Online Edition – July-August 2004
Vol. X, No. 5
News and Views
On Corpus Christi, June 10, Pope John Paul II announced a Eucharistic Year starting in October of 2004 and ending in October of 2005, Vatican News Service reported.
During a Eucharistic celebration this afternoon in St. John Lateran Basilica for the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father commented on St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians, "As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again". He said that whoever participates in the Lord’s banquet "joins in the mystery of the Lord’s death, and becomes His ‘herald’. Therefore there is an intimate relationship between ‘celebrating the Eucharist’ and ‘announcing Christ’. Entering into communion with Him in the memorial of Easter means, at the same time, becoming missionaries of the event which this rite renews in every age; in a certain sense, it means making it current in every age, until the Lord comes again".
"From the time of Pentecost when the People of the New Covenant ‘began their pilgrimage toward the heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament continued to mark their days, filling them with faithful hope’. Thinking precisely of this, I wanted to dedicate the first encyclical of the new millennium to the Eucharist and I am happy now to announce a special ‘Year of the Eucharist’. It will begin with the World Eucharistic Congress which will take place from October 10 to 17, 2004 in Guadalajara, Mexico and will end with the next ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held October 2-29, 2005, on t"The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church". Through the Eucharist, the ecclesial community is built up like a new Jerusalem, the beginning of unity in Christ among different persons and peoples".
The pope indicated that "Christ, ‘living bread from heaven’, is the only One who can satiate man’s hunger in every time and in every part of the earth. However, He does not want to do it alone, and therefore, as in the multiplication of the loaves, it involves disciples…. This prodigious sign is a manifestation of the greatest mystery of love which is renewed every day in the Mass: through the ordered ministries, Christ gives up His Body and Blood for humanity. And how many people nourish themselves worthily at His table and become living instruments of His presence of love, mercy and peace".
After the Mass, the Holy Father presided at a Eucharistic procession that went along Via Merulana to St. Mary Major Basilica. Thousands of people accompanied the Blessed Sacrament which was transported in a white open, canopy-covered vehicle in which the pope also rode.
Pope explains why he convoked a "Year of the Eucharist"
On Sunday, June13, when many countries celebrated Corpus Christi, Pope John Paul II said he convoked the Year of the Eucharist because the program he presented to the Church at the start of the millennium is based on "starting afresh from Christ", according to a report of Zenit news agency.
The pope dedicated his traditional Angelus greeting to pilgrims to highlight the central character of the Eucharist for Christians.
"The Year of the Eucharist takes place in the framework of the pastoral project that I presented in the apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, in which I invited the faithful to ‘start afresh from Christ’", the Holy Father said.
"Contemplating more assiduously the countenance of the Incarnate Word, really present in the Sacrament, they will be able to exercise themselves in the art of prayer and commit themselves in that ‘high degree’ of the Christian life, which is the indispensable condition to develop in an effective manner the new evangelization", he continued.
To help foster this "high degree" of commitment among Catholics, the pope convoked the Year of the Eucharist, coinciding with the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress this October and the the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist a year later.
In his Angelus message to a crowd of thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the pope said, "The Eucharist is at the center of the life of the Church. In it, Christ offers Himself to the Father for us, making us participants of His sacrifice itself, and He gives Himself to us as bread of life for our journey on the paths of the world".
This Year of the Eucharist seeks to "make every community grow in faith and love toward the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord", he said.
Sources: Vatican Information Service, June 10; Zenit, June 13
The Liturgical Institute, established by Chicago Cardinal Francis George, has announced two upcoming conferences to be held this fall on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois.
The first conference, "The Place of Chant in the Liturgy Today", is to be held September 19-21, 2004, and is described by The Liturgical Institute as "an interactive and instructive conference proposing a restoration of chant in the liturgy" and a "theological, practical and pastoral approach to introducing chant into liturgy today".
Sessions at the chant conference will be led by Dr. Edward Schaefer and Father Gary Uhlenkott, SJ, of Gonzaga University, Spokane, along with the Gonzaga University Gregorian Schola.
Session titles include: "Rethinking our notion of singing the Mass", "Practicum for Priests and Deacons", "Liturgy of the Hours" and "The interpretation of chant".
The second conference, "Authentic Liturgy: Translation and Interpretation of Liturgical Texts", will take place October 27-29, 2004. According to The Liturgical Institute, the conference is in "preparation for the publication of the English-language edition of the Roman Missal".
Father Bruce Harbert, Executive Secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers will include Cardinal George, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (BCL), and Mr. Dennis McManus, Associate Director of the Secretariat for the Liturgy, BCL.
For more information phone 847-837-4542 or visit The Liturgical Institute’s web site at www.usml.edu/li.
Member-conferences of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) have now sent their reports on the draft text of the translation of the new Roman Missal Order of Mass for review at the ICEL’s meeting in July. The draft was released in February by the ICEL Secretariat to the English-speaking conferences of bishops.
Among the conferences that submitted reports are England-Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Leaked copies of ICEL’s draft text appeared in May on the web sites of The Tablet magazine (UK) and an Australian public radio station, eliciting comments from liturgists and journalists that varied dramatically. The copies were soon removed.