– Vol. VII, No. 8: November 2001
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a new edition of the Roman Martyrology, previously published in 1956.
The Roman Martyrology lists those saints and blesseds whom the Church has approved for public veneration, and gives a brief description of their virtues and sanctity.
The new edition includes many of those canonized/beatified by the popes of the latter twentieth century, and lists 6,538 saints and blesseds.
In the wake of the September 11 attack on America, the Holy Father repeatedly urged Catholics throughout the world to recite the Rosary daily during the month of October — offering each one as a prayer for peace and an end to terrorism.
"Within the current international context, I invite all — individuals, families, communities — to pray this Marian prayer, possibly every day, for peace, so that the world can be preserved from the wicked scourge of terrorism", the pope said during his regular Sunday Angelus on September 30.
The Holy Father reminded the faithful that "October is the month in which Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is venerated".
Dedicating the month of October to the honor of Mary and the Rosary dates to 1571. That year, Pope Saint Pius V instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7, in thanksgiving for a decisive victory over the Turks at Lepanto. He attributed the Christian fleet’s success to Mary’s intercession.
The Holy Father’s September 30 Angelus message on the Rosary appears on the Rosary page on the web site of Women for Faith & Family.
A collection of prayers for Eucharistic Adoration, I the Lord Am with You Always, was recently published by the Australian Society for Eucharistic Adoration, a lay organization founded in Sydney in 1993.
The Prayer book, compiled by Christine McCarthy, contains ancient and contemporary prayers and meditations for Eucharistic adoration from such sources as the Fathers of the Church, the saints, the Popes, the Second Vatican Council Documents, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The book aims to provide useful material for thought and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Chapters include the Mass, Communion Preparation and Thanksgiving, Our Lady, and Vocations. There are Benediction hymns and other Eucharistic hymns and poems suitable for meditation. (Editor’s note: SECOND EDITION RELEASED IN 2003. This edition has been enlarged and contains a chapter for children.)
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney stated: "The Eucharist is at the heart of our lives as Catholics and adoration of the Eucharist has been and continues to be an unrivaled source of grace and support for all who seek to follow Christ faithfully. I the Lord Am with You Always is a wonderful collection of prayers, meditations and reflections on the reality of Our Lord in the Eucharist. I am sure it will be a great aid to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament".
Monsignor Peter J. Elliott, author of Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite (Ignatius) wrote: "This precious book is a treasury of Eucharistic devotion. All the richness of a tradition of prayer and living Eucharistic faith is made available from a remarkable range of sources: the liturgies and teaching of the Church, prayers and meditation of saints and scholars, hymns and poems that have risen from the hearts of believers across the centuries. At the center of it all is the living Lord Jesus, offered, received and adored in this sacrament of His love. The scope of this book is itself a testimony to faith in Him and hope for our future".
The cost of the prayer book is AU$12.50, plus postage and packaging. For ordering information, please visit the Society for Eucharistic Adoration web site.
A useful teaching resource, The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers, produced by the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved by the full body of bishops at their June 2001 General Meeting (reported in AB July-August 2001) is available as a booklet from the USCCB.
The following quote from section on reverence for the Blessed Sacrament illustrates the document’s teaching approach:
9. What are appropriate signs of reverence with respect to the Body and Blood of Christ?
The Body and Blood of Christ present under the appearances of bread and wine are treated with the greatest reverence both during and after the celebration of the Eucharist (cf. Mysterium Fidei, nos. 56-61). For example, the tabernacle in which the consecrated bread is reserved is placed "in some part of the church or oratory which is distinguished, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer" (Code of Canon Law, Can. 938, §2).
According to the tradition of the Latin Church, one should genuflect in the presence of the tabernacle containing the reserved sacrament. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the traditional practice is to make the sign of the cross and to bow profoundly. The liturgical gestures from both traditions reflect reverence, respect, and adoration.
It is appropriate for the members of the assembly to greet each other in the gathering space of the church (that is, the vestibule or narthex), but it is not appropriate to speak in loud or boisterous tones in the body of the church (that is, the nave) because of the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.
Also, the Church requires everyone to fast before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ as a sign of reverence and recollection (unless illness prevents one from doing so). In the Latin Church, one must generally fast for at least one hour; members of Eastern Catholic Churches must follow the practice established by their own Church.
The Real Presence is available online on the conference web site:http://www.usccb.org/dpp/realpresence.htm
To order the 20-page booklet, contact USCC Publishing Services, 800-235-8722 (in the Washington metropolitan area or from outside the United States, 202-722-8716). Pub. no. 5-434. $1.50 per copy.
Liturgy groups are planning means of instructing priests and diocesan liturgical planners at offices of worship for forthcoming liturgical changes. Some of the changes will be effective when the Latin edition of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal is published. Although the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) was released over a year ago, official publication of the Missal has been postponed repeatedly .
The Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy is developing detailed "formational materials" for bishops and diocesan offices of worship, to be released when the "American Adaptations" to the new liturgical regulations are approved. A brief description of these materials, including a 20-page "reflection" on the GIRM, bulletin inserts, and a video, appeared in the June-July 2001 BCL Newsletter.
An English translation of the new Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, originally issued in July 2000, has been prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and was exhaustively reviewed this summer.
The amended English version of the IGMR will be presented for discussion and vote of the full conference of the United States bishops at their meeting in November in Washington.
Other English-speaking conferences are also involved in the review of the IGMR translation.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) has developed strategies of advance catechizing, including conferences and lecturers around the country.
One of these lectures was given in August by Father John Huels, OSM, to priests and members of worship offices in the diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky. Father Huels is professor of Canon Law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, and a long-time member of ICEL, the group that has produced most English translations of liturgical books for more than three decades.
"The Roman Missal is primarily written with the Church of Rome and Mass at Saint Peter’s in mind", Father Huels stated in his August 6 talk entitled, "The meaning and implementation of the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal".
"In Rome, especially at Saint Peter’s", said Father Huels, "the norm is that there are a large number of priests and deacons to celebrate each [Mass] and therefore fewer lay liturgical ministers are present.
"In comparison to Rome, for most Catholic communities in the United States, the norm is only one priest and a large number of lay ministers", he said.
Approval (and indults) by the Holy See required for the proposed "American Adaptations" of the GIRM submitted in June had not been received by mid-October.