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.” But many have asked: What exactly is “desirable whenever possible”? Is it 1) the altar’s position apart from the wall, 2) the possibility of walking around the altar, 3) the celebration facing the people, 4) all of the above, or 5) some combination of each? While Latinists will no doubt continue to disagree about the interpretation of the Latin original, the legislator—namely, the Congregation for Divine Worship, under the authority of the Holy Father—at one time indicated “[that] which is desirable” is the freestanding altar and the possibility of celebrating versus populum. In 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments—of which Cardinal Sarah is now Prefect—had been asked “whether the expression in no. 299 of the Instituto Generalis Missalis Romani constitutes a norm according to which, during the Eucharistic liturgy, the position of the priest versus absidem [facing towards the apse] is to be excluded.” It’s answer: “Negative.” The response offered the following explanation: “It is in the first place to be borne in mind that the word expedit does not constitute an obligation, but a suggestion that refers to the construction of the altar a pariete sejunctum [detached from the wall] and to the celebration versus populum [toward the people]. The clause ubi possibile sit [where it is possible] refers to different elements, as, for example, the topography of the place, the availability of space, the artistic value of the existing al-

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016


tar, the sensibility of the people participating in the celebrations in a particular church, etc. It reaffirms that the position toward the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier (Cf. the editorial in Notitiae 29 [1993] 245-249), without excluding, however, the other possibility. “However, whatever may be the position of the celebrating priest, it is clear that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered to the one and triune God, and that the principal, eternal, and high priest is Jesus Christ, who acts through the ministry of the priest who visibly presides as His instrument. The liturgical assembly participates in the celebration in virtue of the common priesthood of the faithful which requires the ministry of the ordained priest to be exercised in the Eucharistic Synaxis…. If the priest celebrates versus populum, which is legitimate and often advisable, his spiritual attitude ought always to be versus Deum per Jesus Christum [toward God through Jesus Christ], as representative of the entire Church. The Church as well, which takes concrete form in the assembly which participates, is entirely turned versus Deum [towards God] as its first spiritual movement. […] “What always remains is the event celebrated in the liturgy: this is manifested through rites, signs, symbols and words that express various aspects of the mystery without, however, exhausting it, because it transcends them. Taking a rigid position and absolutizing it could become a rejection of some aspect of the truth which merits respect and acceptance.” The series of recent clarifications continued on July 17 with Bishop Arthur Serratelli’s letter to U.S. Bishops. The Committee on Divine Worship’s Chairman, after citing the Vatican Press Office’s July 11 communiqué and its reliance on GIRM 299, went on to acknowledge not only the Congregation’s response in 2000 but also that the rubrics of the Missal themselves suggest a possible ad orientem celebration: “[T]he Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has clarified on earlier occasions that this [preference of versus populum] does not prohibit the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form ad orientem. In fact, there are rubrics in the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly (see for example n. 29 before the Prayer over the Offerings: ‘Standing in the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending then joining his hands, he says…’). Although permitted, the decision whether or not to preside ad orientem should take into consideration the physical configuration of the altar and sanctuary space, and, most especially, the pastoral welfare of the faith community being served. Such an important decision should always be made with the supervision and guidance of the local bishop.” Thus, at this printing, the discussion on ad orientem has returned from whence it came: there are no new directives in the offing concerning ad orientem, if for no other reason than that current directives and rubrics already permit bishops and priests to return to the practice.



Journalist Peter Seewald interviews Pope Benedict in Final Conversations, due for release in September.

Adoremus Bulletin

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.

Pope Francis Establishes Commission for the Study of the Female Diaconate

On May 12, 2016, in the course of his meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General—which took the form of a dialogue in the Paul VI Hall—the Holy Father expressed his intention to “create an official commission to study the question” of the female diaconate, “especially with regard to the early Church.” After intense prayer and lengthy reflection, His Holiness has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Female Diaconate, selecting as members the following persons: • Archbisop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (President) • Sister Nuria Calduch Benages, M.H.S.F.N., member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission • Professor Francesca Cocchini, of the La Sapienza University, and of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome • Monsignor Piero Coda, President of the University Institute Sophia, Loppiano, and member of the International Theological Commission • Father Robert Dodaro, O.S.A., President of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome and professor of patrology • Father Santiago Madrigal Terrazas, S.J., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical University “Comillas,” Madrid • Sister Mary Melone, S.F.A., Rector of the Pontifical University “Anonianum,” Rome • Father Karl Heinz Menke, professor emeritus of dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn and member of the International Theological Commission • Father Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome • Father Bernard Pottier, S.J., professor at the “Institut d’Etudes Théologiques,” Brussels, and member of the International Theological Commission • Professor Marianne Schlosser, professor of spiritual theology at the University of Vienna, and member of the International Theological Commission • Professor Michelina Tenace, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome • Professor Phyllis Zagano, professor at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York Vatican Radio contributed to this article.

New Interview Book With Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to Be Released Zenit, July 3, 2016 A new interview book with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be on bookshelves this September. According to Italian publication Corriere della Sera, Final Conversations, composed of several interviews, will be released Sept. 9 worldwide. Benedict XVI granted several lengthy interviews with German journalist Peter Seewald shortly after having resigned. The book is about 240 pages long and will cover the most significant stages of Ratzinger’s life: before election through pontificate and afterward. Sources confirm that the work which was done months after the German Pontiff ’s Feb. 28, 2013 resignation will shed light on Benedict’s thoughts on Francis, reform of the Curia, and his resignation. He also speaks about himself, including his faith, private life, weaknesses, the controversial issues during his pontificate, and his ultimate reason for resigning. This work will mark Seewald’s fourth book on Benedict.

Editor - Publisher: Christopher Carstens Managing Editor: Joseph O’Brien Graphic Designer: Danelle Bjornson Office Manager: Elizabeth Gallagher Phone: 608.521.0385 Website: Membership Requests and Change Of Address: 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 Contents copyright © 2016 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016


“Make Worship Better” By Christopher Carstens, Editor __________________________


ith a decrease in the number of Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 914,000 to 632,000 over the past 35 years, a 40 percent decline in Sunday Mass attendance—less than 100,000 attend on a given weekend—, and a projected decline in priests, Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik sees the solution, in part, as a liturgical one. “The No. 1 priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better,’” he says in an Aug. 17 report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Make our worship better.” Here Bishop Zubik gets to the heart of the matter. How many today—bishops, priests, laity—think of liturgy as secondary or tertiary in importance among the Church’s priorities, a ceremonial nicety not nearly as essential as the real work of the life of faith. On the contrary, the Church responds, the faithful’s participation in the sacred liturgy “is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 14). Or, as U.S. Bishops once forcefully put it: “Faith grows when it is well expressed in celebration. Good celebrations foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations weaken and destroy faith” (“Music in Catholic Worship” 6). Make a better celebration of the liturgy: make the faith stronger. But what does “better” mean—and who is the final arbiter of what is good, better and best in liturgy? Indeed, opinions differ: but do opinions matter? On the one hand, the “good-better-best” evaluation of the liturgy is an objective one, transcending an individual’s personal opinion. The liturgy, objectively speaking and in itself, worships God— this is good! And the criteria of such an evaluation is the Church’s, found most recently in her Constitution on the Sa-

cred Liturgy, understood and implemented according to her long liturgical tradition. St. John Paul II, in fact, called the Church and her members to “examine their liturgical consciences” in the full light of the principles put forth by the Second Vatican Council and its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (see Tertio Millennio Adveniente and Spiritus et Sponsa). On the other hand, the private opinions and preferences of the individual are entirely significant—not because these are what shape the liturgy, but because these are to be shaped by the liturgy. While the liturgy is about the glory of God, “the glory of God,” as St. Irenaeus says, “is man fully alive.” The opinions of what shape a “better” liturgy takes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, then, must account for the 632,000 Pittsburgh Catholics, for their sanctification is God’s glorification. Medicine is most efficacious when it accounts for the condition of the patient. Cardinal Robert Sarah’s recent address to the Sacra Liturgia UK contributes much to the desire to “make worship better,” in its worship of God and transformation of his people. While any casual liturgical observer is aware that in this address the Cardinal repeated his call to pray ad orientem at certain parts of the Mass, too few are aware of his broader message. Only a few paragraphs of his 9000 word paper dealt with ad orientem, while the great majority considered the essence of the liturgy, the intention—as found in the texts of Sacrosanctum Concilium—of the Council Fathers, an “examination of conscience” concerning the Constitution’s implementation (an examination, as we noted above, which John Paul II insisted that all faithful undertake), and a look ahead to how the Council’s liturgical principles might be better implemented. The title of Cardinal Sarah’s talk was “Toward an Authentic Implementation

of Sacrosanctum Concilium.” The Cardinal recalls how Popes Pius X, XI, and XII explained the liturgy, culminating in the Council’s Sacrosanctum Concilium, because “if we do not understand the nature of the Catholic liturgy…we cannot hope to understand the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, or to move toward a more faithful implementation of it.” He then considers a fundamental question: “What did the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council Intend?” It should seem an obvious starting point for anyone interested in liturgical studies or liturgical prayer or “making liturgy better.” But is it? In the Council’s very first paragraph of its very first document, it states its aims. Who can name these? How many are there? Has the reformed and restored liturgy met these goals? (See Cardinal Sarah’s text, below, in case you yourself need a refresher!) But in addition to reiterating the Council’s principle goals by which all liturgy is deemed good, better, or best (or bad, worse, and worst), Cardinal Sarah bases most of his talk on Pope Francis’ desire for “renewed willingness” to engage in “a solid and organic liturgical initiation and formation, both of lay faithful as well as clergy and consecrated persons” (Message to participants in the Symposium “Sacrosanctum Concilium. Gratitude and Commitment for a Great Ecclesial Movement,” February 18, 2014). The importance of “liturgical formation” occurs at a dozen places in Cardinal Sarah’s talk, and it can be said, in the end, to be the central theme of his message. For an “authentic implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium” is not possible unless, in the words of the Constitution itself, “pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it” (14). Like the Cardinal’s question to us

about familiarity with the Council’s intentions, a second important inquiry asks: Who can claim to be thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy? Is it my bishop? My pastor? Myself? Are Bishop Zubik and the pastoral leadership of the Diocese of Pittsburgh—or, for that matter, any other diocese—so imbued and formed? It’s for these reasons—acquaintance with the Council’s stated goals, liturgical and otherwise, and with a Magisterial understanding of the shape that liturgical formation must take—that Cardinal Sarah’s text is worth reading (excerpts are below, while the entire text is available at especially for anyone interested in “making liturgy better.” For the same reasons, be sure to read the present Bulletin’s other entries. Long-time contributor to Adoremus, Susan Benofy, marks the 50 year anniversary of Musicam Sacram, which gave the Church the Council’s first, definitive application of the Constitution’s principles on sacred music. Anyone wishing to “make music better” must be acquainted with its still-current direction. Father Randy Stice offers the second of his two-part exposition of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony. Making the celebration of matrimony better means appreciating the liturgy’s signs and symbols, which the Second Edition, in its language and rites, allows us to do in a better way. Additionally, Roland Millare reviews a “Spirited” new book by David Fagerberg, Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology, which will imbue any reader with the Spirit and Power of the liturgy. “Make liturgy better.” To that end, as the Council Fathers say, let us continue to become “thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it.” This describes the mission of Adoremus exactly.

Towards an Authentic Implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is taken from Cardinal Sarah’s July 5 presentation to Sacra Liturgia UK and is reprinted with his permission. See the full text at


n his message dated 18th February 2014 to the symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, observed that the marking of fifty years since the promulgation of the Constitution should push us “to revive the commitment to accept and implement [the] teaching [of Sacrosanctum Concilium] in an ever fuller way.” The Holy Father continued: “It is necessary to unite a renewed willingness to go forward along the path indicated by the Council Fathers, as there remains much to be done for a correct and complete assimilation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on the part of the baptized and ecclesial communities. I refer, in particular, to the commitment to a solid and organic liturgi-

“We must explore the intentions of the Fathers of the Council in more detail, particularly if we seek to be more faithful to their intentions today.” cal initiation and formation, both of lay faithful as well as clergy and consecrated persons.” The Holy Father is correct. We have much to do if we are to realize the vision of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council for the liturgical life of the Church. We have very much to do if today, some fifty years after the Council concluded, we are to achieve “a correct and complete assimilation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.” […] What is the Sacred Liturgy? But first we must consider a preliminary question. That is the question: Please see CARDINAL SARAH on page 8

AB/ Lothar Wolleh at Wikimedia Commons

By Cardinal Robert Sarah _____________________

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council disperse following the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016



Blessed Paul VI is said to have been closely involved with the composition of the 1967 document Musicam Sacram, which expounded “more fully certain relevant principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy.”

Continued from MUSICAM on page 1

permitted. Some who took this latter position eventually rejected chant even as an ideal, believing that Latin and the difficulty of chant were obstacles to people’s participation. This group stressed a congregation-centered approach, believing that the needs of the particular congregation, not the rite, determined the type of music to be used and the “ritual function” of each sung item. Thus they gave no special status to Gregorian chant or the traditional repertoire. We will refer to them as the “ritual-music” group. Those who accept the principles of TLS and emphasized the primacy of chant we will call the “sacred-music” group. The best known treatment of the ritual-music position was published shortly before the Council by Joseph Gelineau. He asserted: “The celebration of worship is thus necessarily bound up with those who celebrate it. Its signs must be their signs, its modes of expression must be theirs.”2 Gelineau and others eventually formed an organization called Universa Laus which promotes the ritual-music position. The two groups gave conflicting interpretations of the Council: the sacred-music group saw SC as in continuity with the earlier documents, but the ritual-music group interpreted SC as departing from previous principles and introducing a new “functional” definition of holiness.3 So controversy was to be expected when members of both groups served on the Consilium, drafting its instruction on music. Work of the Consilium began in January 1965, and by April 26, 1966, ten drafts had been produced, none satisfactory to all. At this point Pope Paul VI intervened. Taking a draft acceptable to the ritual-music group and a revision acceptable to the sacred-music group, he produced a new text, using parts from both versions. The Pope’s revisions were incorporated into the final document, called Musicam sacram (Sacred Music), from its first two words

in Latin, and promulgated on March 5, 1967.4 Supporters of the sacred-music position were generally happy with the final version. Monsignor Iginio Anglès, rector of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome said: “The Holy Father showed much personal interest in this instruction. Sometimes he accepted an article composed by the liturgists, though we were against it. But in spite of this, the fundamental principles of church music were preserved.”5 Musicam sacram in its final form is clearly, as it says, an explication of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and, thus, of the principles of sacred music. Throughout the document, SC is cited repeatedly—32 times in all— including citations of eight of the 10 paragraphs of its Chapter VI on music. And it interprets SC in continuity with earlier documents. The newer document repeats the purpose of sacred music as given in the Constitution as “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful”6 (MS 4). It reiterates the necessary characteristics of sacred music from TLS: “holiness and excellence of form” (MS 4a). It specifies that sacred music includes Gregorian chant, ancient and modern sacred polyphony, sacred music for the organ and sacred music of the people (MS 4b). It emphasizes the sung Mass, a proper arrangement of which “demands that the meaning and proper nature of each part and of each chant be carefully observed” (MS 6). Furthermore, “… in selecting the parts which are to be sung, one should start with those that are by their nature of greater importance, and especially those which are to be sung by the priest or by the ministers, with the people replying, or those which are to be sung by the priest and people together” (MS 7). Musicam Sacram prescribes that the distinct types of Mass defined in the 1958 Instruction §3 are to be maintained (MS 28). These are the Missa lecta and two types of Missa in cantu: the Missa soelmnis in which the priest

is assisted by a deacon and subdeacon, and the Missa cantata celebrated without the assisting ministers. And MS specifies: “For the celebration of the Eucharist with the people, especially on Sundays and feast days, sung Mass (Missa in cantu) is to be preferred as much as possible, even several times on the same day” (MS 27). Recognizing that this would require a change from the common practice of the time, in which read Masses predominated, Musicam Sacram defines three degrees of participation for the particular case of the Missa cantata. The degrees are intended to make it “easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing” (MS 28). Instead of requiring, as formerly, that all the parts that call for singing must be sung, the degrees allow for a gradual approach from a Missa lecta to a full Missa cantata. The first degree includes the priest’s parts (greetings, dialogues, presidential prayers, etc.), the people’s responses, acclamations and the Sanctus. Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Agnus Dei and the prayer of the faithful constitute degree two. Degree three includes the processional chants (Introit, Offertory, and Communion), and the chants between the readings. The second and third degrees may be used only in combination with the first. Note that only liturgical texts are included in the three degrees. Hymns are not mentioned. However, hymns were permitted during a Missa lecta according to the 1958 Instruction 14b. MS allows this, but with an added provision that some

“… in selecting the parts which are to be sung, one should start with those that are by their nature of greater importance, and especially those which are to be sung by the priest or by the ministers, with the people replying, or those which are to be sung by the priest and people together.” parts of the Ordinary or Proper could be sung as well (MS 36). So the distinction between a read Mass and a sung Mass was somewhat blurred, and many people were not aware that there was a distinction between them. The Instruction was to come into effect on May 14, 1967 (MS 69), and implementing it in the U.S. was the responsibility of what was then called the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB—now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)). There is no record of any formal decision about the implementation of MS by the NCCB. However, in 1965 a Music Advisory Board had been appointed as consulters to the Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy (BCL), and in late 1966 they began to draft a document on music. The Music Advisory Board approved the completed document in November 1967. The seven-member BCL then approved the text, and published it in its Newsletter as “The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations” (PMEC).7 Although it was published soon after MS, PMEC was not an official implementation of MS. For one thing,

authority for implementation is given only to the full conference of bishops. Any legally binding decision requires a favorable vote of 2/3 of the full conference by secret ballot.8 But PMEC was never submitted to the full body of bishops, so it is not legislative, but simply a statement of the BCL. In fact PMEC itself says that “statements such as this must take the form of recommendations and attempts at guidance” (p. 115). Furthermore, even a bishops’ conference has limitations on its authority. MS §12 defined the following limit on regulation of music: “It belongs to the Holy See alone to determine the more important general principles which are, as it were, the basis of sacred music, according to the norms handed down, but especially according to the Constitution on the Liturgy.” An examination of the principles on which PMEC is based shows they do not correspond to the “norms handed down.” PMEC never speaks of “sacred music,” but simply of “music,” and it replaces the traditional sacred-music principles provided by Pope St. Pius X summarized above with the following: - Purpose: “Music, more than any other resource, makes a celebration of the liturgy an attractive human experience” (p.117); - Qualities: “Music in worship is a functional sign.… There are three judgments to be made about music in worship: musical, liturgical and pastoral” (p.117); - Gregorian chant: Gregorian chant has no special status. Any piece of music, including each particular chant, must be judged by whether it enables “people to express their faith in this place, in this age, in this culture.” (p.118); - Organic development: “[T]he customary distinction between the ordinary and proper parts of the Mass with regard to musical settings … is irrelevant. For this reason the musical settings of the past are usually not helpful models for composing truly contemporary pieces.” (p.117). In addition, PMEC assumes a read Mass with “places to sing.” It never considers a Missa cantata or the degrees in MS, and has completely different priorities for most important things to sing. These principles contrast strongly with those of Tra le Sollecitudini, Sacrosanctum Concilium, and Musicam Sacram, especially on the very purpose of music. In fact “The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations” follows closely the congregation-centered principles of ritual music promoted by the musicians of Universa Laus. This is especially true of the musical, liturgical, and pastoral judgments, which are essentially taken from Gelineau and replace the judgment of holiness and goodness of form stressed in earlier documents.9 In this view PMEC reflects the opinions of the leaders of the project: Archbishop John Dearden of Detroit, Chairman of the BCL; Archabbot Rembert Weakland, OSB, Chairman of the Advisory Board; and Father Eugene Walsh of St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, primary author. In his history of the US documents on music Father Edward Foley, Professor of Liturgy at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, points out, “Dearden had aligned himself with a more progressive musical-liturgical view…reflected in the organization Universa Laus ….”10 And, Foley says, ArchabbotWeakland “recalls how close his thinking and that of other leaders in the United States was to that of Joseph Gelineau….”11 Father Walsh’s writings reflect the same principles. For examContinued on next page


Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016 ple, he rejected the heritage of choral and instrumental Church music as “not suited to a worship that focuses on the celebrating community as the center of worship, a worship that sees the role of music primarily as service to the celebrating community rather than as service to the text.”12 Despite its status as merely providing “recommendations and attempts at guidance,” it was PMEC, not the more official MS, that was the chief influence on developments in US liturgical music after the Council. In fact Father Foley calls PMEC a “groundbreaking statement on music”13 and Monsignor Frederick McManus, Director of the BCL Secretariat at the time PMEC was written, said: “Probably no statement of the BCL has had the impact of this one….”14 These claims may be rather surprising since PMEC is no better known than MS today. But although the document itself is little-known, its principles remain prominent, primarily because a revised version, “Music in Catholic Worship” (MCW), was published in 1972. It had the same status as PMEC: “Revised by the committee on music of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions and adopted by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, it is presented as background and guidelines for the proper role of music within the liturgy”15 (Emphasis mine). MCW expanded on the earlier document and incorporated changes due to the new Missal and Lectionary. According to Father Foley, MCW was widely available, and was cited frequently in journals, but: “It was especially the mushrooming of training days, workshops, and certificate programs for so many volunteer liturgists and musicians in the 1970s that contributed to that document’s deep entrenchment in the pastoral musician’s psyche.”16 It seems MS was not presented. So volunteers, who usually had little or no training in sacred music, would know—and implement—only the ritual-music principles they learned in these workshops. When MCW was published, revised liturgical books and directives were still being issued. So by 1979 the BCL had started the process of updating and expanding MCW to deal with recent liturgical developments. Eventually it was decided to simply issue a supplemental document, “Liturgical Music Today” (LMT), which was published in 1982. It shared the principles of its predecessors and stressed knowing the function of each “song” in the liturgy. It also took a negative stance on chant and polyphony, claiming that since the Council there had been “a massive change in the theory and practice of church music, a shift already detailed in Music in Catholic Worship” (49). But Church musicians who valued true sacred music continued to point out the problems with “The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations,” “Music in Catholic Worship,” and “Liturgical Music Today.” Therefore these documents were controversial from their publication, and grew increasingly so as the teachings of the Council were clarified during the papacy of St. John Paul II. In an attempt to end the controversy the USCCB eventually decided to revise MCW, and present the new version for a vote by full Conference. The revision procedure included a consultation which brought together composers, publishers and representatives of organizations for liturgical music. Both traditional sacred-music and ritualmusic principles were represented, though ritual-music advocates were

of sacred music. As St. Pius X recognized over a century ago, a proper formation in the correct principles is the necessary foundation for a restoration of true sacred music in the liturgy. “When the clergy and their choirmasters clearly realize these principles, good Church music at once begins to flourish spontaneously…; on the other hand, when the principles are neglected, neither prayers …nor threats of canonical punishment succeed in improving matters; so easy it is…to elude the will of the Church and to continue year after year in the same regrettable manner.”23 As Cardinal Sarah said in the address quoted at the beginning of this article: “I wish to underline a very important fact here: God, not man is at the center of Catholic liturgy. We come to worship Him.”24 God must, therefore, be at the center of our liturgical music. Half a century ago the document Musicam sacram expounded the sacred-music principles which would lead to the necessary God-centered music. As the 50th anniversary of MS approaches, musicians, liturgy committees and pastors must rediscover this document and put into practice the principles of sacred music that it sets out. Only then will liturgical music serve its true purpose: the glory of God. Susan Benofy received her doctorate in physics from St. Louis University. She was formerly Research Editor of Adoremus Bulletin. The 2007 USCCB document “Sing to the Lord,” while contributing much to the implementation of liturgical music, emphasizes, according to one critic, an overly “anthropocentric focus upon the action of the congregation.”

in the majority. Since the project was conceived as a revision of MCW, that document’s underlying ritual-music principles were apparently taken for granted, and the format did not really allow for a serious re-examinations of these principles. The consultation clearly had some effect on the contents of the new document, published in 2007, “Sing to the Lord” (STL),17 which recommended more sacred-music practices than its predecessors had. It advocated singing Gregorian chant, chanting of the priest’s part and singing the Propers. But these recommendations were embedded in a document whose principles are entirely those of ritual music, which do not really support these practices. The original plan was to submit STL to the Holy See for recognitio, which is now necessary for a document intended to be particular law for the US. But this idea was dropped before the vote was taken. Consequently the document was approved by the bishops’ conference simply as “non-binding guidelines.”18 So STL’s authority is no greater than that of its predecessors. Father Anthony Ruff, OSB, who served on the committee entrusted with the writing of STL, observed that “STL has eased the fears of progressives” since it “clearly preserves the best insights of liturgical scholars and previous US documents.”19 Similarly, Father Foley notes STL “appears to be anything but a change in direction and truly emerges as an organic development from its predecessors.”20 So advocates of ritual music are satisfied, but sacred-music advocates are more critical. Helen Hitchcock, writing in Adoremus Bulletin21 noted that the guidelines were “inherently contradictory.” Thus, while the document offered “helpful suggestions toward a serious

look at the heritage of sacred music,” it left intact “problematic elements from the old documents.” Consider, for example, the treatment of Latin in the document. It says that “care should be taken to foster the role of Latin in the Liturgy, particularly in liturgical song” (61). In particular at multicultural gatherings “it is most appropriate to celebrate the Liturgy in Latin” (62). It even says that all ages and all ethnic groups should learn certain specified Gregorian chants (75). And yet these strong recommendations are seriously weakened by the warning: “Whenever the Latin language poses an obstacle to singers…, it would be more prudent to employ a vernacular language in the Liturgy.” William Mahrt, President of the Church Music Association of America, writing in that organization’s journal, Sacred Music, made similar points. He also noted that the most pervasive problem “is the anthropocentric focus upon the action of the congregation and its external participation, rather than being in balance with a theocentric focus upon giving glory to God.”22 Essentially these commentators agree that STL is based on the congregationcentered ritual-music principles of the earlier documents which have, for 50 years, eclipsed the sacred-music principles that Musicam sacram specified and were to guide the liturgical reform. It is true, of course, as the earlier documents acknowledge, that the people’s capabilities must be considered when choosing music for a particular congregation. But the individual pieces of music chosen must already have been judged to have the characteristics of holiness and goodness of form. Unfortunately, too many Catholics, even those responsible for music in parishes, do not make this primary judgment because they have never been taught the traditional principles

____________________________ 1. Cardinal Robert Sarah, “Towards an Authentic Implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium,” Address to the Sacra Liturgia Conference, London, July 5, 2016, p. 22. file/d/0B8CZzED2HiWJNzdaOE9ycVI4ekU/ view?pref=2&pli=1 (Accessed August 10, 2016) 2. Joseph Gelineau, SJ, Voices and Instruments in Christian Worship: Laws, Principles, Applications Translated by Clifford Howell, SJ. (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1964) p. 128. (Originally published in French in 1962.) 3. For more on this interpretation see Susan Benofy, “What is Really Behind the Music ‘Style Wars’?” Adoremus Bulletin April 2013. 4. Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1949– 1975 Translated by Matthew J. O’Connell (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1990) pp. 898–914. 5. Monsignor Iginio Anglès, quoted in Monsignor Richard Schuler “A Chronicle of Reform” in Cum Angelis Canere (Catholic Church Music Associates, 1990) p. 376. 6. The translation of MS used in this article appeared in Sacred Music Vol. 94 #1 (Spring 1967), pp. 7–21. 7. Thirty-Five Years of the BCL Newsletter 1965–2000 (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2004) pp. 115–121. Page references to PMEC in the text refer to this volume. 8. See Inter oecumenici, Instruction on implementing liturgical norms, §10, §28. 9. Gelineau, who calls the three judgments aesthetic, ritual and pastoral. See Voices and Instruments, p. 192. 10. Edward Foley, A Lyrical Vision: The Music Documents of the US Bishops (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009) p. 15. 11. Foley, Lyrical Vision, p. 40 12. Eugene Walsh, Practical Suggestion for Celebrating Sunday Mass (Glendale, AZ: Pastoral Arts Associates, 1978) pp. 62-63. See also his The Theology of Celebration, (Glendale, AZ: Pastoral Arts Associates, 1977). 13. Foley, Lyrical Vision, p. 22. 14. Frederick McManus, Thirty Years of Liturgical Renewal: Statements of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (Washington, DC: National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1987), p. 92. 15. 35 Years of the BCL Newsletter, p. 337. (Emphasis added). 16. Foley, Lyrical Vision, p. 37 17. Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (Washington, DC: USCCB Publishing, 2008). 18. Newsletter of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship August-September 2012, p. 29. (The BCL had been renamed Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship in 2007.) 19. Anthony Ruff, USB, “Sing to the Lord: Gifts and Challenges”, in Perspectives on Sing to the Lord: Essays in Honor of Robert Hovda (Silver Spring, MD: NPM Publications, 2010), p. 3. 20. Foley, Lyrical Vision, p. 57. 21. Helen Hitchcock, “USCCB November Meeting — Bishops Approve Three Liturgy Items at Busy Baltimore Meeting” in Adoremus Bulletin Volume 13, #9 (December 2007–January 2008). 22. William Mahrt, “Sing to the Lord” in Sacred Music Volume 135, #1 (Spring 2008), p. 49. 23. Pope Pius X, Letter to Cardinal Respighi, 1903 in Robert Hayburn, Papal Legislation on Sacred Music 95 AD to 1977 AD (Harrison, NY: Roman Catholic Books) p. 232. 24. Sarah, p. 22.


Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016

AB/ Andrea Vaccaro, Raguel’s Blessing of her Daughter Sarah before Leaving Ecbatana with Tobias, 1640. Wikimedia.

The Wondrous Design of Your Love: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Matrimony, Part II

The act of joining hands is found in Tobit, when Raguel took his daughter Sarah “by the hand and gave her to Tobiah” (7:12).

By Father Randy Stice __________________ Editor’s note: The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition, has been approved for use by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See. The new rite—with both ritual and rubrical changes, as well as a translation according to the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam—may be used as of September 8, 2016, and its use is mandatory in the United States beginning on December 30, the Feast of the Holy Family. In preparation for the new rite, Father Randy Stice recalled the underlying theology of the sacrament in the November 2015 issue of Adoremus Bulletin and looked specifically at the Nuptial Blessing. In this entry, Father Stice looks at the various ritual elements of the Order and shows how each expresses the Church’s theology of marriage. This article is adapted from Father Stice’s Understanding the Sacraments of Vocation published in May by Liturgy Training Publications.


he liturgy is composed of signs and symbols through which God manifests his presence as well as his saving and sanctifying action. When the Church speaks of liturgical signs, she uses the term in a broad and comprehensive way, including material objects, words, actions, song, and music. They are “bearers of the saving and sanctifying action of Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1189) and “have been chosen by Christ or the Church” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 33). Furthermore, they are “necessary for the mystery of salvation to be really effective in the Christian community” and to ensure “the presence of God.”1 The Holy Spirit uses the words, actions, and signs that make up a liturgical celebration to bring “both the faithful and the ministers into a living relationship with Christ, the Word and Image of the Father, so that they can live out the meaning of what they hear, contemplate, and do in the celebration” (CCC 1101). The Sacrament of Matrimony is woven from a diversity of liturgical signs. It employs gestures such as joining hands and hands raised in blessing, postures such as standing and kneeling, and processions. Rings express important human and spiritual realities, as do cultural symbols such as coins (arras) and the lasso (lazo). Holy water is used as a sign of God’s blessing. Together these signs communicate to the couple “the saving and sanctifying action of Christ” (CCC 1189). Understanding the liturgy’s signs enables the participants “to pass from its signs to the

mystery which they contain, and to enter into that mystery in every aspect of their lives” (Mane Nobiscum Domine 17). The Introductory Rites There are two options for the Introductory Rites. In the first option, the priest (or the deacon, if presiding at the Order of Celebrating Matrimony without Mass), vested in white or another festive color, meets couple at the door of the church and “greets them kindly, showing that the Church shares their joy” (OCM 45). In the second form, the priest meets the couple at the place prepared for them in the church, usually at the foot of the sanctuary, or goes to his chair. Once all the participants are in their places, the priest speaks to the couple and those present in order “to dispose them inwardly for the celebration of Marriage” (OCM 52). The rite provides two models (one of the new features of the Second Edition), stipulating that the priest may use “these or similar words.” For the couple, “this is a moment of unique importance,” for on this day they intend to establish between themselves “a lifelong partnership” (OCM 53). The assembly is urged to support the couple with prayers, affection, and friendship and to “listen attentively with them to the word that God speaks to us today” (OCM 52). All present are reminded that they gather as part of the universal Church and with her join their prayers for the couple, God’s servants, “that he lovingly accept them, bless them, and keep them always one” (OCM 52). This reminder may conclude with special petitions for the couple: “May the Lord hear you on this your joyful day. May he send you help from heaven and protect you. May he grant you your hearts’ desire and fulfill every one of your prayers” (OCM 53). These introductory rites are significant for the language of sign that they employ. The priest greets the couple at the door to show that the Church shares their joy. The parents and witnesses who accompany the couple are a “sign of honor.” The procession to the altar signifies that marriage is a sign of Christ’s self-giving love for the Church, herself born from the altar of the cross. The instructions to those gathered emphasize that the celebration of this sacrament, as with all the sacraments, is not a private celebration but a celebration of the whole Church, the Body of Christ, Head and members. Finally, the rites include a simple catechesis on the sacrament to enable all present to enter more fully into the celebration.

Introducing the Celebration of Marriage Following the homily, all stand for the celebration of marriage. This is another example of the importance of posture in the liturgy. Standing is “the basic posture of an Easter people lifted up to greet their risen Lord” (Introduction to the Order of Mass 29), the posture “of those who have risen with Christ and seek the things that are above.”2 It also expresses a readiness for action. It is a particularly apt posture for celebrating the sacrament of marriage, which is a sign of Christ’s self-giving, covenantal love for the Church, so that standing “becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church” (CCC 1617). The priest begins by addressing the couple. He may use the remarks in the rite “or similar words.” In the model introduction, the priest begins by summarizing why the couple has come to the Church, “so that in the presence of the Church’s minister and the community your intention to commit yourselves to Marriage may be strengthened by the Lord with a sacred seal” (OCM 59). He then briefly characterizes the meaning of the sacrament of Marriage, explaining that Christ “enriches and strengthens those he has already consecrated by Holy Baptism, that they may be faithful to each other for ever and assume all the responsibilities of married life.” Consent The mutual consent of the spouses is “the indispensable element that ‘makes the marriage’” (CCC 1626). Through this consent, which is irrevocable, the spouses “freely give themselves to each other and accept each other” (OCM 2). This consent establishes the marriage covenant—without it, there is no marriage. For this reason, the Catholic Church teaches that “the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church” (CCC 1623). This consent must be a free act of the will by each spouse, neither coerced nor imposed through fear (CCC 1628). The priest first questions the couple about their freedom to enter into marriage and their understanding of the ends of marriage. He first asks the couple if they have “come here to enter into Marriage without coercion, freely and wholeheartedly?” He next asks if they are prepared “to love and honor each other for as long as you both shall live?” Finally, he asks if they are “prepared to accept children lovingly from God and to bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”3 (OCM 60). These are the concrete signs which establish the necessary freedom to enter into Marriage and to fulfill the two ends of marriage, the good of the spouses and the generation and education of children. The priest then invites the couple to join their right hands and declare their consent “before God and his Church” (OCM 61). The act of joining hands is found in Tobit, when Raguel took his daughter Sarah “by the hand and gave her to Tobiah” (7:12). The bridegroom says to his bride, “I, N., take you, N., to be my wife. I promise to be faithful to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life” (OCM 62). The bride then says, “I, N., take you, N., to be my husband,” followed by the same promise. The rite provides the option of obtaining consent through questioning: “N., do you take N., to be your wife/husband? Do you promise to be faithful…” (OCM 63), to which the other answers, “I do.” In the Second Edition, two formulas for exchanging consent are given, as in the First Edition. The priest, whose presence is a visible sign of “the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality” (CCC 1630), receives their consent “in the name of the Church” (CCC 1630). The rite provides two options for the reception of consent: “May the Lord in his kindness strengthen the consent you have declared before the Church, and graciously bring to fulfillment his blessing within you. What God joins together, let no one put asunder;” or “May the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God who joined together our first parents in paradise, strengthen and bless in Christ the consent you have declared before the Church, so that what God joins together, no one may put asunder” (OCM 64). The priest then says

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016


to the assembly, “Let us bless the Lord,” to which they reply “Thanks be to God,” or another similar response. This participation by the assembly further signifies the ecclesial dimension of marriage.


Blessing and Giving of Rings The exchange and reception of consent, the essential element of the sacrament, is followed by the Blessing and Giving of Rings. The custom of wedding rings was taken over from the non-Christian Roman betrothal rings at an early date. The earliest Christian blessing of the rings comes from the marriage of England’s King Edilwulf to Judith of France in 856. The blessing explained the meaning of this liturgical sign: “Receive the ring, the sign of faithfulness and love and the bond of conjugal union, inasmuch as man must not separate those God has joined.”4 The custom of placing the ring on the fourth finger goes back to St. Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636), who “attributed it to the belief that there was a vein in the fourth finger that ran directly to the heart,” a belief traceable to the Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD).5 In the Middle Ages the placing of the ring was accompanied by a Trinitarian formula. According to a late 15th century liturgical text, “the priest should place the ring on the bridegroom’s thumb, saying, In the name of the Father. And afterward on the index finger, and he should say, And of the Son. Then on the middle finger; and he should say, And of the Holy Spirit. Then he should leave the ring on the bridegroom’s fourth finger, saying, Amen.”6 The rite begins with the priest blessing the rings. It provides three different formulas: - “May the Lord bless + these rings, which you will give each other as a sign of love and fidelity” (OCM 66); - “Bless, O Lord, these rings, which we bless + in


The Church attaches great importance to Christ’s presence at the Wedding Feast of Cana, as depicted here by Giotto (12661337). “The Son of God,” says St. Maximus of Turin, “went to the wedding so that marriage, which had been instituted by his own authority, might be sanctified by his blessed presence.”

The custom of placing the ring on the fourth finger goes back to Saint Isidore of Seville who “attributed it to the belief that there was a vein in the fourth finger that ran directly to the heart.”

your name, so that those who wear them…” (OCM 194); - “Bless + and sanctify your servants in their love, O Lord, and let these rings, a sign of their faithfulness, remind them of their love for one another” (OCM 195). The blessing includes the sign of the cross, and the priest may sprinkle the rings with holy water. The current rite retains the traditional symbolism discussed above. The rings are first and foremost “a sign of love and fidelity” (OCM 66 and 67A) and a reminder “of their love for one another” (OCM 195). One of the blessing formulas asks that those who wear the rings “may remain entirely faithful to each other, abide in peace and in your will, and live always in mutual charity” (OCM 194). The Trinitarian symbolism discussed above (although not the accompanying gesture) is preserved in the current rite. The words said by each spouse when placing the ring conclude with the Trinitarian formula, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (OCM 67A). Adaptations: Arras and Lazo All of the sacraments permit certain adaptations, which are outlined in the last section of the Introduction found at the beginning of each of the ritual books. For example, the Order for the Celebration of Marriage permits, “in keeping with local customs, the crowning of the bride or the veiling of the spouses” following the giving of rings (OCM 41.5). The joining of hands and the Blessing and Giving of Rings can be omitted or replaced if these “are incompatible with the culture of the people” (OCM 41.6). Finally, “elements from the traditions and culture of particu-

lar peoples” can be adopted after careful and prudent consideration (OCM 41.7). An example of this is the option approved by the American bishops of including two elements from the Hispanic tradition: the Exchange of Coins (Arras) and the Blessing and Placing of the Lazo or Veil. The Exchange of Coins, or Arras, normally takes place after the Blessing and Giving of Rings. The rite begins with the Blessing of the Arras (Coins): “Bless, + O Lord, these arras that N. and N. will give to each other and pour over them the abundance of your good gifts” (OCM 67B). The bridegroom gives coins to his bride, who receives them by placing her hands below her husband’s hands. In handing over the coins, the bridegroom says, “N., receive these arras as a pledge of God’s blessing and a sign of the good gifts we will share” (OCM 67B). The wife receives the arras and then gives them to the husband and says, “N., receive these arras as a pledge of God’s blessing and a sign of the good gifts we will share” (OCM 67B). As these words indicate, the arras concludes the wedding contract. The arras are a sign of God’s blessing and also a sign “that the couple will share everything mutually.”7 According to custom, thirteen coins are often used as a sign of prosperity8 as well as “the presence of Christ and his disciples.”9 Depending on local custom, “the rite of blessing and imposition of the lazo (wedding garland) of the veil may take place before the Nuptial Blessing” (OCM 71B). The words of the blessing express the meaning of the lazo: “Bless, + O Lord, this lazo (or: this veil), a symbol of the indissoluble union that N. and N. have established from this day forward before you and with your help” (OCM 71B). Family members or friends hold the lazo or veil and place it over the shoulder of the couple (OCM 71B). The lazo signifies the unity and indissolubility of Marriage and the grace—“your help”—that God grants through the sacrament. It is removed at the conclusion of the Nuptial Blessing. These two adaptations, the arras and the lazo, are commonly used in Spanish-speaking communities, and the rubrics for each (for the arras, “If the occasion so suggests”; for the lazo, “According to local custom”) guide their appropriate inclusion in the rite. Solemn Blessing The final liturgical sign is the blessing of the couple at the conclusion of Mass. The Ritual Mass for the Celebration of Marriage includes several Solemn Blessing formulas. The solemn blessing is inserted after the dialogue, “The Lord be with you. R/: And with your

spirit,” indicated by the invitation given by the priest or deacon, “Bow down for the blessing.” It consists of three separate invocations; after each invocation the assembly responds, “Amen.” The priest says the blessing with his hands extended over the people, the gesture that accompanies an epiclesis. It concludes with the general formula, “And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/: Amen,” and the Dismissal. The tripartite structure is modeled on the threefold blessing God instructed Aaron to give the Israelites: “The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Num 6:24–26). In addition to the solemn blessings for the Celebration of Marriage, the Roman Missal contains a large number of solemn blessings for other occasions. There are twenty different solemn blessings for Celebrations in the Different Liturgical Times, such as Advent, the Beginning of the Year, Easter Time, and six options for Ordinary Time. There are four solemn blessings for Celebrations of the Saints, one for the Dedication of a Church, and one for Celebrations for the Dead. Several Ritual Masses also include optional solemn blessings: Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Orders, the Blessing of an Abbot or Abbess, the Consecration of Virgins, Religious Profession. Appropriate solemn blessings can be used not only at the end of Mass, but also to conclude liturgies of the word and the Liturgy of the Hours.10 The solemn blessings are “undoubtedly a great acquisition, because they add appropriate aspects to the general formula of blessing and interpret them as well.”11 This is certainly true of the three options provided for the Celebration of Marriage. The first option (Form A) includes petitions for mutual love and the peace of Christ; blessing in children, comfort in friendship, and peace with all; and effective witness to the charity of Christ. The second option, Form B in the Roman Missal, is explicitly Trinitarian in structure, asking that God the Father would grant joy and bless the couple in their children, that the Only Begotten Son of God would support them with his compassion in good and bad times, and that the Holy Spirit of God would always pour forth his love into their hearts. The third option is a threefold petition to Christ, exploring the relationship between his love for the Please see MARRIAGE on page 11

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AB/© Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia


Active participants in the liturgy should be “nourished at the table of the Lord’s body.”

Cont. from CARDINAL SARAH on page 3 “What is the Sacred Liturgy?” Because if we do not understand the nature of Catholic liturgy, as distinct from the rites of other Christian communities and of other religions, we cannot hope to understand the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, or to move towards a more faithful implementation of it. In his Motu Proprio Tra le sollecitudini (22 November 1903) Pope Saint Pius X, taught that “the holy mysteries” and “the public and solemn prayer of the Church,” that is, the Sacred Liturgy, are the “foremost and indispensible fount” for acquiring “the true Christian spirit.” St Pius X therefore called for a real and fruitful participation in the Church’s liturgical rites by all. As we know, this teaching and this exhortation would be repeated by article 14 of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Pope Pius XI raised his voice to the same end some twenty-five years later in his Apostolic Constitution Divini Cultus (20 December 1928), teaching that “the liturgy is indeed a sacred thing, since by it we are raised to God and united to Him, thereby professing our faith and our deep obligation to Him for the benefits we have received and the help of which we stand in constant need.” Pope Pius XII devoted an Encyclical letter, Mediator Dei (20 November 1947) to the Sacred Liturgy, in which he taught that: “The Sacred Liturgy is...the public worship which our Redeemer as Head of the Church renders to the Father, as well as the worship which the community of the faithful renders to its Founder, and through Him to the heavenly Father. It is, in short, the worship rendered by the Mystical Body of Christ in the entirety of its Head and members” (n. 20). The Pope taught that the “nature and the object of the sacred liturgy” is that “it aims at uniting our souls with Christ and sanctifying them through the divine Redeemer in order that Christ be honored and, through Him and in Him, the most Holy Trinity” (n. 171). The Second Vatican Council taught that through the liturgy “the work of our redemption is accomplished” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2), and that the liturgy “is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the

“It would be futile to entertain any hopes of realizing [active participation] unless the pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy.” Head and His members.” “From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree” (n. 7). Following on from this, Sacrosanctum Concilium taught that the liturgy “is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper” (n. 10). It would be possible to continue this exposition of the magisterium’s teaching on the nature of the Sacred Liturgy with the teaching of the post-conciliar popes and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But for the moment let us stop at the Council. Because it is very clear, I think, that the Church teaches that Catholic liturgy is the singularly privileged locus of Christ’s saving action in our world today, by means of real participation in which we receive His grace and strength which is so necessary for our perseverance and growth in the Christian life. It is the divinely instituted place where we come to fulfil our duty of offering sacrifice to God, of offering the One True Sacrifice. It is where we realize our profound need to worship Almighty God. Catholic liturgy is something sacred, something which is holy by its very nature. Catholic liturgy is no ordinary human gathering. I wish to underline a very important fact here: God, not man is at the center of Catholic liturgy. We come to worship Him. The liturgy is not about you and I; it is not where we celebrate our own identity or achievements or exalt or promote our own culture and local religious customs. The liturgy

is first and foremost about God and what He has done for us. In His Divine Providence Almighty God founded the Church and instituted the Sacred Liturgy by means of which we are able to offer Him true worship in accordance with the New Covenant established by Christ. In doing this, in entering into the demands of the sacred rites developed in the tradition of the Church, we are given our true identity and meaning as sons and daughters of the Father. It is essential that we understand this specificity of Catholic worship, for in recent decades we have seen many liturgical celebrations where people, personalities and human achievements have been too prominent, almost to the exclusion of God. As Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote: “If the liturgy appears first of all as the workshop for our activity, then what is essential is being forgotten: God. For the liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age” (Joseph Ratzinger, Theology of the Liturgy, Collected Works Vol. 11, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2014, p. 593). We must be utterly clear about the nature of Catholic worship if we are to read the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy correctly and if we are to implement it faithfully. For the Fathers of the Council were formed in the magisterial teachings of the twentieth century popes that I have cited. St John XXIII did not call an Ecumenical Council to undermine these teachings, which he himself promoted. The Council Fathers did not arrive in Rome in October 1962 with the intention of producing an anthropocentric liturgy. Rather, the Pope and the Council Fathers sought to find ways in which Christ’s faithful could draw ever more deeply from the “foremost and indispensible fount” so as to acquire “the true Christian spirit” for their own salvation and for that of all men and women of their day.

What Did the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council Intend? We must explore the intentions of the Fathers of the Council in more detail, particularly if we seek to be more faithful to their intentions today. What did they intend to bring about through the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? Let us begin with the very first article of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which states: “This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times

The Second Vatican Council stated its principle aims in its first document, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church” (n. 1). Let us remember that when the Council opened liturgical reform had been a feature of the past decade and that the Fathers were very familiar with these reforms. They were not considering these questions theoretically, without any context. They expected to continue the work already begun and to consider the “altioria principia,” the higher or fundamental principles of liturgical reform, spoken of by St John XXIII in his Motu Proprio Rubricarum Instructum of 25th July 1960. Hence, article one of the Constitution gives four reasons for undertaking a liturgical reform. The first, “to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful,” is the constant concern of the Church’s pastors in every age. The second, “to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change,” may cause us to pause and reflect, particularly given the zeitgeist of the 1960s. But in truth, if it is read with that hermeneutic of continuity with which most certainly the Council Fathers intended it, this means that the Council desired liturgical development where possible so as to facilitate an increased vigor to Christian life. The Council Fathers did not want to change things simply for the sake of change! So too, the third reason, “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ,” might cause us to pause lest we think that the Fathers wished to instrumentalize the Sacred Liturgy and make of it an ecumenical tool, to render it simply a means to an end. But can this be the case? Certainly, after the Council, some may have tried to do this. But the Fathers themselves knew that this was not possible. Unity in worship before the altar of sacrifice is the desired end of ecumenical endeavor. The liturgy is not a means to promote good will or cooperation in apostolic works. No, here the Council Fathers are saying that they believe that liturgical reform can be part of a momentum which can help people to achieve that Catholic unity without which full communion in worship is not possible. The same motivation is found in the fourth reason given for liturgical reform: “to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church.” Here, though, we move beyond our sepaPlease see CARDINAL SARAH on page 12

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016

Doing the World in Truth – and Beauty and Goodness: New Book Explores the Practical Side of Salvation HAT HAS LITURGY TO DO WITH LIFE? THE SACRED WITH THE SECULAR? This study proposes that the liturgy calls us, in the words of Aidan Kavanagh, “to do the world as the world was meant to be done.” The sacramental liturgy of the Church and the personal liturgy of our lives should be as a seamless garment. Consecrating the World continues David Fagerberg†s exploration of the Church†s lex orandi (law of prayer) by expanding two major themes. The first considers liturgy as the matrix wherein our encounter with God becomes an experience of primary theology. The second illustrates how a believer is made ready for this liturgy through asceticism in both its faces — the one negative (dealing with sin), the other positive (dealing with sanctification). This book turns these two themes outward to a liturgical theology of the cosmos — a mundane liturgical theology of the consecration of the world and the sanctification of our daily life.

“David Fagerberg invites us, with the urgency of the gospel, to see God the Trinity in every created thing, and to offer to God as a joyful sacrifice of praise the good things He has made, rather than cleaving egocentrically to these good things. When, through the Dove (the Spirit), Christ frees us to do the world in this way, we become the liturgical priest-kings we were meant to be; we learn how to live and die on the ascending path of Christ. Steeped in the spirituality of the Orthodox East and the Anglican West, enriched by the Catholic masters of Ressourcement, Fagerberg shares his vision in everyday language for all to hear. Just when it seemed that spiritual masters no longer roamed university hallways, God has raised up a true spiritual guide for our time. Open this book, awaken from spiritual slumber, read and rejoice.” — MATTHEW LEVERING, Mundelein Seminary


theology doctoral candidate was asked recently about the topic of his dissertation by an acquaintance. The candidate responded that he was writing on the relationship between the liturgy and eschatology, to which the other person remarked sarcastically: “That is very practical.” David Fagerberg in his latest work, Consecrating the World, demonstrates that there is nothing more “practical” than the connection between the liturgy and eschatology. The liturgy, understood as the prima theologia, offers a clear understanding of who every person is called to be in Christ. Further, our identity in Christ confirms and urges us to embrace our mission in the world. One of the key refrains quoted in all of the works of Fagerberg, which comes from his teacher Aidan Kavanaugh, “liturgy is doing the world as the world was meant to be done” (4). Fagerberg describes his most recent book as a “companion volume” to his previous work, On Liturgical Asceticism (CUA Press, 2013). Specifically, he describes Consecrating the World and On Liturgical Asceticism as “two panels of a diptych” that are held together by a quotation from the English author Charles Williams: “Rejection is a silver key, which is ‘more dear’; affirmation is a golden key, more difficult to use. Yet both are necessary for any life” (2). The two keys are required for the Church to engage the world properly and they represent two states of life and form two sides of the same coin. What unites both keys is the call to asceticism, which is lived out in two different yet complementary forms: “The desert ascetic, who has left the world, and the mundane ascetic, who is still in the world but not of it” (7). The former is the embodiment of the silver key, whereas the latter represents the golden key. Both are necessary to be able to open the lock, but the golden key is “more difficult to use” because the world needs the liturgy in order to understand its purpose. The thesis for the diptych of Fagerberg is “that liturgical asceticism is conditional for a liturgical cosmos. Liturgical asceticism capacitates the person for liturgy” (2). In this second part of his diptych Fagerberg focuses on the mission of consecrating the world, which was a major theme during the Second Vatican Council. The work of Faberberg should be read by all Christians, particularly members of the laity, because it offers insight into understanding a phrase which has fallen into disuse: consecratio mundi (“consecrating the world”). This particular phrase summarizes the mission of the laity to sanctify the temporal and secular world. Fagerberg quotes Blessed Paul VI, whose definition of consecration offers us a clear understanding of the lay person’s role within the Church: “[B]y consecration we mean, not the separation of a thing from what is profane in order to reserve it exclusively, or particularly, for the Divinity, but, in a wider sense, the re-establishment of a thing’s relationship to God according to its own order, according to the exigency of the nature of the thing itself, in the plan willed by God” (3). The laity, living in the midst of the world, play a key role in reuniting the culture with Jesus Christ. The liturgy nourishes Christians to sanctify

“Consecrating the World takes up where David Fagerberg†s masterful On Liturgical Asceticism left off, providing a key to living the liturgy in every moment and aspect of human life. That this is indeed an everyday task takes nothing away from its divine content and sublime finality. Fagerberg is rightly regarded as one of the foremost liturgical theologians of our day. His engagement with the tradition is both fresh and fruitful. If we are to be –thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy,† we must grasp what the Sacred Liturgy in fact is. For this, Fagerberg is a worthy and rightly demanding guide.” — DOM ALCUIN REID, Monastère Saint-Benoît, La Garde-Freinet, France “Consecrating the World is no ordinary book. It is a course in re-training the mind and the senses to perceive the world in a new way. Like the ancient Fathers, David Fagerberg sees all material things as sensible signs leading us to heavenly realities. Like Maximus and Dionysius, he shows us that the cosmos is itself a liturgy, calling us to consecrate ourselves and our work, our passions and the world to God — to sanctify the temporal order. This is a theology most visionary, joyful, and passionate.” — SCOTT HAHN, Franciscan University of Steubenville “In David Fagerberg†s new book, his trademark genius for integrating liturgical theology, ascetical theology, and the theology of creation is on full display, but here developed in a new, pneumatological direction that seems to lift it all up on the wings of the Holy Spirit. This book fully corroborates Fagerberg†s reputation as one of the most creative and inspiring liturgical theologians of our time. It will have a wide readership both inside the academy, in seminaries, and in the hands of anyone interested in learning what is the deep connection between the sacred moments of the liturgy and the mundane moments of life in the world as we all must live it.” — JOHN C. CAVADINI, University of Notre Dame


By Roland Millare _______________


Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical W Theology, by David W. Fagerberg. Angelico Press (Kettering, OH, 2016). $17.95. 156 pp.

Consecrating the World

On Mundane Liturgical Theology

── david w. fagerberg

the world. Fagerberg’s book is a refreshing examination of the liturgy and the role of what he describes as “mundane liturgical theology” by which he means that the liturgy does not exist for its own sake, but it is oriented towards the transformation of the world. All Christians have the vocation to take the cues for how they live their lives and they see the world based on the liturgy. In the book’s five chapters, Fagerberg develops the theme of consecrating the world using the image of a dove, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. With wit that could aptly be described as Chestertonian and wisdom from both Eastern and Western theology, Fagerberg offers an understanding of what the liturgy truly is by looking “through liturgy” (5). The interminable debates regarding how the liturgy should be celebrated stem from the fact that many people look “at liturgy,” whereas Fagerberg invites his readers in Chapter 1 to look “through” it. Appreciating Fagerberg requires an understanding of what he means by the word liturgy, which he defines as the “perechoresis of the Trinity kenotically extended to invite our synergistic ascent into deification.” Fagerberg develops his definition: “Liturgy is participation in the perichoresis of the Trinity; asceticism is the capacitation for that participation; theology is union with God, making the Church’s liturgy an act of theologia; and liturgical asceticism is the life-long process of deification that results in the removal of the cataracts of sin from our eyes, giving us clear sight, at last” (6). Every Christian has an ascetic vocation, and asceticism enables a person to participate fully in the liturgy. The silver key of self-denial enables a person to use the golden key to affirm the world as a sacrament. Fagerberg affirms this paradox of denial and affirmation: “we can be led by the world to God, but only if we disown the world” (23). Grace facilitates the optic that Christians need in order to see the world as sacramental, but it presupposes that we allow Christ to deliver us from the slavery of sin. Embracing the discipline of liturgical asceticism will bear the ultimate fruit whereby “cultic liturgy animates our lived liturgy” (27). This is the true meaning of what Fagerberg refers to as “mundane liturgical theology.” Conversion and the ongoing commitment to asceticism enable the dove to descend and operate in our lives so that we might be able to see the world as it has truly been created. Fagerberg’s description of the liturgy as a “participation in the perichoresis [that is, the special relationship shared among the persons] of the Trinity” be-

comes clearer in Chapter 2: “The liturgy is our inclusion, made possible by the Dove, in a relationship between the Son and the Father: (i) The Son worships the Father; (ii) the Church worships the Son, her founder; (iii) and through the Son, together with the Son, the Church worships the Father. All this occurs by the powers of the Holy Spirit who is ushering creation into its own home: a redeemed, eschatological, spiritual existence” (34). Consequently, Fagerberg maintains that every Christian has been created to be a liturgist because by nature every person is designed for worship. Fagerberg maintains the view that Christians live in an “eschatological estuary” (30). Baptism plunges all Christians into this environment, so they share the mission to transform this world to make evident its eschatological identity to all people. The daily life of the Christian must visibly be transformed by the liturgy: “We take on the imprint of the altar of the Mass in order to ourselves become the sacrificial city of God in our bodies, in the midst of the irreligious city of man” (36). Consecrated life and the marriage vocation, in a complementary manner, are signs of the eschaton in different ways. What unites both of them is that each of them involves the sacrifice of love, albeit in distinct manners, that direct people towards the communion with God that will be fully realized in the eschaton. In Chapter 3, Fagerberg highlights the mystery of Christ, which has been imprinted upon us beginning with the sacraments of initiation as “we are raised to heaven on the wing of the dove” (51). The fundamental image in this chapter is the notion of inscription. As an outward sign or mark (eikon) of sacramental character bestowed upon the neophyte at Baptism, the minister marks his forehead with chrism oil. Fagerberg maintains: “Every succeeding liturgical celebration builds up the likeness of that initial imprint: the liturgy of the hours, the liturgical year, the sacraments, and the Divine Liturgy of the Mass all add layer upon layer to the refreshed imago Dei” (53). Christians are called to be living icons that make Christ present in our mundane world. The most significant insight in Fagerberg’s work is his emphasis upon the relationship between Christ’s Incarnation and our call to deification. What Christ is by nature, we become via the grace received from the liturgy. There is a double kenosis whereby “Christ emptied himself in order to take up humanity, and we lay down sinful humanity in order to take up divine life” (66). Through the celebration of the liturgy we are raised up by the wing of the dove towards a true participation in the mystery of Christ’s life here on earth so that our self-emptying and repentance from sin can lead to ascension in the life of grace. The liturgy renews the way in which we see the world. In Chapter 4, Fagerberg asserts, “There is nothing wrong with the world at which we look, but there is something wrong with how we look at that world” (79). We have been made to see the world with “the eye of the dove” and view the mundane world liturgically. Laypeople in particular have the vocation to restore the world’s proper order, which has become distorted by sin. Fagerberg describes the mission that every Christian receives from his participation in the liturgy based upon the symbolism of the Church’s physical structure: “First he crosses the narthex from the world in the nave, in order

9 to absorb the energy of the altar in the sanctuary; then he crosses the narthex from the nave back into the world, in order to release that light into the world” (91). Each member of the laity potentially receives the repaired vision to see the world as it truly is—a sacrament made for communion with God. Finally, Fagerberg concludes his book by reaffirming, in Chapter 5, the close connection between the sacramental liturgy and our personal liturgy (94). In this particular chapter, Fagerberg emphasizes the role of authentic sacrifice in the life of the Church. True sacrifice, Fagerberg notes, is defined by St. Augustine as “every action done so as to cling to God in communion of holiness, and thus achieve blessedness” (Cited in CCC 2099; 99). The notion of deification in the previous chapter is reinforced by the stress placed upon the mission of every member of the Church to grow in holiness and unity, which is an essential part of the Church’s sacrificial worship. The ultimate sacrifice involves the redemption of the entire world. Hence, “We are not content to merely offer bread and wine in our sacrifice; we are not content to merely offer ourselves individually; we will not be content unless the whole redeemed world is lifted up in oblation. Doing the world as it was meant to be done means doing the world as a temple in which God is glorified” (110). Laypeople have a critical mission to consecrate the world by sanctifying every aspect of their life from the source and summit of grace—the sacred liturgy. Consecrating the World is an insightful work that should be read together with On Liturgical Asceticism by all the faithful. In particular it will be helpful for members of the laity truly to understand their vocation to sanctify the world and the authentic meaning and purpose of the sacred liturgy. The Appendix to Fagerberg’s book is particularly valuable for married lay people who want to appreciate and understand their vocation and how to progress in answering the call to holiness appropriate for their state of life. Drawing upon John Climacus’s The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Fagerberg is able to demonstrate that both marriage and monastic life are ascetical vocations that consecrate the world in distinct but complimentary ways. Consecrating the World also deserves to be read as an introductory primer for the study of liturgy alongside the work of Romano Guardini, Louis Bouyer, Alexander Schmemann, and Joseph Ratzinger. This book should be required reading in every introductory liturgy course in seminaries and universities because it emphasizes the true spirit of the liturgy, which defines worship as logiké latreia (Rom 12:1). Fagerberg’s text is timely: we are in such need of reorienting our discussions about how to renew and celebrate the liturgy. As the desert monk Evagarius reminds us, “A theologian is one who prays, and one who prays is a theologian.” Similarly, Fagerberg exhorts all people to remember that a liturgist is one who worships, and one who worships is a liturgist. The vocation of every liturgist is to worship the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, so we may bring the entire cosmos back into communion with God. ________________________________ Roland Millare serves as the chair of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX), the Director of Middle School CCE at St. Theresa (Sugar Land, TX), and an adjunct professor of theology for deacon candidates at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary (Houston, TX). Roland is a candidate for a doctorate in sacred theology (STD) at the Liturgical Institute/University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL).


lETTERS Liturgical Music—East and West Dear Editor, I am a Catholic and personally assisting our choirmaster mainly on Latin language, Gregorian chant and polyphony repertoire. One of the problems for our choir, just like that of many church choirs in China, is that most of our choir members and even the parish priests believe and advocate that “Latin language and Gregorian chant are obsolete in the post-Vatican II Church.” Some of them are just “tolerating” Gregorian chant, if not openly opposing, since our choirmaster is strongly pushing it in the recent years. A few months ago I happened to read the article “Buried Treasure” by Susan Benofy at your website and found it very informative and beneficial with its abundant materials and great insights. I think it is very good teaching material for those who have been otherwise falsely taught before, and I am eager to introduce it to our choir members as well as other church choirs who are potentially in need. However, it is difficult for most of them to read in English, so I’d like to translate it to Chinese. So, I want to check with you first to see if I can get the permission at all to do so (i.e., translate the essay “Buried Treasure” and share it with our choir and others freely). Would you please let me know whether it is permitted? Thanks, and best regards, — Michael Zhang Shanghai, China Adoremus replies: Dear Michael, thank you for your service to the Church and her liturgy. Adoremus exists to help the clergy and the faithful like yourself in carrying out the Church’s liturgical apostolate in the most authentic and beautiful way. Please translate as you like. Appreciating Sacrifice Dear Editor, I almost skipped over David L. Augustine’s magisterial article in the July 2016 Adoremus, “Sacrifice as Deification: Reflections on the Augustinian Foundations of Ratzinger’s Sacrificial Theology,” figuring that it would put me to sleep. But I read the first line, then the second line, then the third line, and couldn’t stop until I came to the end of this long article. I found it so richly profound, so beautifully crafted, so well researched. It nourished my soul. This is one article I will copy into my computer “ad perpertuam rei memoriam.” I’m pleased that David is a graduate of Mundelein Seminary’s Liturgical Institute and will regale the Church with the fruit of his studies for years to come. The late, great Cardinal George, who in the year 2000 founded the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein, would be proud of David. Kudos also to the editor for daring to print this article. — Rev. Gino Dalpiaz, C.S. Chicago, IL Ad Orientem Debate Continues… Dear Editor, Shortly after Cardinal Sarah encouraged priests to return to an ad orientem posture during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, several cardinals responded that n. 299 of the General Instructions to the Roman Missal (GIRM) showed a preference for Mass ad populum. While future Missals may make

Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016


The Rite Questions

: Is there a theology of church floor design?

: Though it might at first seem surprising, church floors are a potent part of the symbol system of a church building, which is itself a visible image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the place of true worship which includes the new heaven and the new earth mentioned in the Book of Revelation. A church floor signifies theological realities in three principal ways. First, heaven is described as a city with walls and gates made of gold and covered with gems, indicating the glory of many living stones assembled into the image of Christ himself. Similarly, the streets of this heavenly city are described as “pure gold, clear as crystal” (Rev 21:21). To walk on a church floor, then, is to walk sacramentally on the “streets” of heaven which lead to Christ enthroned. Fine materials and gem-like colors arranged in carefullydesigned patterns have been used in the great tradition to signify these glorified streets. Second, this same choice of material and pattern can indicate the theological importance of different parts of the church. Just as the altar itself ought to be given the most precious materials and finest workmanship because it symbolizes Christ himself, so the flooring material of the sanctu-

ary ought to be the richest and most carefully designed of the entire church (high-quality wood or marble flooring, for instance). Lesser materials and simpler designs would be used in the nave, under pews, and in the narthex, each according to its inherent dignity. Similarly, elaborated floor patterns would be specified around important focal points of the liturgical and devotion action: the altar, baptistery, tabernacle, and shrines, for example. Lastly, particular attention ought to be paid to the primary aisles of a church. In the rites of the Church, the layperson approaches the sanctuary to receive Holy Communion in what is called the “Communion Procession,” and is indeed part of the ritual action like other processions. As such, the flooring of a church’s aisle indicates the privileged path of the pilgrim Church anticipating the heavenly banquet by way of the sacraments. It is a path unlike any other path and as such receives careful and elevated design and materials. A key issue for any decision about church floors is that they are to have an ecclesiastical character. Institutional carpeting or domestic-looking tile have a hard time providing ecclesiastical character because they are not

that preference clear, a close examination of GIRM n. 299 shows no such preference. The text in Latin and the approved English translation follow (I have added clause numbers for ease of discussion): [i] Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, [ii] ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, [iii] quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. [i] “The altar should be built apart from the wall, [ii] in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, [iii] which is desirable wherever possible.” Proponents of offering Mass ad populum argue that clause [iii] modifies clause [ii], while proponents of offering Mass ad orientem argue clause [iii] modifies clause [i]. Either construction is permissible in Latin, but proponents of the former construction miss an important point. Clause [ii] contains two elements, not one—walk around the altar easily and face the people. If clause [iii] modifies clause [ii], then it modifies both elements in the clause. In other words, not only is it desirable for the priest to offer Mass facing the people under this construction, but it’s also desirable for him to make several trips around the altar during Mass. Clearly that is not the intent of GIRM n. 299. Given the structure of GIRM n. 299 and the repeated instructions throughout the rubrics to face the people (a superfluous instruction if the default position is ad populum), an objective interpretation of the GIRM would support a slight preference for Mass being celebrated ad orientem—at least until there’s a change in the GIRM. — Steve Herbes Via email

Father Rob Johansen responds for Adoremus: Mr. Herbes, after reading your email, the original Latin text, and consulting with other Latin experts, I’ve concluded that I think you are on to something. However, (and this probably won’t surprise you) the issue is a little more complex than you state in your letter. You are almost correct in writing that the quod clause refers back to the preceding clause. But, in fact, the quod clause refers back to both of the preceding clauses (I and II). The subject of the verb phrase peragi possit (“able to be done”) is celebratio (celebration). Quod cannot refer back to the celebratio phrase alone, as celebratio is feminine and the relative pronoun quod is neuter. (Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in gender and number.) It also can’t refer to altare maius alone, as “the principal altar is expedient wherever possible” is nonsense. The quod clause makes the best sense when taken as referring back to the whole preceding sentence. This same interpretation is given in the Congregation for Divine Worship’s response to a similar question on GIRM 299: “the word expedit does not constitute an obligation, but a suggestion that refers to the construction of the altar a pariete sejunctum [detached from the wall] and to the celebration versus populum [toward the people]” (September 25, 2000, Prot. No 2036/00/L, Published in Notitiae). Based on this observation, the reading of the quod clause as meaning only, or even primarily, that “the celebration versus populum is expedient whenever possible” is not tenable. But one cannot, on the other hand, read this as implying only that the altar should be constructed apart from the wall. Furthermore, I believe the meaning of the adverb ubicumque weighs against interpreting the passage as referring to the mode of celebration of Mass, as opposed to the manner of constructing the

Correction to July 2016 Bulletin’s question of use of Mass settings: In response to a reader’s question about the use of Mass settings on page 10, “Questions of Faith,” the response was changed by the editors to read, “Keep in mind that for the last thousand years, Christians have sung the Mass from memory and by rote before music notation was even invented!” The text should have read: “Keep in mind that for the first thousand years of Church history, Christians sang the Mass completely from memory and by rote—long before music notation was even invented!”

good indicators of heavenly perfection. However, a church floor need not be covered in crosses or ecclesiastical symbols in order to be ecclesial. When a church floor indicates order, gem-like radiance, permanence and eschatological glory, it will be suitable for a church because it signifies the heavenly kingdom and contributes to the symbolism of the church building itself. Answered by Denis McNamara

altar. Ubicumque is an adverb of place, not time. Therefore, it logically should be construed as referring to the physical placement of the altar. It seems to me that to translate it as referring to the celebration of Mass is to fudge the sense of “wherever” into “whenever.” One could stretch the meaning of the ubicumque phrase to the grammatical breaking point by interpreting it as a “temporal clause,” but no Latinist I have consulted does so. Neither, in fact, do the official English translators, at least literally. This seems to me an instance of some translators nudging the interpretation of the passage in a certain direction. Of course, any translation conveys an interpretation; as goes the old Italian saying, “Il traduttore è un traditore.” (The translator is a traitor.) But, in this instance, I do not think the actual Latin grammar and syntax justify the “nudge” that some have advanced. Here is my translation of the text: “Wherever it is possible, it is expedient that the principal altar be built separate from the wall, so that it may be walked around easily, and so celebration facing the people may be conducted upon it.” So, in conclusion, it does not seem to me that there is any basis to construe the Latin text of this paragraph as implying a “preference” for celebration of Mass either ad populum or ad orientem. Again, we must bear in mind that the paragraph is an instruction concerning the construction of the altar, not the manner of celebrating Mass. It simply means that when the main altar is built, it should be built in such a way that a priest may walk around it and celebrate versus populum if he wishes, without implying that such celebration somehow constitutes a new norm for the act of celebrating. Thank you again for your letter, Mr. Herbes. It has given me the opportunity to study the matter more deeply and thereby gain a clearer insight into the matter.


Adoremus Bulletin, September 2016



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Continued from MARRIAGE on page 7 Church and marital love. The first petition is that Christ would bless the couple and their loved ones just as he blessed the marriage at Cana. “The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence” (CCC 1613). The interpretation by St. Maximus of Turin (4th-5th century) is a good example: “The Son of God went to the wedding so that marriage, which had been instituted by his own authority, might be sanctified by his blessed presence.”12 Christ is next asked to pour his love into the hearts of the bride and groom as he “loved the Church to the end,” a reference to John’s description of Christ’s love for his disciples as he prepared to wash their feet: “He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end” (13:1). Finally, he is asked to

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enable the couple to “await with joy the blessed hope to come” as they bear “witness to faith in his Resurrection.” These solemn blessings offer a concise catechesis on the sacrament of marriage. The first summarizes the ends of marriage and its missionary dimension. The second emphasizes the sacrament as the work of and communion with the Trinity. And the third option highlights the sacrament as a sign of Christ’s relationship with the Church. Conclusion The sacrament of marriage employs a rich variety of signs and symbols to make present “the saving and sanctifying action of Christ” (CCC 1189). Gestures such as joining hands and hands raised in blessing signify powerful spiritual realities. Postures such as standing and kneeling signify interior dispositions of humility and readiness. The sacramental of holy water signifies the holiness of marital unity symbolized by the rings. Cultural adaptations like the arras and

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lazo reveal how the Church incorporates into the liturgy elements of human culture, “conferring on them the dignity of signs of grace, of the new creation in Jesus Christ” (CCC 1149). And the rich use of blessings signifies the power of the Spirit sent from Christ to communicate the Father’s love, for “blessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father; his blessing is both word and gift” (CCC 1078). Together these signs reveal and make present the life of the Trinity and Christ’s love for his Church. Father Randy Stice is the Director of the Office of Worship and Liturgy for the Diocese of Knoxville (TN) and the pastor of St. Mary Church in Athens, TN. He holds an STL in Systematic Theology from Mundelein Seminary and an MA in Liturgy from the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary. He is the author of Understanding the Sacraments of Healing: A Rite-based Approach (LTP, 2015) and Understanding the Sacraments of Voca-

tion: A Rite-based Approach (LTP, 2016). His articles have appeared in The Heythrop Journal and Sacred Architecture.


1. Liturgiae Instaurationes, 1. 2. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Praying with Body, Mind, and Voice (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2010). 3. This question can be omitted if circumstances such as the age of the couple suggest it. 4. James Monti, A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2012), 215. 5. Monti, A Sense of the Sacred 216. 6. Monti, A Sense of the Sacred, 217. 7. James L. Empereur and Eduardo Fernandez. La Vida Sacra: Contemporary Hispanic Sacramental Theology (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), 156. 8. Mark R. Francis and Arturo J. Perez-Rodriguez, Primero Dios: Hispanic Liturgical Resource (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2007), 104. 9. Empereur, 156. 10. Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, trans. Linda M. Maloney, rev. and ed. Theodor Mass-Ewerd (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1997), 213. 11. Emminghaus, The Eucharist, 214. 12. Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press Academic, 2007), 90

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Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology Roland Millare reviews the latest book from David Fagerberg. Hardly mundane at all, Fagerberg’s work helps us to see the new heavens and new earth through the liturgy.

Adoremus Bulletin


The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition The Marriage Rite’s new rubrics, translations, and ritual elements will be used in the U.S. by year’s end. Father Randy Stice shows how this Second Edition expresses the Church’s thinking on Matrimony.

Musicam Sacram at 50 | The first post-conciliar document on sacred music turned general principles into concrete instructions. But are these 1967 directives still relevant today? Susan Benofy shows they are just what is needed for Godcentered liturgical music.

What Did the Council Fathers Intend? | Cardinal Sarah reminds us of what the authors of Sacrosanctum Concilium intended—according to their texts—and how their goals must guide today’s ongoing liturgical renewal.


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rated Christian brothers and sisters and consider “the whole of mankind.” The Church’s mission is to every man and woman! The Fathers of the Council believed this and hoped that more fruitful participation in the liturgy would facilitate a renewal in the Church’s missionary activity. [...] I have spent some time considering the first article of the Constitution because it is very important that we do read Sacrosanctum Concilium in its context, as a document which intended to promote legitimate development (such as the increased use of the vernacular) in continuity with the nature, teaching and mission of the Church in the modern world. We must not read into it things which it does not say. The Fathers did not intend a

tertain any hopes of realizing this (active participation) unless the pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it.” At the beginning of article 21 we also hear the Fathers’ intentions very clearly: “In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the Sacred Liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself.” “Ut populus christianus in sacra Liturgia abundantiam gratiarum securius assequatur...” When we study Latin we learn that the word “ut” signifies a clear purpose that follows in the same clause. What did the Council Fathers intend? —that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the Sacred Liturgy. How did they propose to do this? —by undertaking with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself (“ipsius Liturgiae generalem instaurationem sedulo curare cupit”). Please note that the Fathers speak of a “restoration,” not a revolution! One of the clearest and most beautiful expressions of the intentions of the Fathers of the Council is found at the beginning of the second chapter of the Constitution, which considers the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist. In article 48 we read: “The Church... earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God’s word and be nourished


Cont. from CARDINAL SARAH on page 8

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Pope St. Pius X considered the sacred liturgy as the “foremost and indispensible fount” for acquiring “the true Christian spirit.”

revolution, but an evolution, a moderate reform. The intentions of the Council Fathers are very clear from other key passages. Article 14 is one of the most important of the whole Constitution: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism. In the restoration and promotion of the Sacred Liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work. Yet it would be futile to entertain any hopes of realizing this unless the pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it. A prime need, therefore, is that attention be directed, first of all, to the liturgical instruction of the clergy.” We hear the voice of the pre-conciliar popes here, seeking a real and fruitful participation in the liturgy, and in order to bring that about, the insistence that a thorough instruction or formation in the liturgy is urgently necessary. The Fathers show a realism here that was perhaps forgotten afterwards. Let us listen again to those words of the Council and ponder their importance: “it would be futile to en-

at the table of the Lord’s body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.” My brothers and sisters, this is what the Council Fathers intended. Yes, certainly, they discussed and voted on specific ways of achieving their intentions. But let us be very clear: the ritual reforms proposed in the Constitution such as the restoration of the prayer of the faithful at Mass (n. 53), the extension of concelebration (n. 57) or some of its policies such as the simplification desired by articles 34 and 50, are all subordinate to the fundamental intentions of the Council Fathers I have just outlined. They are means to an end, and it is the end which we must achieve. If we are to move towards a more authentic implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, it is these goals, these ends, which we must keep before us first and foremost. It may be that, if we study them with fresh eyes and with the benefit of the experience of the past five decades, we shall see some specific ritual reforms and certain liturgical policies in a different light. If, today, so as to “impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful” and “help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church,” some of these need to be reconsidered, let us ask the Lord to give us the love and the humility and wisdom so to do.

Adoremus Bulletin - September 2016 Issue  
Adoremus Bulletin - September 2016 Issue