Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: November 2010 Archives

aserratelli.jpgThe out-going chairman of the bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, gave the following update to the USCCB today. Bishop Serratelli is now succeeded by the Archbishop of New Orleans, the Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond. The USCCB press release is here.

There has been some discussion recently about a report surfaced through some segments of the Catholic Press regarding the present state of the text of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. A number of facts will hopefully clarify the situation and, in so doing, give us the calm needed to welcome and implement the new text.

First, it is helpful to keep in mind the genesis of the final text that is now being prepared for publication. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) prepared for the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops preliminary drafts ("green books") of the 12 sections of the Roman Missal. After incorporating the feedback and responses of the individual Conferences of Bishops and the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ICEL then prepared the final drafts ("gray books"). These were approved by canonical vote by each of the member Conferences. In approving the gray books, each conference also had the opportunity to make further suggestions to the Congregation, as was done in particular by our Conference. We submitted many amendments to the texts. The Congregation, working with the Vox Clara Committee, carefully listened to what the bishops said. The Congregation incorporated many of the suggestions of the various Conferences (including our own), combined with their own review and changes, and put forth the final text. The Congregation followed the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam faithfully but not slavishly.

This is the final text now being readied for publication. This process includes a final review and copy edit which, given the size of the text, uncovers some minor questions of consistency, typographical errors, and layout. Those questions are being addressed by the Congregation for Divine Worship. This review has not dealt with the translation itself. The critique that has circulated has necessarily failed to take into account the final version of the text, which incorporates some corrections issued by the Congregation since the transmittal of the full text to the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops in August 2010.

To sum up, there is a final text. It has received a recognitio. As the work of editing and assembling nears completion, there is assurance that the published text will be available in more than ample time for implementation in Advent 2011. It is good to note also that the catechetical preparation for implementation is already underway and has proceeded with much enthusiasm and wide acceptance by both clergy and laity. It is clear at this point in time that there is an attitude of openness and readiness to receive the new text. Let us pray in this time of transition and change that the Roman Missal, Third Edition, will enable all to understand more deeply the mysteries we celebrate.

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Divine Worship
November 18, 2010
Lateran Basilica.JPGJerusalem, city of God, you will shine with the light of God's splendor; all people on earth will pay you homage. Nations will come from afar, bearing gifts for the King of Heaven; in you they will worship the Lord. (the lamp-lighting antiphon from the Dedication of a Church)

At first blush some people will ask, why is the Church celebrating the dedication of a church building. The answer is, she's not. Some history is crucial in understanding today's liturgical observance.

The cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is Saint John Lateran, not Saint Peter's Basilica. And by extension, the Lateran basilica is the head of all churches in the world. The confusion between the Lateran and Vatican basilicas is a common and understandable mistake since Saint Peter's is the place where the bones of Saint Peter are buried and it's the place where the Pope most often celebrates ecclesial events. The Lateran was a church built by the Emperor Constantine and consecrated in AD 324 by Pope Sylvester. Notice that the church was consecrated 12 short years following the Edict of Milan.

The feast honoring the role of the basilica church in Christendom, indeed, the entire world at one time, is understood in the aphorism: omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (the mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world). The Lateran is the place that symbolizes the ministry of bishop as teacher, servant and sanctifier; it's the place where charity is most identifiable.

Visitatio jpgPope Benedict said it well in his 2008 Angelus Address for this feast: "Dear Friends, today's feast celebrates a mystery that is always relevant: God's desire to build a spiritual temple in the world, a community that worships him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23-4). But this observance also reminds us of the importance of the material buildings in which the community gathers to celebrate the praises of God. Every community therefore has the duty to take special care of its own sacred buildings, which are a precious religious and historical patrimony. For this call upon the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that she help us to become, like her, the 'house of God,' living temple of love."

Virgin & child with souls in purgatory LGiordano.jpg

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind, and we are mortal,
formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying: "You are dust, and to dust you shall return." All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave, we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Basil, PAZ, & Ambrose.jpgThe following homily was delivered yesterday for the 31st Sunday Through the Year at the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis by a dear friend, R. Dom Ambrose Bennett, STL. Dom Ambrose (on the right in the photo) is a priest, monk and teacher at the Abbey.

Besides taking his turn in celebrating Mass for the Abbey, he also celebrates the Mass of Blessed John XXIII at the Oratory of Ss Gregory and Augustine.

At this time of year, as we approach the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and when the Church calls upon us to meditate upon the Communion of Saints and prayer for the faithful departed, it is fitting that we should consider a much-neglected point of Catholic doctrine and practice: that is, indulgences. First, what is an indulgence?

First, let me say what indulgences are not: they are not permissions to commit sins or anything of that sort. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "an indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven" (CCC 1471). Surely everyone is aware that being forgiven of sin does not make all the effects of past sin simply disappear: we can still have bad habits, damaged relationships, diminished love of God as a result of those sins. In other words, there are temporal effects of sin, even after absolution. Indulgences are still eminently helpful in impressing upon us two inseparable truths: that we are saved by grace and that in the process of penance and renewal, we are not alone but are assisted on the way of conversion by the entire Communion of Saints who have gone before us. In other words, we do not gain indulgences to be forgiven for our sins: we gain them because we have already been forgiven by the grace of Christ. Indulgences help us to bring forth the fruits of true repentance and to heal the after-effects of sin.

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]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments category from November 2010.

Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: October 2010 is the previous archive.

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