Catholic Herald Reporter
THE Vatican Council's decree on liturgy promulgated this week by Pope Paul, calk for the liturgical books to be revised as soon as The liturgy is defined as a continuation and application of Christ's redemptive work, requiring collaboration by the faithful. Communal is to be preferred to private celebration. Rites are to be simpler and more scriptural.
The liturgy may he adapted on certain conditions to the traditions and cultures of nations. especially in the missions.
Here are the main points of the decree:
The Eucharist : At Mass, more and better selections of scripture readings, which are to be expounded in the sermon; the Prayer of the Faithful to be restored to its place after the gospel and sermon.
In Masses celebrated with the people. a suitable place may he allotted to their mother tongue; this is to apply in the first place to the readings and Prayer of the Faithful.
It is strongly urged that hosts for the people's communion be consecrated at the Mass which they are helping to offer. On certain occasions, communion may be given tinder two kinds. Concelebration is to be allowed in certain defined circumstances, and a new rite for this will be drawn
Other Sacraments and Sacramenials: Local bishops' conferences may permit the use of the vernacular in the administration of the sacraments, and should draw up appropriate Rituals. The baptismal Rite is to he adapted to the circumstance that those to be baptised are in fact infants.
Confirmation may he given during Mass. Extreme Unction becomes the Anointing of the Sick and should be given as soon as there is any danger from sickness.
Marriage may he celebrated during Mass. after the gospel and homily. The Prayer for the Bride. amended to remind both spouses of their equal obligations to fidelity, may be said in the mother tongue.
At marriages contracted apart from Mass. the epistle and gospel from the Nuptial Mass are to he read as introduction. and the spouses should always be given a blessing.
Sacramentals are to be revised and increased. Some may he administered by qualified lay persons at the bishop's discretion. Burial Rites to be revised to express the paschal character of Christian Death.
DivineOffice: The hours of the office are to be related to the time of the day when they should he prayed. Lauds and Vespers arc the main hours: Compline is retained as a night prayer. Prime is abolished.
Matins, though it should retain the character of nocturnal praise when celebrated in choir, should be adapted so that it may be prayed at any time: it should be made tip of fewer psalms and longer readings.
Clerics not bound to choir may leave out any two of the Little Hours. Individual clerics may be granted by their ordinaries the use of a vernacular office for private recitation: non-clerics in religious orders of men or of women may be granted a vernacular office for use in choir.
Liturgical Year : The Sunday. as the weekly celebration of the paschal mystery, is of prime importance: • only rarely may other celebrations
supersede it. The minds of the faithful must be primarily directed towards the feasts of the Lord; the proper of the time must be given preference over the feasts of the saints.
Under certain conditions the Council would not object to a fixed Easter.
Sacred Arts and Furnishings: The design of new churches must be such as to facilitate the celebration of the liturgy and the active participation of the people. Provisions arc to be made for fostering liturgical arts and encouraging artists in the right spirit. Putting the decree into effect-p.4
A translation of the full text of It e CONSTITUTION ON LITURGY has been made by Fr. Clifford Howell, S.I., and is avail‘ able from Whitegate Plahlications, 26A Castle Street. C'irencester, Glos. Price 2s. plus 3d. postage. POPE PAUL VI, receiving the English and Welsh Bishops in a special audience on Thursday night, reiterated his promise to dedicate et new Church in Rome to St. Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Holy Father previously made the promise in a letter to Archbishop Heenan on the occasion of the beatification. of Blessed Dominic Barberi. The church has not yet been designated.
In his short address. the Pope spoke of his warmth and affection for the country and people of Britain and expressed his admiration of the lively Catholic life there.
Archbishop Heenan said that Pope Paul's election had been greeted in Britain with great joy. "You have not only the obedience and affection of your own Catholic children, but the goodwill of our fellow-countrymen outside the Church," he continued.
"We know your great regard for our people and we are proud that you have visited our country. The devotion of the English and Welsh martyrs to the Holy See is a fact of history. The same spirit lives on in our country and we shall always be champions of Your Holiness and the See of Peter."
Catholic Herald Reporter