Vol. V, No. 9
December 1999 – January 2000
In the news …
No crowds around the altar, archbishop says — Solesmes: Return to the Source — Jesuits complete Nepalese Bible – after 40 years — Prize offered for best sacred architecture — Family Prayers for Advent, Christmas
Atlanta Archbishop John F. Donoghue issued a statement dated November 19 forbidding the practice of having a crowd of faithful gather around the altar for the Consecration, calling the practice a "liturgical error."
Although he acknowledged that "this action may cause some parishes and groups to abandon practices to which they have become accustomed", he said he "would be remiss in my duty to care for the people of the Archdiocese were this liturgical error to continue".
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal sets the sanctuary apart as a place reserved for the priests and designated ministers of the liturgy, said Archbishop Donoghue. "This distinction of place, reflective of the structure of the Church, as well as the nature of the sacrifice being offered by the Priest for the Faithful, has never been changed.
"To dismiss this designation of appropriate place is against the will of the Church, and ultimately detrimental to anyone seeking to understand and to live the mystery of Christ’s Faith, both as regards the the identity of the ordained priesthood, and the dignity of the Faithful, who partake in the Sacrifice being offered in their behalf.
"Therefore, in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, so that before God we may be a Church unified by design as well as by spirit, the only persons permitted inside the sanctuary during the Eucharistic Prayer are the celebrant, the concelebrants and the appointed ministers of the altar — acolytes, readers, servers. The Faithful of all ages are to kneel in their places, outside the sanctuary. The only normal exception to this general rule would be the presence of a bride and groom in the sanctuary for the Ritual Nuptial Mass."
(Source: Georgia Bulletin)
Russell Hittinger, professor of philosophy at the University of Tulsa, details the unlikely twists and turns that led to the founding of a daughter house of the venerable monastery of Solesmes in France — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In visiting the three French monasteries at Triers, Randol, and Fomtgombault to see what it was that impressed a wave of Kansas students who visited them twenty-five years ago under the influence of John Senior’s near-legendary Pearson College Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas, Hittinger notes:
"My high expectations for the liturgical ritual were more than fulfilled. There is a kind of Romano-Gallic beauty, at once earthy and refined, that pervades these houses. The Roman rituals never appeared or sounded so good. I felt as if I had happened upon them for the first time. Even a tourist like me could easily catch a glimpse of the impression it must have made on those Kansas students a quarter-century ago."
(Source: Crisis, November 1999)
The Jesuits have completed the first translation of the Bible into Nepalese. The forty-year project was begun by Father Francis Farrell, S.J., and completed by Father William Burke after Father Farrell’s death in 1990.
Professor Chettri, one of the Hindu translators who was asked to work with the Jesuits, said, "Despite my being a Hindu I felt myself profoundly touched by the Word of God while I translated the Bible. This sensation encouraged me to carry on in the work."
(Source: Zenit News)
A prize of $190,000 is being offered to the architect judged to have produced "the best sacred architectural work in the last decade in a Christian environment or who by his works has contributed in a special way to make more significant the sacred character of modern Christian architecture."
The International Prize for Sacred Architecture is sponsored by the "Frate Sole" Foundation of Pavia, founded by Father Constantino Reggeri, OFM. The Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church has granted "high patronage" status to the project.
The Commission invites "the direct participation of some of the nationally renowned architects who are considered to be particularly sensitive to sacred space". The closing (postmark) date for submissions to the Competition is May 31, 2000.
Information concerning the Competition and the Foundation of "Frate Sole" can be accessed at http://www.fondazionefratesole.org.
The web site of Women for Faith & Family has added seasonal prayers from its "Family Sourcebook for Advent and Christmas", which may be reproduced for use in families and parishes.
The web address: www.wf-f.org.