Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 10

This covers paragraphs 45-51 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The liturgy of the word

45. Together with the Synod, I ask pray that the liturgy of the word always be carefully correctly prepared and celebrated lived. Consequently I urge that every effort be made to ensure vehemently commend [you] to make certain that the liturgical proclamation of the word of God is entrusted to given the proper attention by well-prepared readers. Let us never forget that "when the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, proclaims the Gospel"(135). When circumstances so suggest, one can think of a few brief words of introduction introductory thoughts [which] could be offered in order to focus the attention of help the faithful towards a better [i.e., proper] disposition. If it is to be properly understood, the word of God must be listened to and accepted in a spirit of communion with the Church an ecclesial spirit and with a clear awareness consciousness of its unity with the Eucharistic sacrament of the Eucharist. Indeed, the word which we proclaim and accept announce and hear is the Word made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14); it is inseparably linked to intrinsically references the person of Christ's person and the sacramental mode of his continued presence in our midst and his permanence in a sacramental way. Christ does not speak in the past, but in the present, even as given that he is present in the liturgical action. In this sacramental context Given the sacramental perspective of Christian revelation (136), the knowledge and the study of the word of God enable us better allow us to better appreciate, celebrate and live the Eucharist. Here too, we can see how true it is We can appreciate the full truth of the affirmation that "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" (137).

To this end, the faithful should are to be helped to appreciate the riches [properly] esteem the treasure of Sacred Scripture found in the lectionary through pastoral initiatives, liturgies of the word celebrations of the Word and meditative reading in the context of prayer (lectio divina). Efforts should also be made to encourage Promoting those forms of prayer confirmed by tradition, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer Lauds, Vespers and Complines, and vigil celebrations are not to be omitted. By praying the Psalms, the Scripture readings and the readings drawn from the great tradition which are included in the Divine Office, we can come to a deeper experience of the Christ-event and the economy of salvation, which in turn can enrich our understanding comprehension and our participation in the celebration of the Eucharist (138).

The homily

46. Given the importance of the word of God, an improvement in the quality of homilies needs to be improved effected. The homily In effect, it is "part of the liturgical action" (139), and is meant to foster a deeper understanding of the word of God, so that it can bear fruit has as its end promoting a better comprehension and [greater] efficacy in the lives of the faithful. Hence ordained ministers must "prepare the homily carefully with precise care, based on an adequate knowledge of Sacred Scripture" (140). Generic and abstract homilies should are to be avoided. In particular, I ask these ministers to preach in such a way strive so that the homily closely relates the proclamation of the places in conjunction the proclaimed word of God to the sacramental celebration (141) and with the life of the community, so that in such a way the word of God truly becomes the Church's vital nourishment and support vitality (142). The catechetical and paraenetic aim exhortative end of the homily should not be forgotten is to be in consideration [i.e., kept present, kept in mind]. During the course of the liturgical year it is appropriate It is prudent [i.e., wise] to offer the faithful, prudently and on the basis of using, as a starting point the three-year lectionary, "thematic" homilies all through the liturgical year; treating dealing with the great themes of the Christian faith, on the basis of what has been authoritatively proposed set forth by the authority of the Magisterium in the four "pillars" of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the recent Compendium, namely: the profession of faith, the celebration of the Christian mystery, life in Christ and Christian prayer (143).

The presentation of the gifts

47. The Synod Fathers also drew gave their attention to the presentation of the gifts. This is not to be viewed simply as a kind of an "interval" between the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. To do Among other things, doing so would tend to weaken, at the least, leads to a loss of the sense of a single rite made up of two interrelated parts. This humble and simple gesture is actually very significant: in the bread and wine that we bring to the altar, all creation is taken up by Christ the Redeemer to be transformed and presented made an offering to the Father. (144) In this way sense we also bring to the altar all the pain and suffering of the world, in the certainty that everything has value all is precious in God's eyes. The authentic meaning of this gesture can be clearly expressed without the need for undue emphasis or complexity This gesture, in order to be lived according to its authentic significance, does not need to be emphasized with importune complications. It enables permits us to appreciate how [properly] esteem the originative collaboration to which God invites man to participate in bringing to fulfilment his accomplishing in him the Divine handiwork, and in so doing, gives human labour its authentic full meaning, since which, through the celebration of the Eucharist, it is united to the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.

The Eucharistic Prayer

48. The Eucharistic Prayer is "the centre and summit of the entire celebration" (145). Its importance deserves to be adequately emphasized. The different Eucharistic Prayers contained in the Missal have been handed down transmitted to us by the Church's living Tradition and are noteworthy characterized for their inexhaustible theological and spiritual richness. The faithful need to be enabled are to be led [literally, "induced"] to appreciate that richness these riches. Here the General Instruction of the Roman Missal can help, with its list helps, reminding [us] of the basic elements of every Eucharistic Prayer: thanksgiving, acclamation, epiclesis, institution narrative and consecration, anamnesis, offering oblation, intercessions and final concluding doxology (146). In a particular way, eucharistic spirituality and theological reflection are enriched illuminated if we contemplate in the anaphora the profound unity of the anaphora, between the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the institution narrative (147) whereby "the sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper" (148). Indeed, "the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ's Body and Blood, and that the spotless immaculate Victim to be received in communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it" (149).

The sign of peace

49. By its nature the Eucharist is the sacrament of peace. At Mass this dimension of the eucharistic mystery finds specific expression is expressed in a peculiar [i.e., singular] way in the sign of peace. Certainly Doubtlessly this sign has great value (cf. Jn 14:27). In our times, fraught with fear and conflict with [its] horrible, vexing conflicts, this gesture has become particularly eloquent takes on, from the standpoint of the common sensibility, a special significance, as the Church has become feels increasingly conscious of her responsibility like it is her proper task to pray insistently for the gift of peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family. Certainly there is an irrepressible desire for peace present in every Peace, certainly, is an indelible desire [found] in the heart of every man. The Church gives voice to the hope petition for peace and reconciliation rising up from every man and woman person of good will, directing it towards the one who "is our peace" (Eph 2:14) and who can bring peace reconciliation to individuals and peoples when all human efforts fail. We can thus understand the emotion so often felt intensity so frequently lived during the sign of peace at a liturgical celebration. Even so, To this purpose, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in it was considered appropriate to moderate this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction sow some confusion in the assembly just before the reception of precisely prior to Communion. It should be kept in mind is proper to remember that it detracts nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a [to show the] sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of necessary for the proper climate of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one's immediate neighbours limited to the persons of greatest proximity (150).

The distribution and reception of the Eucharist

50. Another moment of the celebration needing to be mentioned which is to be [always] remembered [i.e., referenced] is the distribution and reception of Holy Communion. I ask everyone, especially ordained ministers and those who, after adequate preparation and in cases of genuine need, duly prepared [i.e., instructed, trained] are authorized to exercise the ministry of distributing the Eucharist in the case of true necessity, to make every effort to ensure that this simple act preserves its importance gesture, in its simplicity, corresponds to its worth as a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the sacrament. For the rules governing correct With regard to the norms [dealing with] correct practice in this regard, I would refer make reference to those documents recently issued on the subject. (151) All Christian communities are to observe the current norms hold fast to the norms currently in force faithfully, seeing in them an expression of the faith and love with which we all must regard this sublime sacrament. Furthermore, the precious time of thanksgiving after communion should not is not to be neglected: besides the singing of an appropriate hymn an appropriate chant, it can also be most helpful to remain recollected in silence. (152)

In this regard To this purpose, I would like to call attention to a pastoral problem frequently encountered nowadays which we encounter in these times. I am referring to the fact that on certain occasions – for example, wedding Masses, funerals and the like – in addition to practising Catholics faithful there may be others present who have long since ceased to attend Mass or are living in a situation which does not permit them to receive the sacraments. At other times members of other Christian confessions and even other religions may be present. Similar situations can occur in churches that are frequently visited, especially in tourist areas which are destinations for travelers, especially in the great cities where those with great art abounds. In these cases, there is a need it is necessary to find a brief and clear efficient way to remind those make present for all [in attendance] of the meaning of sacramental communion and the conditions required for its reception. Wherever circumstances make it impossible to ensure that In situations where the required clarity on the meaning of the Eucharist is duly appreciated cannot be guaranteed, the appropriateness possibility of replacing the celebration of the Mass with a celebration of the word of God should be considered is to be considered. (153)

The dismissal: "Ite, missa est"

51. Finally, I would like to pause to comment briefly on the observations statements of the Synod Fathers regarding the dismissal salutation at the end of the eucharistic celebration. After the blessing, the deacon or the priest dismisses the people with the words: Ite, missa est. These words help us to grasp With this salutation, we can appreciate the relationship between the Mass just celebrated and the mission of Christians in the world. In antiquity, missa simply meant "dismissal." However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word "dismissal" has come to imply a becomes "mission." These few words This salutation succinctly expresses the missionary nature of the Church. The People of God, with the suport of the liturgy might be helped to understand would profit from being assisted to more clearly deeply understand this essential constitutive dimension of the Church's ecclesial life, taking the dismissal as a starting- point. In this context, it might also be helpful to provide new texts, duly approved, for the prayer over the people and the final blessing, in order to make this connection clear which [clearly] express this relationship (154).

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