Online Edition – Vol. VIII, No. 4: June 2002
"Pre-catechizing" on new liturgy rules — Kneeling "dissents from the mind of the Church"? — "Mr. Gregorian Chant"- New CDs of classic lectures — Confraternity to meet — Pope warns against "clericalization" of the laity — "This is a Catholic Church"
For the past several months, "pre-catechizing" on the new liturgical rules that came into effect in March and April when the new Roman Missal was presented has been increasing in intensity.
This "catechesis" is largely the effort of liturgists who have been freely interpreting liturgical regulations for many years.
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) offered several one-day seminars for "directors of music ministries" and "all who teach, prepare and lead Catholic liturgy", according to a flyer published by the NPM.
The seminars, titled General Instruction of the Roman Missal 2000: Opportunities and Challenges, were said to "help … develop an appropriate methodology for education about and pastoral application of the new General Instruction". The seminars were held in Philadelphia, Chicago and Phoenix, with the cooperation of the local dioceses.
John Huels, influential canonist and a speaker at the Phoenix seminar, recently offered his own interpretation of Liturgiam authenticam in an article by Gordon E. Truitt, published on the NPM web site. Huels is quoted as saying that "because an instruction [i.e. Liturgiam authenticam] cannot contradict [Church] law, if there is any apparent discrepancy between universal canonical legislation and a norm of the Instruction, the text of the Instruction must be read in such a way that the universal law is upheld".
As an example of this principle, Huels argued that "the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has the authority to approve translations … but just as clearly it does not have the right or the authority to prepare its own translation and impose it on a conference of bishops".
The liturgical directives of Lafayette Bishop William Higi take a hard line on the laity’s gestures of reverence before receiving Holy Communion.
The bishop’s directives, issued in a series of columns issued in May, demand uniformity of posture, forbid kneeling to receive Communion and insist on standing throughout the reception of Communion.
"In approaching a Eucharistic Minister, whether for the reception of the Sacred Host or the consecrated wine, the sign of reverence is a bow of the head. A person is not to genuflect before receiving nor are they to kneel to receive. Rather, standing before the Eucharistic Minister, they are to bow their head and then either extend tongue or hands for the reception of Holy Communion. If a person chooses to kneel, Eucharistic Ministers of this Diocese will be instructed to say quietly to that individual: ‘the proper posture is to stand, please’. …
"The sign of reverence has now been clearly determined for the United States. It is a bow of the head. Should a person insist on kneeling for the reception of Holy Communion, Communion will not be denied but they clearly will be demonstrating dissent from the mind of the Church. Rather than reverence, the emphasis will be refusal to embrace particular law approved by the Vatican for the United States" (original emphasis).
AB readers will recall that Cardinal Medina Estévez, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, responded officially to a bishop’s question in November 2000 on the new Institutio’s section on posture. The letter expressly said that it is not the intention of IGMR §43 "to forbid genuflecting or bowing immediately before receiving Holy Communion", nor to "prohibit the faithful from kneeling during any part of the Mass except during the Consecration, that is, to prohibit the faithful from kneeling after the Agnus Dei and following the reception of Holy Communion". (See Adoremus web site on Gesture/Posture.)
To honor the late Theodore Marier, renowned expert in Gregorian chant, the Gregorian Institute of Guam recently produced a two-CD set "Music in Catholic Worship". Marier, who died early last year, was dedicated to promoting "active participation" in the Mass by way of Gregorian chant and traditional polyphony.
The CDs feature lectures by and about the pioneering work of Dr. Marier, explaining Gregorian chant, polyphony and hymns. They were were co-produced by Church Music Association of America [CMAA] and the Center for Ward Method Studies at Catholic University.
Information or orders:
Gregorian Institute of Guam,
Box 11455, Yigo, Guam 96929
The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy will hold its annual convocation July 8-11 at the EWTN Eucharistic shrine and Saint Bernard Abbey near Birmingham, Alabama.
Speakers include Archbishop Elden Curtiss of Omaha; Charles Rice, professor emeritus of Notre Dame School of Law; Father John Harvey, OSFS, founder of Courage, a Catholic support group that helps homosexuals; and Father Stephen Sommerville, a Canadian who had worked with ICEL in the past.
For information call (888) 383-2691 or e-mail.
As the bishops of the Antilles departed from the Vatican following their five-year ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II reminded them that they are "first and foremost priests … not corporate executives, business managers, finance officers or bureaucrats …" and warned them of confusing the roles of the lay faithful and of priests:
"A poor understanding of this complementarity [between clergy and laity] has sometimes led to a crisis of identity and confidence among priests, and also to forms of commitment by the laity that are too clerical or too politicized.
"[Involvement] by the laity becomes a form of clericalism when the sacramental or liturgical roles that belong to the priest are assumed by the lay faithful, or when the latter set out to accomplish tasks of pastoral governing that properly belong to the priest", the Holy Father said.
"The Holy Father reminded the bishops that although it might "seem strange the Church insists so much on the secular vocation of the laity … it is precisely this Gospel witness by the faithful in the world that is the heart of the Church’s answer to the malaise of secularization.
"The commitment of lay persons is politicized when the laity is absorbed by the exercise of ‘power’ within the Church. … That happens when the Church is not seen in terms of the mystery of grace that characterizes her, but rather in sociological or even political terms", the Holy Father said.
Source: ZENIT, May 2002
"This is a Catholic church. This is a Catholic church", proclaimed Bishop Thomas Doran when he dedicated Saint Mary’s in Huntley, Illinois, last November 18. He was impressed by what he saw.
The Church is built in a traditional style, with plenty of stained glass (many originally from Germany) and a cruciform design. The tabernacle is in the nave of the church, and seating is according to longstanding custom – e.g., no circular seating arrangements or chairs, although the church can seat anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800, so seating is still flexible.
One unique feature of Saint Mary’s is its collections of mosaics and stained glass, commissioned specifically for the church and designed by the Franz Mayer Studio in Munich, Germany. One stained glass window of the Holy Spirit is a replica of the famous Bernini piece that hangs over the nave of Saint Peter’s. Another mosaic, on an exterior wall of the church, depicts the Resurrection of Christ. Sources have told Adoremus that they have seen highway traffic slow down in order to look at this artwork more closely. Apparently, the pastor of Saint Mary’s, Father Robert Garrity, achieved his goals in building the new church: "a worthy home for our Eucharistic Lord and [a means] to bring many souls to Christ".
A stained-glass skylight of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove was featured on the cover of the May issue of AB.
Source: Maria Maddox, parishioner, Saint Mary’s Church.