Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | February 19, 2008

The day on which we gather (A commentary Confirming that Nun in Alabama who keeps being chastized by the liberals)

As with other entries I do like this, my commentary is in the blue, (I don’t like red, so I don’t use it)

Guidelines for Sunday Eucharist
Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles Holy Thursday — March 31, 1988
The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist the clergy and people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the promotion of pastoral liturgical renewal in the parishes and other worshiping communities of the Archdiocese (If by renewal, you mean rampant liturgial abuses, then yes). These guidelines reflect an attitude of respect for liturgical law and principles (that can be questioned). They are based upon official Church documents and the writings of recognized scholars in the field of liturgical and sacramental theology (I don’t care what the scholars have to say, I only care about what the Vatican says on liturgical matters).
It is recommended that Pastors and those responsible for the Sunday Eucharist give careful attention to Church documents on Liturgy. These include the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, The Order of Mass, and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops~ documents “Music in Catholic Worship”, “Liturgical Music Today”, and “Environment and Art in Catholic Worship“(Well, let’s continue and find out).
These principles are not meant to be interpreted as unbending rules. Nor are they to be read in a legalistic manner. Rather, they are to be understood as fundamental principles which, if implemented (it is good that you put this here Cardinal because I know of a place that did not take this letter into account, and quite frankly has the most reverent liturgies I’ve seen in this archdiocese), would lend to the development of the liturgical life of the Archdiocese. Realizing the great diversity which exists among our parishes in terms of personnel, financial resources, and other variables, these principles will be helpful to greater or lesser measure depending upon local needs and aspirations.
Pastors, primarily, and those responsible for the liturgical life of the parish are to give serious consideration and careful attention to these principles, and work toward their gradual implementation (for reals?, I didn’t know that).
These guidelines are not intended to be the final word on every aspect of the Sunday Eucharist. Rather (thank you), it is hoped that they will provide a useful framework for the ongoing development of the liturgical life of the Archdiocese. Though these guidelines pertain primarily to the Sunday Eucharist, they will be of assistance in the preparation and celebration of any Eucharistic liturgy.
I. The Centrality of Liturgy
The documents of the Second Vatican Council describe the liturgy as “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all the Church’s power flows” (SC, no.10). Perhaps the single most important factor influencing the well-being of our parish life is the quality of the Sunday liturgy.
A. The Service of Hospitality
Liturgy is the action of the entire assembly united with Christ in the Holy Spirit. Hospitality is an essential characteristic of authentic Christian community. Therefore, its exercise is the responsibility of all those gathered for worship.
1. A fitting expression of hospitality is the presence of designated greeters who, together with the priest, create an atmosphere of genuine welcome and care (Yes, because the Liturgy is about us feeling good to be there, my first though when I come into Church is not the greeter, but where’s Jesus, so I can genuflect before him).
2. Hospitality includes care with the spoken Word. Thus, while we cannot recommend changing liturgical and scriptural texts, we strongly encourage the use of inclusive language (Because you don’t want to offend anyone right?: Because saying brethren would offend all the females in the house. Give me a break, God is described as Masucline. Is this an excuse to call God she? I hope not. In oter cultures, when you refer to a group, you refer to them as males. Ex: hermanos, fratres, and no one gets offended, please give me a break) in all forms of expression that are within the competence of local authority, e.g., song texts, general intercessions, homilies and commentaries.
3. Sensitivity to handicapped persons and their needs is part of the assembly’s witness of hospitality (That’s correct Cardinal, we don’t want anyone to feel left out, good job for pointing this out). This includes such things as the provision of ramps, special places for those in wheelchairs, adequate restroom facilities, and assistance for the hearing impaired, without creating an atmosphere of segregation. (segregation? you sure you want to use such a strong word here? The physical barriers in architecture don’t always allow this to be)
4. The assembly needs to be especially sensitive and hospitable to Catechumens and/or candidates in the RCIA process, as well as to visitors, especially those from other religious traditions (Well, I’ll cut you some slack on the RCIA’s and visitors, but to Protestants and Heretics, you’re coming into a CATHOLIC Church, you chose to be there. If you get offended, not our problem).
5. Hospitality includes care for the sick of the community. It is appropriate to remember them in the bulletin and general intercessions. A more effective sign of the assembly’s care would be to publicly send special ministers of the Eucharist (Uh, Cardinal, that’s not right, they are EXTRA-ORDINARY MINSTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION) to them from at least some Sunday liturgies.
B. Liturgy Preparation
Because liturgy celebrates the saving mysteries of God’s love in Christ and is the prayer of God’s holy people, it demands careful preparation. The time given to the preparation of the Sunday liturgy by all the liturgical ministers, especially the Priest- Presider (presiding? you make it sound like it’s an entertainment thing), should reflect its central position in the life of the Church.
1. Liturgy committees/boards and liturgy preparation teams are beneficial to the liturgical life of the parish and, as such, are strongly recommended. Where they do exist, the Presider’s participation in their work is essential (Right, but it doesn’t mean allowing Liturgcal Dance, and thousands upon thousands of abuses in your archdiocese, as those are agsinst the GIRM and the Vatican’s wishes).
2. In order to reduce the rush and busyness that often precede the liturgy and detract from the needed preparation of the liturgical ministers, the presider, and the assembly, it is recommended that a trained sacristan be responsible for the immediate details of preparation and/or that a coordinator of liturgical ministers be present (wouldn’t be so busy if people were praying before Mass?).
3. Because of its importance in the liturgical celebration, preparation of the homily deserves special attention. (No kidding, no need to point out the obvious, it should focus on Scriptre and Salvation, as well as the writings of the Saints, and not be the story of where you went to vacation last year)
C. Finances
The allocation of necessary financial resources for liturgy should reflect liturgy’s central position in Catholic life, while maintaining a balance with other needs of the parish and the broader Church, particularly the needs of the poor.
1. Most liturgical ministers serve as volunteers. However, it is necessary for parish budgets to provide for some skilled liturgists, musicians, and artists/environmentalists (possibly on a part-time basis, or shared with neighboring parishes (The pastor should be the one heading liturgy, but maybe I’m wrong (that’s you buddy, and then that responsibility is to the pastor of the local Church)).
2. Parish budgets need to ensure an adequate allocation of funds for the musical, artistic, and architectural quality necessary for effective liturgy (which means your monument to your not so greatness doesn’t meet this requirement…as the architectual quality is horrendus and not condusive to effective Liturgy).
3. Each church should have a quality sound system which permits all present to hear clearly and distinctly the prayers, scriptures, homily and liturgical music (This wasn’t a problem when you have traditonal Churches with the pulpit higher up, no need for the fancy sound equipment. But now that we’re in the modern age, we forget simple physics principles. If you can’t hear a giant organ, you’ve got problems)
II. Liturgical Ministries
While acknowledging that the whole community of the Church is actively involved in the liturgical rites, specific “liturgical ministries” are distinguished by reason of their service to the entire worshiping assembly. Parishes are encouraged to provide for the full array of liturgical ministries.
A. Certification/Formation
Effective ministry demands proper formation and training. This entails both the development and deepening of the skills necessary for the performance of a particular ministry, as well as ongoing spiritual formation.
1. For effective liturgical ministry, participation in and completion of the Archdiocesan Program for Certification in a particular liturgical ministry is essential (If by that you mean participating in heretical workshops promoting women priests and lies about Vatican II, then by all means this is very important).
2. Parishes are encouraged to provide ongoing meetings, training, spiritual development and social programs for liturgical ministers (Provided that they don’t dissent from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? Right Cardinal?).
B. Eligibility
Liturgical ministries are open to all of the faithful to the extent permitted by the Church’s official directives.
1. Equality of men and women in carrying out functions of liturgical ministry should be promoted (are you implicitly promoting women priests here or what? Better you say something like the roles of men and women should be recognized in liturgical ministries).
2. Normally, liturgical ministry is exercised by adults. Whenever for sound pastoral reasons children exercise a liturgical ministry extra care must be taken to ensure that the assembly is truly served by them. Liturgical ministry is not a “training ground” or a “reward” or an “honorary position.” (so the institution of the acolyte is not a liturgical ministry?, sure it can be a training ground for promoting vocations, which apparently your archdiocese is lacking)
3. Young people of mature age should be encouraged to participate in parish liturgical ministry.
C. Ministerial Attitude and Practice
Liturgical ministry is exercised from the assembly for the service of the worshiping assembly.
1. Liturgical ministry is rooted in a call to service. It is the responsibility of the Pastor to regulate its exercise and duration in light of local needs (Let us hope you don’t mean service in heresy as does not it mean kicking out obedient son’s to the Church’s Magisterium and Sacred Scripture).
2. Presuming that a parish could have a sufficient number of trained liturgical ministers, each minister (exclusive of liturgical coordinators and music coordinators) should serve only once on a Sunday. (Why? the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is timeless)
3. Ordinarily no one person should perform more than one liturgical ministry at a given Mass (As long as you’re not talking about acolytes, I’m fine with this statement).
4. Normally, the liturgical ministers should be present for and participate in the entire celebration. This also applies to the ministry of preaching (Are you saying lay people can preach? ).
5. Concerning the placement and garb of liturgical ministers, a parish policy should reflect the following values: a) liturgical ministers are first and foremost members of the worshiping assembly, and should appear as such; b) flexibility in these areas, in keeping with an attitude of reverence and service, is desirable. (This should be of no debate, all liturgical minsters should be in grab, whether it be the priest in alb, chausible, etc, or acolytes in cassock and surplice or choir versions)
III. Full Liturgical Participation
The goal of the Church’s liturgical renewal is: full, conscious, and active participation of the entire assembly (see SC, no. 14).
A. The principle of progressive solemnity recognizes that there are degrees of solemnity in liturgical celebration. This pertains to the participation of ministers, the use of ritual movement, the selection of optional rites, and music. Its implementation offers the possibility of a rich and pleasing variety in the Sunday celebration. The components of this principle are: a) the degree of solemnity of the particular day or occasion; b) the character of the individual elements that make up the celebration; c) the size and composition of the community; d) the resources available (So, I went down to your monument, and noticed talking before Mass, that a sign of solemnity?).
B. Liturgical Aids
1. Parishes should provide satisfactory musical aids to assist the assembly in full participation. Provision needs to be made for a variety of musical styles. As far as possible, music aids need to provide not only musical text but also musical notation. A worthy parish hymnal is recommended (so, worthy, this means no OCP, GIA correct?).
2. Though Missalettes with scripture and prayer texts printed in them may be intended to facilitate communal liturgical prayer, they can lead to a privatized experience of liturgy which often negates true liturgical participation (the lack of understanding of Liturgy is here). It is recommended that those responsible for parish liturgy should a) ensure the proper reading of scripture and prayer texts so that the assembly listens to them (forget to capitalize Scripture?); b) consider alternate worship aids which include only those parts necessary for the assembly’s genuine and full participation. (full participation is not always with external gestures, as Cardinal Ratizinger once said in that book Spirit of the Liturgy, kind of important, you should read it over and then re-write this paragraph)
IV. The Quality of Liturgical Symbols
“The celebration of the Eucharist, like the entire liturgy, involves the use of outward signs that foster, strengthen, and express faith. There must be the utmost care therefore to choose and to make wise use of those forms and elements provided by the Church which…will best foster active and full participation and serve the spiritual well-being of the faithful” (GIRM, 5).
1. Attention to sacramental symbol applies not only to the 11things” used at liturgy, but to the full ritual action which is the Church’s liturgy. Minimalism in ritual and an unyielding concern for practicality thwart the liturgy’s fruitfulness.
2. Primary symbols of the liturgy, i.e., the assembly, the architectural focal points of altar, ambo, and chair, and the elements of bread and wine should appear primary. Care should be given that each part of the liturgy takes place at the properly designated focal point (Maybe I’m a bit dumb, but I would of sworn the Trinity was the focus of the Liturgy (CCC 1066), and also that the priest being in persona Christi was important. The architectual focal point should be the Tabernacle at the center of the Church, but I could be wrong).
a. The assembly’s seating arrangement should facilitate a sense of gathering, hospitality, visual contact and active participation (I didn’t know Vatican II said to wreckovate the Church and build the Rog Mahal).
b. The altar’s placement should facilitate a sense of gathering and should be in visual and artistic unity with the ambo and the presider’s chair (Your monument fails at this, the giant dinner table is in no way in visual unity with the electric chair (I mean your cathedra)) .
c. The ambo is reserved solely for the proclamation of the Word of God in the scriptures and for the homily. Another “lectern” is to be used by the cantor or song leader, for announcements, and ordinarily for the General Intercessions (would it not be better for the cantor to be in the back with the rest of the choir eliminating the focus on her? again, Cardinal, did you forget to captialize Sripture?).
d. The presider’s chair should stand alone; it is not to be flanked by other chairs. When a deacon is assisting, a chair for him should be placed next to the presider’s (No where in Vatican II does it say this. The correct statement would have been to say the Chair should be on the side (like in the Sistine Chapel)).
3. Church architecture should reflect the distinction between the Eucharistic action (liturgy) and the reserved Sacrament. The reserved Sacrament,, kept for the distribution of Communion to the sick and dying and for Eucharistic Adoration, is best placed in a special Eucharistic chapel easily accessible to the faithful (No, not right, the Tabernacle is best kept in the center of the Church for public adoration by everyone. You don’t kick the owner of the house out of his home without a reason. And Jesus being King of Kings, you have no right to kick Him out of his house. You may however have two tabernacles one as a private chapel and one at the center of the Church (copy St. Thérèse)).
4. Church design should also reflect the primary place of Baptism in Christian life. Parishes need to give careful attention to the Church’s call to appropriate the fuller baptismal symbolism of immersion (But the Church has for the most part done Baptisms by infusion (pouring) of water o the head, hence Baptistry’s. But again, Vatican II said to get rid of the Baptistry right?).
5. For the Eucharist, there should be one bread (i.e., one ciborium containing all the hosts necessary for the assembly’s Communion as well as one large host able to be broken up) and one cup. Empty ciboria and cups needed for the distribution of Communion are to be prepared during the Breaking of the Bread (Good, very good).
6. Communion under both kinds for Sunday Eucharist is to be encouraged. Communion from the cup is the normal method for the distribution of the consecrated wine (Cup = dinnerware, Chalice = Theologically correct. Actually, you might want to copy your Eastern Brethren on this one, Intinction, or by the spoon, but the Theology of the Priest being the only one to take of the Chalice I think is a bit better for the lack of faith in your Archdiocese).
7. Enough bread and wine should be consecrated at each liturgy for the entire, gathered assembly. If this is done, the practice of using already consecrated hosts from the tabernacle can be avoided. Moreover, altar breads should be of size and texture worthy of primary sacramental symbols (does it matter how big Jesus is?).
8. Liturgical art and appointments are to be characterized by quality and appropriateness (well, that Man in front of your Cathedral might have something to say about that (I mean Mary) It’s bad enough you committed Sacrilege with that statue, but the lack of statues in your monumet says somethig. ).
9. The value of personal and cultural devotions is to be maintained and encouraged. Yet, care should be taken that the placement and proliferation of devotional images do not diminish Liturgy’s central role (I never thought that St. Francis was a distraction, but yeah. Private Devotions are a good thing, just not during the Holy Sacrifice).
10. Silence is a significant aspect within the Liturgy (Please tell that to the parish of St. John Vianey in Hacienda Heights, that was an embarassment to be there with all that talking, and I could not concentrate on prayer there). Attention needs to be given to the importance of silence at the times designated within the celebration, such as at the Penitential Rite, after the invitations to prayer, throughout the Liturgy of the Word and after Communion. A proliferation of words, even if intended as commentary or instruction, as well as superfluous actions, detract from the Liturgy (I would have sworn there’s supposed to be silence during the consecration, tell that to St. John Vianey’s where there was music during the consecration).
11. Posture is another significant aspect of the Liturgy. From the Church’s ancient tradition, standing has been the appropriate posture to reflect the assembly’s prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Thus, a) standing is the customary posture for the community’s reception of Holy Communion in the Archdiocese; b) standing after the Breaking of the Bread (“Lamb of God”) can avoid unnecessary noise and distraction. (So Cardinal, you’re telling me that we shouldn’t kneel because we’re making extra “noise?” You’ve got to be kidding me, let me correct you here. Kneeling is the expresson of adoraion that has been in the Western Church for ages. Standing is reverence, kneeling is adoration. Adoration is greater than Reverence. But fortunately, St. Thérèse skipped this instruction. They still kneel in adoration to our God after the Agnus Dei)
V. Integrity of the Parish as One Worshipping Assembly
The Sunday Eucharist is the focal point of the life of the parish in all its diversity. The pastoral reality of the parish–age, ethnic, socio-economic and educational composition–is a primary consideration for Sunday Eucharist.
A. Schedule
In establishing the schedule for Sunday liturgies, the basic principle is to maintain the integrity of the Sunday worshiping assembly. Matters of convenience are secondary.
1. Parish staffs would do well to evaluate the necessity of any Sunday Mass at which the attendance is consistently less than 50% of the seating capacity of the Church (I didn’t know that we were Protestant worrying about how many people showed up to Mass).
2. The length of time between Masses should ensure a full celebration, and that no one is rushed before, during or after the liturgy. It is recommended that normally there be a minimum of one hour and thirty minutes between the starting times of Masses (Eh, 30 min is enough time or if you want to push it an hour).
3. Parish Mass schedules should allow enough time for the proper celebration of other Rites within the Sunday liturgy, e.g., infant Baptism, Anointing of the Sick, Rites of the Catechumenate, Commissioning of Ministers.
4. It may be desirable that parishes in a given area cooperate in planning their Sunday schedules, especially in providing Masses at early or late hours on which a small number of the faithful depend to fulfill their Sunday obligation (so, why doesn’t the Rog Mahal have an evening Mass on Sunday?).
5. Each and every Sunday Mass should receive sufficient attention in preparation and celebration. A so-called “quiet Mass” is ordinarily not in keeping with the spirit of liturgical renewal (Spirit of Vatican II working here. A quiet Mass with internal participation are the best type. It keeps your focus on God, and not on you). Thus, every Sunday Mass should include, as much as possible, full participation through at least some use of music and liturgical ministers (but not enough EOMHC’s to overtakea country).
6. To maintain the proper focus on Sunday as the day of gathering for the Eucharist, it is recommended that each parish ordinarily have only one Saturday evening liturgy (So I guess).
7. It is desirable that only one Mass be scheduled at any given time on parish grounds (well, if you have the room, use it).
B. Cultural and Multi-lingual Implications
Where there is a multi-lingual or multi-culturalpopulation in a parish, it is important to aim for integration while recognizing the particular character and needs of each group.
1. Balanced against the scheduling principles and norms enunciated above, special sensitivity should be accorded those in the parish with multi-cultural and multi- lingual needs.
2. Parishes with a multi-lingual population need to schedule a sufficient number of Masses, and at convenient hours, in accord with the language needs of parishioners (How about a unifying Language, Latin?).
3. In parishes where Sunday Mass is celebrated in more than one language, multi- lingual liturgies, which strive to unify the community by incorporating diverse languages and expressions of cultures, should be celebrated on great feasts (How about Latin? it’s the Language of the Church, it shoud be used, Vatican II said Latin should be retained).
C. Special Group Liturgies
Parishes with children, teen, family and other special group liturgies would do well to evaluate them in light of the preference that all participate in the mainstream of parish liturgical life.
1. It is ordinarily more desirable for children to attend a regular parish Sunday liturgy than to provide a special liturgy for them. However, providing a distinct Liturgy of the Word for children is a recommended alternative (“If a 4 year old can operate a compter, then he can attend liturgy” (That nun you love to Hate Mother Angelica).
2. The celebration of occasional family liturgies based on sound liturgical principles is supported. These liturgies are to be celebrated within the mainstream of the liturgical life of the parish (You can’t teach someone to appreciate what they have, or to foster revrence for the Mass by taking them away from it, now can you?).
D. Special Theme Liturgies
Sunday Liturgy celebrates and makes present the saving mystery of Christ and the authentic nature of the Church within a cycle of seasons and feasts. The integrity of the liturgical calendar (scripture readings, texts, etc.) should be preserved.
1. Liturgical leaders are encouraged to exercise care in implementing authorized special Church observances such as Mission Sunday, Vocation Sunday, Catechetical Sunday, etc., so as to respect the nature of Sunday Eucharist and the integrity of the liturgical calendar.
2. Civil observances which fall on Sunday, (e.g., Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.) need to be addressed with pastoral sensitivity but without obscuring the Church’s liturgical calendar (Bottom Line: You don’t mess with the Church’s calender).
3. Personal celebrations, such as anniversaries, have no proper place within the Sunday Eucharistic liturgy (No kidding Cardinal). They are better celebrated on weekdays or apart from the Sunday gathering. More specific guidelines for the preparation of Eucharistic liturgies are available upon request from the Office for Liturgy and Worship. These will facilitate the preparation of particular aspects of the Sunday liturgy, the preparation of multi-lingual or multi-cultural liturgies, and other specific concerns. (I’ll pass on that opportunity)

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