Tag Archives: Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Vox Clara Committee meets in Rome this week

The group of bishops and experts who oversee the translation and promulgation of liturgical texts in English met in Rome this past week. Read the CNS story on the meeting by Cindy Wooden. Here is the press release.

Vox Clara July 2011.JPG

The Vox Clara
Committee met from July 24-26 in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from
Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July
19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language
liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences
of Bishops in this regard.

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Cardinal Cañizares Llovera: Creativity in Mass has no place

Andrea Tornielli published an interview with Antonio
Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, 65, from Spain, Prefect of the Congregation for
Divine Worship in Il Giornale, “Basta con la messa creativa, in chiesa
silenzio e preghiera” [“Enough with the Creative Mass, in Church
Silence and Prayer”].

You will want to read this very fascinating interview in
Italian here
. Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical
Movement blog
has posted a translation of just a few paragraphs with
the hope of posting a translation of the full interview in due time.

Father Z
has provided what is likely the central point of the interview:
Andrea Tornielli: How do you judge the state of Catholic
liturgy in the world?

Cardinal Cañizares: “In view of a risk of the routine, in
view of some confusion, impoverishment, and banality in singing and in sacred
music, one can say that there is a certain crisis.  For this reason a new
liturgical movement is urgent.  Benedict XVI, pointing to the example of
St. Francis of Assisi, very devoted to the Most Holy Sacrament, explained that
the true reformed is someone who obey the Faith: he doesn’t act in an arbitrary
way and doesn’t claim for himself discretion over the rite.  He is not the
master but the custodian of the treasure instituted by the Lord and entrusted
to us.  The Pope asks, therefore, from our Congregation to promote a
renewal in conformity with Vatican II in harmony with the liturgical tradition
of the Church, without forgetting the Conciliare norm that orders not to
introduce innovations when the true and verified need of the Church requires
them, with the caution that new forms, in every case, must flow organically
from those already in existence.”

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:

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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.

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

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

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

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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