Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 11

This covers paragraphs 52-56 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.

Actuosa participatio

Authentic participation

52. The Second Vatican Council rightly emphasized with merit commended us the active, full and fruitful participation of the entire People of God in the eucharistic celebration (155). Certainly Without a doubt, the renewal carried out in these past decades has made considerable has been favorable to notable progress towards fulfilling the wishes in meeting the expectations of the Council Fathers. Yet we must not overlook be oblivious to the fact that some certain misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning precisely over the sense of this participation. It should be made it is fitting to make clear that the word "participation" does not refer to mere simple external activity during the celebration. In fact, the active participation called for expected by the Council must is to be understood in more substantial terms, on the basis of starting with a greater awareness consciousness of the mystery being celebrated and its relationship to daily life. The admonition of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium which encouraged exhorted the faithful to not take part in the eucharistic liturgy not "as strangers or silent spectators," but as participants to participate "in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, actively and devoutly" "consciously, piously and actively in the sacred action" remains in (156). This exhortation has lost none of its force. The Council went on to say added this consideration: that the faithful "should be instructed by God's word, and nourished at the table of the Lord's Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to make an offering of themselves. Through Christ, the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and each other", "instructed by God's word, and having been replenished at the table of the Lord's Body give thanks to God, learning to offer themselves at the offering of the immaculate host not only through the hands of the priest but also jointly with him and [thus] day by day reach a greater consummation [i.e., perfection] through Christ, the Mediator, in union with God and among themselves"(157).

Participation and the priestly ministry

53. The beauty and the harmony of the liturgy find eloquent expression congruence of the liturgical action are manifested in the order by which everyone is called to participate actively. This entails implicates [involves, requires] an acknowledgment of the distinct various hierarchical roles involved implicated [involved, required] in the celebration itself. It is helpful useful to recall that active participation is not per se itself equivalent to the exercise of a specific the carrying out [the functions] of a particular ministry. Above all else, The active participation of the laity does not benefit from the confusion arising from an it does not help the active participation of the laity to have confusion, occasioned by the inability to distinguish, within the Church's communion, the different functions proper the diverse functions which correspond to each one within the ecclesial communion. (158) There is a particular need for In particular, it is precise [i.e., "maximally important"] there be clarity with regard to the specific functions tasks of the priest. He alone, and no other, It is he, in an irrepleaceable way, as the tradition of the Church attests, who presides over the entire eucharistic celebration, from the initial greeting to the final blessing. In By virtue of his reception of Holy Orders, he represents Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, and, in a specific way in a way proper to him, also the Church herself. (159) Every celebration All celebrations of the Eucharist, in fact, is led are directed by the Bishop, "either in person or through priests who are his helpers his adjutants."(160) He is helped by a deacon, who has specific duties functions during the celebration: he prepares the altar, assists the priest, proclaims the Gospel, preaches the homily from time to time when it is deemed fitting [literally, "convenient"], reads the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful, and distributes the Eucharist to the faithful. (161) Associated In conjunction with these ministries linked to the sacrament of Holy Orders, there are also other ministries of liturgical service which can be carried out in a praiseworthy manner by religious and properly trained laity, which is laudable. (162)

The eucharistic celebration and inculturation

54. On the basis of these fundamental statements Starting with the fundamental precepts of the Second Vatican Council, the Synod Fathers frequently stressed it has been frequent highlighted the importance of the active participation of the faithful in the eucharistic sacrifice. In order to foster this participation, It would be favorable that provisions may be made for a number of adaptations appropriate to different contexts and cultures. (163) The fact that certain abuses have occurred That, certainly, abuses exist does not detract from this clear the clarity of this principle, which must be upheld maintained in accordance with the real just and true needs of the Church as she lives and celebrates the one mystery of Christ in a variety of diverse cultural situations. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Lord Jesus, born of woman and fully human as a perfect man (cf. Gal 4:4), entered directly into a relationship not only has not only directly associated [himself] with the expectations present within expressed in the Old Testament, but also with those of all peoples. He thus showed that God wishes By that [i.e., "by these means"] God manifests that he wants to encounter us in our own concrete situation individual circumstances [literally, "vital context"]. A Therefore, for a more effective participation of the faithful in the holy mysteries will thus benefit from the continued it is useful to [continue to] pursue the process of inculturation of the eucharistic celebration, with due regard for the possibilities for adaptation taking into account the facultative accomodations provided in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, (164) interpreted in the light of the criteria laid down by prescriptions of the Fourth Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Varietates Legitimae of 25 January 1994 (165) and the directives expressed given by Pope John Paul II in the Post-Synodal Exhortations Ecclesia in Africa, Ecclesia in America, Ecclesia in Asia, Ecclesia in Oceania and Ecclesia in Europa (166). To achieve this end, I encourage Episcopal Conferences to strive to maintain a establish [literally "favor"] the proper balance between the criteria and directives already issued norms already published and [any] new adaptations (167), always in accord with the Apostolic See.

Personal conditions for an "active participation"

55. In their consideration of considering [the matter of] the actuosa participatio of the faithful in the liturgy, the Synod Fathers also discussed highlighted [literally, "extolled"] the personal conditions required on the part of each one [of the faithful] for a fruitful participation on the part of individuals. (168) One of these is, certainly, is the spirit of constant conversion which must mark be a sign of the lives of all each of the faithful. Active It is not possible to have active participation in the eucharistic liturgy can hardly be expected if one approaches it superficially, without an examination of his or her examining one's own life. This inner disposition can be is fostered, for example, by recollection meditation and silence for at least a few moments before the beginning of the liturgy, by fasting and, when necessary, by sacramental confession. A heart reconciled to God makes genuine permits a man's true participation possible. The It is to be a precept that the faithful need to be reminded that there can be no actuosa participatio in the sacred mysteries without an accompanying effort to participate actively in the totality of life of the Church as a whole, including a the missionary commitment to bring Christ's love into the life of society.

Clearly Without a doubt, the full participation in the Eucharist takes place when the faithful we approach the altar in person to receive communion (169). Yet true as this is care must be taken lest they conclude that the mere fact of their being present This notwithstanding, it is to be underscored [literally, "placed to attention"] so that a correct affirmation of this does not induce a certain automatism, as if by merely finding oneself in church during the liturgy gives them a one has the right or even an obligation to approach the table of the Eucharist. Even in cases where it is not possible to receive sacramental communion, participation at Mass remains necessary, important, meaningful valid, significant and fruitful. In such circumstances it is beneficial proper to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of practicing, for example, spiritual communion, praised [of which we have been] reminded by Pope John Paul II (170) and recommended by [the] saints who were masters moderators of the spiritual life (171).

Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The In discussing the subject of participation in the Eucharist we inevitably raises encounter the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church's unity inspires us necessitates our [most] intimate desire to long, on the one hand, for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere "means" to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172) The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly with pain albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible Sacred Writings and [Sacred] Tradition. We hold maintain that eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so intimately linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating true concelebration with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their in the face of eternal salvation, the possibility exists for individual non-Catholic Christians can to be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specifically determined, exceptional situations and requires that certain characterized by precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe faithfully hold fast to these norms faithfully.

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