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DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME An Exploration of the Sacred Liturgy

PARTICIPANT BOOK © 2010, Five Grains Media


DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

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SHAPE OF EACH SESSION

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SESSIONS Session One – What is Liturgy? Opening Prayer Rite Discussion Questions Closing Prayer Rite Liturgy: What Is It, and Where Did It Come From? Bibliography

6 7 8 9 10 22

Session Two – Early Christian Worship / Apostolic Roots of the Mass The Jewishness in the Worship Jesus Gave Us Opening Prayer Rite Discussion Questions Closing Prayer Rite The Supper of the Lord Bibliography

23 24 26 27 28 29 46

Session Three – The Mass Through the Ages: From Justin Martyr to Pius XII History and the Shape of the Liturgy Opening Prayer Rite Discussion Questions Closing Prayer Rite A Journey Through the Ages Bibliography

47 48 50 51 52 53 74

Session Four – The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: What Does It Say? Ecumenical Councils: What Are They? Opening Prayer Rite Discussion Questions Closing Prayer Rite The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: What Does It Say? Bibliography

75 76 78 79 80 81 89

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INTRODUCTION In the 1960s, the Roman Catholic Church held a council, a great meeting of all the world’s Roman Catholic bishops, Eastern and Latin Rite, which saw its mission as one of aggiornamento, adapting itself to the day. The bishops, together with Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, saw that some intentional changes needed to be made, but made intelligently, so that the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ could be proclaimed authentically to a modern world in desperate need of some real good news. As part of this aggiornamento, the bishops saw “…particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (CSL), No. 1).” The liturgy, especially the celebration of the eucharist, is given paramount importance in the life of a Christian. It is through the liturgy that “…’the work of redemption takes place,’” and it “…is supremely effective in enabling the faithful to express in their lives and portray to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true church (CSL, no. 2).” Because Christ himself is present and active in all aspects of the liturgy, in the person of the minister, in the eucharistic species of bread and wine, in the proclamation of his word, and whenever the church sings and prays together, the …liturgy…is rightly seen as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ....performed by the mystical body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members. From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and his body, which is the church, is a preeminently sacred action. No other action of the church equals its effectiveness by the same title nor to the same degree (No. 7).” While the liturgy is not the only necessary activity of the church, it “…is the summit toward which the activity of the church is directed; it is also the source from which all its power flows (No. 9-10).” “But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds be attuned to their voices… (No. 11).” But for what are the faithful to be properly disposed? It is very much the wish of the church that all the faithful should be led to take that full, conscious and active part in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people” (1 Pet 2:9, 4-5) have a right and to which they are bound by reason of their Baptism. (No. 14) The council fathers then make a very strong statement, calling for all the faithful to become knowledgeable about the liturgy. “With diligence and patience pastors of souls should see to the liturgical instruction of the faithful and their active participation, internal and external, in the liturgy… (No. 19).” This statement gives all those in church leadership a clarion call to engage in a reformation of the liturgy, not just in revision of rites and translation into vernacular languages, but first of all through a planting of liturgical vision into the minds and hearts of all the faithful. In the years following the council, much hard and skillful work was done revising the rites and translating them into vernacular languages. Much time and effort was spent in teaching clergy and laity alike how actively to celebrate the new rites, not to mention convincing them to speak up and sing in front of each other, to express externally a new shared prayer where once one prayed silently in the safety of one’s own heart. All this has been very important in the reinvigoration of the church inaugurated at Vatican II. However, it is only to a severely lesser degree that the faithful were formed for that internal active participation that makes it possible for their minds to be attuned to their voices. On the rather prolonged eve of the implementation of a new English translation of an updated Roman Missal, we have an opportunity to take up that internal aspect of formation for full, active and especially conscious participation. This formational resource, Do This In Memory Of Me, has been designed, written and filmed to do just that. It is the 3

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profound hope of the composers of this work that it will provide the right tool for individuals and especially groups of Christians to come to understand the meaning of the liturgy, especially the celebration of the eucharist. We hope that all those who use these materials will have their own participation in the Mass strengthened by the information we have presented here, and this strengthened participation will lead to a more powerful experience of Mass palpable to anyone who walks into a celebration populated by those who have used this resource. Do This In Memory Of Me is broken down into eight units, listed in the Table of Contents. Each session can be wellaccomplished in one and a half to two hours, including time for stretch breaks and refills of food and beverage. You’ll need a means for watching the video presentations on the DVD. A proposed timeframe for how to run each session can be found on the next page. We wish you the best luck and pray for profound blessing upon all who use this resource. May it be a gateway for you, granting you deeper penetration into the mystery we hold sacred as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people set apart by God as his very own. God bless you!

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THE SHAPE OF EACH SESSION: APPROX 90 MINUTES CONTENT  PRELIMINARY ACTIVITIES o Welcome members of group o Point out rest rooms o Refreshments (if being served)  OPENING PRAYER

APPROX TIME 10 MINUTES

5 MINUTES

 INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION

10 MINUTES

 VIDEO PRESENTATION (DVD)

35 – 45 MIN

 FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION

20 MINUTES

 CONDLUDING ACTIVITIES 5 MINUTES o Distribute follow up reading “Going deeper…” o Distribute next introductory reading o Distribute bibliography (further optional reading) o Any further announcements for the next meeting  CONDLUDING PRAYER

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5 MINUTES

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SESSION ONE What is Liturgy?

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OPENING PRAYER RITE

SESSION ONE

LEADER: Calling to mind the presence of God in our midst, we begin our prayer together: (All make the Sign of the Cross) All: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE PSALMODY PSALM 145: 1-9 LEADER: Praise the Lord for he is good sing to our God for he is loving: to him our praise is due. ALL:

THE LORD BUILDS UP JERUSALEM AND BRINGS BACK ISRAEL’S EXILES HE HEALS THE BROKEN-HEARTED HE BINDS UP ALL THEIR WOUNDS. HE FIXES THE NUMBER OF THE STARS HE CALLS EACH ONE BY ITS NAME

LEADER: Our Lord is great and almighty; His wisdom can never be measured. The Lord raises the lowly he humbles the wicked to the dust.

(SELECT ONE PERSON TO READ) READING ACTS 2: 41-47 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. The Word of the Lord ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees; Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops; United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board: The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages With Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources and the Revised New Testament. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1996, c1986.

[quiet reflection] ALL:

O SING TO THE LORD, GIVING THANKS; SING PSALMS TO OUR GOD WITH THE

LEADER: Let us pray:

HARP. LEADER: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. ALL: AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, IS NOW, AND WILL BE FOREVER. AMEN. LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE

O God, source of all grace, hear our prayer. Be with us in our gathering, and form us as your people, that we may worship you in spirit and in truth. We ask this through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN.

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PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS: SESSION ONE “What Is Liturgy” 1. What are some important daily rituals in your life or in your family? Why are they important? 2. Can you name an important and endearing “family” story that is shared in your family? Why are such stories important? How do they get passed on?

3. Can you name one important personal symbol in your life? What does it mean to you and why is this important?

4. What does the word “liturgy” mean to you? What ideas, images, and feelings are stirred up in you when you hear or see that word?

POST VIDEO QUESTIONS: SESSION ONE “What Is Liturgy” 1. Have you ever participated in a project of service for the common good (examples: habitat build, food/clothing/toy collection or distribution at Christmas, adopt a highway, other civic or church activities)? Can you describe what you did? Did participating in this effort have an effect on your life? 2. What is the value of using ritual for worship as opposed to making it up as we go along?

3. When you attend Sunday Mass, have seen yourself primarily as a member of an audience or a participant in a joint effort with everyone else there?

4. Now that you have had an opportunity to reflect on this word “liturgy,” how has your understanding of it grown?

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CLOSING PRAYER RITE LEADER: Let us now give thanks to God for our fellowship and study together and ask his blessing and protection on our world, our church and our families. (Select someone to pray the petitions) READER: For the Church throughout the world; may each local diocese and parish be a light to all peoples. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the nations of the world, that all may appreciate the world in which we live as a gift from God. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: That our efforts to better understand our Catholic faith, especially its tradition of liturgy, will bear fruit in our worship and in our lives. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the church of West Tennessee, may each parish be renewed by a deepened understanding of our faith. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For those who are most in need: the poor, the hungry, the sick and suffering, the lonely and abandoned and those who have no one to care for them. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER

(The Leader may invite additional personal intentions at this point; The petitions conclude with the Lord’s Prayer)

Concluding Prayers LEADER: Let us now pray as Jesus taught us: OUR FATHER… LEADER:

O God, as we conclude our gathering, we seek your continued guidance and protection. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope and love. We pray through Christ our Lord.

ALL: AMEN LEADER: Let us depart in the peace of Christ ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD

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SESSION ONE: LITURGY – WHAT IS IT, AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

Memories of a Young Catholic Boy My earliest memory of the liturgy was when I was about four years old. Kneeling in the pew between my parents, I remember being dwarfed by the huge marble statues covered in purple along the walls. “They looked like ghosts,” I thought; and they did! No one ever explained why the statues were draped in purple, and I didn’t ask; because like everything else about church, that’s just what was done! It happened every year; and I guessed it had something to do with Lent and Easter because on Easter Sunday the purple drapes were gone, and the statues glistened once again in the brilliance of the Easter morning sun. Back then no one called what we did at church “liturgy”; no one I knew, anyway. It was Mass. Except on Monday nights, when we had the novena and benediction, and everyone sang Tantum Ergo and Holy God We Praise Thy Name. This was very different from Mass because usually only the choir sang at Mass; and then only sometimes. Mass was normally very quiet; like a big secret. The priest was especially quiet; he hardly said a single word out loud except for the sermon. St. Lucy’s was the church where both my parents were baptized, confirmed, received first communion, and then were married. It was also the church where I was baptized and received my first communion, and where my brother David was baptized too. It will always be a special place for me, its many images vividly fixed in my memory. Occasionally, we went to other churches, too: St. Ann (a large church joined to the Passionist Monastery) and St. John; and sometimes we went to the Cathedral, where my older cousins served as altar boys and sang in the choir. And when, in 4th grade, we moved to a new house on the other side of town, we went to St. Clare’s Church most of the time, as that became our home parish. But no matter what church we went to, the Mass looked pretty much the same to me. During the whole Mass, my mother and father, my grandmother and Aunt all prayed their rosary while the priest and the altar boys way up there at the altar, behind the altar rail, moved around and whispered. I didn’t know exactly what they were doing, much less what it all meant; but I knew it all added up to Mass; and when the bells rang and the priest raised the host and chalice high in the air, I knew that was an especially holy moment because everyone kept striking their chest as if to say, “Please, forgive me.” I knew how to pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and I did that in between watching the drama unfold. I remember the pictures in the prayer book my mother had; pictures of Jesus on the Cross. Mom said that it was all happening up there at the altar – Jesus dying on the cross. Mom would always receive Holy Communion; but not everybody did. She told me that, before long, I would be able to receive communion; and the day finally did come. Not long after that, I began to serve as an altar boy, too. I fainted once during the 6 AM Mass. You couldn’t have breakfast before Mass, because you had to fast for at least 3 hours before you received communion. I 10

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didn’t get hurt. All I remember is waking up in the sacristy, bewildered about what had just happened. One of the men from the parish was with me and took me home, explaining the whole thing to my mother. Except for that mishap, Mass, for me was a peaceful, quiet and stately event, and I loved it; I especially loved being an altar boy. I was very proud that I did not have to look at the plastic black and white cards with the Mass prayers on them; I had learned the Latin words by heart! Confiteor Deo omnipotenti…; Et cum spiritu tuo…; Suscipiat dominus sacrificium…. Up until eighth grade it was all the same, year after year. Mass seemed very holy; and I felt holy and good when I took part. Confession on Saturday helped too; but that’s a whole other story. All through those years it never once occurred to me, though, that besides being about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, Mass was also about a sacred meal; and that the point of Holy Communion was to make us all a holy communion— “one body, one spirit in Christ” – as the third Eucharistic Prayer now says. Somehow the idea of sacred meal and sacrifice never got put together for us, even though in the Church’s tradition they were intricately linked. I knew for sure Mass was about communion with Jesus; but the thought of everyone else in church being a part of that communion was not at all apparent. Nor was I aware that besides remembering the dying of Jesus, we were also remembering his resurrection! Nobody said much about the resurrection in connection with Mass, except on Easter. I knew we received the body and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion, but never knew it was His risen life in which we were sharing, or that the final point of the whole thing was this great victory feast, the Paschal Feast of heaven, when all would be made new in Christ. That would have made a lot more sense; but no one thought to mention it. Right after eighth grade, though, things started to change. When I arrived as a freshman at Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary in September of 1965, they were already beginning to celebrate the new liturgy. Now the priest was facing us, and he said a lot more out loud during the Mass so that everyone could hear! The words were pretty much in English. All this was a big deal, a very big deal for everyone. Because there were so many priests at the seminary, the Mass was “concelebrated;” and while the Eucharistic prayer (we called it simply “the canon” back then) was still in Latin, now they prayed that prayer out loud too! All this was quite a revelation to me! We actually participated in the Mass – sang and prayed with the priest, and answered the responses! One thing led to another, and before long we were no longer just watching the Mass from a distance, but celebrating the liturgy!

The word “Liturgy” Liturgy! In 1965 I thought it was a whole new idea; a name for Mass someone came up with because it was now all so very different that you just couldn’t call it by the same name and leave it at that. Who knew that this was a very old word, older than the word Mass; and that the earliest bishops of the church used this word to describe the public worship of Christians, when the Mass was still celebrated in Greek? But there the word was: liturgy –ever old and ever new at the same time.

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Hard to imagine in the 20th & 21st centuries that Latin was once a new language for Mass; that Mass was put into that language so that everyone could understand it; that back when that happened, Latin was considered a “vernacular” or common usage language, a language everyone spoke. It’s hard to imagine (and it was especially hard to imagine in 1965) that the changes to the liturgy we have witnessed have ever happened before. Back then it seemed as if the rite of Mass was utterly unchangeable. But the truth is, the manner of celebrating Mass, as well as the texts and language have undergone change all along; from the very start there have been additions, deletions, and adjustments. What we discover as we survey the history is that some elements of the rite of Mass are constant at all times and places; but that others developed and changed. We are, after all, a “living” church guided by the Holy Spirit from the start. And now, many decades later, after not just a few years of presiding at the liturgy myself as a priest, I look back and am wonderfully amazed that, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the church has been led to this particular renewal of sacred worship; and that along with the wonderful term “Mass,” or “Holy Mass,” we have, once again, claimed the more ancient word – “liturgy,” or “divine liturgy.” The word comes from the Greek word “leitourgia” which means public service done or offered for the common good. It referred to things like government service, military service or even the act of paying one’s taxes. But it also was used for religious, cultic acts of worship since there was actually no separation between the secular world and the religious world back then. The early followers of Jesus used the word to refer to many things from daily common prayer to taking up a collection for the poor. And sometimes it was used to refer to the whole of the Christian way of life. The Christian way of life was a life of loving service, a life given over wholly to the mission of Christ according to God’s plan, a life patterned after Christ himself, given, even sacrificed for the sake of the Gospel. So the Christian’s life was a “leitourgia” in the highest degree. Not surprising that the act of worship which expressed and summarized this life of loving service and sacrifice was also called by the same name: “leitourgia” – liturgy. In time, because this was a more or less common word among the people and referred to many aspects of their life together, the designation “divine,” or “holy,” or “sacred” accompanied the word liturgy to refer especially to the public worship of the community, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the daily public prayer we now call the Liturgy of the Hours. The most important thing to note was the fact that liturgy, or sacred worship, for Christians was understood to be a common, corporate act of the whole community led by Christ himself, whose headship was sacramentally represented by the bishop, and later by presbyters or priests, whom the bishop designated to act in his name. In time, the word “liturgy” fell out of use in the western churches, because they began to use the Latin language for their worship, since it was the common language of the people; and so with the abandonment of the Greek language in worship, the term, “leitourgia” or liturgy gradually fell out of the common religious vocabulary of the Western or Latin rite churches. In its place, the Latin word “cultus,” was used, which was not equivalent to the world “leitourgia,” but which had a related meaning. For all practical purposes, it meant, “the conventional or proper way of doing things, especially in the realm of the worship of God.” The Latin word “cultus,” gave us a number of English words, most notable is the word, “culture.” 12

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When modern western languages emerged (especially after the Protestant Reformation) the word “leitourgia” was somewhat recovered and translated directly. Therefore, in English the term “service” emerged as probably the most common word used today to speak of an event of public worship. We ask, “What time will the “service” begin? “Service”….public service…“leitourgia”—a liturgy! But still, the word “service” did not carry enough of the idea of a shared or corporate act in the same sense and to the same degree as the original Greek word, “leitourgia.” In recent years, and especially since the Second Vatican Council, the word “liturgy” itself has been recovered because it was the word most used by the great fathers of the church, and because it carried with it the full sense of the communal aspect of Christian worship and the Eucharist. The Liturgical Act Liturgy, then, involves/demands/requires a unique kind of human act, one not so well practiced or easily embraced in the modern western world. Liturgy involves a joint act of the whole community. It is not simply the act of a collection of individuals who all happen to be doing the same thing, in the same place, at the same time; it is a collective act, a corporate act, the act of a body – the Body of Christ! I say this is not much practiced in the modern western world because, as a people, we tend to focus more on the individual rather than on the community. In fact we might say that we live in a culture that exalts the individual over the community, and sometimes pits these two against each other with the idea of the community, the “collective body,” seen as the villain! In the mid-twentieth century we see this especially in the works of author Ayn Rand, who has had more than just a little influence over the America of today. Rand believed, above all, in the individual self; and she despised anything that gave preference to the collective body or community. Rand saw all of life as a kind of “Darwinian” survival of the fittest, with the individual pitted against the collective whole of society. The great hero of each of her novels was always a unique individual who, with his individual project or cause, would stand against the community and win at all costs. Rand summed up her philosophy in this way:

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. [Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, (New York: Plume, 1999) p 1070] It even sounds noble at first; but when you consider the far reaching implications of such a philosophy, it’s monstrous! If the single moral purpose of my life is “me,” well there’s only one word to describe such a philosophy: selfishness. In Rand’s world there was no sense of duty beyond duty to oneself: no charity, no genuine love, no self-sacrifice for another, and above all, no God! And much of Rand’s writings, as well as her own personal life, bear this out. Since the mid-20th century, especially in the realm of politics and business, Ayn Rand’s thought has had a good deal of influence on our culture, in particular, on how we think about the relationship between our individual self and society. Even our sense of generosity (which is really quite

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remarkable when it comes to people in need or nations in need) remains a delimited generosity – not consistent and systemic, but individualistic and episodic. More than anything else, we have been taught to be individuals. Now, in all fairness, this appreciation for the individual has brought no small value and benefit to society. But the human being is not just an individual, not just an isolated self; we are also social beings. Often our preoccupation with the individual has led us to all but ignore our need for one another. Too often we underappreciate the fact that we can, and do, and must rely on each other for more than we know – certainly more than we are willing to admit! We are, none of us, islands unto ourselves; and when we try to be such islands, everyone is diminished including, even especially, ourselves. All this has been well documented in the book, “Habits of the Heart,” authored by Robert Bellah together with a number of associates. The book gives a sweeping picture of the landscape of American individualism. Through a remarkable number of interviews, Bellah and his associates show how, as a people, we are very unsettled about our preoccupation with the individual self. We sense, even if only faintly, that if we are too individualistic, we sacrifice some of the fabric of social unity that keeps a society together; but we are so deeply afraid of losing our inner dream, which has been shaped largely around the ideal of each individual self, that we have not yet found a successful way to integrate these two ideals and build a cohesive society out of the project. Bellah says: The American Dream is often a very private dream of being the star, the uniquely successful and admirable one, the one who stands out from the crowd of ordinary folk who don’t know how. And since we have believed in that dream for a long time and work very hard to make it come true, it is hard for us to give it up, even though it contradicts another dream that we have—that of living in a society that would really be worth living in. [Robert N. Bellah et. al., Habits of the Heart, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985) p. 285]

The late Dr. Mark Searle, a noted liturgical scholar of the late 20th century had spoken often of this same issue in relation to the liturgy. He defined individualism as “the habit of seeing the individual self as being in the last instance the criteria of what is true, what is believable and what is valuable.” [Mark Searle, notes from class lecture, University of Notre Dame, 1985] Dr. Searle often commented himself on how such pervasive individualism made it difficult for people of the modern western world to really participate in the liturgy without making a concerted effort to acquire a new way of understanding themselves in relation to others. Searle oft quoted the now famous letter of Msgr. Romano Guardini, written to the Liturgical Congress at Mainz, Germany, April 1, 1964. Bishops and scholars gathered at this congress after the II Vatican Council to consider how they might go about implementing the agenda of Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Guardini had been asked to address those gathered there, but he was unable to attend, so he wrote them a letter. The letter has become a classic of sorts. It’s answering basic questions about how to renew the liturgy; how to give it new vigor; how to restore participation by the people. Here are some excerpts from his letter:

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A mass of ritual and textual problems will, of course, present themselves and long experience has shown how much scope there is for a right and a wrong approach. But the central problem seems to me to be something else; the problem of the cult act or, to be more precise, the liturgical act. The question is whether the wonderful opportunities now open to the liturgy will achieve their full realization; whether we shall be satisfied with just removing anomalies, taking new situations into account, giving better instruction on the meaning of ceremonies and liturgical vessels, or whether we shall relearn a forgotten way of doing things and recapture lost attitudes. …those whose task it is to teach and educate will have to ask themselves – and this is all decisive –whether they themselves desire the liturgical act or, to put it plainly, whether they know of its existence and what exactly it consists of; and that it is neither a luxury nor an oddity, but a matter of fundamental importance. Of particular importance for the liturgical act is the action and full participation of the congregation as a body. The act is done by every individual, not as an isolated individual, but as a member of a body which is the “we” of the prayers. Its structure is different from that of any other collection of people meeting for a common purpose. It is that of a corpus, an objective whole. In the liturgical act, the celebrating individual becomes part of this body and he incorporates the “circumstantes” [Latin: refers to all the people gathered at Mass] in his self-expression. This is not so simple if it is to be genuine and honest. Much that divides men must be overcome, dislikes, indifference towards the many who are “no concern of mine,” but who are really members of the same body, lethargy, etc. In the [liturgical] act, the individual becomes conscious of the meaning of the words “congregation” and “Church”. This is the present task of liturgical education. If it is not taken in hand, reforms of rites and texts will not help much. [Romano Guardini, “A Letter from Romano Guardini” in Assembly (South Bend: Notre Dame Center for Liturgy) Vol. 12:4, April 1986]

Msgr. Guardini is pretty clear, even blunt: the central renewal of the liturgy as called for in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy cannot take place without the acceptance and engagement of what he calls “the liturgical act” itself. As he says, this means that the individual must include in his or her worship an attention and consideration of the “circumstantes,” i.e. “the whole assembly gathered there,” which is a sacrament of the whole church in heaven and on earth. After all, this is where and how Christ promised that he would first be present: “where two or three are gathered in my name.” Therefore we must be ever mindful that the whole mystical body of Christ is present in each local assembly gathered for the liturgy; and we must consider what that requires of us as we worship.

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So the liturgical act calls us to a way of thinking and acting very different from what we are used to in our everyday lives. It points us in exactly the opposite direction as the contemporary individualism of philosophers and thinkers like Ayn Rand; that is why it is often so difficult for the modern 20th and 21st century man or woman to engage in it. The liturgical act requires that we learn how to be a “communion;” how to be, “one body, one spirit in Christ.” Liturgy Is Authorized or Canonical Because it is a corporate act, the liturgy is also an “authorized” or “canonical” event. There are norms as to when and how it can be done, and who can do it. As such the liturgy is always official and public, never casual, haphazard or private. This is true even when only a few are gathered. The Liturgy belongs to the whole church. And whenever it is celebrated, the whole church is present, whether the number actually celebrating is 2 or 2000! Because of this, in the liturgy we use words and gestures that are not of our own making. Instead, they come to us, passed down from one generation to the next – not as static artifacts –but as a living tradition. This tradition of worship originated with our ancestors in faith; through successive stages it grew and developed in the mutual exchange among us as a church, between us and God in Christ Jesus by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In liturgical worship we make explicit what is true of every exchange between us and God: that the initiative always belongs to God, not us. God calls, speaks, invites; and we respond! Even our response itself is inspired by God. Whenever we pray (but especially in the liturgy) we are entering into a conversation that was begun very long ago between God and our ancestors in faith. It is like a flowing river into which we plunge and eventually learn to navigate the current. The current flows. We become a part of it, making our contribution to it, for sure, but always being shaped and formed by it first. Here we discover a basic pattern of revelation described so beautifully in Dei Verbum, the Constitution on Divine Revelation (from the Second Vatican Council). Its first chapter describes revelation as God revealing not just thoughts or ideas or concepts about Himself, but God revealing Himself in a deeply personal self-disclosure. “God,” it says, “out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex. 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself.” [Dei Verbum 1:1] And the response we humans are called to give toward this self-revelation of God is a deep listening with the heart, which we call the “obedience of faith.” What else could we do? We certainly wouldn’t respond casually or flippantly to the personal self –disclosure of a friend who opened his or her heart to us; we would respond with attention, carefully taking in and considering their every word. If we didn’t, we would not be a very good friend! How much more is this true of Almighty God! As in any relationship, the lover speaks to the beloved and the beloved listens and responds; and so it is with our relationship with God.

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This process is enacted wonderfully in the liturgy itself, where God speaks to us in the midst of the gathered assembly and we respond together, precisely as an assembly. This is the meaning of the term “ecclesia” or “church”: it means a people gathered together, indeed called together as an assembly. It is God who does the calling, the gathering; and we respond. Our very presence there is the first response to God; we show up! But God asks more of us than merely showing up; God requires participation in the action as well. As such the liturgical act carries this whole process, an act of Christ and his whole church – a corporate act, the act of a “holy communion,” of persons, the Body of Christ – head and members – the “leitourgia,” the public work of the “plebs sancta dei,” “the holy common people of God!” [Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (New York: Seabury, 1983) p. 744]

The liturgy then is not just any set of prayers or devotions, but those acts of worship – texts, rites, etc. – handed over to us or authorized by the church as its official sacred worship. Primary, of course, would be the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist; Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick; Marriage and Holy Orders. But the liturgy also includes other official rites of the church like the church’s daily prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours; the Rites of Christian Initiation which lead up to Baptism found in the RCIA; the Rite of Christian Burial, the Rites of Profession for religious making vows; and other blessing rites and rites associated with the sacraments and ministry. The liturgy would not include, however, devotional prayers like the rosary or the chaplet of divine mercy, nor other novenas and private prayers and devotions. While such devotions are certainly important to the spiritual life of Christians, and while they are often derived from the liturgy or elements of it, and lead us back to it (or should), devotions are not essential to the life of the church in the same way and to the same degree that the Sacraments and other official rites of the church are. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) So the entire complex of texts and rites that makes up the liturgy of the church has that quality of being essential to the life of the church; the church would simply be incomplete without them. Every member of the church requires them in some way. And because liturgical texts and rites are official in this way, and because they are an act of the whole church, even though they are celebrated by a given local congregation in a given time and place, the whole church has jurisdiction over them. We don’t make them up as we go along. These rituals are, by and large, given to us; the fact that they are given and not created on the spot requires a certain understanding, discipline, and spirituality in order to participate in them well. It is also essential to their nature as rituals.

Liturgy and Ritual A ritual by its nature is not spontaneous, or serendipitous; but rather something that everyone already knows— words and gestures that are done over and over again till they become part of us, like language itself. Engaging in ritual requires the discipline of being a member of a community, a member of a corporate body. Here is where we must consciously rise above our cultural individualism. It means we don’t “do our own thing” in worship, but we do the church’s “thing” which is, in the end, Christ’s “thing.” Our worship is the act of a whole

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community, the whole Body of Christ, head and members. This means that the human form that the liturgy takes necessarily involves ritual. Ritual remains a very important part of human life even though it is often not well appreciated in our culture for all the reasons cited earlier about individualism. In fact sometimes ritual has a very negative connotation, i.e. “that’s just a ritual, or merely a ritual,” people will say. Some might think that enacting a ritual means that the words and gestures are not authentic because they don’t originate with us. They are not our words and gestures, true enough. But it is precisely the ritual form that allows for a corporate act to happen. If we are going to do something together, we have to know what we are going to do and how we are going to do it – we have to have a plan! And we have to give ourselves over to the plan; we have to give in to it. [Evelyn Underhill, Worship (New York: Crossroad, 1985) p.32] Again, this idea does not sit well with those who overvalue their individuality. Such a tendency must be consciously overcome in order for the liturgy to be celebrated as it is intended. If not, we will either do one of two things: we will either sit there like a bump on a log, retreating into our own individual and private selves, expecting others to “do the liturgy,” for us (which is often what happens), or we will try to “create” the liturgy merely from our own experience –saying and doing our own thing, wanting to change the words and gestures to express whatever we are feeling or thinking in that moment. Either way, we miss the mark because the liturgy is not about us, but about God and us. Frankly, despite our protests to the contrary, we have a lot of ritual deeply embedded in our personal and social lives that we take for granted. Ritual establishes bonds and allows us to express a shared identity as Americans. On Thanksgiving Day or on the Fourth of July holiday, all kinds of rituals are engaged: Turkey and dressing; fireworks and hot dogs; red, white and blue! All these are national rituals. Families have certain rituals too: like when children are being put to bed or when special company is coming for dinner. The simple celebration of a birthday almost always involves a decorated cake with candles and a song that everybody knows. All in all, we know there are certain things that are said and done in every home that make this particular home and these particular people a family, the family to whom we belong. Even the way we greet each other on the street is a kind of ritual! The truth is that despite some protests to the contrary, ritual is everywhere a very important part of our lives.

Word and Sacrament/ Story and Symbol Normally ritual is made up of words and deeds, or texts and symbols; and often the texts include a story while the actions involve symbols that speak huge meanings and express the deepest of realities that otherwise could never be expressed. Words/texts and symbol/action are critical to the formation and celebration of the liturgy. It is not surprising that Dei Verbum refers to these elements as foundational to the very way that God reveals himself:

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This plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having an inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. By this revelation then, the deepest truth about God and the salvation of man shines out for our sake in Christ, who is both the mediator and the fullness of all revelation. [Walter M. Abbot, S. J. General Editor; V. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Gallagher, Trans. Documents of Vatican II “Dei Verbum” # 2, (New York: Corpus Books, 1966 ]

So in any given ritual the actions and the words go together; the actions give substance to the words and put flesh and blood around them; but the gestures would be confusing if the words didn’t specify what they are about. So the deeds “manifest and confirm” the words; while the words “proclaim and clarify” the deeds. Of course the deeds and words we are dealing with in the Church’s liturgy are the very deeds and words of God! Likewise, in any given ritual, there is often a central story or event which is its foundation. Our Thanksgiving Day celebration, for example, has as its foundation, the arrival of the first settlers to this country and their sense of thanksgiving for all that they had received which they expressed in a meal shared with others.

In the liturgy the foundational story is none other than the creating and saving plan of God reaching its pinnacle in the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ: his life, death, and resurrection. Each particular liturgy, with its designated readings from the scriptures and prayer texts, serves as a kind of lens through which we see and experience anew this central saving event of the whole of history. Equally important in each ritual are its symbols. Once again, we can point to the birthday cake, or Thanksgiving Day with its turkey. These symbols carry with them all the other birthdays and Thanksgivings we have celebrated, along with the bonds of love shared with family and dear friends. We all have personal symbols, too, or symbols particular to our family. I know that since my mother and father passed away, I have prized their wedding bands; and although I will never have need of these gold bands for what they were originally intended, they will always remain a sign of my parent’s presence and their love –a love which death cannot destroy! So symbols have a way of connecting us one to another and expressing a reality that cannot be expressed simply with words. All the more so is this true for the liturgy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church points this out when it says, “A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. In keeping with the divine pedagogy of salvation, their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ.” (CCC #1145) The Catechism goes on to say: In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols. As a social being, man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others, through LANGUAGE, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God. [Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1146, Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.]

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The catechism reminds us that it is precisely through the things that God created that God can be sensed and experienced; and that through such signs and symbols, we human beings can uniquely encounter the action of God, who makes us holy, and at the same time through these symbols, express to God our faith and gratitude. Often in common conversation symbols can be easily dismissed as “not real,” People say, ‘well it’s only a symbol.” Such a term would have been unthinkable to the father’s of the church. Symbols for them meant something very real. And when we think of the true use of symbols today, we know that they do, in fact, impart to us genuine realities that we otherwise would be unable to encounter. To say that something is “just a symbol,” is to use the term symbol poorly. If something is truly a symbol, it is very real and very important.

But the sacraments take our human capacity for symbol even further because of the action of God. In the hands of God, the symbols that have come down to us for use in the sacraments not only communicate a divine reality to us, they actually effect that reality; and in the case of the Eucharist the symbols of bread and wine actually become the reality – the risen body and blood of Christ! So the liturgy is a complex network of rituals that have come down to us carrying the tradition of the living worship of the church expressed in text and symbol, word and sacrament. They engage us in a common action involving the whole church every time we celebrate them: this common action has been called, “the liturgical act.” Liturgical rites, then, are never private actions but always public and communal, calling us all into the deep mystery of the triune life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is nothing more or less than the very promises of Christ being fulfilled in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Listen now as Jesus himself speaks to us through the words of the Gospel of John when John tells us of Jesus’ prayer offered to the Father for the apostles and for the whole church that will come after them: I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” JN: 17:20 – 26

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So back when I was a little boy, even though I may not have understood all those amazing things going on around me – Lenten draped statues and sacred words whispered at the holy altar of God – still all of these were the church’s celebration of word and sacrament– the “leitourgia” of God and God’s people —the same Christ coming to us and filling us with grace. Now, when all those marvelous actions shine forth anew, we are privileged to give new life to ancient texts and symbols, to the living Church made most visible in the sacred liturgy. ~ R. Bruce Cinquegrani

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SESSION ONE

For further reading we recommend the following:

CHURCH DOCUMENTS: “Part Two, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery” – Paragraphs 1066 through 1209 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Washington, D.C. : United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2000 ISBN10: 0879739762 or ISBN-13: 978-0879739768 “The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ ” Chapter 14, pp. 165-180 in The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2006 ISBN-10:1-57455450-2 or ISBN-13: 978-1-57455-450-2

BOOKS: Chapters 1-3 of Buono, Anthony M. Active Participation at Mass: What It Is and How to Attain It. New York: Alba House, 1994, ISBN-10: 0818906820 or ISBN-13: 978-0818906824 Collins, Mary. Contemplative Participation: Sacrosanctum Concilium, Twenty-five Years Later. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1990. ISBN 978-0-8146-1922-3 Section II STRUCTURE AND LAWS OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS, in Dalmais, Irenée Henri, and Aimé Georges. Martimort. The Church at Prayer: an Introduction to the Liturgy. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1987 Moleck, Fred, and James P. Moroney. Liturgy, Active Participation in the Divine Life: Where We've Been--where We're Going. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1990. ISBN 0-8146-1967-3 Pecklers, Keith F. Worship: a Primer in Christian Ritual. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2003 ISBN 0-8146-2985-7 Chapter One of Searle, Mark Liturgy Made Simple. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1982 ISBN-10: 0814612210 or ISBN-13: 978-0814612217 Underhill, Evelyn. Worship [New York]: Harper, 1937. ISBN 0-8245-0466-6

WEB ARTICLES: Guardini, Msgr. Romano. “The Liturgical Act Today” A letter written to the Liturgical Conference at Mainz, April 1964. http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/guardini.html Chaput, Archbishop Charles, J. “Liturgical Renewal should create a Martyrs love for the Mass” Catholic News Service, August 17, 2010 http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/archbishop-chaput-liturgical-renewalshould-create-martyrs-love-for-the-mass/

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SESSION TWO Early Christian Worship

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INTRODUCTORY READING FOR SESSION 2 – EARLY CHRISTIAN WORSHIP The Jewishness in the Worship Jesus Gave Us We Catholics have a faith fully grounded in God’s creation. Unlike some who see a huge gap between the spiritual world and the material world, we see all as God’s creation, a unified whole and very, very good. We accept that our material world and its history are a means by which God is revealed to us. We share this outlook with Judaism, today’s “other development” of the faith and worship of the ancient Israelites. I say “other development” because we Christians believe that we continue in our faith a New Covenant, following on the worship of God’s chosen people, Israel. If you were to attend a Jewish liturgy today, you might be surprised by how comfortable you, as a Catholic, feel in that service. Having had the profound blessing of serving in the choir of a Reformed Jewish congregation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I recognized many elements of worship that we continue to this day in our own Christian worship. It’s remarkable to see the Jewishness of Jesus (sometimes we forget…) expressed in the forms of worship passed onto us through our faith tradition. I list here some common actions that we might recognize in our own liturgy. Praising: There are many prayers in the Jewish liturgy devoted to praising God. In remembrance of the deliverance from the Egyptians, there is a sung prayer echoing the song of Miriam and Moses at the sea: “Who is like you, Lord, among the heavenly powers; who like you, mighty in holiness, too awesome for praise, doing wonders?!? The Lord shall reign for all eternity!!!” Also, there is the prayer form called a kaddish, which means sanctification, a blessing of God for all God has done and especially for all that God is: holy, mighty, generous in mercy and loving-kindness, remembering Israel, his people, etc. In some ways, our Gloria follows this form of prayer. Blessing: There are many Jewish prayers that begin, “Baruch ata, Adoshem, Elohenu melech ha’olam…,” which means, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe….” This kind of prayer is called a berakah, in Hebrew; eucharistia, in Greek! It means ‘blessing; and “thanksgiving.’ The prayers we use at the preparation of the gifts and the altar and the Eucharistic prayer are derived from these prayers. Remembrance: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Therefore…” This prayer is a call to remember the covenant and the commandments of God, and is an exhortation to be faithful. It is like our creed. Prayers of Petition: “Avinu, Malkeinu…Our Father and Our King…” This is the form of the petitions made to God on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, seeking God’s mercy and blessing…”though we are of little merit.” So we’re not the only ones who call God, “Our Father.” Then there is the “Mi Shebeirach avoteinu…imoteinu…” “May the One who blessed our fathers and our mothers, bless us, as well.” This is a prayer of petition for the sick and suffering.

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Proclamation of God’s Word: In a synagogue, normally the scriptures are written on beautiful scrolls, not printed in books. The Torah is equivalent to the first five books of our bible. During the main service of the day, there is a great celebratory procession, during which these Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark (in their protective coverings) and processed throughout the congregation. The people will often touch the Torah scroll with their service books, a way of reverencing God’s Word similar to the way a deacon, priest or bishop will kiss the page in the Lectionary or Book of Gospels. The procession would remind an Orthodox Christian of the Great Entrance procession, when the prosphora, or gifts of bread and wine to be consecrated and offered as the living Christ, are carried by the priests and deacons in procession through the congregation, while congregants may touch the robes of the priest, giving reverence to Christ, whom the priest represents sacramentally. During this procession, songs are sung with great gusto about the awesome gift of the Torah given to Israel by God, as a major source of their identity as a people. After the procession, a section is chanted from the Torah by a rabbi or cantor, and a section of the ‘Prophets’ is read, often by one of the elected leaders of the synagogue. This is then followed by the announcements and sermon, usually given by a rabbi. My experience of Jewish worship was like getting a peek into how Jesus and the first disciples would have worshipped. Now, when I attend Mass, I see this Jewish tradition of worship extended and fulfilled in our liturgy. It’s like I’m hearing and touching Jesus through the forms of worship he received, fulfilled, and handed on to us, his disciples. This is a wonderful thing, because it is primarily through the sacred liturgy that we hear and touch Jesus, sacramentally present throughout the whole liturgy: in the worship of the assembly, in the proclamation of the Word, and in the person of the priest, and finally, substantially in the consecrated elements of bread and wine that have become the Body and Blood of Christ. One of the ways we can touch Jesus, the Jew whom we acknowledge as Christ and the incarnation of only begotten Son of God, is by being aware of the Jewishness of our sacred liturgy.

~ Michael Ziegler

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OPENING PRAYER RITE

SESSION TWO

LEADER: Calling to mind the presence of God in our midst we begin our prayer together: (All make the Sign of the Cross) All: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE PSALMODY PSALM 145: 1-9 LEADER: Praise the Lord for he is good sing to our God for he is loving: to him our praise is due. ALL:

THE LORD BUILDS UP JERUSALEM AND BRINGS BACK ISRAEL’S EXILES HE HEALS THE BROKEN-HEARTED HE BINDS UP ALL THEIR WOUNDS. HE FIXES THE NUMBER OF THE STARS HE CALLS EACH ONE BY ITS NAME

LEADER: Our Lord is great and almighty; His wisdom can never be measured. The Lord raises the lowly he humbles the wicked to the dust. ALL:

O SING TO THE LORD, GIVING THANKS; SING PSALMS TO OUR GOD WITH THE

HARP. LEADER: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. ALL: AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, IS NOW, AND WILL BE FOREVER. AMEN. LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE (SELECT ONE PERSON TO READ)

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READING Hebrews: 9:1-5a, 6 -7, 11-14 Now (even) the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was constructed, the outer one, in which were the lamp stand, the table, and the bread of offering; this is called the Holy Place. Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, in which were the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In it were the gold jar containing the manna, the staff of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the place of expiation. With these arrangements for worship, the priests, in performing their service, go into the outer tabernacle repeatedly, but the high priest alone goes into the inner one once a year, not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people. But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. The Word of the Lord

ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD United States Conference of Catholic Bishops The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages With Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources and the Revised New Testament Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1996, c1986.

[quiet reflection] LEADER: Let us Pray: Father in Heaven, your Son, who is our great high priest offered his own life, once and for all, as the perfect sacrifice of praise on behalf of the whole world. By the gift of word and sacrament, grant us all a share in this eternal gift. We pray through Christ, our Lord.

ALL: AMEN

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PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS: SESSION TWO “Apostolic Origins of the Mass”

1. In what way is sharing a meal with someone important to you? What value does sharing a meal with others have beyond the physical nourishment? Which celebrations in your life experience include a special meal? Can you share some stories of these events? 2. What event or events have happened in your life that changed the way you see the world? 3. What do you think Jesus meant by the term “Kingdom of God”? 4. Many ancient religions included the offering of sacrifice to the “gods.” Judaism also has the practice of offering sacrifice to God, especially on Passover. What is your understanding of the practice?

POST VIDEO QUESTIONS: SESSION TWO “Apostolic Origins of the Mass”

1. In light of the discussion on the tape, and your reading, how would you describe the way Jesus revealed the Kingdom of God?

2. Why was Jesus condemned by the religious authorities of his time?

3. How do you recognize Jesus in “the breaking of the bread?”

4. What information in this session was new for you or especially meaningful? How might this help the way you think about or experience our Holy Mass?

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CLOSING PRAYER RITE LEADER: Let us now give thanks to God for our fellowship and study together and ask his blessing and protection on our world, our church and our families. (Select someone to pray the petitions) READER: For the Church throughout the world; may each local diocese and parish be a light to all peoples. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the nations of the world, that all may appreciate the world in which we live as a gift from God. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: That our efforts to better understand our Catholic faith, especially its tradition of liturgy, will bear fruit in our worship and in our lives. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the church of West Tennessee, may each parish be renewed by a deepened understanding of our faith. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For those who are most in need: the poor, the hungry, the sick and suffering, the lonely and abandoned and those who have no one to care for them. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER

(The Leader may invite additional personal intentions at this point; The petitions conclude with the Lord’s Prayer)

Concluding Prayers LEADER: Let us now pray as Jesus taught us: OUR FATHER… LEADER: O God , as we conclude our gathering we seek your continued guidance and protection. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope and love. We pray through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN LEADER: Let us depart in the peace of Christ ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD

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SESSION TWO – THE “SUPPER OF THE LORD” A: HOW DID JESUS WORSHIP? Standing on the Mount of Olives looking over at the ruins of the Ancient Jerusalem Temple you get the sense of holy ground like you have never had before. This was a scene I witnessed on my first trip to the Holy Land, and I was deeply moved. To know that Jesus himself stood in that very place and probably more than once; that he would have been deeply moved and, we are told, even brought to tears at this site and all that it stood for – the image in my mind reverberates with awe and wonder! All the more when I stood and touched the western wall of the great temple and prayed there with many others, especially faithful Jews from all over the world. This indeed is holy ground! During Jesus’ lifetime on earth, the Temple was the center of life for all Jews and the single most important point of contact between God and Israel. The great temple stood as the ground of all worship – not only the worship offered in the Temple by the priests, but also the worship offered by those who could not regularly reach the Temple—worship offered in each synagogue and in the home of every faithful Jew. It was this complex of worship events and locations – Temple, Synagogue, and Home – in which Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, was raised and lived. Judaism – the faith of Israel—was Jesus’ religion; and it is the religion from which our own worship has emerged. Worship Worship – another word like liturgy – has long and deep roots; the idea behind it, even deeper and wider. Worship is the word we use to describe our human response when we encounter the divine presence and take it seriously. Faced with the experience of the awesome power of the God, we humans respond in one of two ways: either we give ourselves over to the experience, acknowledging the transcendent as real, true, and substantive; or we reject it out of hand as merely a passing fancy, nothing much to be bothered with. One is the response that opens us to faith; the other doesn’t. For most humans in every generation, it turns out that the faith response has won. In fact, we discover from many and varied sources, that the worship of God seems to be innate in us humans. We have been wired that way; engineered, to attend to the holy; designed from the start to see and hear, taste and smell – God! Some even call it a religious gene. But any way you look at it, the truth is that human beings have, in some form or other, attended to the divine presence from the start; at least what the evidence shows. At first it seems the human understanding of God was very primitive, narrow, and limited. Without the benefit of God’s supernatural revelation, primitive humans could only encounter the divine presence in the world around them. The one true God was certainly revealed in and through his creation; but the human ability to perceive and understand was primitive and not yet developed. Then too, the revelation that comes through creation was not the more complex and personal self –disclosure we find later, when God reveals himself to Israel. As a result, the many phenomena that primitive humans encountered which seemed beyond their control ended up being the focal point of experiencing and naming the divine. The sun, the moon and the stars were 29

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great candidates to be gods. Storms and earthquakes that ravaged the land were also a locus of experiencing the transcendent. Fire too seemed certainly god-like in its power to create and destroy. Still another was rain and water: rain could either come in just the right amount to water the land and make crops grow plentifully; or in such torrents that it would produce devastating floods to ruin everything; or just not come at all, ushering in a drought and leading to a dried up and barren landscape. Rain, storms, earthquakes and fire – all these elements of nature that we take for granted as following some form of natural laws looked to the ancient peoples to possess a personal nature because they demonstrated such power; and their power determined critical outcomes of life for a long time. Earthquakes could reduce entire cities to rubble in a few moments, floods could wipe out entire populations, draught could bring starvation and death; on the other hand, ideal conditions of rain and sun could make a particular region prosperous and mighty over and against neighboring peoples. The natural world was powerful indeed! And if those elements of nature seemed so powerful, all the more did life and death itself. Sickness and disease, long life or short, no children or many – all this overwhelmed because it was all beyond the control of the primitive human being (and for that matter, mostly still is even today)! So there was a tendency to personify these forces into super-human forms; and each of them was thought to be a god in its own rite. These natural gods were nothing like the God of Israel. They did not desire a relationship with the people and in fact seemed, more often than not, selfish and capricious! Humans saw themselves as pawns in the hands of these gods; playthings, as it were, designed for the gods’ amusement. Of course this did provide a plausible explanation for a lot of human life and experience; and it also was a way to account for evil in the world. The good gods produced good outcomes; the bad or capricious gods produced bad ones. Some of them seemed to go either way. Worship of these gods was normally not about expressing fidelity and devotion or gratitude and love, but more like negotiating with an adversary in which the human being was the weaker of the two parties. In a sense, ancient natural religions amounted to nothing more than this. Such a religious system did involve a sense of duty, because it was thought that the gods were “owed,” worship or acknowledgement; but the relationship had none of the devotion or piety we find in the revealed religions; as such, the gods of the ancient pagan world were not loved or adored; they were dealt with. Worship was the means of negotiation; and it involved, most of all, the offering of sacrifice. Sacrifice was offered to win the favor of the gods. In offering sacrifice, something of this world was in some way given over to the gods – either by burning it or destroying it or at least setting it aside for them in a solemn and permanent way. The better the sacrifice (the more expensive or precious) the better the chance of winning favor and obtaining a benevolent outcome – or so they thought! The Chosen People and their Worship In the face of all this, it is easy to see how God’s revelation to Israel was quite remarkable, moving the human understanding of the diving being a quantum leap forward. The one true God revealed himself to Israel as infinitely good, faithful, loving, and true; as unchangeable and dependable. The Lord was the God who saved them; he was “high above all other gods”; he conquered the Egyptians and delivered Israel to the promised land 30

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of “milk and honey.” This was quite a new deal indeed! It did, however, require a new way to explain evil; if there was only one God; and if this God was all good and the creator and source of everything; then evil must have come from somewhere else – hence the concept of sin. For the first time the worship of God is linked to moral behavior and the merciful, just and loving treatment of others. A new basis for human community arises –classically expressed in the Ten Commandments and other aspects of the Mosaic law; and a new reason to follow God’s way – love of God, love of neighbor. Now, worship and the offering of sacrifice is not about negotiating with a capricious god or goddess; instead, worship becomes the expression of praise and glory, honor, adoration, thanksgiving and love. Because of the new concepts of sin, worship would now include acts of repentance and expiation, as well as atonement for the harm done. Over time a whole sacrificial system developed in Israel – some sacrifices were thanksgiving sacrifices offered to praise God and show gratitude and honor; and others were atonement sacrifices offered for the reparation and expiation of sin. Of course there was a whole catalogue of refined distinctions regarding sacrifices, but for our purposes here, it is sufficient to note that there were essentially two distinct general categories: thanksgiving and atonement – praising God and atoning for sin. And all of this was eventually centered at the great Jerusalem Temple. The Sacrifices of the Temple Sacrifices were offered in the Temple every day. Sunrise and sunset were particularly important times to offer sacrifice because these were experienced as “liminal,” or “threshold times,” when “the door between heaven and earth” was somehow “open.” Because their understanding of the cosmos was still quite primitive, these ancient people believed that God was somehow lifting the sun into the heavens each day and putting it down each evening. Therefore at these times, they thought, the veil to heaven was lifted and God was, so to speak, “peering down on us.” Having God’s attention, sunrise and sunset seemed to be the most ideal times to pray. These were the particular times when every faithful Jew would recite daily prayers, and as such unite themselves with the sacrifices being offered in the Temple. At the Temple’s great altar, thanksgiving sacrifices were offered for praise and thanksgiving, especially to acknowledge some particular blessing from God. In such a sacrifice, a living creature was brought by a family to the priest in the temple and, through him, offered to God. The priest would slaughter the animal by slitting its juggler vein and letting its blood drain into a ceremonial basin. The priest then sprinkled the blood on the altar or poured out the blood at or around its base. Sometimes a portion of the flesh of the animal would also be burned on top of the altar, its smoke understood to represent the persons praise and worship rising to God in heaven. Then the remainder of the flesh of the animal, having been drained completely of its blood, was given back to the one who offered it. In turn it was taken home to cook and share with family and friends. Because of this, the thanksgiving sacrifice was also a “communion,” sacrifice, because in eating the flesh of the animal offered to God, the family who offered it shared a special bond with God and with everyone else who shared in the meal that followed. 31

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Perhaps the most well known of the communion/thanksgiving sacrifices was the Passover sacrifice. This sacrifice commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and, in a way, the founding of the nation. Each year on the evening of the 14th of the month of Nisan, the people gathered in their homes to celebrate Passover with the dinner whose main food was the cooked meat of the lamb they had offered for sacrifice earlier that day. There are many elements that went into the development of this feast which we cannot elaborate on here; but suffice it to say that it was a central feast for the people of Israel by the time of Jesus’ own life on earth. The other type of sacrifice was the atonement sacrifice. In offering this sacrifice, the blood was poured out as before; but the flesh was not taken home to be cooked and eaten; instead it was completely consumed in the sacrificial fire on the altar. And understandably there would be no feast to follow this sacrifice because the purpose of the offering was to atone for sin. Sometimes the priest who offered the sacrifice would consume some of the flesh; but not always. Just like the thanksgiving Passover sacrifice, some atonement sacrifices were prescribed as part of their annual calendar of feasts and holy days; other times, a particular family or person would bring an offering specifically to make reparation and atonement for sin. Important to note in all these is the place of blood in the sacrificial rite. The blood of a living creature – human or otherwise – played a unique role in the life and culture of Israel. Because of its importance for life, because they knew from experience that if a person bled a great deal that they would become weakened and if they continued to bleed they would die – because of all this, the blood of a living creature was understood to contain its life, its spirit, the very essence of itself – indeed, its very soul. And so, blood was considered sacred, belonging entirely to God because life belonged entirely to God! Contact with blood was forbidden, and if one should come in contact with blood, even out of necessity, one was rendered unclean and required some ritual purification. With that in mind, all blood was carefully and completely drained from any animal whose flesh was to be eaten. Needless to say, a rare steak, oozing with blood would certainly not be allowed on the table of any faithful Jew. So the basic act of worship for the people of Israel was the offering of sacrifice in the Temple. Besides the flesh of living creatures, there were other types of sacrificial offerings, grain, wine, oil etc. – always something of food or drink, some part of a meal; but the most significant were living creatures. Still, not everyone could get to the Temple in Jerusalem, not regularly anyway. Even if you lived in or near Jerusalem, laws for travel on the Sabbath allowed only those who lived very close to worship there. Besides, during the periods when Israel was in exile, they had no access to the Temple whatsoever; in fact it was destroyed by conquering armies and several times had to be rebuilt. Because of this there developed another, parallel form of public worship that co-existed alongside the temple worship. This was the worship of the synagogue.

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The Synagogue The synagogue (the word means “an assembly”) was the ordinary place of public worship for most Jews living at the time of Jesus. The synagogue community was much like what we would understand to be the congregation of a given parish or church. Synagogues were everywhere among the Jewish communities both in Jerusalem, throughout Galilee, and wherever else Jews make their home. The synagogue service centered around reading, studying, and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures—on the Torah or Law (the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures) and on the Prophets. Of course back then there were no bibles as we know them because books and binding and printing were not yet invented, and would not be for a long time. The Holy Scriptures were written on scrolls of animal skin and parchment –a separate scroll for each book. And they were rolled up on rods and stored in special cabinets designed to hold the sacred scrolls. From what we can tell, it seems that most often the scriptures were read in course, i.e. they started at the beginning and went to the end; and then started back again. They did not have special readings assigned to certain days like we do with our lectionary. The readings may have been interspersed with psalm singing and prayers. A homily was given by the leader of the synagogue after all the reading was done. Then prayers were offered for the needs of all and a collection was taken up for the support of the synagogue community and for the poor. These were the elements that went into the synagogue service which was, as far we can tell, conducted at least weekly on the Sabbath and probably on another day of the week as well. Worship at Table But Temple and Synagogue were not the only places where worship took place. The home and its common dinner table provided a third essential arena of sacred worship for faithful Jews. And this practice continues even to today. It’s not surprising that the home and its dining table would be considered a place of worship; but in our own culture and time, meals take place in such a way that any higher meaning associated with dining (beyond physical nourishment) too often gets lost. We eat on the run; grab fast food; pick up something on our way. And even when we sit at table, it is rare that we give dining the ritual care that it deserves, the ritual care that the typical Jewish family of the first century would certainly have given. For one thing, producing the meal was a project in and of itself for the first century peoples. There were no supermarkets where food could be purchased in plastic containers already half prepared. In fact, they began much further back in the process than even the most practiced of cooks normally do in our modern world. Bread began from grains that were ground in the home; milk from cows or goats who lived in the back yard. Because of this, people were much closer to the origins of their food; and it was pretty obvious that all their nourishment ultimately came from God. Nowadays we have to work at realizing this; they did not. In fact, the very act of eating itself was an acknowledgment that their lives were dependant on something beyond themselves in order to survive; and this something was required daily. No faithful Jew, no matter how hard they tilled their land, cared for their crops, nurtured their herds –no faithful Jew would have ever

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considered themselves to be self-sufficient. God granted these blessings and He alone was the source of all good. Those who cared for the land and tended herds of sheep and cattle saw themselves as good stewards of God’s creation, not masters of their own. This was evident to all; and sometimes painfully so when, because of natural circumstances, there was not enough to go around. Droughts or floods or lack of other natural conditions could quickly bring famine. Human beings needed the kindness of God to survive; it was as simple as that. Every single meal reminded them of their dependence on the power and generosity of the Lord God; for them, this fact was plain as day. Each meal, therefore, was a blessing which required a proper offering of thanks. Thus, every meal was an act of common worship! It’s not surprising that meal prayers abounded in the Jewish home. A special prayer opened the meal accompanying a kind of opening ritual. Here, a loaf of bread was taken, blessed, broken, and shared by all. This action contained the highest of significance. In Jesus’ culture, to invite one to dine at table was to establish a relationship with that person. When family members gathered for the meal, their mutual bonds of love and care were expressed and strengthened. Friendships were made by inviting someone to break bread at table; and it was the shared meal through which the friendship was given life and sustenance. If a stranger was invited to dine, it was as if that person had been – by the very fact of being invited to dine – grafted onto the host’s community of loved ones. And if ever there was a fracture in a relationship between family members or friends, the meal table was the place where forgiveness and reconciliation was made concrete and ratified. To break bread with another, in Jesus’ culture, was no small thing indeed. It is from this action that we get the English words, “companion,” and “company. (con pane = bread with!) Therefore, in this action (the taking, blessing, breaking, and giving of bread) the unity shared by the people at table was acknowledged; the nourishment of those loving bonds that would be strengthened through the meal was foreshadowed; and any new relationships or relationships that had been broken would now be inaugurated and/or reconciled. This breaking of bread was a true and real “symbol,” of human communion and love! The blessing of God was seen its centerpiece; for wherever love is, there is God. And it was from God that both the physical and spiritual nourishment that would unfold throughout the meal found its origin and its final end. Following this significant opening ritual, the rest of the meal got under way. As each course was served, a special blessing was offered for that course. Finally to conclude the meal (and especially at more festive meals) a final cup of wine was brought to the head of the household. This was the special blessing cup or berakah cup. “Berakah” [be-er ah kah] was the Hebrew term for blessing and it often involved a special and extended prayer of blessing or thanksgiving; in Greek, this word was rendered, “eucharistia,” from which we get the word, Eucharist!

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The “berakah” or “eucharistia” had a particular form and included three important elements which we can recognize as the root of each of our Eucharistic Prayers prayed in the Mass today. These elements were: praise of God, remembrance and thanksgiving for God’s great saving deeds, and petition for God’s grace and blessing once again. So the prayer FORM went something like this: (what follows is a personal composition to demonstrate what I am talking about) (PRAISE) O God, Lord of heaven and earth; you are high above all other gods; your marvelous power and grace are known from one end of the sky to the other -- glory to you, and praise beyond all praising! (REMEMBRANCE) For you have created all things with unmatched wisdom and power; and you govern all things with knowledge and right judgment. In days long past you saved and delivered us from adversaries who would have destroyed us; but you protected us with your mighty hand and outstretched arms, lifting us from the clutches of our enemies and bringing us to a land where we could establish a nation for your very own. You have made us your people, and you have blessed our land, brought us bountiful harvests and given us fine grain, wine and oil for our enjoyment and the honor of your name. And so we thank you for your blessings; we acknowledge and honor your goodness. (PETITION) And so, we humbly ask that you grant us continued blessings and prosperity, a fruitful land, bountiful herds of cattle and oxen, and bless us with offspring – children to continue to cultivate our land and to stand as witnesses of your power and glory before all nations of the earth. To all who have gathered here, grant consolation, peace, prosperity, and joy and the fullness of years, that we may see our children’s children and so continue to praise your holy name. We ask you this for you are the one God, living and true, holy and mighty, Lord and God forever and ever. Amen. Now let’s look at an actual prayer, one quite similar to a prayer that Jesus himself would have prayed. This is called the Birkat Ha Mazon:

BIRKAT HA-MAZON

The master of the Seder: Gentlemen, let us say the blessing. The participants: May the Name of the Lord be blessed from now unto eternity. The master of the Seder: Let us bless Him [our God] of whose food we have eaten. The participants: Blessed be he [our God] of whose food we have eaten and through whose goodness we live. All: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the world, who feeds the entire world in his goodness, with grace, loving kindness, and compassion. He gives bread to all flesh, for his mercy is forever. And through his great goodness food has never failed us, and may it never fail us, for his great Name’s sake. For he feeds and sustains all, and does good unto all, and prepares food for all his creatures which he did create. Blessed are you, O Lord, who feeds all. Let us give thanks to you, O Lord our God, because you have given our fathers to inherit a pleasant land, goodly and broad, and because you have brought us forth, O Lord our God, from the land of Egypt and redeemed us out of the house of slaves; and for your covenant which you have sealed in our flesh; and for your Torah which you have taught us; and for your laws which you have informed us; and for the life, grace, and mercy which you have graciously given us; and for the eating of the food with which you feed and sustain us continually, every day, at all times and at every hour. And for all this, O Lord our God, we give

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thanks to you and give blessing to you; blessed be your name in the mouth of each living thing forever, continually. As it is written: “And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God for the good land which he has given you.”42 Blessed are you, O Lord, for the land and for the food. Take pity, O Lord our God, on Israel, your folk, and on Jerusalem, your city, and on Zion, the habitation of your glory, and on the kingdom of the House of David, your anointed, and upon the great and holy House over which your name is called. Our God, our Father, shepherd us, feed us, maintain us, sustain us, and ease us. Ease us, O Lord our God, speedily from all our troubles. And let us not be needing, O Lord, our God, gifts at the hands of flesh and blood, or their loins, but only at your hand, that is full and open, holy and broad, so that we be never ashamed or disgraced at all. Our God and God of our fathers, may there rise, and come, and come unto, be seen, accepted, heard, recollected and remembered, the remembrance of us and the recollection of us, and the remembrance of our fathers, and the remembrance of Jerusalem, your holy city, and the remembrance of all your people, the house of Israel. May their remembrance come before you, for rescue, goodness, grace, mercy, and compassion, for life and for peace, on this the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Remember us, O Lord our God, thereon for good, and recollect us thereon for a blessing, and save us thereon to live. And with word of salvation and compassion spare us and be gracious with us; have compassion on us and save us—for to you are our eyes, for you are a God gracious and compassionate. And build Jerusalem, the sacred city, speedily in our days. Blessed are you, O Lord, who builds in his compassion Jerusalem. Amen. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, O God, our Father, our King, our Mighty One, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, our Sacred One, the Sacred One of Jacob, our Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel, the King, who is good and does good to all, he who every day did, does, and will do good to us. He has favored, he favors, he will favor us forever: for grace, for mercy, and for compassion and for ease, rescue, and success, blessing and salvation, consolation, maintenance and sustenance, and compassion and life and peace, and all that is good; may he not let us lack of all that is good. [“The Birkat Ha Mazon” from the “Qaddish” in Lawrence Johnson, Worship In The Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources, 4 vols. (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2009), 1:18

In this prayer and the action that accompanied it, the entire meaning of the meal was summarized, the bonds of friendship and love that were forged during the meal were sealed, and once again, in a final and grand way, the generosity of God was acknowledged and future needs presented to him as well. SESSION TWO- B: THE MINISTRY OF JESUS, THE PASCHAL EVENTS, AND THE NASCENT CHURCH Jesus’ Ministry of Table Fellowship During Jesus’ lifetime, then, he would have participated faithfully and with great devotion in all of the religious practices of Judaism that we have already described above. The Gospels mention each of these arenas of worship specifically and more than once. Throughout the Gospels we find Jesus going to the temple; participating, even reading and preaching in the synagogue, and above all, honoring the meal customs with their traditional rites and prayers. In fact, in each of these circumstances Jesus took the opportunity to teach and proclaim about the Kingdom of God. And among them all, the meal setting was one of the most common and most striking. Take for example the following passage from the gospel of Matthew As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. 36

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The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” [MT 9:9-13 in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] Notice what happens here. Jesus calls Matthew to be one of his followers. But Matthew is a tax collector. As such, he is considered an outcast from the community because he has “sold out” to the Roman occupying government to whom the taxes went; and not only that, but the system of taxation was quite a racket. It worked like a pyramid structure. The chief tax collector was given a certain sum which was required of him by the official to whom he was to report. But he could actually collect whatever sum he wanted as long as he turned in the right amount to his superior. That is how he made his living. So he might be responsible to turn in say $50.00 for each person under his jurisdiction. But if he wanted, he could have collected $100.00 for each person, making $50.00 profit for each one. But then, he would tell the lower ranked tax collectors that they had to collect $100.00 for each person that passed by their tariff desk; but they could collect whatever they wanted to collect too! And that’s how they made their profit. The system was designed to be corrupt! Tax collectors were despised in Jesus’ day and you can see why. Now Jesus calls a tax collector to be one of his disciples and then is invited to his home for dinner. And all kinds of other people show up described as “many tax collectors and sinners.” If you put together all that we said above about the meaning of a dinner in a Jewish home, then you can see how this whole event was quite upsetting to those who valued the status quo. And you can see how Jesus uses the shared meal to proclaim and even bring about the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom where sinners are reconciled. During the meal and really, in a way, because of the meal, Matthew (the tax collector!!!!) and the others are reconciled to the community. No wonder the Pharisees protest so vehemently! They make a fuss about this because Jesus is doing something quite revolutionary, something that was just not done. Jesus went to dine at the home of a tax collector; and as a noted rabbi, was by that fact, reconciling with him. And if that wasn’t enough, he actually invited him to be a disciple of his which was the occasion for the banquet in the first place. And because of this, apparently many other tax collectors and sinners showed up too and by extension, at least some of them became Jesus disciples too. We can site many instances of this. But here is just one more from the gospel of Luke: He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was

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short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” [LK19:1-10 in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] ] Notice all the elements in this story that point to some of the things spoken of earlier regarding tax collectors – their standing in Jesus’ culture and how they operated. Zacchaeus is described as a “chief tax collector.” He was a wealthy man and he all but openly admits his wealth came from extortion! Once again we see a similar pattern: an encounter with Jesus results in Zacchaeus’ repentance and desire to be one of His disciples. Jesus welcomes him; and the reconciliation is celebrated at a great feast. The authorities balk at this and complain that it is all very improper and unacceptable. But notice how Zacchaeus readily admits to Jesus his faults and promises reparation. Jesus concludes by explaining and defending his actions and his mission to the complainers who clearly don’t get it: “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” [LK19:1-10 in The New American Bible, ibid]

So it is possible to say that Jesus actually had a kind of “ministry,” of “table fellowship” whereby those who were outcasts and sinners were reconciled. And the context of reconciliation, as well as the process used was the sharing of a meal and all that a shared meal meant in Jesus’ world. In fact Jesus becomes known for this. His ministry of table fellowship challenged long held assumptions to the core and cracked open many social conventions which became the means by which Jesus revealed the Kingdom of God. All this and much, much more results in continued conflict with the authorities, his eventual arrest, his crucifixion and his death. Thus Jesus’ entire ministry culminates in his paschal mystery: his passion, death and resurrection. It should not surprise us that a meal inaugurates the paschal events and is the context for their glorious conclusion. The Last Supper Recounted in the Gospels, Jesus seems to bring together at this final meal with his disciples a kind of summation of his ministry, especially the ministry of table fellowship as well as all of the common elements of Jewish worship which he had faithfully followed all his life. The two will now linked by Jesus in a unique set of events that could never have been conceived, even by those closest to him.

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It is not clear if this meal was the actual Passover meal or a meal near the time of Passover. In the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, it is clearly sited as the Passover supper. But in the Gospel of John, Jesus dies on Passover, at the same time that the Passover lambs are being slaughtered in the Temple. It is possible then, that the supper took place on the night before Passover, we just don’t know. In either case, the supper clearly has a Paschal theme and Jesus unquestionably associates himself – by word and action – with the Passover sacrifice in the Temple. In a sense this is an acted out prophecy: Jesus, in light of his impending death, will proclaim himself as the new paschal lamb by which a new saving covenant is established that is eternal and salvific for the whole world. And so, during the meal, as was his custom, Jesus recalled sacred scripture, taught, and prayed. The meal itself follows the usual procedure we described above. But this time Jesus adds several unique and unprecedented elements. First, when he opened the meal with the usual blessing and breaking of the bread, he added something new as he gave the broken bread to them to eat; “take this and eat it,” he said, “for this is my body.” Then, when the supper was ended, he took the berakah cup as was his custom –the cup of eucharistia, the cup of blessing – and after he prayed the usual extended prayer (as we described above) he gave them the cup and said: “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Luke also tells us that Jesus added: “Do this in memory of me.” [LK 22: 19 ff. in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] All this was probably quite shocking to them. They knew this to be the language of the Temple and its sacrifices; and Jesus was talking about himself and his death in that manner with those terms. Not only that, but if you consider everything we mentioned about the meaning of blood in their time and culture, it is even more shocking. Can you imagine these men who grew up in a culture in which blood was considered the very life spirit of a living creature; where the mere contact with blood was a kind of sacrilege – can you imagine how this sounded to them, hearing their master now command them to take and drink from a cup of wine which he says is his blood! There could be no middle ground here, none at all. Clearly Jesus was identifying himself, his very life, as a new kind of Passover sacrifice inaugurating a new and eternal covenant between God and the whole human family. And this time, the whole paschal lamb – body and blood – would be shared. This could only mean one thing: in this new covenant, they were about to share together in the life of God in a way that could have never before been imagined! And if all that wasn’t enough, the Gospel of John recounts that, at this supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. This was a necessary, common task before dining; but it was not a task to be performed by their master, teacher and rabbi. Yet that is exactly what Jesus did. In humble service to them, he got down on his hands and knees and washed their feet, every single one. Peter protested, we are told; but Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way. And after he finished washing everyone’s feet he said to them: You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. [JN 13:13-15 in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] 39

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This was yet another command; clearly he was letting them know that this sacred meal, for which his own life would be the sacrificial food, was to nourish them for service to one another in the new Kingdom of God. Of course in the moment, this was all quite incomprehensible to them. Swept up in a kind of “tornado of divine grace and action,” all they could do was sit there, shocked and bewildered. Is it any wonder that, with few exceptions, they all abandoned him when it was all over? Only after seeing this whole set of events through the lens of the resurrection would they be able to begin to understand. But in the moment, they didn’t know; how could they? So, after Jesus’ arrest they dispersed, wondering what to do next. Jesus is taken, tortured, tried and convicted; and then after carrying his cross to his final place of execution, exhausted and having practically bled to death already, he is nailed to the cross. Hanging there in agony, he cries out to his Father in heaven and then, dies. We know though that is was not the end of the story. At the dawn of the third day of his death, the women who were closest to him go to the tomb to finish the task of burying Jesus properly, which required anointing his body with the oils of burial. Since he died on the eve of the Sabbath, they were not allowed to do this until now. But when they arrive at the tomb, it is empty! They don’t find his body. Instead they are told that he has risen from the dead; and not long after, he appears to them in different circumstances recounted variously in all four Gospels. No one could have made this story up, it was so unthinkable! Jesus was raised from the dead; raised indeed! The Road to Emmaus and the Breaking of the Bread Of all the resurrection stories, the most important for our purposes is the story of Jesus meeting two of his disciples on the road back to Emmaus. Emmaus is a town about seven miles from Jerusalem. The journey there traverses rolling hills which include both open fields and some wooded areas. It is a beautiful journey even today. These two followers of Jesus were apparently in Jerusalem for Passover like all good Jews. They witnessed Jesus’ death and now, journeying home to their little village of Emmaus, they are grieving His loss. They were convinced, up till now anyway, that Jesus was the messiah. But now they speak of this conviction in the past tense, as if they had been mistaken: “we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” I offer now the entire text of the story because it is so very important in our study of the liturgy and the Eucharist: Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”

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And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. [LK 24:13ff. in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009]

Notice the amazing parallels between this story and our celebration of Eucharist. Here we have disciples of Jesus on a journey. They encounter Jesus but do not yet realize that it is Jesus in their midst until he proclaims the scriptures and breaks open their meaning for them, leaving them with burning hearts; and then, after being invited to do so, he sits at table with them, takes bread, offers a blessing, breaks it and gives it to them. Then and only then do they recognize him and go out to proclaim him to others! Amazing!!!! Isn’t this what happens at every Eucharist? Isn’t this what has happened at every Eucharist since this first meeting of the risen savior in the “breaking of the bread?” How could we not see a clear description of these early disciples, having been utterly transformed by the resurrection, now affirm this sacred action, this sacred meal which they were commanded to do in his memory, as the centerpiece and heart of their life together. And of course we know from many places in the scriptures that this, in fact was the case and has been every since.

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The Early Church and the Breaking of the Bread The history that follows after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost involved an emerging process whereby the apostles and other disciples they recruited to help them, began to organize the church into a community of memory and hope, of service and mission; and the manner in which the “breaking of the bread,” would be celebrated was an important element in the process. Now they had to give shape and form to what had been loose affiliations of disciples, gathering them into communities with some kind of order and some form of leadership. This was not easy, nor did it happen consistently in every place. It was Spirit led to be sure, but replete with all the human foibles that one might expect to encounter in such an undertaking. At first, it seems, they continued to participate in the synagogue services of the word and in some of the Temple worship. They kept the Sabbath and other religious observances as they had been doing all along. After all, they were Jews, and they did not see themselves in any other light. They believed that Jesus was the messiah; that he would return as he promised to complete his work of setting Israel free from Roman occupation and establishing a new Kingdom out of the remnant of Israel. In the meantime, they followed their religious observances, developed as a community of brothers and sisters as Jesus commanded, and shared in the “breaking of the bread,” on the Lord’s Day, Sunday where they encountered the presence of the risen Christ in a unique way; and so we read in the Acts of the Apostles: Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. [Acts 2: 4247 in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] Notice the degree of communal life that is described here and the importance given to “the breaking of the bread,” which was one of the first terms used to refer to the Eucharist. Notice also the continued attention to the Temple area as a sacred place and the echoes of their Jewish heritage in this description. Of course we know from biblical scholars as well as the scripture texts themselves that things were not quite this ideal always and everywhere among the communities of the nascent church; and the problems they faced as a community certainly became evident in their gatherings for the “breaking of the bread.” All we have to do look to St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: First of all, I hear that when you meet as a church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that (also) those who are 42

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approved among you may become known. When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I do not praise you. For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. [I COR 11: 18-27 in The New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009] We must remember as we read this, that up till this time the Eucharist “the breaking of the bread,” took place, as it originally did with Jesus, in the context of an entire meal. Patterned after the typical fellowship suppers that became so identified with Jesus’ ministry that we mentioned earlier, these suppers began with the “breaking of the bread;” then, there followed the entire meal; and to conclude, the final “blessing cup,” over which the great thanksgiving prayer (“berakah” in Hebrew or “eucharistia” in Greek) was prayed. So here, St. Paul seems to be addressing a problem with the meal itself. Apparently some who brought plenty to eat were not sharing with those who had very little. And some are even abusing the cup so as to “get drunk!” So they were turning “the supper of the Lord,” – a sign of communion and unity – into a hotbed of conflict fueled by the selfish attitudes of some. Paul bluntly scolds them for this, bluntly pointing out how their selfish and rude behavior shows just how much they are missing the point. He reminds them that this is no ordinary afternoon picnic, but rather the supper of the Lord! The meal is not primarily for physical nourishment or personal pleasure; rather, it is spiritual nourishment for the work of the church. And he makes explicit what that means: they are eating and drinking of the “death of the Lord,” until he comes again. Thus, at this early stage, Paul affirms the church’s faith that the “supper of the Lord,” is a unique encounter with Jesus, arising out of his promise and command. The meal not only nourishes, but yields up and brings to light the presence of the “whole body of Christ” gathered there. They must be attending to this divine/human reality, not their personal needs.

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Paul concludes by telling them that if they continue to partake of this meal without understanding its meaning as well as the demands it claims on them, then they are making a mockery of it and sowing the seeds of their own “condemnation!” Pretty strong; but then St. Paul was never one to mince words, especially when it came to this most hallowed action, following from the command of Jesus himself. As obviously disruptive as this whole affair was, an even more pervasive problem was the conflict that arose between gentile converts to the faith and those original disciples of Jewish origin: how would these gentiles be incorporated into the community? Did they have to follow all the Jewish dietary laws? And were the men to be circumcised? In other words, if they wanted to be Christians, did they first have to become Jews? St. Paul was firm in his conviction that they did not; others, especially the community in Jerusalem believed that they did. A rather lively debate ensued, first through letters over a long distance. Then, finally, a council was called in Jerusalem. The apostles deliberated and the results are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 15. They agreed, some reluctantly, that the gentiles in fact, did not have to follow the dietary laws nor would the men need to be circumcised. Jewish and gentile Christians were to be respectful of each other’s differences and coexist in a single community. Thus the groundwork was laid for a complete separation from Judaism, and new religion which would come to be known eventually as Christianity. In time, all this seemed to give rise to the shape of the Eucharist as we now celebrate it, at least for the most part: 1. As a result of a number of developments including the widespread and public association with gentiles, the disciples of Jesus were no longer welcomed in synagogues. 2. Since a common and public reflection on the word apparently meant a lot to them, a Service of the Word like the synagogue service seems to get attached regularly to the “breaking of the bread, ” which was normally conducted in one of their homes, usually the home of one of the more wealthy members simply because it could hold everybody. 3. While at first, the full supper was included as part of the Eucharist or the “Breaking of the Bread,” in time, because of a number of problems with the meal as we saw above, the full meal is dropped and put at another time of day, often in the evening (when they would gather a second time for hymn singing, the evening lighting of lamps and prayer – a takeoff of the Jewish custom of praying together at sunrise and sunset, and a kind of forerunner to the Liturgy of the Hours). 4. The bread and cup, then, come together in a single rite over which the extended thanksgiving prayer, the “eucharistia” is prayed. This will develop rapidly into a more definitive shape as we will see in the second and third centuries. By the end of the first century, it appears that we have the basic shape of the Christian Eucharistic service in place as a service of Word and Sacrament; and that this service was the central act of their worship which took place on Sunday, the day of the Lord’s rising, and the Day of Eternal hope. It seems from all the writings that no 44

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one doubted the unique and real presence of the risen Lord in the breaking of the bread; nor that his risen life was to be for them, nourishment for living the Christian life – a life of loving service and mission to the ends of the earth. What a journey this people underwent – from the high ritual sacrifices of the Temple, the studied reflection of the word in the synagogue and the intimate gatherings for meals in which they vividly remembered God’s blessings all the way to a single service in which they encountered Jesus Christ as their risen Lord, as the new Paschal Lamb, now present to them fully and completely – just as he promised – in the “Breaking of the Bread.” ~ R. Bruce Cinquegrani

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SESSION TWO For further reading we recommend the following: CHURCH DOCUMENTS: “Part One, The Profession of Faith” – Paragraphs: 516-521; 531, 543-553 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2000 ISBN10: 0879739762 or ISBN-13: 978-0879739768 “Part Two, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery” – Paragraphs 1322 through 1344 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Washington, D.C. : United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2000 ISBN10: 0879739762 or ISBN-13: 978-0879739768 “The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ” Chapter 17, pp. 215-217 in The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2006 ISBN-10:1-57455450-2 or ISBN-13: 978-1-57455-450-2

BOOKS:

Daniélou, Jean. The Bible and the Liturgy Ann Arbor: Servant, 1979. Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy New York: Seabury, 1982. 48-82. Foley, Edward. "Chapter I." From Age to Age: How Christians Have Celebrated the Eucharist. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2008. Hahn, Scott. The Lamb's Supper: the Mass as Heaven on Earth. New York: Doubleday, 1999. Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold. "Part One: A Theology of Worship; Part Two, Section I, Chapters 1 and 2; Section III, Chapter 1." The Study of Liturgy. New York: Oxford UP, 1978. Jungmann, Josef Andreas. "1-4." The Early Liturgy: to the Time of Gregory the Great. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1976. LaVerdiere, Eugene Dining in the Kingdom of God: the Origins of the Eucharist in the Gospel of Luke Chicago, IL: Liturgy Training Publications, 1994 LaVerdiere, Eugene, and Martin F. Connell The Breaking of the Bread: the Development of the Eucharist According to the Acts of the Apostles. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1998

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SESSION THREE The Mass Throughout the Ages: From Justin Martyr to Pius XII

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INTRODUCTORY READING FOR SESSION 3 THE MASS THROUGHOUT THE AGES: FROM JUSTIN MARTYR TO PIUS XII History and the Shape of Liturgy When my grandfather was a young man, his family, which had been practicing Methodists, became Catholic. One of the great things about this for him was the unchanging nature of the Catholic Mass. He didn’t use the word ‘liturgy,’ although I know now that he knew that word and what it meant. He was, for my entire life, both devoted to the Church and gravely disappointed. The whole ethos of liturgy after Vatican II seemed to him to trivialize the liturgy, because it transposed the celebration, so finely vested in the ‘mystique of the sacred,’ into the all too vulgar ‘blue jeans’ of the masses, making it somehow…ordinary. This is not to say that Granddaddy didn’t have a point when it came to particular ways the reform of liturgy was implemented in some times and in some places. Approaches to celebrating liturgy have, on occasion, been overly ‘folksy,’ disregarding the fact that liturgical worship is, by nature, formal. Given this experience, it’s really no wonder that many who were accustomed to the elegance that seemed to permeate the celebration of Mass before Vatican II experienced disappointment in the ‘new order’ of worship. Of course, the goal was not to disappoint as many devout Catholics as possible, but to make the meaning of the sacred liturgy accessible to contemporary humanity (and especially to restore the role and participation of the faithful in the liturgy as it had been practiced in the ancient church). As a celebration heavily shrouded in the ‘mystique of the sacred,’ the liturgy, exiled to the edge of an increasingly secular life by its own incomprehensible language and aloof detachment from all contemporary culture, had effectively lost its capacity to penetrate and transform the modern world. Practically speaking it was, in the worst sense, a ‘religious act,’ fulfilling the purpose of making people feel they had come into contact with the holy, but not sufficiently accessible to them to make them holy themselves. In his book, Introduction to Liturgical Theology, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, a prolific theologian, writer and teacher in what is today the Orthodox Church in America, traces the development of the Byzantine Ordo, i.e., the structure of liturgy and the liturgical calendar, throughout Christian history. The same historical and cultural influences continued to be at work in the West after the sad split between the Roman West and Orthodox East, even if the content of that history and culture were significantly different. The Theology of Time Early Judaeo-Christian liturgy, Fr. Schmemann explains, blossomed from within the Jewish liturgical experience. The festal cycles of the week and the year, with its Sabbaths and Holy Days, were just as much a part of the life of the early Christian Jews as they were of their non-Christian Jewish brethren. To the daily cycle of evening and morning prayers was added the weekly celebration of the Breaking of the Bread on Sunday, the day after the Sabbath rest commemorating the completion of creation, and thus the ‘Eighth Day’ beyond the weekly cycle, the ‘Day of the Lord’ brought about by Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension into eternal glory. As such, this ‘Eighth Day’ was also the First Day, not merely of the weekly cycles belonging to this world which is passing away, but also of the new Eon of the Kingdom, which will have no end. In the person, life, passion and resurrection of Jesus, the annual cycle of Jewish feasts are all brought together: the New Year inaugurated in Christ, the Passover from death to life, the Day of Atonement, the dwelling of God with man (Succoth), and the perfection of creation symbolized in the week of weeks, Pentecost. The portal through which a person entered into this new day was the sacrament of the baptismal waters, now filled with a meaning that previous washings could never have expressed: entering into Christ himself, the very embodied inauguration of the Kingdom which is to come. It was upon this Jewish liturgical framework that the early church built its self-understanding as the sign of fulfillment of all longing and expectation, as the very Body of Christ who came into the world to save sinners, 48

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yes, but also to redeem all creation, and give it its fullest meaning. Likewise, the Jewish worship of mediation between God and humanity was fulfilled and transformed by the advent of Christ. The church both celebrated and was somehow constituted by the new sacraments of baptism and eucharist, and understood itself and its worship as a corporate reality, the worship of sharers in the ‘royal priesthood,’ of those set apart as a holy nation, an Israel now having received its promised Messiah and deliverance. The reality of the Paschal Mystery revealed in Christ fulfilled and revealed the truest meaning of the Law and the Prophets. The religious form of the eucharist was the intimate setting of a meal, the Breaking of Bread shared within the fellowship of disciples. It happened around tables in homes, some of which had been built or donated expressly for the use of the church. It was solemnly joyful, but not the very formal ritual it would become in later times. Encounter of Christian Cult with Pagan Religion and Mystery Cults As Christianity spread beyond the Children of Israel, and traveled to the ‘ends of the world’ of the Roman Empire, it came into contact with pagan religion and the ‘mystery cults,’ a different cultural and liturgical context. Concerned with the things of heaven, and thus not intimately connected with the things of this world, Christianity did not function in the same way as a pagan religion, which touched all the various aspects of daily life, from the rising of the sun to its setting, at home, abroad, working and at rest. Acts of pagan worship were primarily pragmatic in nature, calling upon the gods for protection and divine support in all endeavors of life in this world. Religion was understood in terms of these acts of worship, and worship of the gods was believed to impact the welfare of the Empire. When Christianity is legalized, it is precisely Christian worship that is legalized; the beliefs of Christianity were not the issue, because the ideas a person had were his or her business. For personal sanctification, one could turn to the ‘mystery cults’ which celebrated rites corresponding to myths which existed only in terms of the ritual experience, myths which symbolized some esoteric understanding of the sacred. Initiation through participation in these rites brought one into contact with the sacred realities expressed through these myths for personal purification and enlightenment. Encountering this context of ‘liturgical piety,’ Christianity, driven by its mission to proclaim the good news, had to address the felt need for blessing and personal sanctification. When Constantine made the Lord’s Day into the Roman day of rest, the Eighth Day now was brought back into the weekly cycle and put to service as a day for respite and sanctification. Instead of being both the self-manifestation of the church (understood as the assembly of believers), and its constitutive celebration, the eucharist became a means of personal, individual sanctification through contact with the Holy. As larger buildings began to be set aside for worship, the intimacy of those early celebrations was lost, and the ritual had to change shape. Instead of being a common action of the whole Body of Christ, head and members, the liturgy developed a separated class of clergy, specially initiated to administer the Christian ‘mysteries.’ Still, the reality expressed and celebrated in the liturgy was seen as the fulfillment and true meaning of the forms of pagan worship, now taken up and transformed by the paschal mystery. As we will see, throughout our earthly pilgrimage, each cultural and historical context has exerted influence and change upon the sacred liturgy, and yet the presence of Christ and the new Eon of his Kingdom continues to dwell with us always. ~ Michael Ziegler

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OPENING PRAYER RITE

SESSION THREE

LEADER: Calling to mind the presence of God in our midst we begin our prayer together: (All make the Sign of the Cross) All: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE PSALMODY PSALM 145: 1-9 LEADER: Praise the Lord for he is good sing to our God for he is loving: to him our praise is due. ALL:

THE LORD BUILDS UP JERUSALEM AND BRINGS BACK ISRAEL’S EXILES HE HEALS THE BROKEN-HEARTED HE BINDS UP ALL THEIR WOUNDS. HE FIXES THE NUMBER OF THE STARS HE CALLS EACH ONE BY ITS NAME

LEADER: Our Lord is great and almighty; His wisdom can never be measured. The Lord raises the lowly he humbles the wicked to the dust. ALL:

O SING TO THE LORD, GIVING THANKS; SING PSALMS TO OUR GOD WITH THE

HARP. LEADER: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. ALL: AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, IS NOW, AND WILL BE FOREVER. AMEN. LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE 50

(SELECT ONE PERSON TO READ) READING EPHESIANS 1:3-10 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees; Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops; United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board: The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages With Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources and the Revised New Testament. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1996, c1986.

[quiet reflection] LEADER: Let us Pray: O God of all times and seasons, you have led your Church in every age to realize the wonders of the mystery you have revealed in Christ. Help us to know this mystery in our lives, and to proclaim it to others. We pray to you the one God, living and true through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN

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PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS: SESSION THREE “History”

1. Have you ever thought about how the liturgical rites of the Church developed over the course of history from the time of the apostles till now? What is your understanding of this process developed? 2. Do you think that the church’s liturgy changed very little or very often during the course of history? What prompts your belief about this? 3. Did you ever consider that some elements of the liturgy were influenced or emerged from customs found in other not specifically religious arenas of society? If that is the case, what historical and cultural elements can you think of that may have shaped the development of our liturgical rites along the course of history?

POST VIDEO QUESTIONS: SESSION THREE “Liturgical History 1. Having viewed the video session on Liturgical History, when and how would you say the shape of the Eucharistic liturgy first came together? 2. What was your reaction as you listened and followed the description of the Mass from Justin Martyr in his Apologia of 150 AD? 3. The term “Eucharist” has deep roots; from all you have now heard and read in this series so far, how would you explain the origin and meaning of this term? 4.

As you consider the span of over 2000 years of Church life and history, how have Christians been faithful or not to Christ’s command, “do this in memory of me?”

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CLOSING PRAYER RITE LEADER: Let us now give thanks to God for our fellowship and study together and ask his blessing and protection on our world, our church and our families. (Select someone to pray the petitions) READER: For the Church throughout the world; may each local diocese and parish be a light to all peoples. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the nations of the world, that all may appreciate the world in which we live as a gift from God. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: That our efforts to better understand our Catholic faith, especially its tradition of liturgy, will bear fruit in our worship and in our lives. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the church of West Tennessee, may each parish be renewed by a deepened understanding of our faith. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For those who are most in need: the poor, the hungry, the sick and suffering, the lonely and abandoned and those who have no one to care for them. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER

(The Leader may invite additional personal intentions at this point; The petitions conclude with the Lord’s Prayer)

Concluding Prayers LEADER: Let us now pray as Jesus taught us: OUR FATHER… LEADER: O God , as we conclude our gathering we seek your continued guidance and protection. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope and love. We pray through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN LEADER: Let us depart in the peace of Christ ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD

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SESSION THREE – A JOURNEY THROUGH THE AGES

When visiting the Vatican, one of the more profound experiences for me has been the opportunity to tour the excavations below St. Peter’s Basilica. The tour takes you forty feet below street level where the beginnings of this great basilica are found. The starting point is what’s left of a rather modest grave marker for St. Peter’s place of burial. Of course you realize that the reason he was buried in this spot is that it was originally a large cemetery. The excavations are quite amazing – what you can find there, what you can experience there. The frescoes on the walls of some of the shrines are stunning, and amazingly well preserved. But what struck me most of all on a visit there some years ago is the sense you can get – if you are tuned into it—of walking though centuries of Church history as you ascend the different levels through the underground of the basilica until you reach the level of the present main basilica today. There you realize in time-crunched leaps up one level and then the next that our Church is a living tradition reaching back into the first century and stretching on up to our own. And what is even more amazing is that each era has given its voice and its gifts to the treasure that is ours as Catholics. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the best still remains with us; and so these treasures one after the other form the structure and common shape of our worship –prayers, texts and rites, instructions and homilies, theological dissertations and dogmatic proclamations, as well as musical compositions, architecture, and other works of art – sculptures, frescoes, and paintings. All of this is our heritage. It has shaped us and made us who we are. Our current liturgical rites did not descend out of the blue; nor were they created on the spot; they are the careful distillation of the tradition, once again, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As such, they stand in the long line of texts and rites by which Christians have prayed and worshiped God from the very first centuries. Texts and rites, word and deed – what we should say and do as we worship God and follow Jesus’ command to “do this in memory of him ”—this has been the question that has stood before the Church and its bishops in every generation. We already saw how specifically liturgical issues arose within the first few decades of the church’s history. Questions continued to emerge as this or that concern arose in situations where direction was needed and decisions about which procedure would be followed had to be made. For the longest time – hundreds of years, really – this process took place in a far more local setting that we are accustomed to now. Each local church (what we would call a diocese today) under the direction of its bishop, set the liturgical procedure for that particular church. These decisions eventually yielded up texts and rites, customs and prayers that, when gathered up into collections, eventually produced the liturgical tradition of our faith – ritual books; lectionaries, sacramentaries, pontificals, psalters, evangeliaries, and manuals of various sorts, as well as many catechetical and theological reflections on what it all meant – what they thought they were doing when they celebrated this or that rite, proclaimed this or that reading; prayed this or that prayer. Beyond that, there are myriads of personal memoirs and stories of experiences of the liturgy celebrated in various places that surface here and there all along the way.

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Various liturgical “centers” or “families” developed in larger cities where the liturgy of a given region—Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople – was similarly shaped and contained similar texts, becoming a model for the other particular churches or dioceses nearby. But these were general outlines; in truth, it wasn’t until very late that liturgical regulation, as we know it, was even possible due to the simple fact that the printing press had not been invented until the 15th century; and so no liturgical book was ever actually replicated word for word until after that time. It was a long time before the church ever saw the kind of liturgical regulation available today with swift travel and instant communication anywhere in the world. Today the church must consciously decide which parts of each liturgical rite would be governed by the universal church and which parts would be governed by the local church. But for most of the church’s history, it did not have the luxury of this decision. Liturgical development and regulation happened quite naturally at the local level because it could not have been otherwise. But more than that, such centralization was not something that was seen as even necessary or desirable until much later on. Then too we can’t forget that within the universal Catholic Church, there are liturgical rites other than the Roman Rite which are the descendants of the liturgical families mentioned above—Coptic, Byzantine, Melkite, Armenian or Maronite —and should you participate in one of these liturgies, it will look and sound quite different than one of the Roman Rite; but it is still a Catholic liturgy. The Early Centuries In the beginning, as the church emerged from the first into the second century we find Christ’s disciples still gathered in each other’s homes; but now, as the gatherings increase in number, entire houses begin to be set aside for this purpose, some perhaps donated by the more wealthy members of the community for the use of the whole church. By this time, Christian communities (“house churches” as they are often called) are spread throughout the Mediterranean basin from Rome, to Corinth and Ephesus, to Antioch and Jerusalem, and all the way around to Alexandria on the northern coast of Africa. At first we don’t find a lot of specifically “liturgical texts” from this period, but one document deserves special time and attention in light of our purpose here. In fact this document was deemed so significant that a passage from it is included in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, as part of its teaching on the Eucharist. The document is the First Apology of St. Justin, Martyr and it dates from about the year 155 AD. Justin was a Roman citizen, born in Flavia Neapolis about 70 miles north of Jerusalem in the region known as Samaria, situated between Galilee to the north (where Jesus spent most of his life) and Judea to the south. Because of this, Justin often referred to himself as a Samaritan. He seems to have come from some wealth because he had a lot of opportunity for study and travel; and he evidences in his writings a good deal of sophistication in culture and status. Justin was raised as a pagan, not a Jew; but eventually he converted to Christianity, traveled to Rome, and made his home there as a Christian philosopher and teacher. His writings offer a “defense” of Christians – their beliefs and practices—against a surging tide of negative criticism among the Roman citizenry and the spread of false rumors about the Christian way of life. Because of that, we note that the language is rather thin in its use of specifically Christian terms; Justin is trying to explain practices and beliefs that would have seemed foreign to his intended audience, the pagan citizens of Rome. 54

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In the text, three particular passages are important for us in this reflection: one describes a celebration of the Eucharist which appears to follow a baptism; another continues a reflection on the meaning of the Eucharist; still another describes a regular Sunday gathering of the church. First the Eucharist following a baptism: But after we have washed those who have believed and have joined us, we bring them to where those who are called brethren have assembled. In this way we may offer prayer in common both for ourselves and for those who have received illumination and for people everywhere, doing so with all our hearts so that we may be deemed worthy, now that we have learned the truth, and by our works be found to be good citizens and keepers of the commandments. In this way we may attain everlasting salvation. When the prayers have concluded, we greet one another with a kiss. Then bread and a cup containing water and wine are brought to him who presides over the assembly. He takes these and then gives praise and glory to the Father of all things through the name of his Son and of the Holy Spirit. He offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at his hands. When the presider has concluded these prayers and the thanksgiving, all present express their consent by saying “Amen.” In Hebrew this word means “so be it.” And after the presider has celebrated the thanksgiving and all the people have given their consent, those whom we call deacons give to each of those present a portion of the eucharistic bread and wine and water and take the same to those who are absent. (“I Apology of Justin Martyr,” LXV, in Johnson, Lawrence J. Worship in the Early Church, Vol. 1. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009) #244

There are many things to note in this text, and a complete analysis would be extensive; but for our purposes here, the first thing we want to note is that the entire assembly participates in the action: they “offer prayer in common...;” they “greet one another with a kiss;” they “bring bread and wine mixed with water to the presider;” they, “express their consent by saying ‘Amen’,” to the presider’s prayer; and they “share a portion of the eucharistic bread and wine.” The entire event from start to finish reflects a dynamic interaction between the presider and the gathered assembly, involving the participation of everyone there. This is certainly not merely an audience gathered to watch someone else perform. We also notice the classic, Trinitarian structure of the Eucharistic prayer. It is a prayer of praise and glory and thanksgiving. It is offered, “…to the Father, through the name of his Son and of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharistic prayer is one of “considerable length,” prayed by the one presiding in the name of all gathered, who, as we already mentioned, respond with an “Amen.” Justin makes a point of explaining the “Amen,” highlighting the importance of the assembly’s response. We notice too, that the Eucharistic elements are shared among all gathered, that they partake of both the “eucharistic bread and wine,” and that they are also similarly taken to those who are absent by deacons. One gets the impression that those who are absent are kept from this event because of some serious reason like sickness. 55

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The next section of the text of Justin’s apology goes on to explain in more depth, the meaning of the Eucharist. We call this food the “Eucharist.” No one is permitted to partake of it except those who believe that the things we teach are true and who have been washed in the bath for the forgiveness of sins and unto rebirth and who live as Christ has directed. We do not receive these as if they were ordinary bread and ordinary drink, but just as Jesus our Savior was made of flesh through God’s word and assumed flesh and blood for our salvation, so also the food over which the thanksgiving has been said becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh, doing so to nourish and transform our own flesh and blood. For the apostles in the memoirs they composed—these being called Gospels— handed down what they were commanded to do: Jesus took bread and gave thanks and said, “Do this in remembrance of me, this is my Body.” Likewise taking the cup and giving thanks, he said, “This is my blood,”4 and gave it to the apostles alone. Next we continually remind one another of all this. Those capable of doing so assist the needy, and we are always together as one. And through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit we bless the Maker of all that nourishes us. [“I Apology of Justin Martyr,” LXV, in Johnson, Lawrence. Worship in the Early Church, Vol. 1. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009] #245-246

In case they didn’t get it at first, Justin makes explicit the meaning of the gathering and the food in which they all partake: this is done at the command of Jesus; it is not received as ordinary bread and wine, but it “…becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus.” So important is this, so related to their identity as the baptized, i.e. …those who believe that the things we teach are true and who have been washed in the bath for the forgiveness of sins and unto rebirth and who live as Christ has directed,” that no one else except the baptized may partake. Indeed it is the ongoing and regular extension of their baptism, its “repeatable” part. Thus, Justin goes on to say that they partake of this food to “nourish and transform,” their own flesh and blood for living as a Christian and all that that implies. So, they receive the body of Christ to become the body of Christ. The point of the transformed food is to transform them! Here we see a pretty developed Eucharistic theology all the way back in the second century. Finally, a third passage is remarkable in its similarity to our own celebration of Sunday Mass. Here it is: And on the day that is called Sunday all who live in the cities or in rural areas gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read for as long as time allows. Then after the lector concludes, the president verbally instructs and exhorts us to imitate all these excellent things. Then all stand up together and offer prayers; as I said before, when we have concluded our prayer, bread is brought forward together with the wine and water.

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And the presider in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability. The people give their consent, saying “Amen”; there is a distribution, and all share in the Eucharist. To those who are absent a portion is brought by the deacons. And those who are well-to-do and willing give as they choose, as each one so desires. The collection is then deposited with the presider who uses it on behalf of orphans, widows, those who are needy due to sickness or any other cause, prisoners, strangers who are traveling; in short, he assists all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we hold our common assembly since this day is the first day on which God, changing darkness and matter, created the world; it was on this very day that Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead. (“I Apology of Justin Martyr” LXV, in Johnson, Lawrence J. Worship in the Early Church, Vol. 1. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009) #246

Amazing isn’t it, to read this text, to peer into a gathering of the church of the 2nd century through this description by Justin and see a mirror image of ourselves! We note that they gather on Sunday which seems to replace Saturday or the “sabbath,” as the gathering day for Christians. This has now been common everywhere as it is already mentioned in the New Testament. It’s a day that honors the Lord like the Sabbath did and later offers some of the same functions as the Sabbath, like rest from work; but its meaning is very different from the Sabbath. Sunday is the day of creation and recreation – the day of the Lord, of resurrection and the final age to come! In a sense, it is the day on which eternity brakes into time. Because of that, it is the preeminent day of Eucharist and the gathering of the church. The regular Sunday liturgy of Justin’s community begins with readings from “the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets,” followed by a homily, as “the president verbally instructs and exhorts” the congregation. Once again note that Justin uses a more secular language to speak about the presiding celebrant who would have been called a bishop by this time within the inner circles of the church. But he does so because of his audience. He is trying to be very descriptive to help them get the picture. Similarly, the readings are not distinguished as “gospels,” or “letters;” yet by then the “gospel” would have been a recognized form within the church, even though the New Testament as we know it was not yet canonized. Still it seems obvious that the literature of the Old and New Testaments essentially formed the content of these readings. Following the readings, an instruction or homily is given by the presider, followed by prayers offered by everyone – an obvious form of the Prayer of the Faithful we know today that concludes our Liturgy of the Word. After all this, we are told that bread and wine mixed with water are brought forward to the presider and we can safely assume it is some members of the assembly who do this. Now, clearly referring to the Eucharistic prayer, Justin’s description offers no fixed text for it because none existed at the time. Instead, we are told, the presider prays over the elements “according to his ability,” and then all the people, “give their consent by saying Amen.” How remarkable that this simple word “Amen” has resounded in the church over almost two millennia, and remains even today the great acclamation God’s people to conclude the central prayer of the Eucharist. So here in Justin’s famous Apology from the second century, we recognize the shape of a Sunday celebration that mirrors our own, a shape that would endure from that time on. 57

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About a hundred years or so after Justin, we discover another document of exceptional importance; a document known as, “The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus.” It is a “church order” – a kind of manual of church practices and sacramental administration. Although it is attributed to Hippolytus of Rome, scholars now believe that it may be of Egyptian or Alexandrian origin, or at least parts of it may be. Rather than a single author, it is highly probable that, like most church orders, it is a compilation of various strands. It may possibly contain some material reflecting practices earlier than the third century; it may also reflect material later than that. But for the most part, we could target the mid-third century western church as a likely time and place for most of what is described. The document contains directives for everything from ordaining bishops, priests, and deacons to celebrating the daily prayer of the church (what we now call the Liturgy of the Hours) to various blessings and even recommended ascetic practices like fasting; and it has had enormous influence on the our present liturgical rites, especially the restored Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults, and the second of the four main Eucharistic prayers of the current Roman Missal which is shaped after a prominent feature of this document – a model Eucharistic prayer: The deacons then present him [the bishop] with the offering, and he, imposing his hand upon it with the whole presbytery, gives thanks together with the whole presbytery as he says:

“The Lord be with you.” And all say, “And with your spirit.” “Lift up your hearts.” “We lift them up to the Lord.” “Let us give thanks to the Lord.” “It is right and just.” And he continues as follows:

“O God, through your beloved Son Jesus Christ we give you thanks because in these last times you have sent him as Savior, Redeemer, and messenger of your will. He is your inseparable Word through whom you made all things and whom, in your delight, you sent from heaven into the womb of the virgin. Having been conceived, he was made flesh and showed himself as your Son, born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin. He carried out your will and won for you a holy people. He stretched out his hands in suffering in order to deliver from suffering those who trust in you. “When he was about to hand himself over to voluntary suffering, in order to destroy death and break the chains of the devil, to crush hell beneath his feet, to give light to the just, to establish the rule [of faith?], and to show forth the resurrection, he took bread, gave you thanks, saying, ‘Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you.’ Likewise the cup, while saying, ‘This is my Blood which is poured out for you. When you do this, you do it in memory of me.’

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“Recalling his death and his resurrection, we offer you this bread and this cup. We give thanks to you for having judged us worthy to stand before you and serve you. “We ask that you send your Holy Spirit upon the offering of your holy Church. Gather it together. Grant that all who share in your holy mysteries may be filled with the Holy Spirit so that their faith may be strengthened in truth. And so may we praise and glorify you through your Son Jesus Christ. Through him may glory and honor be to you with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church now and forever. Amen. [“The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus,” in Johnson, Lawrence J. Worship in the Early Church, Vol. 1. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009) #622-626

Here we see the well known dialogue that introduces the Eucharistic prayer in its full form. Whether or not this prayer was ever actually prayed in this exact form is not really possible to know for sure. It may or it may not have, because at this time, it was the custom for the presiding bishop to pray in his own words. But he didn’t just say anything either. There was a definite shape to the Eucharistic prayer and this prayer is offered precisely to demonstrate the shape and offer a model of how it should be done. No doubt this model of prayer developed from the ancient “berakah” or “eucharistia,” with its classic three-fold shape of: praise and thanksgiving, extended remembrance or “anamnesis”; and petition and/or “epiclesis.” Note also how the words of institution from the Last Supper form part of the extended remembrance of the saving actions of God for which thanks is offered. If we were to attempt an analysis or diagram of the prayer based on the threefold shape of the berakah, it might be divided like this: THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE “O God, through your beloved Son Jesus Christ we give you thanks because … EXTENDED REMEMBRANCE OR “ANAMNESIS” … in these last times you have sent him [Your son, Jesus Christ] as Savior, Redeemer, and messenger of your will. He is your inseparable Word through whom you made all things and whom, in your delight, you sent from heaven into the womb of the virgin. Having been conceived, he was made flesh and showed himself as your Son, born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin. He carried out your will and won for you a holy people. He stretched out his hands in suffering in order to deliver from suffering those who trust in you. “When he was about to hand himself over to voluntary suffering, in order to destroy death and break the chains of the devil, to crush hell beneath his feet, to give light to the just, to establish the rule [of faith?], and to show forth the resurrection, he took bread, gave you thanks, saying, ‘Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you.’ Likewise the cup, while saying, ‘This is my Blood which is poured out for you. When you do this, you do it in memory of me.’ 59

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(ACTION OF THE CHURCH: GIVING THANKS AND OFFERING) Recalling his death and his resurrection, we offer you this bread and this cup. We give thanks to you for having judged us worthy to stand before you and serve you. PETITION AND “EPICLESIS” “We ask that you send your Holy Spirit upon the offering of your holy Church. Gather it together. Grant that all who share in your holy mysteries may be filled with the Holy Spirit so that their faith may be strengthened in truth. FINAL ACT OF PRAISE OR “DOXOLOGY” And so may we praise and glorify you through your Son Jesus Christ. Through him may glory and honor be to you with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church now and forever. Amen. [ The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, in Johnson, Lawrence J. Worship in the Early Church, Vol. 1. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009) #622-626

Every Eucharistic prayer includes these elements in some form. Notice the verbs underlined in each section: the church gives praise, then remembers the things God has done in Christ, and then petitions God to continue his saving action among them by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is likely that most Catholics would recognize in this prayer the roots of the current Eucharistic Prayer II. And while we cannot be certain if these exact words were ever actually employed as prayer, the model appears to be an example of how the priest or bishop was expected to pray the Eucharistic prayer at the liturgy at least as early as the third century if not before. The Apostolic Tradition is an amazing document which stands alongside a number of other similar “church orders” from the same time period; together they paint a portrait of the church as it had achieved a certain degree of institutional sophistication, development and structure. It also reflects a church which is still not fully accepted by the surrounding society; and so the instructions regarding new members are mightily cautious. At this time, being a Christian involved a certain risk; and joining the church was not done lightly or without extended discernment and preparation. It involved embracing an entirely new way of life, and one quite out of the ordinary. Of course it is not long after this, less than a hundred years, that the Emperor Constantine issues his famous edict of toleration in 312 AD, legalizing Christian worship and practice. Eventually becoming a Christian himself, Constantine’s gradual move toward Christianity led the way for the rest of the empire to follow. So this once seemingly odd, offshoot, marginal religion, ends up in the long run, being the official religion of the empire; that changes everything! The Liturgy’s Golden Age After Christianity is given a public stamp of approval by the emperor, scores of people began to seek entrance into the church. What was already a growing institution now takes off with amazing energy and force with the added impetus of official state support.

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At its height, the catechumenate – the period of time a new Christian was under instruction in preparation for baptism – involved way more than study about the faith. In fact the most important element in the process seems to be the degree to which their lives had changed by following the Christian way of life – how their quality of charity and generosity increased, as well as their ability at forgiveness and mercy, and the disciplines which would dispose them for the fullness of grace in sacraments of initiation. During Mass, since they were not yet able to partake in the Holy Eucharist, they were dismissed at the end of the Liturgy of the Word, often sent with a catechist for further study and reflection. When their initiation finally came, it was a grand event, which marked the highpoint of the Paschal Celebration. The Easter Vigil lasted all night long during which the elect (those catechumens who had been chosen to advance to baptism) were examined publicly, baptized, anointed with chrism, and then, after perhaps years of preparation, finally admitted to the Eucharist for the first time with cheers and alleluias! Only after this event, did they receive instruction on the sacraments they had now received, an instruction called, “mystagogy,” because it involved a kind of unpacking of the mystery encountered in the liturgy. We are fortunate to have an amazing number of these “mystagogic catechesis,” of the fathers of the church which give an amazing glimpse of the life of the church in this “golden age.” But those who sought admission sometimes remained catechumens for most of their lives, waiting till very late in life – even till their deathbed – to be baptized and admitted to Eucharist! This avoided the unfortunate problem of having to face public penance should they commit serious sin after they were baptized. The sacrament of reconciliation as it is practiced today with private confession would not come into existence for some time. In this era, penance involved three major stages that took place over an extended period of time: first – the public confession of sins to the bishop; second – a period of penance during which the person was temporarily suspended from participation in the Eucharist and admitted to the “order of penitents” (the entire group of sinners in the process of being reconciled). The individual would remain as a penitent for some time, even up to several years, depending on the severity of the sin. During this time penances – special acts of charity and asceticism – would be required of them. Third – only after all this would the individual finally be readmitted to the Eucharist as the final step in reconciliation. Thus in the liturgy, penitents did not remain with the gathered assembly for the Eucharist itself, but stayed only for the Liturgy of the Word. But neither did they just depart unnoticed when the Liturgy of the Word was concluded. Like the catechumens, they were dismissed with prayer and blessing, and then sent forth to continue their acts of penance and service in reparation for their sin. As Aidan Kavanagh has often said, Christians do not simply leave the liturgical assembly, “they are deployed!” [Kavanagh, Confirmation: Origins and Reform] All this resulted in the liturgy requiring a series of dismissals, or “missae,” as they were called in Latin; and eventually this term became the name for the entire service – the Missa or Mass! Even with its rigorous spirit, numbers mushroomed because now it was, after all, the religion of the Emperor. But in time, the adult catechumenate began to wane. Since it was long the practice to baptize an entire family 61

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when the parents entered the church (evidence of this reaches back as far as the New Testament itself); and since infants born to Christian families were normally baptized soon after birth, the catechumenate as it was known at its height, disintegrates almost by attrition. But unfortunately the rigorous formation associated with it did not always transfer to the formation of children after baptism. In any case, with membership burgeoning, the older churches (mostly converted house churches or even original structures built to be churches) were no longer adequate to house everyone. Larger, grander buildings were needed and the classic Roman basilica served this purpose very well. The basilica was a standard government building, designed to be a kind of multipurpose business center. It was where a person went to seek government assistance in a civil dispute or to transact other government business; and it also served as an arena or auditorium for the government officials to make public proclamations of whatever sort. It was city hall, the court house, and the county clerk’s office all rolled into one, and then some! Basilicas were fairly standard in design, simple and elegant as you would expect from the Roman gift of engineering. They were long, rectangular buildings, with one end rounded to a semicircle. This was called the apse. It provided a place to highlight the officials who were present that day; and with the rounded back, it functioned like any amphitheatre, providing a kind of natural sound reinforcement system. Some basilicas even had two apses, one at each end of the long rectangle. Most basilicas were large, tall, and imposing structures, often with clerestory windows to let light in while keeping the lower space from distractions. Rarely did they have any seats, except perhaps a stone ledge built along the walls for those who absolutely needed to sit down. Most able people stood. The apse area would often be raised a few steps up from the rest of the building’s floor having a kind of stage platform, so those who stood or sat there could be seen above the crowd. Quite often, a chair would be placed in the very center back of the apse for the highest ranking government official who happened to be there that day. Other chairs flanked the main, prominent chair for lesser officials. A person would come in and approach the officials with whatever business needed to be done or dispute needed to be judged. Basilicas were everywhere in the Roman empire, and today the most perfectly preserved one can be found in Trier, Germany. It stands to reason then, that once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and needed larger buildings to house its liturgical gatherings, the local basilica was an obvious choice. And this obvious choice of venue for the liturgy also began to shape how the liturgy would look. The singular central chair used for the high imperial official now becomes the chair for the bishop, a place from which he presided and taught – hence, the “cathedra.” Surrounding this main chair/position were others for the bishop’s presbyterium or council of priests. The altar was usually placed not up on the platform, but in the center of the building, and all gathered around it as there were no seats or pews. Now, with a larger space and larger crowds, far more movement was necessary to organize the entire assembly: processions and other ceremonial, not as essential in smaller spaces were now

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required to give appropriate order to all who came, transforming a mere crowd of people into a true liturgical assembly. As these elements were added, especially in the larger, more significant churches like Rome or Constantinople, those who assisted in the organization of the liturgy began to make notes so as to remember how things were done, what worked and what didn’t. These notes or, “libelli missarum,” as they were called, became the forerunners of our liturgical and ritual books which will soon begin to develop. As the liturgy grew into a more elaborate and complex set of rites, as more oversight was given to liturgical celebrations, full volumes were prepared (of course by hand because there was no printing press as of yet). Sacramentaries, Lectionaries, Gospel Books, Psalters, Antiphonaries, and Ordos – each of these books had its own function and governed one or another part of the liturgy. In addition to all this, as the church became more comfortable in the world in which it existed, the Sunday liturgy often evolved further into not just one single service, but a series of services that took place throughout the entire span of Sunday, and throughout the entire city, as the gathered assembly moved from one church to another throughout the whole of Sunday. The segments of the liturgy would each have their own place or “statio,” hence the term, “stational liturgy.” Meeting at a designated church in the early morning, the Sunday liturgy would begin there with praise and psalms sung by everyone and led by a cantor; then all would process, singing as they walked, to another church for the Liturgy of the Word which Aidan Kavanagh tells us involved, “anywhere from two to five scriptural readings interspersed with psalms of meditation and concluding with a reading from a gospel.” Following the readings came at least one homily; but there could have been more: Preaching could and did occur at almost any point in the sequence of services. John Chrysostom preached his great series of sermons on Genesis toward day’s end, before evening prayer or vespers. In some Palestinian churches, moreover, not only the bishop preached at the Eucharistic service, but all his assisting senior clergy preached after him in sequence. The sermon, indeed, became almost a service in its own right and might take up a considerable amount of time: Chrysostom sometimes preached for over two hours as his hearers wept, cheered, pounded their breasts and applauded! [Kavanagh, Aidan. On Liturgical Theology: the Hale Memorial Lectures of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 1981. (New York: Pueblo, 1984) p. 57

Dismissals or “missae,” also took place along the way of catechumens, penitents and others who, for one reason or another, would not participate in communion; and eventually this process of dismissal became a rite all its own which may have involved yet another statio or station. The highpoint would be reached in the afternoon, probably at the main basilica of the city, where the Eucharist itself would then be celebrated, preceded by the procession with gifts, and now additional ceremonial like the use of incense to honor the gifts and the people all accompanied by singing and psalmody as was their entire liturgy throughout the day. And then the whole day would have concluded with a final and last stop for the celebration of Vespers. 63

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Of course this seems like a lot of time given to sacred worship and it was! Kavanagh points out that not everybody was expected to attend all of these services and they didn’t. Nevertheless, it seems that the major cities of Christendom did provide such an expansive weekly urban liturgy, and that it was a big enough, and regular enough event to warrant significant historical memory. Summing up, Kavanagh says: It seems that the full public liturgy of the city was thus not designed primarily for parochial needs, nor does it appear to have catered to congregations. Rather, this fully public liturgy, this urban act, this duty owed to God like taxes were owed to the state (the word leitourgia was used in antiquity to designate both sorts of acts) was simply the Church manifested in its deepest nature in the human civitas as the presence, the embodiment in the world of the World to come, of the Kingdom, of the new an final age. It was the church of Jesus Christ being most overtly itself before God in the world on humanity’s urban stage. [Kavanagh, ibid.]

The Middle Ages: A Different Turn But sadly the vigor and enthusiasm of the latter patristic age didn’t last. For a number of reasons, this grand, full public liturgy of the church in which all the people fully, consciously, and actively participated reached a kind of zenith in the latter part of antiquity and then, through the Middle Ages, gradually disintegrated; and on the other side of the medieval period, it is hardly recognizable as the same event. By the end of the Middle Ages we find the liturgy spatially quite separated from the people, an activity largely performed by the clergy alone, and celebrated in a language that most of the people no longer spoke or understood. With regard to the Eucharist itself, because of an exaggerated emphasis on human sinfulness and their unworthiness, many stopped receiving communion except on rare occasions, and so the Eucharist became largely a visual event. Seeing the host and chalice elevated became the highpoint of Mass instead of going to communion which was supposed to be the point of the whole thing. Since the people no longer participated in the liturgy itself, various devotional practices arose to fill in the gap. In fact, some of these devotional practices fell into the realm of superstition as the reality of the liturgy and sacraments became buried under the weight of layers of complex ritual and/or devotional excess. In time, the lay faithful are reduced to being merely silent spectators at an event that was distant, mysterious, and obscure. A number of factors – political, sociological, cultural and theological, gradually led to this shift in the liturgy of the Roman Rite. It is not possible to give a complete picture in this short essay; but a few things deserve to be mentioned. One in particular – maybe the most significant – was the effect the battle against Teutonic Arianism had on the liturgical life of the western church. Arianism was a heresy which grew up in the third century out of Alexandria, in North Africa. There, a priest named Arius taught a particular understanding of Christ which essentially denied his full equality with the Father. This heresy was condemned by the council of Nicaea in 325 AD and the creed which emerged from that council (further refined at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD) is the Nicene creed so familiar to us as it carefully delineates what we believe about Christ’s nature as both

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human and divine; clearly affirming the full divinity of Christ who is said to be, “consubstantial,” or “one in being with the Father.” But these councils did not resolve the tensions created by Arianism, and this heresy rapidly spread throughout the Teutonic peoples of northern Europe – roughly the regions today knows as Spain, France, Germany and the other northern European countries. In order to combat this heresy, a new, even stronger emphasis was placed on the transcendence of Christ. Prayers are now addressed directly to, “Christ, our God,” replacing the more ancient Trinitarian formulary, “…through Christ our Lord,” because those earlier liturgical formulas provided a rallying point for Arians in their claim that Christ was not equal to the Father. The classic formula of liturgical prayer gets supplanted by a Christology that is almost singular in its attention to Christ’s divinity. But as the transcendent divinity of Christ gets more and more emphasis, the humanity of the risen Christ and his role as mediator and high priest ends up almost completely eclipsed, not in the official doctrine of the church course, but in popular piety, art, and preaching, as well as liturgical prayer and practice. The result was a very unbalanced Christology from which one could easily conclude that Christ’s humanity was somehow only relevant to his life on earth; and that after his ascension, only his divine nature really mattered. This affected everything else in the life of the church, especially the liturgy. More and more is the liturgical action distanced from the people in order to emphasize its transcendent elements. To be sure, transcendence must be given due weight in Christology and in the liturgy. But without an equal attention to the immanence of Christ and the role of the liturgy in brining that immanence to bear on the present life of the church, a good deal of the original intent of the church’s life and worship falls under a shadow. But this theological and liturgical development is not the only thing that led to the collapse of the full liturgical life as it was known in the patristic age. With constant invasions from the north, the old Roman Empire fell and the church was left to pick up the pieces. Bishops, out of necessity, began to assume civil juridical and administrative authority, leaving less time for the preaching, teaching, and pastoral care that was the hallmark of their role just a few centuries earlier. This further distanced them from their people, gave less time for forming the faithful, and in a way, left the people to themselves. Many battles were fought in this period, as different alliances were made and broken among the many northern Kingdoms. Finally, having defeated the Northern Lombard Kingdom, Charlemagne rises to power as the new Roman Emperor of the West, and is crowned on Christmas day, 800 AD by Pope Leo III. Of course winning a war is one thing; rebuilding an empire is quite another. In setting out to unify the disparate peoples of Western Christendom, much needed to be done. Especially in their religious life, which had become quite a mixture of Christianity (both Arian and Catholic) mixed with some of the ancient tribal customs of their respective peoples, the diversity was complex. Bringing order to all this presented a daunting task, and the liturgy offered a promising means for such an effort. Standardizing the liturgy throughout the empire, it was thought, could help combat Arianism and strengthen unity on every sphere. Along with this effort came a new emphasis on the role of the clergy as agents of this effort. Thus they became a separate, even elite class within the church. 65

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But the effort at standardization did not have the help of a printing press as later generations did. Liturgical books were often prepared by monks in the northern Frankish regions who spent every day carefully copying texts by hand. In their hands, these liturgical texts became a kind of hybrid of the original Roman Rite, joined to the many additions, aberrations, and syncretisms of these northern regions of Europe. While the main structure of the missal was more or less eventually standardized, the books were by no means exact copies or replicas of an original prototype as ours would be today. Instead, as these books developed further, the monks would also add their own devotional prayers here and there– especially prayers of reparation for the priest to pray throughout the Mass acknowledging his unworthiness to celebrate it. All this resulted in a radical alteration of liturgical piety and understanding. Father Joseph Jungmann, the great liturgical historian has this to say as he compared the two eras, the patristic and the medieval, in their liturgical understanding and practice: In the early Christian age the liturgy is essentially corporate public worship in which the people’s Amen resounds, as St. Jerome tells us, like a peal of heavenly thunder; there is a close connection between altar and people, a fact constantly confirmed by greeting and response, address and assent, and acknowledged also in the verbal form of the prayers, above all by the use of the plural. This is all abundantly proved to us by the liturgical forms which endure to this day. And as our still current texts of all the liturgies again prove, the sacrificial meal of the congregation is regarded as the obvious consummation of the celebration. Five hundred years later the uniformly rich liturgical literature which begins with the Carolingian age shows us how the priest consciously detaches himself from the congregation when the sacrifice proper begins, while the people only follow from a distance the external and visible action of the celebration in terms of its symbolic meaning. The spiritual action in the Canon was to remain hidden from the people; and this tendency was later to harden into an unambiguous prohibition of this being translated into the vernacular. In space too, the altar becomes withdrawn from the people and the Communion of the people becomes an exception, something reserved for special feast days. [Jungmann, Josef A. Pastoral Liturgy. (New York: Herder and Herder, 1962) p. 3]

Another medieval development was the introduction of the “private Mass.” Since the full public liturgy of the church had now developed into an excessively elaborate event, taking a considerable amount of time and requiring an entire cohort of minor ministers, some of the clergy, especially the Roman Curia (the papal administrative staff) had asked for a simpler form. And so there emerged a form of the Mass without all the ceremony, one that could be celebrated privately by a single priest using a single book known as the Missal.

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As the mendicant orders came into their own in the later middle ages with their missionary spirit and sense of mobility, they also sought a form of the liturgy that was more portable and easily executed. Hence they were also granted permission to use the truncated “private Mass,” and the truncated liturgy of the hours eventually known as the “breviary.” With this adaptation, everything needed for the entire Mass could be contained in a single satchel: a small chalice and paten, a few linens, some hosts and a tiny vessel of wine (since no one received under both species anymore), and one book – the missal. Because of the extensive missionary work of these orders, this truncated form of Mass became the one most known to the faithful, with the full public liturgy of the church was relegated largely to the local bishop, and then perhaps only on the greater feast days. All these developments can be seen in this table largely drawn from the same work of Father Jungmann cited above, Pastoral Liturgy:

PATRISTIC ERA EMPHASIZES

MEDIEVAL ERA EMPHASIZES

Corporate Public Worship The all encompassing and unified Paschal Mystery of Christ in every liturgy Christ as High Priest and Mediator Prayers with Trinitarian formula: …to the Father, through the Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit Christ in His Risen Humanity & Divine Being considered as a unified whole.

Individual Piety Each individual feast in its historical details which were often dramatized excessively Christ as Transcendent God Prayers addressed directly to Christ and the Trinity as such Humanity of Christ seen largely in his earthly and historical context; but an exclusively transcendent Christ after the resurrection and ascension. Liturgy involves receiving sacraments to save one’s soul Mass is seen as “mysterium tremendum;” the host to be watched and adored Infrequent communion

Liturgy seen as a participation in the salvific and eschatological life and mission of Christ Mass is seen as sacrificial meal, the sacred banquet feast of heaven. Frequent communion

So at the end of the medieval period, the liturgy is a very different experience for everyone involved. And despite all the efforts at standardization, local custom crept in here and there. Since the liturgy was no longer accessible to the people, while attending the Mass, they spent their time praying various and sundry devotional prayers – sometimes taken from the liturgy itself, but more often created out of other pious practices. Sometimes these devotions fell into the realm of superstition. With all this, the concept of the church as the living Body of Christ formed and nourished by a liturgy that makes present the entire Paschal Mystery, and transforming the world into the graced Kingdom for which Christ died – all this which, in the patristic age remained a dynamic reality in the in full view of the faithful, is now more or less hidden in the shadows. The liturgy comes to be understood as merely the ceremony surrounding sacraments which one received dutifully in order to advance toward one’s individual salvation. Grace becomes almost quantified into measured portions, meted out for each sacrament received and each devotion prayed. 67

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Thus the liturgical life of the church is reduced to a kind of fiduciary exchange with the clergy as its brokers, the sacraments and devotions its currency, and grace the valued commodity. A dim picture I know; and I want to be careful not to overstate this. While the liturgy may not have had the clarity and vigor of its golden age, great saints still emerged in this era, the command of Christ to “do this in memory of Him” was still observed daily, and God’s graced life still flowed in the church’s sacraments. But while all the graces contained and promised in the sacraments remained constant, while the church’s faith endured, the fullness of the liturgy was no longer accessible to the average person and the understanding and appreciation of the liturgy as it was commonly known in the age of the Fathers of the church now seemed a distant echo, only faintly heard if at all, even by the clergy. Protest and Reform With the dawn of the 15th and 16th centuries, as the Renaissance blossomed into northern Europe, and a new cultural and intellectual spirit was in the air, some came to conclude that the church needed serious and radical reform; and this conclusion eventually burst forth with impassioned vigor. Martin Luther published his Ninety Five Theses (objections or protests against the church) in 1517, and Calvin and Zwingli were not far behind. Their instincts were certainly onto something; but their approach, together with the response of the church, resulted in a major divide in Western Christianity that has never been healed. Protestant reformers, sensing that something was askew in the church’s structure, governance and sacramental life, moved forward with a kind of “back to the basics” reform. Yet they, themselves, were not as familiar with the basics as they may have thought there were. Assumptions were made about the early church and its development that were not entirely accurate. New forms of worship were shaped based on the common devotional practices of the laity at the time and using incomplete information regarding original forms of Christian worship. Arising out of a serious distrust in the institution of the church and its hierarchy (which honestly did need reform) these bold agents of change all but abandoned an organic notion of church. Now each individual more or less stood before God alone; the church would no longer serve as mediator for them, because in mind of the reformers such institutional dependence was not scriptural.

With the invention of the printing press not long before this movement erupted, and with the Protestant reformers translating the Bible into the vernacular of the people, each individual could now have their own Bible and, according to the reformers, nothing more was needed for salvation: “justification by faith alone, scripture alone – “sola fide, sola scriptura” –this was their battle cry! And so went the ministerial priesthood as well as the essence of the sacraments as effective means of grace. While some of them (Martin Luther especially) wanted to keep the Mass more or less in tact as the main Sunday service (but in the vernacular, and with some alterations), his own principle of justification by faith alone undermined this possibility in the long run.

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Dom Gregory Dix, a noted liturgical scholar and an Anglican Benedictine Monk who lived in England at Nashdom Abbey in the first half of the 20th century, was a leader in the Anglican movement to reunite with the Catholic Church. In his now classic work, The Shape of the Liturgy, Dix says: Protestantism has in fact always been in a difficulty what to do with the Eucharist, and whether or how to give it that central position in worship which it obviously held in the life of the primitive church. To criticize or even analyze the worship of one’s fellow-Christians is an invidious business, and I pray that I may write without offence. But it seems to me that the difficulty arises precisely out of the only meaning which Protestantism could assign to the Eucharist which did not contradict its own basic principle of “justification by faith alone” –viz. that the service is a very specially solemn and moving reminder to all who attend it with faith of the passion and atonement of Christ, and so a valuable means of eliciting devout feelings of gratitude, love, confidence and union with Him in those who make use of His ordinance. The difficulty with this view is that the Eucharist thus [understood] simply duplicates the function of the normal non-eucharistic Protestant worship. (Dix p. 601) ...unless the eucharistic action in itself effects something specific and sui generis both in the church which performs it corporately, and in the individual who takes part, it is difficult to see why the eucharist should necessarily be preferred to other forms of corporate worship. Where its whole value and purpose is held to lie in the subjective effects it stimulates in the psychology of the individual, there is a good deal to be said for celebrating it infrequently. [Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy (New York: Seabury, 1982) p. 601 Dix is making the case that the Protestant reformers with their principle of “justification of by faith alone” essentially stripped the sacraments of any real effect. With regard to the Eucharist, especially, this had serious consequences. To participate in a Eucharist where Christ is encountered and received substantially –body, blood, soul, and divinity – in the fullness of his risen life, was one thing; to participate in a Eucharist where Christ is encountered only in the subjective mind of the believer is quite another. And if the sole effect of the Eucharist rests in the experience and memory of each believer, then, says Dix, why bother? Such an understanding renders the Eucharist qualitatively no different than any other non-Eucharistic Service of the Word. And so while the Protestant reformers’ instincts were not off base about a need for reform, what resulted was not a genuine restoration and revitalization of Christianity, but instead, something entirely different: a church of individual worshippers, whose sole reliance was on the Bible and their own personal faith in God. The full reality of church as a sacramental and organic entity was drained of most of its substance.

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But in the Catholic Church, things were not much better either. While all the elements – scripture, sacraments, creeds, and church structure -- remained intact, their operation had been greatly overshadowed by some (not all) clerics, especially those in the upper end of the hierarchy, whose preoccupations and motivations were less than ideal, and who were often caught up in issues of power and politics, rendering their pastoral care far from what the gospel called for or what was really needed. And the manner of celebrating the liturgy was trapped in the complexity of all this. No doubt the simple, average pastor and parishioner were, on the whole, doing their best to worship God and live the Christian life as faithfully as they could and within the realm of what they knew and understood at that time. To be sure, the Church continued to produce saints – men and women of remarkable holiness and charity. But the centers of ecclesial power, in some cases and in some instances, were marred by an unfortunate disesteem. Reacting to all this, and well aware that reforms were needed, the Catholic Church called the Council of Trent as a kind of counter-reformation which met in twenty-five sessions for three periods between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563. Because of the radical choices of the Protestant reformers, the Church found itself in a rather strong, defensive posture. Sides were taken. Rightly the church felt a solemn duty to preserve and protect essential elements of the tradition that were under attack, and this was especially the case regarding the validity and effectiveness of the sacraments, the nature of the Holy Eucharist, and the institution of the ministerial priesthood as well as the very nature and authority of the Church itself. It is unfortunate that there could not have been a more mutual and heartfelt hearing and sorting out of the concerns at stake in order to somehow discern wherein might be the work of the Spirit; but the way things went down, it was not to be. More often than not, polemic seems to wreak more havoc than it’s worth. This period of the Church’s history seems to bear that out. In any case, the Council of Trent unambiguously condemned the many problematic positions of the Protestant reformers regarding grace and salvation, the nature of the church, the ministerial priesthood, and the sacraments. While there was a call for more substantial reform in some areas of church life, including the liturgy – even a call for celebrating Mass in the vernacular – the end result was more an affirmation and standardization of current practice. Thus the reforms of the liturgy following the Council of Trent sought to produce a unified and singular liturgy throughout the church, remove excesses and superstitions that had crept in, and establish a new kind of order which, in many ways, had never before been possible until the invention of the printing press. Thus for four hundred years hence, from 1570 to 1970, the church’s liturgical texts would remain essentially unchanged. And even though the implementation of these reforms were, at first, not evenly implemented by bishops throughout the church and even resisted with great tenacity, the liturgy of Pius V remained the standard of Roman Catholic worship until our own time. As a liturgical rite, it was more an enacted drama to be watched, than a liturgical rite in which an assembly would be engaged. It was celebrated at an altar normally fixed at the back wall of the sanctuary. The priest celebrant did not face the people for most of the rite. The congregation was separated from the liturgical action 70

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by the architecture and layout of the building and by the language and structure of the rite itself. Therefore its most important actions were essentially done in secret, with the exception of showing the host and chalice after the words of institution were pronounced. If a choir was available, and they sang well, chant and polyphony juxtaposed with this rite provided a remarkable sense of mystery and of the holy. Thus it could be celebrated with great splendor; but mostly it was not. The normal experience of the Mass of Pius the V was typically a quiet, albeit reverent event, celebrated by a single priest, during which the congregation prayed devotional prayers of one sort or another; and when it was time, some occasionally went to communion. For most of its history the laity were prohibited from seeing the actual liturgical texts that were prayed by the priest; but by the late 19th or early 20th century, after some amount of renewed liturgical scholarship had been undertaken, personal hand missals were allowed and eventually became fairly common. With these little books, those who so desired, could follow the Mass with priest. But not everyone chose to follow in this way; instead they prayed other devotional prayers, like the rosary or novenas, or simply sat in silence. And in the 1950’s there were some experiments with inviting the congregation to participate in what was called the “Dialogue Mass.” In all of that, as always, the church did not remain merely a museum piece: it dealt with all the human struggles that four centuries would bring. It produced saints and forgave sinners; its priests were there when their people got married and had children; and when they were sick and dying. They stood by bedsides, led pilgrimages, conducted catechism sessions, and preached the gospel, even though sometimes rigid regulation and structure got in the way of providing even better pastoral care. But for all that, it is also important to remember as we look back, that the Council of Trent did take a rather unprecedented step in liturgical reform with far reaching effects even into our own day. In Nathan Mitchell’s forward to James White’s work on the aftermath of Trent we read: Although modern historians often write about “the Tridentine Mass” or “Trent’s reform of Catholic worship,” readers of James F. White’s classic study Roman Catholic Worship, first published in 1995, know that the bishops meeting at that Council’s frantic final session in December 1563 did not actually enact so much as a single liturgical reform! Instead, in a momentous decision, they turned reform of “the missal and breviary” over to the pope. The so-called “Tridentine liturgy” is thus a collection of rites reformed after Trent under papal auspices. Moreover, the pope himself did not personally prepare new editions of breviary (1568) and missal (1570). Instead, that work was entrusted, for the first time in history, to a panel of scholarly experts who – as Pius V tells us in his bull Quo primum—followed five basic principles: (1) That a single rite for Mass and Office should be used throughout the Latin Church; (2) that qualified scholars should determine the antiquity and probity of the new books’ contents; (3) that rites should be restored according to the “pristine norm of the Fathers,” (ad pristinam Patrum normam); (4) that from now on, this “norm” will be regulated strictly by the pope through editiones typicae that he promulgates; and (5) that nothing can be added or subtracted from the text without the pope’s approval. [White, James F. Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003) pp. ix]

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Here Mitchell further points out that entrusting the work of the reform of the liturgy to scholars who would use scholarly criteria to evaluate the sources and content of the liturgical texts represents a truly modern approach to reform. If these scholars did not labor under the burden of the ecclesial polemics of the time, and if they had had the resources at their disposal that scholars who worked on the liturgical reform following the II Vatican Council had at their disposal, things might have turned out differently. But it didn’t. So profound is this realization now of how very limited the historical data was at the time (and this was true of the Protestant reformers as well) that the current General Instruction of the Roman Missal thought it important enough to devote an entire paragraph to explain it: In a difficult period when the Catholic faith on the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the ministerial priesthood, and the real and permanent presence of Christ under the Eucharistic species were placed at risk, St. Pius V was especially concerned with preserving the more recent tradition then unjustly being assailed, introducing only very slight changes into the sacred rite. In fact, the Missal of 1570 differs very little from the very first printed edition of 1474, which in turn faithfully follows the Missal used at the time of Pope Innocent III. Moreover, even though manuscripts in the Vatican Library provided material for the emendation of some expressions, they by no means made it possible to inquire into “ancient and approved authors” farther back than the liturgical commentaries of the Middle Ages. [General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2003) #7]

The General Instruction continues by pointing out the many “countless learned studies” which have opened up the life of the church of the Fathers like a treasure chest. In fact, it was the Liturgical Movement begun in the late 19th with some prompting of the Holy See that begin to unearth these ancient sources and find in them a path to further liturgical study and reform. It was their work through the first half of the 20th century, against great odds, including two world wars that eventually led Pope Pius XII in 1947 to issue his hallmark liturgical encyclical, Mediator Dei – often called the “magna carta,” of liturgical reform. This document and the liturgical scholarship it endorsed gave a renewed impetus to forge ahead and when Pope John XIII opened the II Vatican Council on October 11, 1962, the intense scholarship that had been done for almost a century offered the bishops of this council an amazing storehouse from which to draw as they set about the task of reform and renewal once again.

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Conclusion Over twenty years ago, the late Dr. Mark Searle, spoke at a special celebration honoring Father Michael Mathis CSC on the occasion of what would have been his one hundredth birthday. Father Mathis was one of the great pioneers of the liturgical renewal in the United States and established the program in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. I share a portion of Dr. Searle’s talk as a way to conclude this section on liturgical history, and as an invitation to keep ever attentive to the story that is ours as it unfolds in our own lifetime: Michael Mathis and other liturgical pioneers were people of vision because they had an acute sense of memory. Unlike most of us, they did not learn about the possibilities of the liturgy merely from reading current works on the topic. They saw possibilities for liturgy because they had a profound sense of the history of the Catholic tradition. Today, when many people are researching their own family history, painfully piecing together from documents the memory of their forebears which their own parents had been content to forget, we should be doing for ourselves what Mathis did – relearning the forgotten history of our own people, recovering a living sense of our historical tradition. Every Catholic child should have a sense of the wonder of the Catholic tradition into which he or she is born. Every convert should be introduced with pride to the story of our Catholic family. ….that they might take pride in their identity and know that Catholic Christianity was neither invented yesterday, nor came down from heaven in its present form. It was knowledge of history that made Mathis and others see that the way things are today are not the way things always were, yet enabled them to rejoice in the continuity and resolve to strengthen it. Renewal requires identity. Identity requires that we know who we are and where we come from. Memory delivers from the tyranny of mistakes, and the idolizing of particular cultural and historical forms. Accepting responsibility for our history means knowing what must endure and what must be changed if we are to remain faithful. [From: Mark Searle," A Place in the Tradition” in Assembly Vol. 12:1, September 1985 Copyright ©2007 University of Notre Dame]

~ R. Bruce Cinquegrani

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SESSION THREE

For further reading we recommend the following:

CHURCH DOCUMENTS: “Part Two, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery” – Paragraphs 1345 through 1355 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Washington, D.C. : United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2000 ISBN10: 0879739762 or ISBN-13: 978-0879739768 “The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ” Chapter 17, pp. 217-220 in The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2006 ISBN-10:1-57455450-2 or ISBN-13: 978-1-57455-450-2 BOOKS:

Aquilina, Mike. The Mass of the Early Christians. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2001. Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy New York: Seabury, 1982. Remainder of the Book Emminghaus, Johannes H., and Theodor Maas-Ewerd. "Introduction” and “Part I –The Fundamental Structure of the Mass Through the Ages." In The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997. Foley, Edward. Chapter 2-6 From Age to Age: How Christians Have Celebrated the Eucharist. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2008. Jones , Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold Part Two, Section I, Chapters 3 - 11; Section III, Chapter 2-10. The Study of Liturgy. New York: Oxford UP, 1978. Jungmann, Josef Andreas. Chapters 5-23 The Early Liturgy: to the Time of Gregory the Great. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1976. Print. Jungmann, Josef A. The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development (Missarum Sollemnia). Vol. 1 & 2. Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1992. Jungmann, Josef A. Pastoral Liturgy. New York: Herder and Herder, 1962. Klauser, Theodor. A Short History of the Western Liturgy ; an Account and Some Reflections. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979. Metzger, Marcel, and Madeleine Beaumont. History of the Liturgy: The Major Stages. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1997. White, James F. Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003 Yarnold, Edward. The Awe-inspiring Rites of Initiation: Baptismal Homilies of the Fourth Century. Slough: St. Paul Publications, 1981 74

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SESSION FOUR The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: What Does It Say?

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INTRODUCTORY READING FOR SESSION 4 THE CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY: WHAT DOES IT SAY? Ecumenical Councils: What Are They? What is an ecumenical council? We all know the two words, ecumenical, and council, or at least we hear those words a lot, but what do they really mean, when we put them together? First of all, the easy one – council. We all know that a council is a group of people who gather together to consider things and make decisions, like a City Council or a council of County Commissioners. We have also heard the word ecumenical, and we associate it today with the term ecumenism or the ecumenical movement, which is that movement among Christian denominations to strengthen and promote unity among Christians. This is not the exact same sense in which we use the word in the term ecumenical council. The word ecumenical comes from a Greek word, oikoumene, which means something like ‘the inhabited earth.’ The term ecumenical council, therefore, means ‘worldwide council.’ Used in terms of the Catholic Church, it indicates a council of all the Catholic bishops in the entire world, gathered together to consider important questions. The first church council is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. At issue was the conversion of non-Jewish people to Christ, away from the worship of pagan idols to following The Way. Some of the Judaeo-Christians, especially those from among the Pharisees, thought that non-Jews, if they wanted to become part of the church, had to convert to Judaism, being circumcised, if they were men, observing Jewish religious and cultural customs. Others, including Paul and Barnabas, believed that no unnecessary obstacle should be placed in the way of these gentile converts. “The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter (Acts 15:6).” It was a very important decision that would shape Christianity forever, and it had to be settled, for the good of the church. As it was, the decision was made that the gentile converts should “…abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from blood (Acts 15:20).” This is not listed as an ecumenical council, due to the fact that it is recorded in sacred scripture, and is thus the model of how to settle big questions. Generally speaking the principle holds that anything decreed by an ecumenical council can be changed only by a subsequent ecumenical council. According to the Eastern Orthodox churches, no such council has ever been convened. According to the Roman Catholic Church, ecumenical, also called ‘general’ councils were held throughout our history, for a total number of 21, including the second Vatican council. The first seven ecumenical councils were convened to consider some very foundational questions about who Jesus is, and the implications of the mystery of the Incarnation. They had to respond to those who were teaching things that went against the authentic Christian faith, and these dogmatic formulations really wouldn’t have been considered necessary, until the false teaching had been manifested. The first council of Nicaea (381) was called to deal with the controversy caused by a priest of the church in Alexandria (Egypt) named Arius, who taught that the Word of God existing from before all ages, was created by the Father, not co-eternal. This was recognized by the majority of bishops as not being quite true, but many others thought it made sense. The problem is that if the Word was a creature, then it couldn’t be God, and thus God would not have become flesh in the person of Jesus. So, Jesus Christ, the Word, was defined as being homoousios, of the very same being or substance, with the Father. The first council of Constantinople (381), adding the qualification that Christ was “begotten of the Father before all ages.” The divinity of the Holy Spirit was defended at the first council of Constantinople, and the creedal formula was revised to read “…Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets.” Thus, the creed recited in Catholic and Orthodox churches on Sundays at the celebration of the Eucharist, and on other official occasions involving appointment to positions of authority, which we call the Nicene creed, is more accurately called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. 76

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The third ecumenical council was the council of Ephesus (431). This council issued the decision that Christ, who was clearly the only-begotten Son of God, was fully human, such that the Blessed Virgin Mary could be called Theotokos, which means God-bearer or Mother of God. The fourth ecumenical council, held at Chalcedon (451), decreed that Christ was a hypostatic union of God and humanity, meaning that he had two natures (physes), that he was fully God and fully human, even though he was only one person (hypostasis), and that neither the nature of God nor the nature of humanity was changed in that union, even though they were inseparable. The fifth council, Constantinople II (553), further clarified that, in fact, God did suffer in the person of Christ in his passion and death, thus preserving the union of the two natures of Christ totally, with the implication that Christ is still, forevermore fully God and fully human. The sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III (680-681) further clarified that there were, in fact, two wills perfectly cooperating in Christ, i.e. that the Divine will did not act in such a way that the human will was overridden in Jesus. It made the same affirmation about the divine and human ‘energies’ at work in Jesus, that both the divine and the human were at work together (synergeia) in the person of Jesus. Finally, the seventh ecumenical council, Nicaea II (787), denounced the ‘icon smashers,’ affirming that since God had become flesh in the person of Christ, he could be imaged, that icons should be venerated (though not worshiped) because of the implications of this Incarnation, that the veneration given icons was really given to the God who is manifested in some way in the icons. Two of the most important ‘general’ councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church prior to Vatican II (19621965) were the council of Trent (1545-1563), which was held to deal with the impact of the Reformation, and the first Vatican council (1870, not officially closed until 1960), which most famously degreed the dogma of papal infallibility, but was interrupted by war before it could consider and expound upon the theology of the episcopacy (bishops) and the role of bishops in their own dioceses and in the church as a whole. The second Vatican council was called, not so much to address any errors in teaching, nor to define dogma, as such, but in the words of the first document produced by the council, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, “The sacred council has set out…to adapt more closely to the needs of our age those institutions which are subject to change; to encourage whatever can promote the union of all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever serves to call all of humanity into the church’s fold (1).” In short, the purpose of the council was to transpose the entirety of our Catholic faith and heritage into modern idiomata, into words and actions understandable by today’s people, so that the saving Word could be clearly proclaimed in our own day and age. In this way, it could be said that the council was convened for an altogether new reason, but then again, perhaps it was convened, after all, to correct the error of trying to “put new wine into old wineskins,” i.e. the error of trying to proclaim the Message, eternally new, using languages and concepts that belonged to an earlier age, which now indicate to people a meaning not compatible with authentic Christian teaching. ~ Michael Ziegler

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OPENING PRAYER RITE

SESSION FOUR

LEADER: Calling to mind the presence of God in our midst we begin our prayer together: (All make the Sign of the Cross) All: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE PSALMODY PSALM 145: 1-9 LEADER: Praise the Lord for he is good sing to our God for he is loving: to him our praise is due. ALL:

THE LORD BUILDS UP JERUSALEM AND BRINGS BACK ISRAEL’S EXILES HE HEALS THE BROKEN-HEARTED HE BINDS UP ALL THEIR WOUNDS. HE FIXES THE NUMBER OF THE STARS HE CALLS EACH ONE BY ITS NAME

LEADER: Our Lord is great and almighty; His wisdom can never be measured. The Lord raises the lowly he humbles the wicked to the dust. ALL:

O SING TO THE LORD, GIVING THANKS; SING PSALMS TO OUR GOD WITH THE

HARP. LEADER: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. ALL: AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, IS NOW, AND WILL BE FOREVER. AMEN.

(SELECT ONE PERSON TO READ) READING I Peter: 2: 9-10 But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people; you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees; Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops; United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board: The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages With Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources and the Revised New Testament. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1996, c1986.

[quiet reflection] LEADER: Let us Pray: God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You are ever faithful to your church as we journey through time. We are ever grateful for your presence and action in the great councils of your church by which you have lead us to this present day. Bring that same spirit of wisdom to this gathering of your church and by your Holy Spirit guide our study and reflection. We ask this through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN

LEADER: Let us worship you O Lord ALL: LET OUR LIPS SING YOUR PRAISE

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PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS: SESSION FOUR “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” – What does it say? 4. When did you first hear about the Second Vatican Council? Do you have any memories of the time when the council was in session – hearing news reports or other information as the sessions unfolded? If you remember this time, what was your most significant memory? If you do not remember this time, what is your impression of this time in the church? 5. What are some of the significant developments in the church that were initiated by the Second Vatican Council other than the changes that took place in the liturgy? 6. From your perspective, what is the most important liturgical development that took place as a result of the Second Vatican Council?

POST VIDEO QUESTIONS: SESSION FOUR “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” – What does it say?

5. After listening to the discussion on the video, what are some “ways of thinking” about the liturgy, and “ways of understanding” the liturgy and its purpose that the II Vatican Council hoped to renew? 6. Why do you think the council had to make a point of saying that people should not be present at Mass like silent spectators? 7. What do you believe the council meant by the phrase: “full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy by all the people?” Why do you think they insisted that this be the aim, “to be considered before all else?” 8. Do you think that some people found it difficult to accept the changes in the liturgy after the Council? Why would this be so? How might they have been helped?

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CLOSING PRAYER RITE LEADER: Let us now give thanks to God for our fellowship and study together and ask his blessing and protection on our world, our church and our families. (Select someone to pray the petitions) READER: For the Church throughout the world; may each local diocese and parish be a light to all peoples. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the nations of the world, that all may appreciate the world in which we live as a gift from God. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: That our efforts to better understand our Catholic faith, especially its tradition of liturgy, will bear fruit in our worship and in our lives. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For the church of West Tennessee, may each parish be renewed by a deepened understanding of our faith. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER READER: For those who are most in need: the poor, the hungry, the sick and suffering, the lonely and abandoned and those who have no one to care for them. We pray to the Lord. ALL: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER

(The Leader may invite additional personal intentions at this point; The petitions conclude with the Lord’s Prayer)

Concluding Prayers LEADER: Let us now pray as Jesus taught us: OUR FATHER… LEADER: O God , as we conclude our gathering we seek your continued guidance and protection. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope and love. We pray through Christ our Lord. ALL: AMEN LEADER: Let us depart in the peace of Christ ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD

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SESSION FOUR: “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” – What does it say? Mediator Dei – an encyclical of Pope Pius XII, issued November 20th , 1947 – was described by my professor one day in class at the University of Notre Dame as the “magna carta” of the liturgical renewal of Vatican II. He got my interest. Already a priest, and having spent a good number of years in the seminary, I had only a vague recollection of this document. I knew of the title and that it had something to do with the liturgy. That’s all. I should have known more about it; but I didn’t. What I began to realize, as I compared this encyclical to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy is that theological content and even some of its reforms were “stewing,” in the church for a good long time before the council was actually called. And this was the case for all of the major conciliar decrees. The Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, was foreshadowed in the encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, September 30, 1943, and The Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium was foreshadowed by the encyclical, Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943; and the Constitution on the Church in the Modern Word had as its backdrop numerous papal encyclicals spanning decades and going as far back as Rerum Novarum issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891! While we have always said that the Second Vatican Council breathed fresh air into the church, (a phrase right from the lips of Pope John XIII himself) it was not out of the blue. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, the church had been led carefully, methodically, and gradually to the conciliar reforms. The foundation was being built for a long time with enormous breadth and depth of thought and scholarship. I was a young boy of 10 when the II Vatican Council was called. Before that, the earliest memory I have of the wider church beyond my own parish and diocese was the death of Pope Pius XII and the election of Pope John XIII. My most vivid memory is the day Pope John XXIII was elected. I remember being quite bewildered because I thought the pope was supposed to be called, Pius. That was the only pope I ever knew of. I was expecting that the new pope would be called Pius XIII? It seemed logical to me. But no, his name was John! In a way, this began an avalanche of change that unfolded from that point on. As I recall those days, it surprises me that I was so aware of the council. I don’t remember exactly how I learned about it at first. I have no recollection the nuns at school specifically telling us about the council, or my parents talking about it, or of it being on the evening news; it was simply a fact of life for me. Yet my knowledge of the council must have been from all of those sources, where else would I have learned of it? From then on, my whole life has been shaped and formed by the words and work of that council, the bishops who constituted it and the scholars who assisted them, as well as the guidance of the Popes who called it and then saw it through to completion – John XXIII and Paul VI. By and large, Catholics most vividly experienced the results of the council at Mass. And it was, in fact, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy that was the very first decree of the council, passed almost unanimously by all the bishops (the vote was 2,147 to 4!) and promulgated by Pope Paul VI, December 4th , 1963. And because it was the very first decree, the bishops included in this document, not only their goals for the liturgy, but their goals for the entire council.

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Church documents are normally named by the first words of the Latin text; the name of the liturgy constitution, then, comes from the first words of the document, “Sacrosanctum concilium…” (this sacred council). It goes on to outline the mission of the council in four overarching goals which would give direction to every other document that came from it. The four goals were these: 1. to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; 2. to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; 3. to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; 4. to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. [Walter M. Abbot, S. J. General Editor; V. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Gallagher, Trans. Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 1, (New York: Corpus Books, 1966 ]

Notice these overarching goals move in increasingly wider concentric circles: first the focus on the inner life of the church; then the adaptation to modern times of church institutions, “subject to change;” then efforts to promote the unity of all Christians (hence this next circle includes our Protestant brothers and sisters); and finally an outreach to the whole of humankind! Then the document goes directly to address the liturgy as a particularly fruitful arena in which these goals could be advanced. It isn’t unlike how the 10th century church saw the liturgy as a means for shaping the life church and society back in another era of great change. But then, where else would they go but the place where people have their most consistent and sustained contact with the church: in the liturgy, especially the Mass? And, in fact, paragraph two of the constitution goes on to say just that: 2. For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished,"( 1 ) most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 2] Here liturgy is presented as the means “through which the work of our redemption is accomplished” and where, “… the faithful express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.” A pretty succinct definition of the liturgy right off the bat! The liturgy, then, is a kind of ongoing actualization of the life of the church, and true fountain of grace. But this is not presented in a static way. The faithful are described as actively engaged in the liturgy, and by means of it, expressing the mystery of Christ and the church to the whole world! This begins to approach something new, or at least something newly recovered from the conception of the church we find in the writings and experience of the earlier centuries of the church, often known as the patristic age or the age of the Fathers of the Church. We referred to this period of church history in previous essays of 82

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this series; it is often pointed to as the “golden age,” of the liturgical life of the church – a kind of period when the ritual life of the church had come together in its most complete form. This was to be the guidepost or benchmark for liturgical renewal; and such a benchmark for renewal was not new as we pointed out in our discussion on Trent. In fact, as we mentioned, a renewal according to the “rule of the Fathers,” was exactly what the prior liturgy was aiming for; but those who undertook the liturgical reform following the Council of Trent did not have nearly the resources available as did the scholars who prepared the documents for the liturgical reform of Vatican II. That later scholarship took place especially in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century all the way leading up to the council. Modern scientific methods used in the sciences of history and archeology as well as linguistics and liturgical language all led to a kind of quantum leap in the knowledge and sources available to liturgical scholars by the time the II Vatican Council was underway. After this general introduction, the liturgy constitution goes onto a more detailed theological and pastoral explanation of the liturgy in the section entitled, “The Nature of the Sacred Liturgy and Its Importance in the Church's Life.” The section begins by setting the liturgy in the overall contexts of the God’s self-revelation and the gift of salvation that comes from it. Christ is the supreme and ultimate “mediator,” of this revelation and salvation as “in the fullness of time,” the very divine Word of God, His only begotten son, incarnate and, taking on our human nature, reveals the fullness of the divine plan in human form. Thus human beings could now experience and grasp the mystery of God in a radically new way. Now God actually came to dwell within creation itself. Now the very divine Son of God is born into a human family, grows up like any other neighbor down the street. The very ordinariness of the human/divine man Jesus is such that, when he did finally begin his public ministry, his own home townspeople were surprised at his preaching and said “…isn’t this Joseph’s son!” [ LK 4:22, New American Bible Copyright © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved.] This remains a testimony to how completely Christ embraced our human nature. Therefore Christ is everything God ever hoped to reveal to us; and at the same time, because he is also fully human, Christ is our response back to God in faith. That is why Christ can be called the perfect and most complete “mediator,” between God and the human family. The unity between God and the human being in Christ realizes in the first instance that plan which will be complete when all are made new in Christ at the end of time. Christ, in his paschal mystery (his death and resurrection) fulfills the whole of the original covenant with Israel and at the same time establishes a new and eternal covenant for all of humanity from which the church is born. With his death on the cross, Christ is at one and the same time, “the priest, the altar and the lamb of sacrifice,” [ Preface for Easter, #V The Sacramentary. New York: Catholic Book Pub., 1985.–completely fulfilling the worship if Israel, and giving us the perfect offering by which we might praise and thank God forever. The document goes on in paragraph six to explain: Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also He sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This He did that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (14), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (15) and from 83

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death, and brought us into the kingdom of His Father. His purpose also was that they might accomplish the work of salvation which they had proclaimed, by means of sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves. [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 6]

Because of this, Christ is uniquely present to the church in the liturgy as paragraph seven delineates the many and varied ways this presence is manifest. To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, "the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross" ( 20 ), but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes ( 21 ). He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20). [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 7] When asked about Christ’s presence in the liturgy and in the Mass, most Catholics immediately talk about the presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements. And while it is most certainly true that Christ is “substantially,” present in the consecrated elements of bread and wine, this is not the only way Christ is present in the liturgy and not the most basic way. As pointed out in the above paragraph from the liturgy constitution, this “substantial” presence of Christ rests on the fact that he is first present in the assembly gathered, “when the church prays and sings;” he is present in the priest who presides, “ the same now offering through the ministry of priests...”; and he is present in the word proclaimed, “since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church.” Quoting directly from the encyclical mentioned above, Mediator Dei, the council goes on in this same paragraph to make clear that the liturgy is an action of Christ united with the entire church, not just the clergy: Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members. [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 7] And so it is the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, that constitutes the church and from which the church is sent forth in mission. After making clear that there are many other activities and essential tasks of the church – evangelizing, preaching, teaching, caring for the poor and needy, building fellowship among its members – paragraph ten goes on to express the centrality of the liturgy and the eucharist in all of this:

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Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord's supper. The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with "the paschal sacraments," to be "one in holiness" ( 26 ); it prays that "they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by their faith" ( 27 ); the renewal in the eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way. [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 10]

What a vision and hope: that “filled with the paschal sacraments,” we be “one in holiness;” that we “hold fast in our lives to what we have grasped by faith,” and that we be “set on fire” by being drawn “…into the compelling love of Christ!” This love would then flow out into the world through us, transforming everything along the way so that all may be made new in Christ, as the document goes on to speak of the “sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God.” This is the point of the whole thing: the final and complete unity between God and all of us united together in one family. But for all its lofty hopes, the council is also realistic about the state of things and what such a vision would take to bring about. So right away in paragraph eleven, the council realistically admits: But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain ( 28 ). Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects. [ Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 11]

This paragraph addresses the most important agents of the liturgical renewal: the people and the priests. Addressing the clergy, the document challenges what often had become the only criteria for celebrating the liturgy – a valid and licit celebration. What this amounted to was resting the quality of the church’s liturgy on the most minimum standard possible: that the liturgy follow all the laws. And so the council makes it clear that, henceforth, the responsibility of the clergy goes beyond merely attending to these minimal standards. They have a responsibility to, “ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects.” This means that appropriate and ongoing formation in the liturgy take place for the laity! It means that the necessary elements of the liturgical rites are provided (music, environment, 85

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etc.) so as to give the elements of the liturgy their full expression; and it means, finally, that priests and bishops, when celebrating the liturgy, do so in a manner that actually engages the faithful in the rite through the very way it is executed. But the document also addresses the people and their equal part in this as well. If the clergy have a responsibility to form the faithful by appropriate liturgical catechesis, the faithful have a responsibility to be formed by showing up and participating in the formation programs offered! If the clergy have a responsibility to actively engage the people in the rites of the liturgy when celebrating them, the faithful have the responsibility of being engaged by actually responding and doing those parts of the liturgy properly theirs with some degree of life and vigor. Neither priest nor people will be enriched by the liturgy’s effects if these human efforts on the part of both clergy and laity are not constantly attended to in the life of a given parish and diocese. Before addressing the active participation of the faithful as such, the constitution first turns to the relationship between popular devotions and the liturgy. Popular devotions refer to devotional practices like the rosary, novenas, chaplets, and other prayer practices. When, during that long stretch of time from the middle ages to the present day, the faithful did not take part actively in the liturgy, they turned to such popular devotions as the main means of worshiping God. Often people prayed such devotions while the attending Mass. Especially when, for such a long time they were not even allowed to see the actual texts of the Mass prayers, what else could they do? So the document addresses the role of these devotions, highlighting their important role in the life of the faithful, but making clear that they are always subordinate to the liturgy itself and therefore not appropriate to pray while the liturgy is being conducted. But if the faithful are not use devotions during the liturgy, when what are they to do? The constitution makes that very clear in the next section, paragraph fourteen: Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism. In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work. [Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 14] This paragraph remains one of those watershed statements that will ring out in the life of the church until we bring its call to full realization. It was set forth as the standard by which the restoration and renewal of each rite would be assessed. It contains three major elements: first it makes clear that the faithful are from now on, to 86

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participate in the liturgy fully, actively, and consciously. “Fully,” means that they will participate in all of the elements which are appropriate for the laity to participate in, and that they will engage in the rite with their whole selves – with their mind, their heart, truly entering the spirit of the liturgy. “Actively,” means that their participation will not be merely passive as it had been for so long. Not only would they watch and listen, but now they would be actively engaged in the rite, singing or saying the actual liturgical texts, and participating even with their body as they stand, sit, kneel, genuflect, bow, greet one another and process together. “Consciously,” means that each person should not only be actively doing the rite, but they should understand what they are doing and why? After explaining the extent to which the faithful were called into liturgical participation and what it would involve, the document explains why it is calling for this. It is not merely for some practical reason, or to create some kind of popular appeal. Such participation, the document says is the “right and duty,” of each baptized person. If something is both a right and a duty, that is a pretty weighty reason for doing it! The third element makes clear that this principle of liturgical participation is so important that it is to be the aim “to be considered before all else!” Again this is a pretty strong statement. It means that in preparing the new rites, and in executing them on a daily basis, both scholars and clergy and anyone else leading the liturgical life of the church must arrange the rite in such a way that the liturgical participation here called for is accomplished. Thus such liturgical participation of all the faithful becomes the norm, the so called, “bottom line!” This would affect everything: the music chosen, the arrangement of the seating in the church, and the language used. But it also refers to the way in which the ministers – priests, lectors, musicians and others – conduct themselves and engage the people gathered for the liturgy. And it was the single most important reason for choosing to make the liturgical texts available in vernacular (the common language of the people) rather than retain Latin as the only language for the liturgy. And if this point was not made clearly enough, later in the document, when specifically discussing the reform and restoration of the Mass itself, the constitution reiterates this same theme in paragraph forty eight, making very specific how the Mass should actualize this principle of full, conscious, and active participation of the all the faithful. This is what is says: The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God's word and be nourished at the table of the Lord's body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator ( 38 ), they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all. [Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 48]

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So the faithful, should not be present at Mass “as strangers or silent spectators.” Pretty strong language! It goes on to say that everyone “should take part in the action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration.” This was obvious following from the earlier paragraph forty seven in which the document summarizes the church’s faith regarding Eucharistic celebration: At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity ( 36 ), a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us ( 37 ). [Ibid, Documents of Vatican II “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 47]

If the liturgy of the Eucharistic celebration was to manifest and communicate the fullness of this declaration, if it was to be truly “a sacrament of love, a sign of unity and a bond of charity,” then provision for such participation by all the faithful in the rite seemed critical. There could be no doubt that the council intended a participative liturgy; one patterned after the liturgy of the early church as seen, for example, in Justin Martyr’s description discussed in the article following Unit 3. This was their vision; and the remaining parts of the constitution set forth all the dimensions of such a massive restoration and reform, including the educational elements of it, the manner in which it would be overseen and so forth. It set forth the broad outlines of a plan for the actual implementation of its mandates including how the bishops might go about translating the Latin typical editions into the various vernacular languages of their people, always acknowledging the essential role of the Holy See in the entire process of reforming and implementing texts and rites. All in all, it is quite a remarkable document and one that knows few precedents if any in the history of any religious tradition. Ultimately it was about nothing more or less than the church putting forth her best efforts to follow Christ’s command at the Last Supper: “do this in memory of me!” ~ R. Bruce Cinquegrani

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SESSION FOUR

For further reading we recommend the following:

CHURCH DOCUMENTS: Flannery, Austin. Vatican Council II, the Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. Northport, NY: Costello Pub., 1996 ISBN-10: 0918344395 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy = Sacrosanctum Concilium. Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1999. BOOKS: Baldovin, John F. Reforming the Liturgy: a Response to the Critics. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008. Botte, Bernard. From Silence to Participation: an Insider's View of Liturgical Renewal. Washington, D.C.: Pastoral Press, 1988. Ferrone, Rita. Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium. New York: Paulist Press, 2007. Jackson, Pamela. An Abundance of Graces: Reflections on Sacrosanctum Concilium. Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2007. Krieg, Robert Anthony. Romano Guardini: Proclaiming the Sacred in a Modern World. Chicago, IL: Liturgy Training Publ., 1995. Marini, Piero, and Mark R. Francis. A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal :19631975. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007. Pecklers, Keith F. The Unread Vision: the Liturgical Movement in the United States of America, 1926-1955. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998 WEB: "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium." Vatican: the Holy See. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vatii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html "Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation - Dei Verbum." Vatican: the Holy See. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vatii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church - Lumen Gentium." Vatican: the Holy See. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vatii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern Word-Gaudium Et Spes." Vatican: the Holy See. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vatii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html

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Do This In Memory of Me  

An Exploration of the Sacred Liturgy

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