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Liturgy Newsletter

February 2004


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Newsletter Reviews

Spirit of the Season

News & Events

Download pdf edition of Liturgy Newsletter


Second Thoughts 40 Years On
Making good use of WWW
Reviews Source and Summit
Documentation John Paul II ‘On the Sacred Liturgy.’
Magazine Subscriptions

Coming Events

Society of St Gregory
Summer School 2004
New Hall School, Chelmsford
26–30 July 2004

National Network of Pastoral Musicians
2004 Conference
Newman College, Birmingham
29 July–1 August 2004
‘A meeting between Europe and Africa. What can we offer each other?’ Keynote speakers: Bishop Jon Sentamu of Birmingham, Tina Beattie and Fr Joe Koma-Koma, secretary of the Zambian Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Register your interest in the Conference at 0845 456 8392 or with sue@decanimusic.co.uk

El Greco
11 February - 23 May 2004
National Gallery, London

Making good use of the WWW

As well as the Liturgy Office website newly enlarged recently as noted in the last issue of this Newsletter, there are a wealth of resources available from the web.

Salford Diocese offers a website for the benefit of its lay readers, providing them with commentaries on the first and second readings of each Sunday’s readings.

Westminster Diocese has re-vamped its Diocesan Liturgy magazine Westminster Worship. Previously it was largely aimed at the clergy. Now it is offered principally as a resource for the Diocese’s lay ministers of word, holy communion and music. Eschewing the magazine format it is made available as a series of A4 sheets for easy distribution. The first set of 6 sheets is available as PDF files from the Westminster website.

Arundel and Brighton Diocese is dedicating this year to a renewal of understanding and practice of the Liturgy.

New on the Liturgy Office Website
A Liturgical Calendar for 2004 has been added supplemented with background material. Liturgical formation material and resources for musicians prepared for Westminster Diocese’s At Your Word Lord Programme.
Spirit of the Season is a twice-termly newsletter produced for Catholic schools by the Liturgy Office. It is thought that much of the content of these would be of value to those preparing Liturgy of the Word with children, or catechesis for children in parishes also. The current (and past) editions of Spirit of the Season are available on the website.

News from Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Meeting at Hinsley Hall, Leeds in November the Bishops gave their approval to a variety of texts presented by the Department for Christian Life and Worship. These included new translations of the Rites of Ordination and of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar; Norms governing the celebration of the 3rd form of the Rite of Penance; and a new document of the Conference had been prepared, Consecrated for Worship, concerning the design and use of churches. Further work remains to be done on preparing Consecrated for Worship for publication. The other texts are to be referred to the Holy See for recognitio prior to their publication.

A further major item on the Department’s agenda was its collaboration with other Conferences in the preparation of a new edition of the Lectionary based on the New Revised Standard translation of the Scriptures. This project, which will be carried out with the approval of the Holy See, presently involves the Conferences for Ireland and Scotland, Australia, Malaysia-Singapore, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Africa in addition to that of England and Wales. The intention is to have the work completed in time for the publication of the English translation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal, presently being prepared for the approval of English-speaking Conferences by ICEL.

New Statutes for ICEL have recently been granted recognitio by the Holy See. The present approach of ICEL to its task of preparing English translations of the Latin texts of the Roman Rite was presented at a recent meeting of the Presidents of English-speaking Conferences that was held in Rome. ICEL’s methodology, especially its sensitivity to the nature of its work and the rigour with which it was to be carried out, was welcomed by Conference Presidents and by Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. ICEL’s work of preparing translations of the texts of the 2003 edition of the Roman Missal is well underway. The first texts will be submitted to Bishops’ Conferences for their consideration over the coming months. The entire project is likely to take at least two or three years to complete.

Tra le sollecitudini

The 100th anniversary of this motu proprio promulgated by Pope St Pius X which considered music in the liturgy was marked by a message from Pope John Paul II. The Holy Father emphasized that ‘music used for sacred rites must have sanctity as its point of reference’ and he underscored that ‘not all musical forms are appropriate for liturgical celebrations.’

He noted that liturgical music ‘must respond to the legitimate requirements of adaptation and inculturation. It is clear, however, that every innovation in this delicate material must respect specific criteria, like the search for musical expressions that respond to the necessary involvement of the entire assembly in the celebration and that avoid, at the same time, any concession to frivolity and superficiality.’

Pope John Paul affirms the continuing importance to the Roman Rite of Gregorian chant as both an example of a musical expression that properly responds to the qualities required by music for the liturgy, and as an element of unity. At the same time ‘since the Church has always recognized and promoted progress in the Arts, it should not surprise anyone that, beyond Gregorian chant and choir music, modern music has been allowed in liturgical celebrations, as long as it is respectful of the liturgical spirit and the authentic values of art.’ The Holy Father also observes that ‘The sacred environment of liturgical celebration must never become a laboratory for experimentation or trial compositions and performances, introduced without careful consideration… The musical aspect of liturgical celebrations, cannot be left to improvisation, or to the judgement of individual persons, but it must be entrusted to thoughtful direction in accordance with norms and regulations, as meaningful fruit of an appropriate liturgical formation.’

Evangelization and Inculturation

Speaking to the Catholic Bishops of the Sudan during their December ad limina visit Pope John Paul emphasized the need for inculturation of the faith. ‘Tribalism and forms of discrimination based on ethnic origin, language and culture do not belong in a civilized society and have absolutely no place in the community of believers.’

Adverting to the example of the recently canonised Bishop Daniel Comboni, a strong advocate of inculturating the faith, the Holy Father observed: ‘St. Daniel was keenly concerned that Africans should have a key role in evangelizing the continent, and was inspired to draft a missionary blueprint for the region – a plan for the rebirth of Africa – that enlisted the help of native peoples themselves. His life is an example for us today, clearly demonstrating that the evangelization of culture and the inculturation of the Gospel are an integral part of the new evangelization and thus a specific concern of the episcopal office.’

Faith and Culture:
Anthology of Texts of Papal Teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul II

A volume of this title has been published by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The book anthologises almost 100 years ofPapal teaching on issues that extend from the arts to technology, from ideologies to the family, from sports to politics, from universities to cultural identity, from globalization to inculturation.

In 1982, establishing the Pontifical Council, Pope John Paul wrote: ‘A faith that does not build culture is a faith that is not fully accepted, not fully thought out, not faithfully lived.’

‘This anthology,’ Cardinal Poupard said, ‘seeks to present different pastoral moments and attitudes of the last nine popes, noting the continuity and innovations of a dialogue between faith and culture, in the complex mission of inculturating and evangelizing the culture.’

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