Online Edition – June 2005
Vol. XI, No. 4
Tenth Anniversary Edition
Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
Celebrating 10 Years — June 29, 1995-2005
Statement of Mission, Goals & Principles
1. Adoremus – Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy is an association of Catholics established on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul 1995, to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite.
2. The mission of Adoremus is to rediscover and restore the beauty, the holiness, the power of the Church’s rich liturgical tradition while remaining faithful to an organic, living process of renewal. The purpose of such a renewal cannot be stated more eloquently than this statement by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI):
Christian Liturgy is cosmic Liturgy, as Saint Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians. It must never renounce this dignity, however attractive it may seem to work with small groups and construct homemade liturgies. What is exciting about Christian Liturgy is that it lifts us up out of our narrow sphere and lets us share in the Truth. The aim of all liturgical renewal must be to bring to light this liberating greatness.
— Feast of Faith
3. Adoremus was inspired to reconsider the liturgical renewal by Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the 25th Anniversary of the Liturgy Constitution (1989). The pope is concerned not only with questions of liturgical translation, but with liturgical renewal as a whole. He says:
For the work of translation, as well as for the wider implications of liturgical renewal for whole countries, each episcopal conference was required to establish a national commission and to ensure the collaboration of experts in the various sectors of liturgical science and pastoral practice. The time has come to evaluate this commission, its past activity, both the positive and negative aspects, and the guidelines and the help which it has received from the episcopal conference regarding its composition and activity. (§20)
4. Adoremus fully and unreservedly accepts the Second Vatican Council as an act of the Church’s supreme Magisterium (teaching authority) guided by the Holy Spirit, and regards its documents as an expression, in our time, of the word of Christ Himself for His Bride, the Church.
5. Adoremus believes the aim of Liturgy is union with Christ in communion with the Church. The experience of the years since Vatican II — declining Mass attendance, dramatic decreases in priestly and religious vocations, diminished belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and in other core doctrines of the Catholic Church, and a widespread loss of the sense of the sacred — makes clear the need for genuine liturgical reform.
6. Adoremus’s guiding principle for authentic liturgical reform is enunciated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, §23:
… there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new form adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
7. Adoremus, in a spirit of obedience, also accepts the liturgical changes approved by appropriate Church authorities since the Council as the legitimate exercise of the Church’s disciplinary authority over the Liturgy. Adoremus seeks a more authentic observance of the liturgical norms approved since the Council.
8. With the Holy Father (cited #3 above), Adoremus believes liturgical changes approved since the Council should be reviewed and measured against a deeper understanding of the Council’s teaching. We believe the Church should reflect carefully on these changes, and evaluate them in the light of the original conciliar texts and of the experience of Catholic faithful since the Council. Thus, when necessary, Adoremus will propose to Church authorities changes more in harmony with the authentic renewal of the Liturgy expressed in the Council documents.
9. Adoremus believes that the liturgical reform legitimately mandated by the Second Vatican Council cannot be furthered by a simple return to the pre-conciliar Liturgy; although it does not oppose those who make lawful use of the present discipline which permits celebration of the pre-conciliar Liturgy under certain conditions.
10. Adoremus looks forward to cooperative effort and fruitful exchange of ideas with all faithful Catholics, and seeks to build support for a new liturgical movement. Adoremus will provide a forum for many Catholics concerned about the Liturgy and give voice to their legitimate desires and complaints, aware that many existing liturgical organizations and commissions do not genuinely foster greater understanding and appropriation of and actual participation in the Church’s worship.
ADOREMUS Executive Committee:
Father Joseph Fessio, SJ
Helen Hull Hitchcock
Father Jerry Pokorsky