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Adoremus Bulletin


Instruction on Burial Practices Issued by Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith


ardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published the Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo, “Regarding the Burial of the Deceased and the Conservation of the Ashes in the Case of Cremation” on August 15. While the instruction contains little new legislation, it does recall the scriptural, theological, and pastoral foundations of the Church’s longstanding burial practices. The document also emphasizes the Church’s current norms in light of many novel practices. The complete text of the Congregation’s text follows.

Ad resurgendum cum Christo (“Regarding the Burial of the Deceased and the Conservation of the Ashes in the Case of Cremation”)

1. To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8). With the Instruction Piam et Constantem of 5 July Please see BURIAL on next page

CONTENTS Straight Talk from Hippo: How St. Augustine’s Sermons Speak Volumes to Today’s Preachers by Father Daniel Cardó................ 1

The Sober Intoxication of the Word and Spirit

by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap.............. 3

Progressive Solemnity: Musicam Sacram’s Plan for Sung Liturgy in Every Parish

by Adam Bartlett........................... 6

Praying Ad Orientem

by Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli....... 8

A Conversation with Stillness: The Ritual of Silence in the Mass

by Father Douglas Martis............. 9

News & Views......................... 2 The Rite Questions............. 10 Donors & Memorials........ 11

Vol. XXII, No. 4

Straight Talk from Hippo: How St. Augustine’s Sermons Speak Volumes to Today’s Preachers By Father Daniel Cardó ___________________


he growing awareness of the importance of preaching is a sign of our times. This is true in terms of the academic discipline of homiletics, but even more so in the ecclesial mindfulness that good homilies are at the core of any truly new evangelization. We see this in the common awareness of our assemblies: people know that a good homily makes a difference. We see this as well in the Magisterium of the Church.


What’s News

For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

“Good homilies are at the core of any truly new evangelization.” The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council say in Sacrosanctum Concilium, “the homily is to be highly esteemed as part of the liturgy itself ” (52). The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the homily as an extension of the proclamation of the Word (1154). But, as we know, this liturgical action is not always performed in the best way. With a view to how important preaching is to the life of the Church, Benedict XVI writes, “Given the importance of the word of God, the quality of homilies needs to be improved” (Sacramentum Caritatis 10). Recently, Pope Francis has called for “serious consideration by pastors” (Evangelii Gaudium 135) in regards to the homily. Of course, in general, people in the pews are kind to us preachers, even when our homilies are bad or when the congregation doesn’t bother to listen to our homilies. One of the most interesting experiences I’ve had as a preacher happened when, after Sunday Mass, a well-formed adult kindly thanked me for my preaching. “Great homily today, Father!” said the parishioner. In my surprise I was only able to say, “Thank you, but, you know that the deacon preached today, right?” That incident made me realize that the problem of how a homily is received by the faithful is not only about what one’s congregation may like or dislike. The challenge among preachers is especially a question of how we can be instructed and moved by the Word of God in such a way that our testimony will be powerful and memorable. Furthermore, how can homilists preach that Word in a way that will effectively move our people to growth and conversion? The testimony and teachings of St. Augustine offer a great wealth of wisdom for preachers today. The anecdote of the inattentive parishioner that I just shared makes me think of one initial reason for the relevance of St. Augustine to preaching in a time of new evangelization. In St. Augustine’s own

“We are your books,” St. Augustine once said to his faithful. Today’s scriptural illiteracy makes modern preachers the only spiritual books that most people may read.

time, only around 10 percent of the population was literate. The Bishop of Hippo once famously said to his congregation, “We are your books” (Codices vestres nos sumus (Sermon [=S] 227)). In these powerful words, we see how St. Augustine understood the importance of homiletics. To people who do not know how to read or how to interpret God’s Word, the preacher becomes a book. But even in a literate society, these words are pertinent. Whereas most people know how to read and the average American household has 4.4 Bibles, nearly 60 percent of Americans read the Bible only four times a year or less.1 And, of course, when we come to the problem of interpreting Scripture, or understanding God’s revelation— theology!—the scriptural illiteracy is even greater. In this context, when people be-

“The average American household has 4.4 Bibles, but nearly 60 percent of Americans read the Bible only four times a year or less.”

come more and more unfamiliar with God’s Word, preachers serve as the only books that most people will read. Returning to the wisdom of St. Augustine can teach us how the homily helps fulfill the Church’s mission.2 We will learn three lessons from this saint and Church Father from North Africa— and thereby discover three ways in which St. Augustine’s homilies are worthy of emulation. First, we understand through his sermons that preaching is shared prayer between preacher and listener. Second, St. Augustine’s common-sense style is a primary characteristic of his sermons, a characteristic that today’s preachers would do well to integrate into their own homilies. Third, when it comes to the homily’s power, St. Augustine appeals not only to the head, but also to the heart, another lesson for today’s homilists to remember in their own preaching. Each lesson imparted by St. Augustine will shed light on some common false dichotomies about preaching, showing that when it comes to preaching, one’s style is not restricted by a choice between different elements but ought to embrace both features to achieve truly dynamic homilies. Homilies as Shared Prayer Augustine is famous for his “restless heart.” This is true not only in regards to his initial conversion but also in his constant search for God and for transmitting his love effectively as a good preacher. He confesses, “I am nearly always dissatisfied with the address that I give… and when I find that my actual address fails to express what I have before my mind, I am depressed by the fact that my tongue has been unable to keep up with my intellect” (De Cat. Rud. 2,3). The sudden insight into the truth seems to fade from the mind, St. Augustine says, whereas our speech needs to be articulated in syllables, taken from what has been impressed on the memory. Please see HOMILY on page 4

Continued from BURIAL, page 1 1963, the then Holy Office established that “all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed,” adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church.”1 Later this change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law (1983) and the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches (1990). During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation. 2. The resurrection of Jesus is the culminating truth of the Christian faith, preached as an essential part of the Paschal Mystery from the very beginnings of Christianity: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve” (1 Cor 15:3-5). Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20-22). It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12). United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ (cf. Eph 2:6). Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.”2 By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live.”3 3. Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.4 In memory of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord, the mystery that illumines the Christian meaning of death,5 burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.6 The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.7 By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body,8 and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity.9 She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body. Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sa-

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017

NEWS & VIEWS cred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works.”10 Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead,11 and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.12 Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints. Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians. 4. In circumstances when cremation is chosen because of sanitary, economic or social considerations, this choice must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased faithful. The Church raises no doctrinal objections to this practice, since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively negates neither the Christian doctrine of the soul’s immortality nor that of the resurrection of the body.13 The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.”14 In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism. 5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority. From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church.”15 The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices. 6. For the reasons given above, the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation. 7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, nat-

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.

uralism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimized by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation. 8. When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law.16


1. AAS 56 (1964), 822-823. 2. Roman Missal, Preface I for the Dead. 3. Tertullian, De Resurrectione carnis, 1,1: CCL 2, 921. 4. Cf. CIC, can. 1176, § 3, can. 1205; CCEO, can. 876, § 3; can. 868. 5. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1681. 6. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300. 7. Cf. 1 Cor 15:42-44; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1683. 8. Cf. St. Augustine, De cura pro mortuis gerenda, 3, 5; CSEL 41, 628. 9. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 14. 10. St. Augustine, De cura pro mortuis gerenda, 3, 5: CSEL 41, 627. 11. Cf. Tb 2:9; 12:12. 12. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300. 13. Cf. Holy Office, Instruction Piam et costantem, 5 July 1963: AAS 56 (1964) 822. 14. CIC, can. 1176 § 3; cf. CCEC, can. 876 § 3. 15. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 962. 16. CIC, can. 1184; CCEO, can.876, § 3.



Lucia Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto in 1917. Pope Fraincis will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, on May 12-13, 2017, the centenary of the first apparitions of Our Lady to the three children.

Pope to Visit Fatima The Holy See Press Office has announced that on the occasion of the centenary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova da Iria, and in response to the invitation from the president of the Republic and the Portuguese bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima from May 12-13, 2017. In 1917 from May to October on the 13th day of each month—Our Lady appeared to children Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia Santos, encouraging prayer and penance. The Collect of the May 13 celebration of Our Lady of Fatima echoes this message: “O God, who chose the Mother of your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day the reign of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.” Adoremus Bulletin will have more on the place of Our Lady of Fatima in the liturgical life of the Church during the Centenary being celebrated in 2017.

EDITOR - PUBLISHER: Christopher Carstens MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph O’Brien GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Danelle Bjornson OFFICE MANAGER: Elizabeth Gallagher PHONE: 608.521.0385 WEBSITE: MEMBERSHIP REQUESTS & 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 © 2017 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017


By Christopher Carstens, Editor __________________________


s there a “patron saint” of the liturgical apostolate? Among Popes, one hears Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Popes Pius V and X invoked, for clarity in thought and in ritual reform. In the Patristic Church, St. Ambrose and his student St. Augustine, as well as St. Cyril and St. Theodore of Mopsuestia contributed much liturgical insight through their mystagogical catecheses. Scholastic theologians, most notably St. Thomas Aquinas, taught clearly and beautifully about the sacraments with a precision not yet seen at the time. One rarely named—or, perhaps, never named worthy—is St. John the Baptist. But Christ’s cousin, the Forerunner and the Last Prophet certainly deserves a hearing from anyone wishing to deepen his or her insight into the depths of the liturgy. St. John was brought to mind during the past Advent Season, a time when the Church hears a great deal from the Forerunner. Specifically, in the Office of Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent, we hear St. Augustine cast St. John in this liturgical light. “John is the voice,” St. Augustine says, “but the Lord is the Word who was in the beginning. John is the voice that lasts for a time; from the beginning Christ is the Word who lives forever. Take away the word, the meaning, and what is the voice? Where there is no understanding, there is only a meaningless sound. The voice without the word strikes the ear but does not build up the heart.” Is this voice-word relationship, that is, the dynamic established between John and Jesus, an insightful analogy to sacramental language of the praying Church? When the Church prays, she uses a tapestry of signs and symbols that have the power to make Christ present. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way: “A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words” (1153). If we

can graft St. Augustine’s treatment of St. John the Baptist onto this teaching of the Catechism, we could say that the Victorious Christ is manifested by what the Church does and says, through her actions—and her voice. For example, when the Church’s voice says “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” she quotes Jesus at the mount of the ascension as he commands his Apostles, the seedling Church, to go and teach and baptize all nations. In short, the Church conveys the Word to the world by her voice. When she says “The Lord be with you,” she echoes Boaz, the man from Bethlehem, greeting his springtime harvesters in the Book of Ruth. This exchange takes place immediately before he first lays eyes on his future bride and feeds her with abundance at this table. Here, the voice of the Church speaks of the Word become Flesh—also born in Bethlehem, also bearing fruit during the spring harvest, and also feeding his people in abundance. When the praying Church offers the Collect, or Opening Prayer, of the Mass, she invites us to pray, then gathers our hearts into one, and gives voice to these sentiments through the Word to the Father on the Breath of the Holy Spirit. As before, her voice is an outward and audible sign of an inward and otherwise inaudible Word. The “liturgical dialogue” described by the Catechism above finds still more consonance with Augustine’s meditations on the Baptist. The sage Bishop of Hippo says: “Let us observe what happens when we first seek to build up our hearts. When I think about what I am going to say, the word or message is already in my heart. When I want to speak to you, I look for a way to share with your heart what is already in mine. “In my search for a way to let this message reach you, so that the word already in my heart may find a place also in yours, I use my voice to speak to you. The sound of my voice brings the meaning of the word to you and then passes

The Sober Intoxication of the Word and Spirit By Father Raniero Catalamessa, OFM Cap ___________________ Editor’s Note: The following excerpt comes from Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the pontifical household, and his sermon on the third Sunday of Advent. Full text is available at Pope Benedict XVI also wrote of “sober intoxication” in The Spirit of the Liturgy when considering the nature of the Church’s language—a regular topic in Adoremus Bulletin. What Pope Benedict means by this peculiar phrase is that the Word spoken by the praying Church is the Logos—Word—which is “logical,” “reasonable,” and “sober.” But the air or breath that sounds the Word is that of the Holy Spirit—as in “spirits”—which is an inebriant and intoxicant. Thus, the Church’s liturgical language, which is a cooperation of Logos and Spirit, is best characterized in figurative language as a kind of “sober intoxication” or “drunken [Spirited] speech [Word].”


stanza of the hymn at Lauds for the Fourth Week of the Breviary says,

And may Christ be food to us, and faith be our drink, and let us joyfully taste the sober intoxication of the Spirit.1

What led the Fathers to take up the theme of “sober intoxication,” already developed by Philo of Alexandria,2 was the text in which the Apostle exhorts the Christians in Ephesus that says, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts” (Eph 5:18-19). Starting with Origin, there are countless texts from the Fathers that illustrate this theme, alternating between the analogy and the contrast of physical intoxication and spiritual intoxication. The likeness lies in the fact that both types of intoxication infuse joy; they make us


John the Baptist: A Clear Voice for the Liturgy in the Wilderness of the World

The Church’s liturgical language, after the model of St. John the Baptist, gives voice to the Word. “I speak out in order to lead him into your hearts,” St. Augustine imagines the Baptist saying, “but he does not choose to come where I lead him unless you prepare the way for him.”

away. The word which the sound has brought to you is now in your heart, and yet it is still also in mine…. Let us hold on to the word; we must not lose the word conceived inwardly in our hearts.” How does Christ, Word of his Church, convey himself to us? Though the sacramental voice of the Church. The voice of the praying Bride bears the Word, who is Christ. And if we can hear (as St. Benedict’s Rule begins) “with the ear of our heart,” that Word can abide in us which “in the beginning was with God and was God.” St. Augustine encourages us in this view. “We should take our lesson from John the Baptist,” the Voice of the Word, he says. The next time you hear the voice of the praying Church, know that it bears a substantial, faithful Word meant for your heart. The “Word” resounds on many pages of this edition of Adoremus Bulletin. Fa-

ther Daniel Cardó, with the help of St. Augustine, uncovers three useful keys to unlock the power of preaching—and the power of an assembly’s heart. Father Douglas Martis, following on both Cardinal Sarah’s and Pope Francis’ recent comments on silence, points to particular places in the liturgy where silence can let the word resonate—literally, “sound again” in our minds and hearts. Preacher of the Papal Household Father Raniero Cantalamessa and musician Adam Bartlett likewise raise the Word to a higher (and deeper) pitch. The liturgical Word is not a mono-tone (nor monotonous) but, powered by the sweet Breath of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is sung by the Church in dignity and beauty. “In the beginning was the Word.” As 2017 begins, may this same Word, announced by St. John the Baptist, bless all of our endeavors in his Holy Name.

forget our troubles and make us escape ourselves. The contrast lies in the fact that while physical intoxication (from alcohol, drugs, sex, success) makes people shaky and unsteady, spiritual intoxication makes people steady at doing good. The first intoxication makes people come out of themselves to live below the level of reason; the second makes people come out of themselves to live above the level of their reason. Both use the word “ecstasy” (the name recently given to a deadly drug!), but one is an ecstasy downward and the other is an ecstasy upward. St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes that those who thought the apostles were drunk at Pentecost were correct; they were mistaken only in attributing that drunkenness to ordinary wine, whereas it was “new wine” pressed from the “true vine,” who is Christ. The apostles were intoxicated, yes, but with that sober intoxication that puts to death sin and brings life to the soul.3 Drawing on the episode of water flowing from the rock in the desert (see Ex 17:1-7) and on Paul’s comment about it in the First Letter to the Corinthians (“All drank the same supernatural drink…and all were made to drink of one Spirit” [1

Cor 10:4; 12:13]), Saint Ambrose wrote, “The Lord Jesus poured out water from the rock and all drank from it. Those who drank it only symbolically were satisfied; those who drank it in very truth were inebriated. Inebriation of this sort is good and fills the heart without causing the feet to totter. Yes, it is a good inebriation. It steadies the footsteps and makes sober the mind…. Drink Christ, for he is the vine; drink Christ, for he is the rock from which the water gushes forth…. Drink Christ, that you may drink His words…. Divine scripture is imbibed, divine scripture is eaten when the juice of the eternal word runs through the veins of the mind and enters into the vital parts of the soul.4


1. St. Ambrose’s hymn “Splendor paternae gloriae” [“O Splendor of the Father’s Glory”], in Brian P. Dunkle, Enchantment and Creed in the Hymns of Ambrose of Milan (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 222. 2. See, among many examples, On the Creation of the World in Philo: Philosophical Writings, ed. Hans Lewy (Oxford: East and West Library 1946), p. 55. See Legum allegoriae 1, 84, “methe nefalios.” 3. See St. Cyril of Jerusalem, The Catechetical Letters of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 17, 18-19, reprint of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 7 (N.p.: Veritatis Splendor, 2014), p. 592; see PG33, p. 989. 4. St. Ambrose, Commentary on Twelve Psalms, 1, 33, trans. ĺde M. NíRian (Dublin: Halcyon Press, 2000), p. 21; see also PL 14, pp. 939-940.

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017



While St. Augustine did spend time preparing homilies on particular texts, he was intimately familiar with the scriptures so that he could also preach spontaneously, if necessary.

Continued from HOMILY on page 1

Christ, however, is one syllable, one eternal Word said by the Father from all eternity. “Yet we should not find it surprising,” St. Augustine says, “that to meet our weakness [Christ] descended to the discrete sounds that we use” (Enarrationes in Psalmos [=En.Ps.] 103,1-4th). Our Lord’s incarnation makes it truly possible to explain, albeit imperfectly, the Word through our words. Our life is a pilgrimage towards eternal happiness, and while we walk on this path, our true and daily food, St. Augustine says, is the “absolutely necessary” bread of the “very word of God…. [O]ur daily food on this earth is the word of God, which is always being served up in the churches.” In encountering this word, says Augustine, we realize “it’s our food, not our wages” (S. 56,10). Prayer, as the encounter with Christ and his word, is a necessary disposition for any believer, and this is keenly felt by anyone who shares God’s word. The Bishop of Hippo is very fond of describing his mission as preacher as the work of one who provides sustenance. “I feed you on what I am fed on myself. I am just a waiter, I am not the master of the house; I set before you from the pantry which I too live on” (S. 339,4). His own experience of prayer is what allows him to share the good news with his people. His own search for Christ leads him to search for the truth and find it in the revelation of charity. Everything in Scripture tends toward charity, as he taught his people: “You need look for nothing else in Scripture…. [W]herever there is an obscure passage of Scripture, charity is concealed in it, and wherever the sense is plain, charity is proclaimed. If it were nowhere plain to see, it would not nourish you; if it were nowhere concealed, it would not exercise you” (En.Ps. 140,2). The life of a preacher is the constant search for

had prepared a short psalm for our consideration today and indicated to the reader that this was the psalm to be recited. But at the last minute he apparently became flustered and read this one instead. We have deemed it preferable to see in the reader’s mistake a sign of the will of God and to follow that rather than to do our own will by sticking to our original plan.” This course-correction is a clear proof that for Augustine, as for any good homilist, “improvisation does not mean unpreparedness”3 and that the saint did spend time preparing his homilies. The fact that he was capable of speaking without notes or of preaching about a text for which he was not prepared, indicates familiarity with the word and dedicated years of training. If we can use a modern comparison provided by William Harmless, this spontaneous response is like a jazz player who is able to play because of the long hours of disciplined practice.4 In the end, the solution to this common pastoral problem—to prepare or not to prepare—is found when we realize that we are to be served and fed upon what we serve and feed to others. Although many priests will say that despite having no time to prepare homilies, they are still able to preach, very few priests will say that because they are busy, they can live without praying. In prayer we are fed by God; in preaching we feed our people. It would be a mistake to see the demands of preparing our homilies as another of the many things we have to do during the week. In fact, the preparation of our Sunday preaching could be one of the best ways of bringing unity to our lives, as our prayer and study become our work, and our work becomes our prayer. A rich weekly meditation on the lectionary readings will nourish the soul of the preacher while, at the same time, this time of reflection will offer the homilist the wisdom to discern what he needs to share from the ambo with his assembly. Preaching is, truly, our own prayer shared with our people.

that charity in prayer, and the faithful effort to share that charity with the people entrusted to his care. Augustine understood that preparation for preaching was not primarily an intellectual or technical endeavor. For all his years of teaching and training in the art of public speaking, after his unexpected priestly ordination, he was deeply aware of the necessity of preparing his heart and mind, through prayer, for this important ministry. He wrote a moving letter to his bishop, Valerius, asking for some time dedicated “to make it my business by prayer and “Our Lord’s incarnation makes reading to secure that my soul be endued it truly possible to explain, with the health and vigor necessary for laalbeit imperfectly, the Word bors so responsible” through our words.” (Ep. 21,3). Of course, this preparation is not only about a specific Common Sense in Preaching time off, but about the constant feedWhile the contemplation of God’s ing he undertakes so that he can be a word in prayer is foundational, it is good household servant (S. 90,3) who, not the only requisite for effective like a waiter, offers the tray of God’s preaching. To borrow from St. Augusword to his people (S. 126,8). tine’s metaphor, like a good waiter, the In St. Augustine’s understanding of preacher needs to know what to serve homiletics as a matter of service, the and how to serve it, according to those saint reveals one of the most comwho are being fed. Augustine’s sermon mon false dichotomies in the life of style is a great example of how to pracpreachers: Should the homilist prepare tice the art of accommodation, not a homily or improvise on a few basic only, as we saw, in the saint’s capacity principles with minimum preparato preach with spontaneity, but also in tion? The objections to preparing a how he practices the skill of adapting homily are, usually, rather practical: as his speech to the needs and characpastoral life is so demanding and burteristics of his audience. This ability densome, it seems impossible to spend speaks to his common sense approach any good time preparing homilies. But to homiletics. preparation and spontaneity are not This sober mark within St. Augusreally opposed. tine’s sermon style also reveals other Augustine certainly improvised in false dichotomies in homiletics. Are the sense that he did not write down homilies, some preachers might ask, his sermons. However, he did presupposed to teach or share, to be docpare his preaching. Plain evidence of trinal or pastoral, conceptual or persuch preparation on St. Augustine’s sonal? In his own style, Augustine’s part is found in the occasions when common sense in preaching comes the wrong reading was proclaimed from his knowledge of his people and at Mass. For instance, as he was prethe ultimate aim of his prayers and serpared to preach on Psalm 138: “We

mons—the conversion of the sinner. Unified in this way with his people, he is able to say, as he celebrates the anniversary of his episcopal ordination, “brothers and sisters, lighten my burden for me, lighten it, please, and carry it with me; lead good lives” (S. 339,4), and elsewhere, “do my job in your own homes” (S. 94). “This is the secret of Augustine’s enormous power as a preacher,” writes Peter Brown. “He will make it his first concern to place himself in the midst of his congregation, to appeal to their feelings for him, to react with immense sensitivity to their emotions, and so, as the sermon progressed, to sweep them into his own way of feeling. He could identify himself sufficiently with his congregation to provoke them to identify themselves completely with himself ” (Augustine of Hippo 248). St. Augustine constantly puts into practice what he teaches in De Doctrina Christiana. As he says in this work, the traditional distinction of styles according to the kind of speech—calm to teach, moderate to delight, and grand to sway—was important but limited. For any Christian preacher, St. Augustine says, “everything we say is a great matter” (DDC IV:18,35). Therefore, he concludes, it is best to adapt and combine these styles in each sermon to achieve in any case a certain eloquence. Such eloquence, St. Augustine states, is necessary for a preacher. “It is the duty…of the eloquent churchman, when he is trying to persuade the people about something that has to be done, not only to teach, in order to instruct them; not only to delight, in order to hold them; but also to sway, in order to conquer and win them” (DDC IV:13,29). This eloquence, however, is not motivated by the vain pursuit of excellent rhetoric, but by a bond of love, a feeling of compassion that moves the preacher to dwell in his listeners and the listeners to dwell in the preacher (see De Cat. Rud., 12,17). Out of this love and compassion, Augustine asks, “Why do I preach? What do I live for? This is my sole purpose: that together we may live with Christ! This is my passion, this is my honor, this is my fame, this is my only possession, this is my joy! …But I do not want to be saved without you!” (S. 17,2). This loving passion moves Augustine to teach doctrine as he preaches, explaining the mysteries of Scripture as he did so many times in his works. For example, one need only look to his series of sermons on the Psalms (a larger corpus than all the other extant patristic commentaries on the Psalms taken together). Consider, too, St. Augustine explaining the mysteries of the sacraments to the infantes, in a manner both personal and magisterial: “I haven’t forgotten my promise. I had promised those of you who have just been baptized a sermon to explain the sacrament of the Lord’s table, which you can see right now, and which you shared in last night.… If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive” (S. 227). The Bishop of Hippo’s pastoral common sense is perceived clearly in the wealth of images and simple phrases, each of which is moving and easy to understand and altogether permeate his homilies. A few examples will suffice. Considering the last things, St. Augustine says: “It’s by the mercy of God that a man doesn’t know when he is going to die. The last day is hidden from us, in order that every day may be taken seriously” (S. 39,1). Preaching about Jesus being asleep Continued on next page


The Heart As a Path There is one more false dichotomy which St. Augustine reveals in his sermons and which preachers today would do well to take into account as they prepare their own homilies. Each pastor must ask, are my homilies supposed to address the mind or the heart? This question comes from the awareness that our culture, deeply subjective and relativistic, most often appeals to personal experience and emotion when seeking to convince us of a point. How can the Church teach the truth to our society? More specifically, how can homilies be relevant, for example, to millennials? Augustine’s example gives us an important key. The emotional mindset so common in our culture, while being a challenge, also presents an opportunity if we know how to appeal to the heart. In his own conversion, Augustine sought healing in his heart. His different emotions and affections found redemption in love, he says, especially as that love played out in the Psalms: “How I cried out to you in those Psalms and how they kindled my love for you” (Conf IX: 8).5 He understood that love is at the root of who we become, and so he prayed with the Song of Songs: “Order in me my love” (CD XV:22). This was, in the end, the dividing line for the history of humanity: “The citizens of God’s holy city have all their affections rightly ordered” (CD XIV: 9,1). Love is that force of gravity that moves us upwards, towards the city of God, as he preached in his commentary on Psalm 121: “If our foundation is in heaven, the weight of our building bears upward, toward heaven” (121, 4). Augustine teaches today’s Catholic preacher to address his people just as he did in the early fifth century: “Question your heart: see what you have done and what you have been yearning for” (In 1Ioa 6, 3). These are words that are easily understandable by anyone, and they address the perennial questions of the human heart. Such an approach can


in the boat, St. Augustine notes: “You have heard an insult—it’s a high wind; you’ve got angry—it’s a wave…. What does it mean that Christ is asleep in you? That you have forgotten Christ. So wake Christ up, remember Christ; let Christ stay awake in you” (S. 63,2). Speaking about love of the things of this world, St. Augustine explains that the “world is a smiling place” (S. 158,7). Focusing on the same concern for worldly matters, St. Augustine also uses the image of a ring to make his point: “Brothers, if a bridegroom made a ring for his bride, and she loved the ring… more than her bridegroom…, if she said, ‘The ring is enough. I do not want to see his face again,’ what sort of person would she be? Who wouldn’t detest this crazy woman? …[The ring] is given her by the betrothed just that [in it] he himself may be loved. God, then, has given you all these things. Love Him who made them” (In 1Ioa 2, 11). Teaching about prayer St. Augustine compares God to a doctor (S. 20B,4): “God provides for our salvation even if he doesn’t comply with our wish” (1Ioa 6,8). “You know what you desire, but he knows what’s good for you.… So think yourself as being ill under a doctor. You have suddenly the lovely idea of asking the doctor to let you have a glass of wine…. Don’t hesitate to ask…, but if you don’t get it, don’t feel bad about it” (S. 80, 2). Effective preaching is always personal and profound; it always teaches and touches the heart; and it always moves to conversion: “Do what he has told you, and hope for what he has promised” (S. 80, 8).


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017

The Lateran Basilica in Rome houses the earliest portrait of St. Augustine, dating from the 6th century.

lead to a fruitful emphasis in preaching today: go to the real human heart, not just to a relativistic and politically correct sentimentalism. Address in honesty and warmth the authentic human heart, with all its passion, with all its questions, with all its deep longings. Start with the heart. That is Augustine’s lesson here. In his sermons, St. Augustine knew how to do that. He would preach about the psalms of ascent, emphasizing the spiritual ascent to the city of Jerusalem. He says, “Our ascent must be made in the heart, by a good intention, in faith and hope and charity, in a desire for eternity” (En. Ps. 120,3). He also says, “We travel not on foot but by our affections” because “love is a powerful thing” (En. Ps. 121,11-12). And how can we teach the heart to ascend in this way? Such spiritual “travel” is possible through what we could call a pedagogy of desire. Desire is an experience of any human heart. Any human being, of any age, of any background, will relate to the simple and profound insight of Augustine’s commentary on the Gospel of John: desiderium sinus cordis (“desire is the bosom of the heart”). As Brown put it, “it is yearning that makes the heart deep” (In Ioan 40,10). This profound human reality is no less central for a Christian because of his faith. Quite the opposite is true. A preacher can wake up a congregation consumed by routine the way that St. Augustine does in his sermons. “Because now you are unable to see,” the saint writes, “let your task consist in desiring. The entire life of a good Christian is a holy desire” (In 1Ioa 4,6). A homilist can strengthen those who might be tired of praying in this way: “He wanted to make them knock at his door in order to exercise them in desire” (S. 80,1), and give comfort to those who do not know how to pray. “Desire is praying always,” St. Augustine says, offering hope to those who feel that their prayers are not heard. “God stretches our desire through delay, stretches our soul through desire, and makes it large enough by stretching it. Let us desire then, brothers, for we have to be filled” (In 1Ioa 4,6). This is the goal of a good homilist, in any age—to help the faithful, whether well-formed or not, to stretch that desire and go from there to God; to help them recognize in their hearts the longing for eternity. Beginning with the heart, a preacher can open the conversation about eternity, as St. Augustine did so well when he talked about “being possessed by yearning for the well-springs.” Furthermore, he says, “Remember how we were gladdened by an inner sweetness, remember how we

St. Augustine likens the homilist to a good waiter who not only knows what to serve but also how to serve it, according to those who are being fed. Bishop William Patrick Callahan, OFM Conv., of the Diocese of La Crosse, WI, tailors his preaching accordingly, here to confirmation candidates.

found it possible to perceive…something that does not change” (En. Ps. 41,10). The homilist can broach this same conversation about eternity in a particularly effective way in our mystagogical preaching, by surprising our congregations as the Bishop of Hippo did. For instance, St. Augustine—as Brown indicates—would not preach during Baptism on what his people expected— the cleansing power of the waters—but about our deep thirst for God, the fountain of true water.6 He also surprised his congregation on another occasion when he praised the shining night of our hearts as he described the lights of the Easter Vigil. Allow me here to introduce a free comparison that can help us to see how modern Augustine’s approach can feel and how much we can learn from him today. Twentieth century American writer James Agee wrote a beautiful poem in the 1930s (made famous by American composer Morten Lauridsen’s setting) in which Agee expresses his gratitude for the beauty of the earth, but also his deep longing for something more than what this world can offer. Sure on this shining night Of star made shadows round, Kindness must watch for me This side the ground. …Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand’ring far alone Of shadows on the stars. Some 1,500 years before Agee was writing, Augustine also sang about this shining night, brightly seen in the liturgical rites of Easter, revealing the true meaning of this night where all our human longings are fulfilled. “The sun has gone but not the day,” the Bishop of Hippo writes, “for a shining earth has taken the place of the shining sky. With delighted eyes we behold the gleam of these lamps, and thus, with an illuminated spirit, we can understand the meaning of this shining night” (S. 5,1 and 2). Our human desires are fulfilled in the mysteries of the Church. Conclusion Few ancient authors can be felt in such a powerful way today as Augustine. But, for all the passion that he conveyed, as we read in these homilies, we know that we are missing their tone, volume, and musicality; we know that the expression of his face and the movement of his

hands are lost to us. We weren’t there to hear them as they were delivered. As Possidius said about his friend, “Those who read his works on divine subjects profit thereby. But I believe that they were able to derive greater good from him who heard and saw him as he spoke in person in the church” (Vita XXXI). Even though we have not seen Augustine, we find comfort in knowing him through his words. His heartfelt letter to his friend St.

Paulinus expresses well what we experience when we get to know

Augustine and learn from him how to renew our preaching for the new evangelization. “I grieve that I do not see you,” Augustine writes to Paulinus, “but I take some comfort in my pain…. Do we not all long for the future Jerusalem? …I cannot refrain from this longing: I would be inhuman if I could. Indeed, I derive some sweetness from my very lack of self-control; and in this sweet yearning, I seek some small consolation” (Ep. 27,1).

Father Daniel Cardó was born in Lima, Peru, in 1975. He joined the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and was ordained to the priesthood in 2006. His license thesis on the thought of Joseph Ratzinger was published in Spain. He earned his Doctorate in 2015, specializing in liturgy and early Christian literature. In 2007 he moved to Colorado, and was chaplain at St. Malo Retreat Center. In 2010 he was appointed to Holy Name Parish, Denver. He is in charge of formation for the Christian Life Movement, chaplain at Christ in the City and teaches Homiletics and Patristics at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.


1. 2. Although there are many studies on Augustine’s preaching, it is fundamental to review the classic work of Cardinal Pellegrino: Michele Pellegrino, general introduction to Augustine: Sermons I, 1-19, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P. (Brooklyn, N.Y.: New City Press, 1990), 13-136. 3. Michele Pellegrino, general introduction to: Augustine Sermons, 30. 4. See William Harmless, Augustine and the Catechumenate, 247. 5. See about this Michael Fiedrowicz, general introduction to Augustine: Expositions of the Psalms [Enarrationes in Psalmos] 1-32, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B. (Brooklyn, N.Y.: New City Press, 2000), 37-38. 6. See Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo, 242.


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017

Ever Ancient—Ever New: Implementing Musicam Sacram Today Part II: Progressive Solemnity, Musicam Sacram’s Plan for Sung Liturgy in Every Parish By Adam Bartlett ______________ Editor’s Note: The first part of this series appeared in the November issue of Adoremus Bulletin, entitled “Ever Ancient–Ever New: Implementing Musicam Sacram Today: Renewal of Sacred Music in Continuity with the Past.”

The Meaning of Progressive Solemnity Progressive solemnity is commonly understood today as a coordination of the quantity and complexity of the music sung in the liturgy with the rank or degree of the solemnity of the liturgy itself. While this definition is not necessarily incorrect, it is most certainly incomplete from the vantage point of Musicam Sacram. On the one hand, the document states, “celebrations which are singled out by the liturgy in the course of the liturgical year as being of special importance, may be solemnized by singing” (MS 44). It instructs that the more solemn or privileged celebrations and seasons, especially Holy Week, should be “given due solemnity” (ibid.) by the use of sacred music in order to reflect the degree of solemnity held by the liturgical rites themselves. On the other hand, however, Musicam Sacram also states that “[i]t should be borne in mind that the true solemnity of liturgical worship depends less on a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial than on its worthy and religious celebration, which takes into account the integrity of the liturgical celebration itself, and the performance of each of its parts according to their own particular nature” (MS 11, emphasis added). The first sense of the meaning of solemnity, then, corresponds to the level of festivity or importance given to a particular liturgical celebration, and also to the sophistication and magnificence of the music and ceremonial that accompanies it. Musicam Sacram affirms this sense of solemnity, saying that “to have a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial is at times desirable when there are the resources available to carry them out properly” (MS 11). Historically, the resources needed to carry out the more ornate and solemn forms of sacred music that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy calls “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (SC 112) have been mostly found in basilicas, cathedrals, monasteries and other major churches, and it was here primarily that the sacred music tradition thrived and developed. This solemn form of celebration sets the full text of the liturgy to song in the most ornate forms of Gregorian chant, polyphony, and other forms of choral music. These repertoires—however beautiful—usually require highly trained professionals in order to execute them well. Musicam Sacram upholds this tradition, in accord with Sac-



rior to the 1967 Instruction Musicam Sacram, liturgical norms maintained a clear distinction between two basic forms of celebration of the Mass: “the sung Mass (Missa in cantu), and the read Mass (Missa lecta), commonly called low Mass.”1 According to these norms, the sung Mass requires that all the words of the Mass be sung—including its Order, Ordinary, and Proper—while the read Mass requires that all the words of the Mass be spoken and not sung. Musicam Sacram maintains this distinction as it is defined in the 1958 Instruction De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia, but it also allows for varying degrees of singing the liturgy between these two strict forms of celebration in order that “it may become easier [for parishes] to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation” (MS 28). The principle of progressive solemnity thus enters the Church’s official liturgical documentation for the first time through Musicam Sacram, though the concept has a deep history in the liturgical tradition. This principle is first articulated at the Instruction’s outset, saying: “Between the solemn, fuller form of liturgical celebration, in which everything that demands singing is in fact sung, and the simplest form, in which singing is not used, there can be various degrees according to the greater or lesser place allotted to singing” (MS 7). This principle is foundational for Musicam Sacram, and is applied variously throughout the document. Progressive solemnity, as put forth by the sacred music instruction, is a pastoral and practical tool that seeks to enable every parish—no matter its size, resources, capabilities or present pastoral realities—to begin singing the liturgy with integrity and to establish the sung liturgy universally as its normal form of celebration.

The Church’s Instruction on Music in the Liturgy (Musicam Sacram), which celebrates 50 years in 2017, gives clear guidance to musicians, directing them to “enter on this new work with the desire to continue that tradition which has furnished the Church with a truly abundant heritage. Let them examine the works of the past, their types and characteristics, but let them also pay careful attention to the new laws and requirements of the liturgy.”

rosanctum Concilium, and affirms it, stating that large with modest means can celebrate the liturgy solemnly choirs “which have in the course of centuries earned for in song, even in a simplified manner that is appropriate themselves high renown by preserving and developing a to their abilities and capacities. They can prioritize their musical heritage of inestimable value, should be retained musical resources according to the liturgical priorities for sacred celebrations of a more elaborate kind, acof the liturgical year, focusing greater resources on more cording to their own traditional norms…” (MS 20). This privileged feasts and seasons, and lessening them on less form of solemn celebration of the liturgy is proposed as solemn celebrations. Musicam Sacram offers parishes a kind of model form of celebration, perhaps because it pastoral tools to celebrate the liturgy with true solemsacramentally shows forth more clearly the hidden realnity, in the second sense of the word—with an integrity ity of what the liturgy is: an actual participation in and that preserves and ensures worthy celebration, and that a foretaste of “that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated allows a sung form of the liturgy to be carried out in evin the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey ery parish “as much as possible, even several times on as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of the same day” (MS 27). God, a minister of the holies and of the true taberna The word progressive also has significant meaning cle…” (SC 8). The more solemn, ornate form of celebrathat is often misunderstood today. A dictionary definition, then, has served—and ought to continue to serve— tion of the word is “happenas an ideal form of liturgical ing or developing gradually celebration: a model upheld or in stages.”2 In one sense of in larger churches and basili“Progressive solemnity is the word progressive, Musicam cas, and in cathedral churches Sacram allows for parishes a pastoral and practical tool centered around the liturgical to begin progressively singing celebrations of the bishop, esthat seeks to enable every the various parts of the Mass pecially on the more solemn parish—no matter its size, in stages, beginning with the feasts of the liturgical year. most important parts and The Church in her wisdom resources, capabilities or leading into the more complex. understands, however, that this present pastoral realities— Yet it also suggests a pastoral more solemn form of celebrasense of the word progressive, to begin singing the liturgy with tion is not—and historically which allows parishes to grow has not always been—achievintegrity and to establish the sung and further develop its musiable in smaller churches where cal life progressively over the liturgy universally as its normal fewer resources are available course of time. As the docuto carry it out. It is in this form of celebration.” ment states, “through suitable spirit that Musicam Sacram instruction and practices, the illustrates a second sense of people should be gradually led the word solemnity, which to a fuller—indeed, to a commore broadly applies to every plete—participation in those liturgical celebration that the parts of the singing which pertain to them” (MS 16). It Church carries out, whether in an urban cathedral or a is here that the true nature of “pastoral music” can be country parish—whether in a prison compound or an discerned. While pastoral practice requires taking into airport chapel. It states that “true solemnity of liturgical account “capabilities of each congregation” at the presworship depends less on a more ornate form of singing ent time (see MS 28, 45 and 47), it cannot be allowed to and a more magnificent ceremonial than on its worthy and religious celebration, which takes into account the simply remain there: pastoral practice also requires that integrity of the liturgical celebration itself, and the perthe congregation be led, gradually, to a fuller or even formance of each of its parts according to their own parcomplete participation in the sung liturgy as the Church ticular nature” (MS 11). This “integrity” of liturgical celenvisions it. The nature of a shepherd is one who leads ebration hearkens to St. Thomas’ three qualities of beauhis flock. The pastoral nature of music that Musicam Sacty, which are integritas, claritas and consonantia. A truly ram presents shows forth a musical and liturgical ideal beautiful celebration of the liturgy, Musicam Sacram toward which every parish should strive, and yet equips seems to suggest, relies not so much on the ornateness of each with the tools needed to celebrate the liturgy with its celebration—all things being equal—as it does on the integrity where it is while striving toward and taking its integrity of the celebration as a whole (integritas), to the bearings from that ideal. Even more, Musicam Sacram balance and relationship between its different parts (conassists parishes in the pastoral work of deepening its sonantia), and to its ability to clearly reveal the realities musical celebration over the course of time with the that the liturgy expresses and communicates through help of progressive solemnity. sacramental signs (claritas). Seen in this way, parishes Continued on next page


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017



When the Entrance Chant is concluded, the Priest and the faithful, standing, sign themselves Priorities for Parts to Be Sung way grow organically from forms already with the Sign of the Cross, while the Priest, facing the people, say: Musicam Sacram presents a pastoral existing” (SC 23). Such organic developtool of great value to parishes through ment of the liturgy has always occurred an illustration of three degrees of imwithin the Church’s history. portance in the celebration of the sung The task of the liturgical composer liturgy.3 This schema and model for the in service of fostering the sung liturgy introduction of the sung Mass can help in every parish is thus stated clearly by The people reply: pastors facilitate a gradual implementaMusicam Sacram: “Musicians will enter tion of the sung liturgy, with pastoral on this new work with the desire to consensitivity, over time. Beyond this, these tinue that tradition which has furnished degrees of participation demonstrate the the Church, in her divine worship, with Eucharistic liturgy’s musical priorities. a truly abundant heritage. Let them exAs Musicam Sacram states, and as the Then the Priest, extending his hands, greets the people, saying: amine the works of the past, their types General Instruction of the Roman Missal and characteristics, but let them also pay reiterates, “in selecting the parts which careful attention to the new laws and are to be sung, one should start with requirements of the liturgy…” (MS 59). those that are by their nature of greater In order for composers and musicians to importance.”4 The GIRM does not elabobe prepared for such work, the Instrucrate much further on what these degrees tion on Music in the Liturgy suggests of importance actually are. In order to that “the study and practice of Gregorian The Roman Missal, Third Edition, fully notates every part of the Order of Mass, reiterating find them, one must turn to Musicam the primacy of the sung Order of Mass as the foundational song of the liturgy. chant is to be promoted, because, with Sacram. This sacred music instruction its special characteristics, it is a basis of states that these three degrees “are so argreat importance for the development responses and other suitable settings” sing together in Latin those parts of the ranged that the first may be used even by of sacred music” (MS 52). While it also (MS 33). This participation, ideally, Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to itself, but the second and third, wholly or asks competent territorial authorities to takes place after the assembly sings the them” (MS 47). partially, may never be used without the “decide whether certain vernacular texts other parts of the Mass well. Still, with The third degree contains what Musifirst. In this way the faithful will be conset to music which have been handed this directive, the Instruction provides cam Sacram and the liturgical books call tinually led towards an ever greater pardown from former times can in fact be 8 5 parishes with yet another pastoral tool. the Proper of the Mass , which consists ticipation in the singing” (MS 28). used” (MS 55) and stresses that in new Since some parishes—in fact most parof the chants at the Entrance, Offertory, The first degree, essentially, contains composition “[t]he nature and laws of ishes—often find themselves without the and Communion processions, and the the parts of the Order of Mass, which each language must be respected, and resources to sing the full Mass Proper as Responsorial Psalm (Gradual) and Alconsist of the dialogues and responses the features and special characteristics of it is found in the Graduale Romanum, leluia with its Verse. This degree also between the priest, ministers and the each people must be taken into considthe ability to sing the proper antiphons includes the readings of Sacred Scripture people, in addition to the orations of the eration” (MS 54), Musicam Sacram holds of the Mass in other—and perhaps also for which the liturgical books also propriest (the Collect, Prayer over the Offirm to the principle of organic developsimpler—musical settings is a tremenvide musical tones, although they may ferings, and Prayer after Communion). ment, desiring that “new forms may in dous gift to parishes and a substantial equally be suited to proclamation withIt also includes the Sanctus, which while some way grow organically from forms aid in the task of bringing about a sung out singing. The Proper of the Mass is traditionally grouped that already exist, and the new work will liturgy in every parish. Further, Musicam comprised of scripwith the elements of “Following the Council, the Sacram suggests that “simple responses” form a new part in the musical heritage tural antiphons and the second degree, is immediately pre-conciliar might follow the singing of the full apof the Church, not unworthy of its past” responsories that placed by Musicam pointed antiphons sung by the schola (MS 59). are sung in alterSacram in the first norm of a spoken Mass cantorum or cantor. Such responses nation with verses degree because of its (Missa lecta)—with might set to music an excerpt from the from the Psalms Tasks for Today supreme importance. devotional, vernacular hymns proper antiphon, or from its Psalm, or and other books As we approach the 50th anniversary of The musical settings of even a seasonal antiphon that all of the from scripture. The the Order of Mass, in the Church’s official Instruction on Muat the Entrance, Offertory, faithful can repeat often throughout the Proper falls in the addition to the proper sic in the Liturgy, we might pause to reCommunion and at the conyear and easily sing from memory. This third category of tones for the orations, flect on what progress we have made in clusion of the Mass—became tool can be of great help to parishes with Musicam Sacram’s are contained within implementing the Second Vatican Counfew resources in the task of singing the the foundation upon which three degrees of the Roman Missal. The cil’s vision for sacred music and on what liturgy. In our own day, these tools are importance, perRoman Missal, Third the renewal of sacred music efforts of renewal still remain before us. assisting many parishes in beginning to haps, because it is Edition, fully notates As we look around at many of our parwas built, rather than taking sing the Mass as Musicam Sacram and the most diverse every part of the Order ishes today, we will find that Musicam the sung Mass (Missa in Sacrosanctum Concilium so desire. and complex part of Mass including its Sacram’s plan for achieving the sung of the sung liturgy, many Prefaces, reiterat- cantu) as the model, with liturgy in every parish—beginning with Future Development with “proper” (i.e., ing the primacy of the a gradual and progressive the Order of Mass, followed by the OrUndoubtedly there are tensions within unique) texts being sung Order of Mass as dinary and Proper—remains unfulfilled. implementation of the Musicam Sacram that require creative appointed for virthe foundational song A possible reason for this state is that different sung parts solutions. One of these tensions is the tually every day of of the liturgy. In our following the Council, the immediately task of preserving and fostering the of the liturgy over time.” the liturgical year. own day, the Church pre-conciliar norm of a spoken Mass treasure of sacred music with great care In contrast with continues to stress the (Missa lecta)—with devotional, vernacu(See SC 114) while also assisting the the first degree (in importance of singing lar hymns at the Entrance, Offertory, introduction of vernacular languages which the same words and melodies are this unchanging framework of the Mass, Communion and at the conclusion of into liturgical celebrations. The music sung from day to day) and the second a framework which is set in the simplest the Mass—became the foundation upon instruction therefore has much to say degree (where the words are always the musical forms, and is well within the cawhich the renewal of sacred music was about the composition of new music for same yet musical settings tend to vary), pabilities of any priest and congregation. built, rather than taking the sung Mass vernacular liturgical texts. This creativthe third degree is an immense reper The second degree contains the parts (Missa in cantu) as the model, with a ity, however, must be conditioned by toire, and for this reason it has been of the Ordinary of the Mass (excepting gradual and progressive implementation the Second Vatican Council’s explicit historically sung by the highly trained the Sanctus which is elevated to the first of the different sung parts of the liturgy instruction that “care must be taken that schola cantorum. degree), consisting of the Kyrie, Gloria, Please see SUNG MASS on page 10 any new forms adopted should in some Creed, and Agnus Dei. This degree also The Church, therefore, places the includes the Prayer of the Faithful. As Proper in the final degree of importance with the Order of Mass, the Church profor the sung liturgy, but this does not imvides numerous musical settings of the ply that the Mass Proper is unimportant. Mass Ordinary in the liturgical books The degrees established by Musicam Sacthemselves.6 The majority of these chant ram are primarily directed toward fossettings can be sung easily by congretering congregational singing. The Proper, gations, especially those found in the then, is the last part of the Mass which post-conciliar Kyriale Simplex.7 Musishould be sung by the congregation, afcam Sacram allows for the Ordinary of ter it can sing the Order and Ordinary the Mass to be sung in “musical settings of the Mass successfully. In this way, the written for several voices” by the choir schola cantorum can exercise its role, a alone “as long as the people are not compart of which is to “ensure the proper pletely excluded from taking part in the performance of the parts which belong singing” (MS 33). The Mass Ordinary to it, according to the different kinds of can also be sung in different musical setmusic sung” (MS 19). This role and these tings, and composers through the last parts are found principally in the Proper several hundred years have set these of the Mass, and are contained in the texts to music. However, Musicam Sacpost-conciliar liturgical book the Gradram upholds Gregorian chant as being uale Romanum.9 Despite this, Musicam the proper music of the Roman liturgy Sacram states that “it is desirable that the (MS 50), and affirms the Constitution assembly of the faithful should particiWhether in an urban cathedral or rural parish church—like St Finnan’s Church in Invergarry, on the Sacred Liturgy’s requirement that pate in the songs of the Proper as much Scotland—Musicam Sacram’s principle of “progressive solemnity” is a tool for parishes to sing the Mass according to their ability and resources, yet with beauty and integrity. the faithful should “also be able to say or as possible, especially through simple


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017


Christianity shows us that, over and above the physical design of any church, the spiritual orientation of the faithful at prayer is most important. In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote, “The common turning toward the east was not ‘a celebration toward the wall,’…it did not mean that the priest ‘had his back to the people’… . For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together ‘toward the Lord’…. They did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another; but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us” (The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 151). Christians focus, at least spiritually, on the Lord as on the sun rising in the east. “We turn our eyes and our hearts,” writes Bishop Serratelli,” ad orientem, to Today, the Eucharist Christ, the Dayspring who comes from the east to meet us in the Eucharist and will come at the end of our earthly pilgrimage to gather us together into the is almost universally celhome of our Father, the New and Eternal Jerusalem.” ebrated by a priest facing the people. This manner of celebration was introduced in order to respond to the Second Vatican Council’s call for “full, conscious and active participation of the laity” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 12). To achieve this, as Benedict turned to God. By maintaining a comwhen celebrating the Eucharist. By Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli mon spiritual direction to their prayer, XVI insightfully reminds us, “Every Writing in the 7th century, St. John Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ _____________________________ Jews around the world express not only of Damascus gives three explanations age must discover and express the esthe unity of their faith, but also their for the eastward stance of Christians sence of the liturgy anew. The point is Editor’s note: Bishop Serratelli’s article longing for all the scattered of God’s at prayer. First, Christ is “the Sun of to discover this essence amid all the initially appeared in the December 1 people to return to Jerusalem and to a Righteousness” (Mal 4:2) and “the Daychanging appearances” (The Spirit of edition of The Beacon, newspaper of the spring from on high” (Lk 1:78). Facrebuilt Temple in the anxious anticipathe Liturgy, p. 81). This means that, Diocese of Paterson, and is reprinted tion for the coming of the Messiah. ing the light dawning from the east, in every liturgy, we need to be aware here with his kind permission. From the earliest days of the Church, Christians affirm their faith in Christ of what is taking place. We need to be as the Light of the world. Second, God fully conscious that we are being made he Kaaba of Mecca is Islam’s planted the Garden of Eden in the east partakers in the Paschal Mystery, sharmost holy shrine. It is said to “ F acing the light dawning (cf. Gn 2:8). But, when our first paring in the very Death and Resurrection have been built by Abraham and ents sinned, they were exiled from the of Jesus. from the east, Christians his son Ishmael. It is considered “the garden and moved westward. Facing Whether celebrated with priest and House of Allah.” Mosques throughout east, therefore, reminds Christians of affirm their faith in Christ the world are built with a wall niche, people facing each other or with priest their need to long for and strive for the known as mihrab, pointing toward this and people together facing the same dias the Light of the world paradise that God intended for them. shrine to indicate the direction that rection, every Eucharist is Christ comAnd, third, when speaking of his Secand express their hope Muslims should face when at prayer. By ing to meet us, gracing us with a share ond Coming at the end of history, Jesus adopting a common direction for their in his own divine life. Every Eucharist said, “For just as lightning comes from for the second coming prayers, devout Muslims express their is a proleptic sharing in the feast of the east and is seen as far as the west, unity as followers of Mohammed as of Jesus.” so will the coming of the Son of Man heaven. Therefore, in every celebration worshippers of the one God. be” (Mt. 24:27). Thus, facing the east of the Eucharist, both priest and faithJews throughout the world also face at prayer visibly expresses the hope for ful should focus their attention not on a common direction when at prayer. Christians also faced east when at the coming of Jesus. (cf. St. John Dameach other, but on the Lord. According to the Talmud, Jews outside ascene, An Exposition of the Orthodox prayer. In fact, Tertullian (160-220 In celebration of the ancient Copof Israel pray in the direction of Israel. Faith, Book IV, Chapter 12). AD) actually had to defend Christians tic Rite of Egypt, a deacon exhorts the Jews in Israel pray in the direction of Holding fast to this ancient tradiagainst the pagans who accused them with the words “Look towards faithful Jerusalem. Jews in Jerusalem turn totion of facing eastward at prayer, the of facing east to worship the sun. Many the East!” His age-old exhortation, ward the Temple Mount. And, if they 12th century builders of the first St. Church Fathers, such as St. Clement of found also in Greek and Ethiopian litare on the Temple Mount, then they are Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna oriented Alexandria, St. Basil, and St. Augustine, urgies, stands as a strong reminder of to pray in the direction of where the this church to be in line with sunrise also speak of the practice of facing east. the spiritual direction of our prayer. As Holy of Holies once stood. on the feast of St. Stephen. However, In the 3rd century, the Didascalia, a Christians, we join all our prayers to In 70 A. D., the Romans destroyed even from the early centuries, not all treatise on church order from norththose of Christ. We turn our eyes and the Temple in Jerusalem, not leaving ern Syria, set down the rule of facing churches adhered to this tradition. In one stone upon another. Yet, pious Jews our hearts ad orientem, to Christ, the east during the Eucharist. It said, “Let fact, the Basilicas of St. John Lateran continue to face the direction of JeruDayspring who comes from the east to the place of the priests be separated in and St. Lorenzo in Rome and St. Peter’s salem and the Holy of Holies when at meet us in the Eucharist and will come a part of the house that faces east. In in the Vatican were built facing westprayer. This sacred direction reminds ward. So also the important Basilica of the midst of them is placed the bishop’s at the end of our earthly pilgrimage to them that they are lifting up their voice the Resurrection in Jerusalem. Thus, chair, and with him let the priests be gather us together into the home of in prayer to God, the all-Holy One, when a bishop or priest celebrates the seated. Likewise, and in another secour Father, the New and Eternal who had given them the Promised tion let the laity be seated facing east” Eucharist in these churches, the people Jerusalem. Land as an inheritance and had chosen (Didascalia, Chapter 12). and priest face each other. Nonethe___________________________ to dwell in the Holy of Holies in the less, the celebrant himself still remains Before Christianity was legal in the Temple in Jerusalem. facing the east. By his position, the Roman Empire, Christians worshipped Bishop Arthur Serratelli has served as Now that the Temple is no more, celebrant stands before the faithful as a in their homes. One of the oldest bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, New the synagogue has become the place of reminder to focus, not on him, but on known house churches has been disJersey, since 2004. In November he concommon prayer for all Jews. However, covered on the far eastern edge of the Christ, whose coming they await. cluded his term as Chairman of the US the design of some synagogues does Roman Empire, in present day Syria, Today, our churches do not conform Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship. not position the congregation to face at Dura-Europos. This house church to one standard architectural design. In October 2016 he was appointed by eastward toward Jerusalem. In these dates from 233 A.D. Archaeologists Some are shaped like Rome’s ancient Pope Francis as a member of the Holy have uncovered an assembly room in basilicas. Some resemble a Latin cross; instances, the faithful pray in the synaSee’s Congregation for Divine Worship the house where as many as 60 people others, a Greek cross. And, many of the gogue facing the Ark that contains the and the Discipline of the Sacraments. At would gather for prayer. The room was more recently constructed churches Torah. present, he is the Chairman of the Interdesigned with an altar against the east favor the form of an amphitheater. A national Committee on English in the By facing the Torah, that is, God’s Liturgy (ICEL). He is a member of the wall. In this way, the priest and all the quick overview of how the Eucharist self-revelation in Sacred Scripture, Vatican’s Vox Clara Commission. faithful would together be facing east has been celebrated from the birth of the congregants are at least spiritually

Praying Ad Orientem


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017

A Conversation with Stillness: The Ritual of Silence in the Mass


ilence is a prerequisite to prayer. Only when distractions are eliminated can the heart express itself unencumbered. This truth about our spiritual practices applies both to personal and public prayer. We must quiet even the noise within ourselves if we are to truly listen and speak to God. But since the Mass and Divine Office are public acts of worship, since they are the genre of ritual, more structure is necessary for the sake of the common good and conveying the meaning of the prayer. Some forms of worship require audible words: “Only the utterance of the ritual formula endows the gesture with meaning.”1 Thus, in Catholicism, a sacramental celebration is comprised of “matter” and “form,” or “stuff ” and “words.” And yet silence adds another essential dimension; silence itself is a sacramental sign of the interior disposition of the one who prays. In American culture silence is polyvalent. Children often experience it as restriction. “Speak only when spoken to,” is one example. Mom’s mantra, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” is another. The tennis match and the chess tournament tout a different type of silence—and there is no need to explain why. Symphonies are occasions for unqualified calm: the conductor approaches the podium to the accompaniment of roaring applause. Then suddenly a stunning silence ensues. Why? Partly by respect. Perhaps so as not to distract the musicians, the fellow listeners. Certainly to catch every note.

“Silence in the liturgy is intended to give expression to the prayers of the people, albeit in the quiet of their hearts; its aim is not to make them passive.” Even the ancient Greeks had various understandings of keeping quiet. The disciples of the philosopher Pythagoras, for example, were not allowed to speak for the first five years of their training. They were listeners,

hearers, learners. And once instructed, they were less chatty and more sage when they did speak. Invitation not Interdiction In the worship of God, silence is meant to be more invitation than interdiction, especially in the reformed liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. Silence in the liturgy is intended to give expression to the prayers of the people, albeit in the quiet of their hearts; its aim is not to make them passive. And yet, although liturgical norms consistently call for moments of sacred silence, liturgical formation in this area has not always been effective. For example, some lectors are trained to count to 15 or 30 between readings. Some in the assembly even go so far as to track these lengths of silence with their watches! Oftentimes, too, the silence required for worthy participation in the Mass is disregarded by ministers who seem to desire gold stars for speed. The Roman Missal is very direct in what it says about silence in the liturgy: “Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times.2 Its nature, however, depends on the moment when it occurs in the different parts of the celebration. For in the Penitential Act and again after the invitation to pray, individuals recollect themselves; whereas after a reading or after the Homily, all meditate briefly on what they have heard; then after Communion, they praise God in their hearts and pray to him.”3 In offering this beautiful insight, the Roman Missal demonstrates what the meaning of silence depends on when it occurs during Mass. Some categories suggest themselves in this insight too. We can infer that silence is aimed at recollection, meditation, and praise. Further, the Missal notes that there is also a silence of preparation that should occur before Mass begins, “in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas.”4

Silence for Recollection About 50 years ago, the bishops offered insightful instruction regarding the purpose of silence in the Mass. “There is a religious silence in which we hear God’s word,” they write in a 1966 letter, “another silence in which we listen to the prayer of the priest and then respond in affirmation, and also a prayerful silence of priest and people together, recently restored to public worship.”5

What is Sacred Silence? By Cardinal Robert Sarah _____________________


ilence is not an idea; it is the path that enables human beings to go to God. God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being. By living with the silent God, and in Him, we ourselves become silent. Nothing will more readily make us discover God than this silence inscribed at the heart of our being. I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence. Silence is the place where we can encounter God, because we come to Him with the proper attitude of a human being who trembles and stands at a distance while hoping confidently. Silence is a cardinal law of all liturgical celebration. Silence is an attitude of the soul. It is not a pause between two rituals; it is itself fully a ritual. Silence is the cloth from which our liturgies ought to

“At the proper times, all should observe a reverent silence. Through it the faithful are not only not considered as extraneous or dumb spectators at the liturgical service, but are associated more intimately in the mystery that is being celebrated.” In the Act of Penitence, the priest’s invitation, “Let us acknowledge our sins…” should be followed by a brief pause (“A brief pause for silence follows” is what the Order of Mass tells us.6) This pause should not be so short as to give the impression that one has no sins; nor should it be so long as to make the people think the ministers should have gone to confession before Mass began. This pause gives everyone the opportunity for recollection, to think of their failings and to entrust themselves to God’s mercy. Moments later, the Missal calls for a second moment of silent prayer. Let us be clear. Oremus (“Let us pray”) does not mean “Bring me the book.” It does not mean “Watch me flip through the pages of the Missal because the server lost the ribbon on the way up.” It does not mean “Please stand.” It does not even mean “Listen to this prayer I am going to read.” It does mean “Pray.” If the liturgy is respected and the rubrics followed, “Let us pray” is followed by a moment of silent prayer, as the Missal instructs us: “Next the Priest calls upon the people to pray and everybody, together with the Priest, observes a brief silence so that they may become aware of being in God’s presence and may call to mind their intentions. Then the Priest pronounces the prayer usually called the ‘Collect’ and through which the character of the celebration finds expression.”7 Any other thing done at this moment obscures the meaning of the liturgy and thwarts the participation of the faithful. “After ‘Let us pray’ a brief but real

be cut out. Nothing in them should interrupt the silent atmosphere that is their natural climate. Silence is a sonic iconostas. Silence is a form of mystagogy; it enables us to enter into the mystery without deflowering it. In the liturgy, the language of the mysteries is silent. Silence does not conceal; it reveals in depth. Silence is a privileged means of promoting the participation of the people of God in the liturgy. The Council Fathers intended to show what true liturgical participation is: entrance into the divine mystery. Silence is the good of the faithful, and the clerics must not deprive them of it! Silence is a radical and essential disposition; it is a conversion of heart. Now, to be converted, etymologically, is to turn back, to turn toward God. There is no true silence in the liturgy if we are not—with all our heart—turned toward the Lord. We must be converted, turn back to the Lord, in order to look at Him, contemplate His face, and fall at His feet to adore Him. Excerpts taken from Cardinal Sarah’s interview with the French journal La Nef, published in English in The

pause for silent prayer should be made by the celebrating priest—and the people themselves should be prepared so that they know the meaning of this time of prayer. In it each one, priest and people alike, may reflect briefly on the needs of one and all, on concrete and personal petitions and pleas.”8 The dynamic of this rite joins the disparate and many into one. In the Collect, countless individual prayers are gathered or collected in a unity, bundled like the strands of a cable which give the whole a greater strength than any one part alone. In this way, the private petitions are given public, ecclesial expression. This is why it is so crucial that the faithful be instructed on what to do during the sacred silence and the celebrant allow time for the prayers to be formulated.

“In the Collect, countless individual prayers are gathered or collected in a unity, bundled like the strands of a cable which give the whole a greater strength than any one part alone.” The Collect cannot possibly serve its ritual function if the people are not given the opportunity to formulate their own prayers. Silence for Meditation Silentium facite! Silence! Certain generations of Christians were told quite emphatically to keep quiet before the proclamation of the Gospel. And certainly, this makes sense. After all, the gospel is not simply a text; it is the living Word that should be welcomed in an attitude of prayer. “By silence and by singing, the people make this divine word their own.”9 The Roman Missal describes the importance of silence during the Liturgy of the Word: “The Liturgy of the Word is to be celebrated in such a way as to favor meditation, and so any kind of haste such as hinders recollection is clearly to be avoided. In the course of it, brief periods of silence are also appropriate, accommodated Please see SILENCE on page 12


By Father Douglas Martis _____________________


Cardinal Sarah invokes Pope St. John Paul II, who claims that “mystery continually veils itself, covers itself with silence.”

Catholic World Report (October 3, 2016), in anticipation of his forthcoming book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, available from Ignatius Press.


LETTERS All in for Gregorian I really wish you did not focus so much on music. As far as I’m concerned if it’s not Gregorian Chant it’s a huge distraction for me from the beauty of the Mass. When it’s silent I can hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me. Mass is so very noisy it’s a torture. Glad to read about kneeling. I had a knee replacement in June & causes me great pain but I still kneel. —H  . Paulus, Washington State Let’s Hear from the World I am thankful for the Adoremus Bulletin. Enclosed please find my renewal donation for 2017, plus additional for prison ministry requests and needy overseas underfunded requests, etc. Please try to expand your Readers’ page to include more little notes or excerpts from letters, etc. as I do enjoy “hearing” from far flung places and diverse people that are enjoying and learning about our faith from the Adoremus Bulletin. —M  aria Gloria, California Sri Lanka Calling I am a Catholic priest and Benedictine monk from Sri Lanka. Our Monastery would like to get a subscription of the Adoremus Bulletin. Please let me know how best we can do it. —F  ather Shamindra Jayawardena OSB Conventual Prior St. Sylvester’s Monastery, Kandy, Sri Lanka Adoremus’s editor Christopher Carstens sent Father Shamindra word that his community has received a subscription to Adoremus Bulletin. Father Shamindra’s response is printed below. Sri Lanka Calling Back Let me thank you for your gracious offer of sending us the Adoremus magazine. My monastic community and I would keep all of you in our prayers. This magazine will certainly help us as we monks are supposed to give our best to the sacred liturgy. Thanks for your good will and generosity. We look forward to the January issue. Actually, I came across the magazine while browsing the net for articles on liturgy. God bless you. —F  ather Shamindra Jayawardena OSB Something Beautiful for God Our dear Friends, We are grateful for the Adoremus Bulletin which has so many good articles, and we are grateful for your loving efforts to educate the faithful on the importance of beautiful liturgy.  other Mary Angela —M Poor Clare Monastery, Roswell, NM


About Letters The AB letters column provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on the Sacred Liturgy. We read every letter. Letters should be 250 words or fewer, preferably typed. They may be e-mailed to Please include your name, address, city and state (which may be withheld on request). If a letter refers to a previous issue of AB, please include the date of that issue and the name of the article. All letters may be edited for publication. Be sure to indicate clearly if your letter is NOT intended for publication.

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2017



: Are shortened versions of the Divine Office approved for official liturgical use?


: Recent years have seen the growth in popularity of various forms of prayer based on the Church’s official Liturgy of the Hours. Perhaps the best known is the version found in the popular monthly publication Magnificat, though versions are also included in other monthly publications, such as Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press) and Living with Christ (Bayard). While they vary in details, they typically follow the general structure of the main hours of the Divine Office, though in a simplified manner. Being “unofficial” prayers that in some way imitate the “official” prayer of the Church, how might they be viewed? The first paragraph of the Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum, by which Blessed Pope Paul VI promulgated the post-Conciliar edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, noted that the Church’s prayer over the centuries has had “a rich variety of forms.” Even a cursory study of the history of the Divine Office makes this abundantly clear. In cathedrals and in monasteries, in cities and in deserts, in the east and in the west: there have been many variations in the way Christians have prayed at regular intervals in an effort to sanctify the hours of the day, whether in common or as individuals. The variety eventually gave way to a standardization in the Latin Rite. The invention of printing made this possible, and it was also seen as a necessary corrective to certain local liturgical aberrations, some of which were justly ridiculed by Protestants (such as legendary hagiographical texts, having no historical basis). Pope St. Pius V thus insisted on a greater uniformity in the Latin liturgy in the years following the Council of Trent, a uniformity reflected in the breviary that was issued by his authority. That book was intended mostly for the use of the clergy, and was continually revised

Continued from SUNG MASS on page 7 over time. As a result, the typical suburban Sunday morning liturgy in this country tends to see a spoken Order of Mass exchanged between the priest celebrant and the liturgical assembly sandwiched between hymns and songs that do not set the liturgical texts. While this model is permitted by Musicam Sacram10 and the GIRM, it seems not to be this Instruction’s goal, as it states clearly that “for the celebration of the Eucharist with the people, especially on Sundays and feast days, a form of sung Mass (Missa in cantu) is to be preferred as much as possible, even several times on the same day” (MS 27). A task for our day, then, is to make the sung Mass the normal form of celebration in our parishes. The Church has given to us, through Musicam Sacram, the tools and resources to achieve this in every parish, and has outlined a plan to help every pastor and congregation to slowly and patiently learn how to sing and pray the liturgy in its sung form. Additionally, over the past decade or more, various liturgical resources have been developed, taking up Musicam Sacram’s challenges and tasks, that are aimed at assisting parishes of even the most modest means sing the liturgy with integrity and solemnity.11 With the help of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, hundreds of parishes have established the sung Order of Mass as a norm, fulfilling the sung liturgy’s first degree of importance. Cathedrals and basilicas around the country have established choirs and mu-

While shortened forms of the Liturgy of the Hours, such as those found in the monthly Magnificat, are not official versions, they ought still to be encouraged as “an outstanding development in the modern life of the Church,” according to Father Andrew Menke.

in minor ways over the course of the following centuries. A major revision to the Liturgy of the Hours was carried out following Vatican II, largely with the goal of simplifying the books, offering greater flexibility, and encouraging religious and laity to join the clergy in this kind of prayer. But there remains a certain uniformity, as those who pray it do so in harmony with others throughout the entire world. But even the current version of the breviary, with the simplification that has taken place, can be intimidating for those who are not accustomed to praying it on a regular basis: there are multiple volumes to buy, numerous ribbons to manage, and the presumption of a certain familiarity with the nuances of the

sic programs that preserve and foster the sacred music tradition, singing the Gregorian chant that is proper to the liturgy as well as polyphony, providing a model for smaller churches to experience and

“For the celebration of the Eucharist with the people, especially on Sundays and feast days, a form of sung Mass (Missa in cantu) is to be preferred as much as possible.” strive for. There is much work yet to be done, but as we labor together let us always carry out our efforts of liturgical and musical renewal for no reason other than the “glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful” (MS 4) which is the true and ultimate purpose of the Church’s sung prayer. Adam Bartlett is a composer and conductor of Catholic sacred music and serves as President and Editor of Illuminare Publications. He is composer and editor of Simple English Propers, and editor of the Lumen Christi Missal, Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, and Lumen Christi Hymnal. Active as a speaker, teacher, writer and clinician,

liturgical calendar. Someone who misses a few days can find it frustrating to find the way back to the correct prayers of the day. These kinds of concerns surely inspired the recent creation of the unofficial versions of the prayer mentioned above. While these unofficial offices do not suffice for those clergy and religious who are canonically obliged to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and while those who use them miss out on the unity that comes from praying with the official books, it would seem that we should certainly encourage their use. Let me suggest three reasons this should be seen as an outstanding development in the modern life of the Church, a bit of brightness in an age filled with so much darkness. First, these simple texts have helped many people pray, and any kind of prayer that is theologically accurate, inspired by Scripture, and offered with a sincere heart is to be applauded. Second, there are countless members of the faithful who, realistically speaking, have very little opportunity for exposure to the Church’s official Liturgy of the Hours. To be offered a simplified version of this kind of prayer—something that introduces them to the idea of sanctifying the times of the day, to using the Bible’s Psalms and canticles in prayer, and to offering petitions for the needs of the world—is certainly a good thing. Finally, it is well known that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council desired to see the common celebration of the Divine Office in ordinary parishes, and that they encouraged the laity to pray the divine office (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 100). These intentions have hardly been a rousing success, to say the least. But if more and more of the faithful come to appreciate this kind of prayer, even through an abbreviated form, the hope of realizing those goals of the Council seems more an actual possibility. Father Andrew Menke is Director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Divine Worship.

Adam speaks and presents on topics of liturgy, music, and the new evangelization throughout the United States and the English-speaking world. He resides in Denver, CO, with his wife and two daughters.


1. See DMSSL art. 2. As found in the New Oxford American Dictionary (American English). 3. See MS 28-31. 4. See MS 7; Cf. GIRM 40. 5. It should be understood that the parts of the Mass contained within each degree reference the missal in use in 1967, which was the Missal of Pope John XXIII from 1962, although this missal had already been through three years of reform due to the application of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Because the instruction preceded the implementation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1969, some parts of the Mass that are able to be sung in the present Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (such as the Eucharistic Prayer) are not explicitly mentioned by Musicam Sacram. Common sense can place those parts of the Ordinary Form not explicitly mentioned by MS in their proper degree of importance. 6. Such as the Kyriale (Graduale) Romanum, Kyriale (Graduale) Simplex, and the Roman Missal. 7. The Mass Ordinaries of the Kyriale Simplex, in addition to a number of Ordinaries found in the Kyriale Romanum, can be found in the Lumen Christi Missal (Illuminare Publications, 2012), as well as the English Mass Ordinary found in the Roman Missal and various newly composed chant settings of the Mass Ordinary. 8. See MS 16, 33 and 36. 9. The Graduale Romanum of 1908 was revised following the Second Vatican Council in order to conform to the revised liturgical calendar. This schema is officially published in the Ordo Cantus Missae of 1972/88. 10. MS 36 states: “There is no reason why some of the Proper or Ordinary should not be sung in said Masses. Moreover, some other song can also, on occasions, be sung at the beginning, at the Offertory, at the Communion and at the end of Mass. It is not sufficient, however, that these songs be merely “Eucharistic”—they must be in keeping with the parts of the Mass, with the feast, or with the liturgical season.” 11. My own contribution to this effort can be found in the Lumen Christi Series, published by Illuminare Publications (


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Whether in spirit or body—or both—we can orient ourselves, says Paterson’s Bishop Arthur Serratelli, to the Sun that dawns in our hearts.

Silence isn’t simply a lack of noise but contains much more than meets the ear. Father Douglas Martis helps us tune the liturgy to fruitful stillness.


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Deafening Silence

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to the assembled congregation; by means of these, under the action of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God may be grasped by the heart and a response through prayer may be prepared. It may be appropriate to observe such periods of silence, for example, before the Liturgy of the Word itself begins, after the First and Second Reading, and lastly at the conclusion of the Homily.”10 Likewise, Musicam Sacram helps us understand what we are to do during the silence: “At the proper times, all should observe a reverent silence. Through it the faithful are not only not considered as extraneous or dumb spectators at the liturgical service, but are associated more intimately in the mystery that is being celebrated, thanks to that interior disposition which derives from the word of God that they have heard, from the songs and prayers that have been uttered, and from spiritual union with the priest in the parts that he says or sings himself.”11 Another, if subtler, instance of silence in the Mass is especially poignant. After the Consecration of the Chalice, the priest says: “The mystery of faith.” As the Order of Mass indicates, “the people continue, acclaiming: We proclaim your death, O Lord.” At this moment, the priest alone is silent. But why? Why doesn’t the Missal include the acclamation among the things to be said by the priest? Why does it impose a ritual silence on him? To understand what is happening here, we must turn to the etymology of the word “mystery”—musterion. It comes from an ancient word (muo) which means “to shut the mouth.” It is the same word from which is derived

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Continued from SILENCE on page 9

the English cognate “mute.” At this moment, immediately after the Consecration, with the Divine Presence before him—Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity—the priest realizing it, utters “the mystery of faith” and is dumb-founded by the Presence before him. In this instance, silence before the ineffable God signifies the uselessness of words. The priest simply stands in awe and wonder at what God has done. Meanwhile, the faithful lend voice to sing of the mystery. In preparation for Holy Communion, the “Priest prepares himself by a prayer, said quietly, so that he may fruitfully receive the Body and Blood of Christ. The faithful do the same, praying silently.”12 Sometimes our silence is speechlessness, sometimes it signals caution or serves as a corrective against words that could offend God. Silence for Praise After the reception of Holy Communion “a sacred silence may be observed for a while, or a psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may be sung.”13 Having heard with our ears, seen with our eyes, and tasted with our tongues the marvels God has done for us, the liturgy calls us again to silence. This “staging” of silence in the ritual provides an opportunity to praise God for his presence and action in the world. We learn that “silent worship is the least imperfect homage that one can pay to the only God, who, being one, baffles the multiplying operations of language: the only true language to speak to God, and of God, is silence.”14 Conclusion Since a sacramental celebration is a fabric “woven from signs and symbols,”15 each of the various parts adds

to the whole of the celebration. Silence is one of these sacramental signs. Far from being an absence of meaning, silence is charged with meaning. We use silence to honor, to reverence, to appreciate, to learn. Ministers who observe the ritual silence in Mass enable the faithful to fully, consciously participate in the liturgy. Those who have learned that silence has many meanings will be able to profit from the unique and varied senses at the different parts of the Mass. They will seize the opportunity to collect their thoughts, formulate their prayers, meditate on the awesome mysteries presented in the celebration, let themselves be dumb-founded at the self-revelation of God and finally praise God for his goodness to us.

___________________________ Father Douglas Martis is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet-in-Illinois. He holds doctoral degrees in Sacred Theology and

History of Religions and Religious Anthropology. He is director of Sacred Liturgy and professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio. 1. Silvia Montiglio, Silence in the Land of Logos, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000, 10. 2. Cf. Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium 30; Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instruction, Musicam Sacram, 5 March 1967, 17: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 59 (1967) p. 305. 3. IGMR, 45. Emphasis added. 4. IGMR, 45. 5. Bishops’ Commission on the Liturgical Apostolate Newsletter, February 1966. 6. See also IGMR, 51. 7. IGMR, 54. Emphasis added. 8. Bishops’ Commission on the Liturgical Apostolate Newsletter, February 1966. 9. IGMR, 55. 10. IGMR, 56. 11. n. 17. 12. IGMR, 84. 13. Order of Mass, 138. Cf. IGMR, 88, 164. 14. Montiglio, 9. 15. CCC 1145.

Adoremus Bulletin - January 2017 Issue  
Adoremus Bulletin - January 2017 Issue