Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 9

This covers paragraphs 39-44 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'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 Bishop, celebrant par excellence

39. While it is true that the whole People of God participates in the eucharistic liturgy, in a correct ars celebrandi necessarily entails a specific responsibility on the part of a necessary [i.e., irreplaceable] role is played by those who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders. Bishops, priests, and deacons, each according to his proper rank, must consider the celebration of the liturgy as their principal duty (116). Above all, this is true of the In a primary position is the Diocesan Bishop: as "the chief steward dispenser of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to his care, he is the moderator, promoter, and guardian has total custody of the whole of its whole liturgical life" (117). This is essential maximally [important] for the life of the particular Church, not only because communion with the Bishop is required the requirement for the lawfulness legitimacy of every celebration within his territory, but also because he himself is the celebrant liturgist par excellence within his Diocese of his own Church (118). It is his responsibility to ensure unity and harmony It falls to him to safeguard the concordant unity in the celebrations taking place in his territory Diocese. Consequently the Bishop must be "determined Therefore it must be a committment [literally, "animated intent," that is "a self-motivating obligation"] of the Bishop that the priests, the deacons, and the lay Christian faithful grasp ever more deeply better the genuine meaning [literally, "sense"] of the rites and liturgical texts, and thereby be led to an active [i.e., fully understood, fully conscious, not "filled with activity"] and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist" (119). I would ask that every effort be made to ensure exhort fulfill all that is necessary so that the liturgies which the Bishop celebrates in his the Cathedral temple are carried out with complete are fully respectful for the ars celebrandi, so that in such a way they can be considered an example a model for the his entire Diocese (120).

Respect for the liturgical books and the richness of signs

40. Emphasizing the Being inculcated, therefore, with the importance of the ars celebrandi also leads to an appreciation extolling of the value of the liturgical norms. (121) The ars celebrandi should foster favor a sense of the sacred and the use of outward signs [literally, "exterior forms"] which help to cultivate this sense instruct [us] to this effect, such as, for example, the harmony congruence of the rite, the liturgical vestments, the furnishings [liturgical] ornamentation and the sacred space. The eucharistic celebration is enhanced benefits when priests and liturgical leaders those responsible for the pastoral care of the liturgy [literally, "liturgical curators"] are committed strive [literally, "make [great] efforts"] to making known the current operative [literally, "in force"] liturgical texts and their congruent [i.e., corresponding, respective] norms, making available emphasizing the great riches found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of Readings for Mass. Perhaps we take it for granted that our ecclesial communities already know and appreciate these resources, but this is often not always the case. These texts contain riches which have preserved had custody and expressed the faith and experience as well as the journey of the People of God over its throughout a two-thousand-year history. Equally important for a correct proper [literally, "just"] ars celebrandi is an attentiveness to the various kinds of paying attention to all forms of language that for which there is a provision [i.e., accepted, permitted, given previous permission thereto, literally "foreseen"] in the liturgy employs: words and music chant, gestures and silence, bodily movement, the liturgical colours of the vestments ornamentation. By its very nature the liturgy operates on different levels encompasses a variety of communication which enable it to engage the whole human person involve the whole man. The simplicity of its gestures and the sobriety of its orderly sequence of signs in [their] proper order and at the appropriate times communicate and inspire attract [us] more than any contrived and inappropriate any artificial and inopportune additions. Attentiveness Solicitude and fidelity to the specific proper structure of the rite express both , while manifesting a recognition of the nature character of Eucharist as a gift and, on part also expresses the disposition of the minister to take with a docile openness to receiving gratitude this ineffable gift.

Art at the service of the liturgy

41. The profound connection bond between beauty and the liturgy should make us attentive to ought make us consider with attention [literally, "make a study of"] every work of art all artistic forms placed at the service of the celebration. (122) Certainly an important element of sacred art is church architecture, (123) which should are to highlight the unity of the furnishings of the sanctuary elements proper to the presbytery, such as the altar, the crucifix, the tabernacle, the ambo and the celebrant's chair [literally, "the see"]. Here it is important to remember We are to keep present that the purpose of sacred architecture is to offer the Church a fitting space for the charged with the celebration of the mysteries of faith, especially the Eucharist, the most fitting space for the [adecuate unfolding of its] liturgical action. (124) The very nature of a Christian church temple is defined by the very action of the liturgy, which is means [literally, "implies"] an assembly of the faithful (ecclesia) who are the living stones of the Church (cf. 1 Pet 2:5).

This same principle holds true for all sacred art in general, especially painting and sculpture, where religious iconography should is to be directed to sacramental mystagogy. A solid profound [literally "high"] knowledge of the history of sacred art produced throughout the centuries can be advantageous for is favorable to those responsible for commissioning artists and architects to create works of art for the liturgy related to the liturgical action. Consequently it is essential indispensable that the education of seminarians and priests include the study of art history as an important [academic/course] subject, with special reference to sacred buildings of worship and the corresponding according to liturgical norms. Everything related It is necessary that all things concerned to the Eucharist should be marked by beauty. Special respect and care must also be given to the vestments, the furnishings and the sacred vessels, so that by their harmonious composition and orderly arrangement they will foster awe for before the mystery of God, manifest the unity of the faith and strengthen reinforce devotion (125).

Liturgical song chant

42. In the ars celebrandi, liturgical song has a pre-eminent place chant plays a [most] important role. (126) Saint Augustine rightly justly says in a famous sermon that "the new man sings a new song knows a new canticle. Singing is an expression of joy and, if we consider the matter attentively, an expression of love" (127). The People of God assembled for the liturgy sings the praises of God. In the course of her two-thousand-year history, the Church has created, and still creates, music and songs chants which represent constitute a rich patrimony of faith and love which This heritage must not be lost. Certainly as far as the liturgy is concerned, we cannot say that one song is as good as another any song will do. Generic Easy improvisation or the introduction of musical genres which fail to respect the meaning sense of the liturgy should are to be avoided. As an element of the liturgy, song should be well integrated into the overall a liturgical element, chant is to be [fully] consonant with the identity of the celebration (128). Consequently everything – texts, music melody, execution – ought to correspond to the meaning sense of the mystery being celebrated, the structure parts of the rite and the liturgical seasons (129). Finally, while respecting various styles properly considering [the] diverse tendencies and different and highly praiseworthy [the] diverse and laudable traditions, I desire, in accordance with the request petition advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed given its proper recognition and employed (130) as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy (131).

The structure of the eucharistic Celebration

43. After mentioning reminding of the more significant basic elements of the ars celebrandi that emerged during through the labors of the Synod, I would now like to turn more [concretely] call attention to some specific aspects of the structure of the eucharistic celebration which require special attention at the present in our time, if we are to remain faithful to the underlying intention purpose of the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council, in continuity with the great ecclesial tradition.

The intrinsic unity of the liturgical action

44. First of all, there is a need to one is to reflect on the inherent intrinsic unity of the rite of Holy Mass. Both in catechesis and in the actual discrete [i.e., specific] manner of celebration, one must avoid giving the impression that the two parts of the rite are merely juxtaposed. The liturgy of the word and the Eucharistic liturgy, along with the rites of introduction and conclusion, "are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship." (132) There is an intrinsic bond union between the word of God and the Eucharist. From listening to the word of God, faith is born or strengthened (cf. Rom 10:17); in the Eucharist the Word made flesh gives himself to us as our spiritual food. (133) Thus, "from the two tables of the word of God and the Body of Christ, the Church receives and gives to the faithful the bread of life." (134) Consequently it must constantly be kept in mind present that the word of God, read and proclaimed by the Church in the liturgy, leads to the Eucharist as to its own connatural end.


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