Category Archives: Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments

New liturgical texts approved by Pope today, Mass to change

The Holy Father addressed Vox Clara during a lunch meeting, and approved the new translation of the 2002 Roman Missal. This is tremendous news. I look forward to praying the new texts! Not a perfect text but one that’s more theologically correct than the current missal. Some work still needs to be done but that ought to be finished shortly so that publishers, musicians, priests, and laity can make the new texts available for the anticipated inauguration for the First Sunday of Advent 2011. Each of the 11 English speaking conferences of bishops will get to work on rolling out the new missal in their countries with the proper catechetical formation for clergy and laity alike. The Pope’s words today:

archbishop incensing.jpg

I thank you for
the work that Vox Clara has done over the last eight years, assisting and
advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English
translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise.
Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the
Committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from
Bishops’ Conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world. I
thank you for the great labour you have expended in your study of the
translations and in processing the results of the many consultations that have
been conducted. I thank the expert assistants for offering the fruits of their
scholarship in order to render a service to the universal Church. And I thank
the Superiors and Officials of the Congregation for their daily, painstaking
work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the
truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God.

Saint Augustine
spoke beautifully of the relation between John the Baptist, the vox clara that
resounded on the banks of the Jordan, and the Word that he spoke. A voice, he
said, serves to share with the listener the message that is already in the
speaker’s heart. Once the word has been spoken, it is present in the hearts of
both, and so the voice, its task having been completed, can fade away (cf.
Sermon 293). I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman
Missal will soon be ready for publication, so that the texts you have worked so
hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the
anglophone world
. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany
them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of his people. The
voice that helped bring these words to birth will have completed its task.

A
new task will then present itself, one which falls outside the direct
competence of Vox Clara, but which in one way or another will involve all of
you – the task of preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy
and lay faithful. Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after
nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change
will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for
catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped
. I pray that in this
way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will
serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic
devotion all over the English-speaking world.

Dear Brother Bishops, Reverend
Fathers, Friends, I want you to know how much I appreciate the great
collaborative endeavour to which you have contributed. Soon the fruits of your
labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere. As
the prayers of God’s people rise before him like incense (cf. Psalm 140:2), may
the Lord’s blessing come down upon all who have contributed their time and
expertise to crafting the texts in which those prayers are expressed. Thank
you, and may you be abundantly rewarded for your generous service to God’s
people.

The sacred Liturgy shapes freedom & is the principle of our renewal


Cardinal Canizares at Mass.jpg

Curious to what others think, I was elated to see the connections the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (Rome), Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, made with the sacred Liturgy in an interv: evangelization, civilization and freedom. It is not very surprising to me that the Prefect of this particular Vatican office said that the Liturgy is the vehicle for our intellectual and cultural renewal. It is new data for those see the Church’s liturgical life as a method for community organizing and feeling good about themselves. I was surprised however, that the Cardinal indicated that the Pope is in favor of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Not that the Pope is radically in disfavor  of it but that the Pope’s committed to the document. With all that document’s flaws and the misinterpretations, this is something for me to chew on. May be the Pope is right in that we have to re-evaluate our interpretation of SC. Since 2013 is the 50th anniversary of SC, I am hoping for a brilliant liturgical letter from the Pope. Ultimately, the point is, do we really know what the sacred Liturgy is and how it is a path unto our eternal destiny? Do we really understand that the Liturgy, not our ideology, sets bar for our interior conversion?

Here are some excerpts of the Cardinal’s interview:

“To evangelise the culture means having one’s gaze
fixed on Christ
because a man who accepts Christ – who is truly man – will have
Christ’s mentality, thoughts, and feelings,” he said.

“[To build] a civilisation of love, as John Paul II and
Benedict XVI have called for, seems to be a work of evangelisation because in
such a society, God really is recognized as God. The problem of our times is a
culture built without God.”

When it comes to re-evangelising the West in general he [the Cardinal] pointed to the example of St Benedict of Norcia and his search for God and
imitation of Christ. But changing the mentality, he said, includes measures
such as “renewing the liturgy”, reintroducing a “correct sense
of freedom” and presenting “a true and stronger” sense of
religiosity.

Being of similar mind to Benedict XVI he [the Cardinal] naturally has the
same approach to the liturgy which he sees not only as important for the
Church, but also for the world at large.

“Benedict XVI reminds us that the first document of the
Second Vatican Council was Sacrosanctum Concilium [the Constitution on the
Sacred Liturgy], and the last document was Gaudium et Spes, [the Pastoral
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World].” he said.

“If we want to be present as Christians in the world,
to form and renew the world, to bring peace, freedom et cetera, we cannot do
that without leaning on the liturgy
, on Sacrosanctum Concilium. For this
reason, the Holy Father is very committed to renew the liturgy, to recover
Sacrosanctum Concilium.”

“The liturgy is the first banquet of God; it’s where we can
identify God, it’s prayer, it’s where we can discover salvation, the work of
Grace – all of which are God’s initiative,” he said. “When this is
lived, when it is at the centre of one’s life, the heart changes, the mentality
changes, and also society.”

~Taken from Edward Pentin’s Catholic Herald article of April 16, 2010.

Grail Psalter, Revised –gets Vatican approval

Abbot Gregory Polan2.jpgOn November 11, 2008, Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey received the US bishops’ positive vote for the liturgical use of the Revised Grail Psalter. The Grail Psalter was first published for liturgical use in 1963 and revised by Abbot Gregory and monks of Conception Abbey according to current translation principles including Liturgiam Authenticam (2001)

Recently, the whole project received what is called the “recognitio” from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments (the Vatican office deputed by the pope to guide liturgical matters) in a March 19th letter to Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson and Chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.

The reception of Vatican approval of these texts means that future liturgical books will use this translation of the Psalms.

Read Conception Abbey’s press release on receiving the Vatican recognitio for the Revised Grail Psalter, which gives many of the interesting details of the work.

The Catholic Key Blog ran a story on the matter on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus, That in all things may God be glorified

The newly baptized, the new lambs: Isti sunt Agni novelli


B16 baptizes Easter 2010.jpgThese are the
lambs, newly-baptized,

who proclaimed the
glad tidings:  Alleluia! recently come to
the waters, and full of God’s
light and splendor. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Lady, Queen, whom
grace from heaven, Has preferred to
all on earth, Now renewed, the
world is brightened, By your holy
virgin-birth.

Oh, how lovely and
how wondrous, Is the cure that
saved us all: Jesus, in His love,
becomes now, Victim for His people’s
fall!

Now renewed through
holy washing, In the font of our
rebirth, Soon the chrism’s
oil and fragrance, Will give strength
to us on earth!

To each Christian
now is given, Christ’s own Flesh
as Bread of Life. Christ’s own Blood
becomes the sweetest, Source of joy in all our strife!


Easter week brings so many joys, graces and consolations. One such joy, grace and consolation that I’ve been thinking and praying about all week during Mass and praying the Divine Office, is the is new life in Christ that those received into the Church at the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday. The gift of salvation given to us is has once again been given to other called not by human concern but by the Holy Spirit. The Neophytes –the newly-initiated Christians who were baptized and confirmed and communicated– live differently now that the doors of our God-given destiny has been received. Musically we can think of the chant text given above, “Isti sunt Agni novelli,” taken from the Cistercian collection Laudes Vespertine (Westmalle, Belgium, 1939) which gives a keen insight into this beautiful mystery of faith. May Christ shower His blessing on all of us!

Blessing of Easter Food

blessing food Holy Saturday.jpg

A very long-standing custom in the Church is the blessing of the Easter basket of food stemming from the Lenten observance of fasting from meat, dairy and eggs and other food associated with these items. Still today, we fast from meat on Fridays in Lent and frequently you’ll encounter some observing a special fast during the sacred Three Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The Church filled with joy at the announcement of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead brings with a new joy to our hearts, minds and bodies. As an old Slovenian saying goes, a blessing comes through the stomach! Today, Father Milan blessed the Easter food of Saint Rose of Lima Church (Newtown, CT).

 

The Order of Blessing of Easter Food

 

All make the sign of the cross

 

Priest/Deacon: For our sake Christ became obedient, accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God raised him on high and gave him the name above all other names. Blessed be God for ever.

 

R. Blessed be God for ever.

 

Priest/Deacon: Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our Lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by His word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.

 

Read Deuteronomy 16:1-8 or John 6:1-14 and Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6,10,12-4,24,35.

 

Intercessions

 

The Son of God who invites us to the Paschal feast stands ready to help. Let us call upon Him in our need.

 

R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.

 

That Easter may find us cleansed of sin and ready to live anew our Christian faith, we pray to the Lord. R.

 

That the bread we share may be a reminder of the Bread of Life we share in the Eucharist, we pray to the Lord. R.

 

That we may be ready to give from our table to those who hunger and thirst, we pray to the Lord. R.

 

That we may one day enjoy the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly Kingdom, we pray to the Lord. R.

 

Priest/Deacon: Christ taught us to pray for our daily bread and so we dare to say:

 

Our Father…

 

Prayer of Blessing

 

God of glory, the eyes of all turn to You as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord’s table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to His heavenly banquet. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

 

R. Amen.

 

May Christ always nourish you and strengthen you in faith and love, now and for ever.

 

R. Amen.

 

And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

 

R. Amen.

 

The priest sprinkles the food and the people with holy water.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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