Dec 31, 2007

New Liturgy Rules Precede Missal

Online Edition

– Vol. VI, No. 6-7: September/October 2000

New Liturgy Rules Precede Missal

Latin, Study translation of revised instructions for celebration of Mass released

by Helen Hull Hitchcock

This Year of Jubilee may be remembered for the number of important liturgical books approved — more than in any other year since the first new books appeared after the Second Vatican Council.

The publication of new books for Catholic worship will culminate, appropriately, with the appearance of the third typical edition of the Missale Romanum (Roman Missal). Dated Holy Thursday, 2000, the new Missal is expected to appear early next year.

A revised set of liturgical regulations from the forthcoming Missal, the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, released July 28, is one of several important liturgical texts that have been approved and have been released or are expected to appear soon.

The Latin version of this set of rules for the celebration of Mass in the universal Church, approved by Pope John Paul II on January 11, was released simultaneously with an English-language study translation produced by the US Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy [BCL]. The BCL used the existing translation as a base text. (Hereafter this document will be referred to as the Institutio or IGMR to distinguish it from its earlier 1969/1975 counterpart known in English as the "General Instruction of the Roman Missal", or GIRM. The Latin title of both versions is the same.)

Other important liturgical texts approved this year include a new Book of the Gospels, and the Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass. The latter is also to become part of the Roman Missal.

The Book of the Gospels

The Book of the Gospels, approved by the US bishops last November and confirmed in a May 23, 2000, decree by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is authorized for use after September 30. The Book of the Gospels has its own introduction containing liturgical rules for its use. This introduction was published, also before the completed book was available, in the April-May, 2000 edition of the BCL Newsletter.

Henceforth, according to the new Institutio, the Book of the Gospels is always to be carried in the entrance procession at Mass, a change from the current practice of carrying the Lectionary in procession.

The Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass

The Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass [PIOM], like the Institutio, was to be published before the Roman Missal. The BCL Newsletter announced that it would be available in early September; however, this has been delayed until next June, according to an informed source.

This "pastoral introduction", is an original text produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL]. It is another set of liturgical instructions said to be a supplement to the IGMR.

The revised version of the PIOM first was introduced to the US bishops in 1994, but formal discussion of this ICEL work was delayed until November 1995. It became the source of considerable controversy (see "New Liturgical Books Coming Soon", AB October 1999).

The revised PIOM was eventually approved by the bishops on November 13, 1995, by a vote of 198-28 (26 votes over the 2/3 majority required for passage of liturgical texts). At the same time, proposed revisions of "American adaptations" for the PIOM, variations for the Church in the United States, were also approved by a vote of 197 to 30.

This version of the PIOM and its "American adaptations" (with amendments) was incorporated in the proposed Sacramentary when it was sent to the Holy See for recognitio (approval) in early 1997. (The Sacramentary is the part of the Roman Missal containing the prayers for Mass.)

PIOM problems persist

The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, an association of liturgists closely affiliated with the BCL, at its 1997 national convention, strongly urged that the PIOM be published in advance of the new Sacramentary in order to help liturgists "catechize" people for the liturgical changes foreseen.

The June 18, 1998 National Catholic Reporter printed an "expose" on Vatican "interference" in translation of the ICEL Pastoral Introduction to the Order of the Mass. The report by John Allen, based on confidential documents leaked to the NCR, stated that 400 changes to the PIOM were made by Vatican officials. An editorial in the same issue called for active resistance to the Holy See’s interventions in matters of translation.

At the NCCB meeting in Pittsburgh June 18-20, 1998, the bishops voted to accept these changes. (At the same meeting, they also approved Volume II of the revised Lectionary for Mass the readings for weekdays by a vote of 196 to 6.)

The August 2000 BCL Newsletter reported the imminent appearance of the new PIOM:

On July 21, 2000, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, provided an emended copy of the Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States to Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, NCCB President, noting that the Congregation "sees no obstacle to the Bishops’ proceeding with its publication". In response to a request from Bishop Fiorenza on behalf of the Committee on the Liturgy, this text has been updated in the light of changes introduced into the Order of Mass by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani recently published by the Holy See. In addition, the Congregation introduced other changes in exercising its specific competence.

The Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass was approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1997 [sic] in the course of its consideration of the revised translation of the Roman Missal. In his letter Cardinal Medina described the Pastoral Introduction as a "useful pastoral instrument for liturgical formation of the People of God" which addressed "appropriately and felicitously the specific ecclesial and pastoral context of the Conference’s territory".

The BCL Newsletter said that copies of the new PIOM "will be available at the beginning of September and may be ordered by sending a check for $15 each". But there was an unexplained delay.

FDLC says "No" to change

Apparently, few bishops have seen the final version of the PIOM containing the Holy See’s "other changes in exercising its specific competence". But the Vatican-approved advance publication is now strenuously opposed by the FDLC.

Following its national convention held in Costa Mesa, California, on October 3-7, 2000, attended by liturgists from 109 of the 270-plus US dioceses, the FDLC issued a press release announcing their "immediate concerns surrounding the reception, translation, and implementation in the United States of a significant reshaping of the guiding documents for Roman Catholic worship around the world".

The liturgists’ objection to this "reshaping" impelled them to adopt three resolutions at their October convention, "reflecting their urgent concerns" stemming "from widespread confusion on the diocesan and parish level as to the effective date, legal status, and proper translation from the Latin of a Revised General Instruction on the Roman Missal".

The first resolution "urged" that the BCL request that the bishops form an "interdisciplinary committee [to] study these issues".

The second resolution "urged" that ICEL prepare all liturgical translations: that "internationally accepted translations prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, be adhered to for the sake of an orderly reception of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal 2000, including the preparation of educational materials and pastoral guides".

The final resolution "urged the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy to withhold release of a Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass, approved by the United States bishops in 1997 [sic] and now due to be returned after emendations at the Holy See, until the bishops and the diocesan worship offices and commissions have had adequate time to study the emended text before release to the general public".

The professinal liturgists evidently believe the "general public" should be protected from direct knowledge of these important documents.

The Roman Missal and translation

The Latin edition of the entire text of the new Roman Missal, approved by the Holy Father in January, was slated to appear before the end of the Jubilee year, as announced this summer by Archbishop Francesco Tamburrino, Secretary of the CDW. An informed source told Adoremus that it is now expected next February.

It is not yet known when the English version of the completed Roman Missal will appear, nor who will produce the translation whether ICEL, as in the past, or some other translators.

Revisions of the proposed English-language Sacramentary (the ICEL revision awaiting approval since 1997) would, of course, be necessary in order to comply with the new Roman Missal. How extensive the changes and how complex this process is or when it will be completed is not known. The Vatican is exercising careful oversight of the translation of these crucial litugical books, however.

Late last year, a letter of Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez of the CDW, to Bishop Maurice Taylor, of Galloway, Scotland, president of the bishops’ committee of ICEL, was revealed by the National Catholic Reporter (December 24, 1999). The cardinal’s letter, dated October 26, 1999, ordered sweeping revision of ICEL’s governing statutes and procedures by Easter 2000, and confirmed the Holy See’s mission of oversight of the liturgy and translation of Sacred texts.

In July, the ICEL Episcopal Board sent their revised statutes to the Holy See for approval.

Lectionary for Mass status

Questions remain too about the status of the US version of the Lectionary for Mass (Scripture readings), an English translation officially produced by the bishops’ conference and first approved by the bishops in 1992.

The first volume (the readings for Sundays and principal feasts) as corrected by a team of bishops and Vatican translators in accordance with Vatican norms for Scripture translation, was approved by the US bishops in June 1997, for a period of five years.

The second volume, which contains readings for weekdays, received the bishops’ approval a year later. The first volume has been in use since November 1998, although its use is not mandatory until after the second volume appears, which has not yet happened halfway through the initial approval period of five years.

It is known that the Holy See’s preference is for a single Scripture translation to be approved for liturgical use for a given language group. This is also mentioned in the Institutio: "It is appropriate that in areas which have the same language, the same translation be used for liturgical texts, especially in so far as possible for biblical texts and for the Order of Mass" (§392).

At present, the only approved biblical texts for use in English-speaking countries are the original versions of the Jeruslaem Bible, the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition, and the New American Bible. However, revisions of these versions are not approved for use in the liturgy, because of the translators’ bias for so-called "inclusive language". The old Lectionaries using the RSV-CE and the JB, are out of print.

To add further complications, the Church in Canada has temporary permission to use a Lectionary based on the defective New RSV-CE. And the Church in the United States also has temporary permission to use a "children’s Lectionary" based on the Contermporary English Version.

The confusion about Scripture translations for liturgical use, thus, persists.

The New Institutio

A summary of the new Institutio, along with the complete Latin version, were both made available on the web site of the NCCB Liturgy Committee July 28, as downloadable files, and a printed version of the BCL’s study translation in English was offered for purchase.

Varied reports based on this study translation soon appeared in the Catholic press. These accounts raised questions about what the new document means for Catholics, as well as procedural questions, such as how soon it might become effective, whether and how it might be further amended by the individual bishops’ conferences, who will produce (and approve) the final English version, and when. Many people wonder if and how the new directives from Rome will be implemented in parishes, dioceses, and in national churches and what their effect will be.

Adoremus made a careful examination of the new Institutio, comparing the new draft English text with the 1969/75 GIRM and, where indicated, with the Latin originals of both versions.

As anticipated, the new version of liturgical instructions for Mass incorporates other liturgical norms that have appeared since the current GIRM (1975) took effect. For example, from the 1983 Ceremoniale Episcoporum (Ceremonial of Bishops) a section was added concerning the posture and gestures of clergy at a concelebrated Mass. And rules from the Introduction to the Book of the Gospels, such as making the triple sign of the cross before reading/hearing the Gospel, are also included. Evidently, the drafters of the document made an effort to insert language reflective of the standard practice of the national churches in the quarter-century since the last edition of the GIRM.

The new Institutio, appearing almost 40 years after the Constitution on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) was promulgated, in essence reaffirms that Constitution in all respects. This should not be surprising, but it does provide convincing evidence that "progressive" liturgical opinions, though still influential, do not represent the real intention ("spirit") of the Council.

Some principal features:

The new liturgical regulations retain the very strong opening affirmation of Church teaching on the sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic celebration. This beginning section, a 1975 addition to the 1969 version entitled "A Witness to Unchanged Faith", states clearly that

[2] "The sacrificial nature of the Mass was solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Trent in agreement with the whole tradition of the Church. The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed this teaching…

"In this new Missal … the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to its constant rule of faith (lex credendi). This rule of faith instructs us that the sacrifice of the cross and its sacramental renewal in the Mass, which Christ instituted at the Last Supper and commanded his apostles to do in his memory, are one and the same, differing only in the manner of offering and that consequently the Mass is at once a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, of reconciliation and expiation.

[3] "The celebration of Mass also proclaims the sublime mystery of the Lord’s real presence under the Eucharistic elements…. The Mass does this not only by means of the very words of consecration, by which Christ becomes present through transubstantiation, but also by that spirit and expression of reverence and adoration in which the Eucharistic liturgy is carried out."

Significantly, the new document neither dilutes this teaching, nor attempts to soften these "hard sayings".

This emphasis at the outset on the fundamental doctrine of the Eucharist clearly affirms that the liturgy must always express this teaching fully and effectively. All changes or developments in the ritual expression of the truth of the Eucharistic Sacrifice — the liturgy — must serve that truth, must never obscure it and must always make it more clear.

The priest celebrant is also reminded "that he is the servant of the sacred Liturgy, and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove or to change anything in the celebration of Mass" (§24). Legitimate variations or adaptations which "take account of the traditions and mentality of peoples and regions" in accordance with the Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy and the Vatican instruction on "inculturation" are the responsibility of bishops or national conferences of bishops. A new section at the end of the Institutio outlines these responsibilities (§26, 387-399).

Misleading early reports

But this emphasis of the Institutio was not transmitted in most early press reports. Some of these were misleading, and, predictably, focused primarily on what the Institutio has to say concerning several "hot button" issues, such as the posture of the people during the Communion rite, the position of the priest when saying Mass, and the placement of tabernacles within churches.

Several accounts proclaimed, erroneously, that the new regulations mandated that people are to stand throughout the Liturgy of the Eucharist; that the preferred place for the tabernacle is in a separate chapel; that the priest is required to face the people when he celebrates Mass; and that altars must always be free-standing.

A few reports mentioned an important new section added to the new instruction clarifying the responsibility and authority of individual bishops and of national conferences for overseeing and interpreting liturgical rules.

Helpful changes

Most press accounts omitted other interesting changes that, if implemented, would help overcome some very troublesome current abuses. Following are a few examples:

**There will be no more empty crosses in Catholic churches. The new Institutio explicitly mentions that crosses in churches are to have the image of the body of Christ affixed to them (§308). Since there is no separate word in Latin for "crucifix," a descriptive phrase is added, specifying that the cross have a "figure of Christ crucified upon it". This will overcome the ambiguity of the Latin word "crux", recently interpreted by some liturgical architects to justify "alternative" crosses with no corpus or with other symbols). In many church renovations and new buildings, the crosses are either bare or are adorned with other images.

Contrary to common opinion, the crucifix may be placed upon the altar. The new version adds that "it is fitting" that the processional cross remain in the area near the altar "even outside of liturgical celebrations".

It is also made clear that there may be more than one crucifix, contrary to some recent opinion that only one cross may be used. New paragraphs are added (§§349-350) which note that the Book of the Gospels and the Lectionary are "supernatural symbols" and should have dignity and be given veneration; also that special care should be given to altar appointments, "such as the altar cross and the processional cross".

**The Creed "must be recited" when it is not sung. The new rule removes the phrase (in GIRM §44) which specified that the profession of faith is only "obligatory on Sundays and solemnities" (§67-68).

**When they receive Communion standing, the faithful are encouraged to "make an appropriate gesture of reverence … as established by the Conference of Bishops" (§160). (Kneeling and standing are both permissible, though this also depends on Conference norms.)

**People should bow their heads "when the three Divine Persons are named, at the name of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is celebrated". They should make a profound bow of the body toward the altar if there is no tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament; also during the Creed at the words "was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and made man" (§275).

**There may be no preaching by lay people. The homily "must be given by the priest celebrant or is entrusted by him to a concelebrating priest, or, as circumstances dictate, may even be given by a deacon, but never by a lay person" (§ 66); and there will be no eulogies at funerals (§382).

**Extraordinary ministers should "wear albs or other appropriate vestments" (§339). On this point, however, the letter of July 2, 2000, from Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino giving permission to publish the PIOM, said that the Congregation is concerned "that extraordinary ministers be dressed with a modesty and dignity befitting the function they perform". [BCL Newsletter, August, 2000, p 35].

**A priest should say Mass every day, even when no congregation is present to participate.

"[T]he Eucharistic celebration still retains its effectiveness and worth because it is the action of Christ and the Church, in which the priest fulfills his own principal office and always acts on behalf of the people’s salvation. It is therefore recommended that the priest celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice even daily, whenever possible" (§19).

**The deacon is ordinarily to kneel during the Consecration (and, of course, may not extend his hand with the priest as if he were concelebrating).

"During the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands near but slightly behind the priest, so that when needed he may assist the priest with the chalice or the Sacramentary. As a general rule, from the epiclesis until the elevation of the chalice the deacon remains kneeling"(§179).

**Priests other than the celebrant, at a concelebrated Mass, are to genuflect before receiving the Body of Christ at Communion (§242, 246, 248, 249).

**Altar vessels "are cleansed by the priest or by the deacon or [instituted] acolyte after Communion or after Mass", not by lay extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (§279).

**Church buildings should reflect the "hierarchical structure" of the congregation "expressed by the various ministries and actions" of the people. Thus, the "priest celebrant, the deacon and other ministers have their place in the sanctuary" (§294).

"Even though all these elements must express a hierarchical arrangement and the diversity of functions, they should [also] form a deep and organic unity, clearly expressive of the unity of the entire holy people. The character and beauty of the place and all its appointments should foster devotion and show the holiness of the mysteries celebrated there" (§294).

Must the priest always face the people?

Several early reports stated that the IGMR forbids priests to face, with the people, the "liturgical East" (ad orientem).

Recently, there has been some re-evaluation of the usual practice of the priest facing the people. In light of the experience since the Council that the transcendent or sacred dimension of the celebration of Mass has dramatically diminished, some priests now favor a return to the practice of the priest and people "facing God" together. Cardinal Ratzinger is among them. (See "The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer", AB May 2000).

But a controversy arose last year when a bishop ruled that no priest within his diocese would be permitted to say Mass facing "East" (See "Bishop’s Decree Raises Questions", AB November 1999).

Cardinal Medina Estévez, in a letter dated February 7 this year, responded to an inquiry from Bishop David Foley of Birmingham concerning the matter. In that letter (Prot. No. 2321/99/I), the Cardinal stated:

"As regards the position of the celebrating priest at the altar during Holy Mass, it is true as Your Excellency indicates that the rubrics of the Roman Missal, and in particular the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, foresee that the priest will face the body of people in the nave while leaving open the possibility of his celebrating towards the apse. These two options carry with them no theological or disciplinary stigma of any kind".

In a recent letter responding to a question from Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, asking whether the IGMR §299 "constitutes a norm according to which the position of the priest versus absidem [towards the apse] is to be excluded", Cardinal Medina Estévez responded that an added phrase, "whenever possible", in IGMR §299 intended "to refer to different elements", including "the availability of space and the sensibility of the people participating in the celebrations".

The IGMR "reaffirms that the position towards the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier, without excluding, however, the other possibility", said the letter dated September 25, 2000 (Prot. No. 2086/00/L).

Cardinal Medina Estévez also stressed that, whatever the position of the celebrating priest, the "physical position … must be distinguished from the interior spiritual orientation of all".

"It would be a grave error to imagine that the principal orientation of the sacrificial action is [directed toward] the community", wrote the Cardinal. Whatever the direction the priest faces, the spiritual attitude of both the priest and the assembly "ought always to be versus Deum per Jesus Christum [to God through Jesus Christ]…. Taking a rigid position and absolutizing it could become a rejection of some aspect of the truth which merits respect and acceptance".

The letter also said that this clarification is effective immediately.

Posture of the people?

Concerning people’s kneeling during the Communion Rite, the Instructio basically repeats the parallel paragraph in GIRM (§21), which implicitly eliminated all customary kneeling by the people except during the Consecration (or, in the US, the entire Eucharistic Prayer). This change went unnoticed, however, until some liturgists recently have invoked it to justify forbidding people to kneel. This has been perceived as coercive interference with the custom of kneeling that has caused considerable confusion and has occasionally met with resistance. (See "Every Knee Should Bow But When?", AB June 1999).

On November 29, 1999, before the new IGMR was approved, the BCL posted on its web site directives on the kneeling rule in GIRM §21. The BCL printed the rule as it appeared in GIRM 21 and in the "American adaptation" to the same paragraph, and stated:

This adaptation, read alongside GIRM 21, renders the following order: The assembly is to stand from the prayer over the gifts, through the Sanctus. The assembly is to kneel after the Sanctus, stand after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer and then remain standing until the end of Mass.

GIRM 21 does, however, allow for those instances when the assembly is prevented from kneeling ‘by the lack of space, the number of people present, or some other good reason’.

When there is doubt concerning whether the conditions described in GIRM 21 exist, it is the bishop, as moderator of the liturgical life of his diocese, who should make the determination.

However, the BCL’s statement above contradicts its own rulings published in 1966 and 1969 (and never withdrawn) which explicitly directed that the people are to kneel at the customary places, after the Agnus Dei and after receiving Holy Communion.

Some liturgists and others believe the GIRM and the new Institutio intended to mandate a universal change in the people’s posture during Mass to standing throughout the Communion Rite. But this view of the Vatican’s intentions seems insupportable. In this context, it is significant that both the GIRM and the new Institutio repeatedly stress the need for reverence, including expressions of reverence by genuflecting, bowing, making the sign of the cross, etc., so it would seem incompatible with the "re-sacralizing" tenor of the Institutio to change such a potent traditional gesture of devotion and sacramental worship as kneeling.

Bishops responsibility

The important new section on the role and authority of bishops and national conferences to regulate the liturgical celebration implies that local customs and practices which are compatible with the Church’s teaching on the nature of the Eucharist are permissible, or even, as in IGMR §43, "laudably retained".

To interpret IGMR §43 so rigidly as to prevent people from kneeling where they are accustomed to would not only disturb and confuse people unnecessarily but also tend to undermine the sacred dimension of Mass that the same regulations so clearly aim to retain or restore.

One Vatican official close to the scene said he sees a problem with "the application of an exaggerated legalism (in the USA)" to the posture of the people at Mass.

I really do not believe that the Holy See truly expects Catholic people to scrutinize the provisions for the posture of the people and to proscribe anything not found therein. In other words, no one here is going to get upset if people kneel at the Agnus Dei … or strike their breast at the mea culpa in the Confiteor. In fact, I would hazard to say that what you find in the rubrics for the congregation in the new [Institutio] is simply what those who wrote it believe is the common, standard practice of the faithful (i.e. in Italy). It meant to be descriptive not proscriptive. 

Effects of the new regulations

How will the new set of liturgical rules in the Institutio affect other liturgical texts, such as the proposed new document on church architecture, formerly titled Domus Dei and now called Built of Living Stones?

In their discussion of the initial draft of the architecture document at their meeting last November, many bishops stressed the need for recovery of the sacred dimension in our churches. The new rules could help the bishops achieve this. But change is usually not easy.

"A true, profound renewal"

Of this much we can be certain: many liturgists will want to make the new liturgical regulations say what they want them to say. Several liturgical publishers are already producing materials to "catechize" Catholics on the liturgy. Few will be free from "interpreter’s bias". For this reason, it is important that fidelity to the original texts be carefully maintained.

Pope John Paul II spoke about the goal of the liturgy in a May 1996 address on the forthcoming third editio typica of the Roman Missal to the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:

The purpose of all that was done for liturgical life [before, during and after the Second Vatican Council] was to facilitate the assimilation of the "spirit of the liturgy". It was obvious that the spirit of the liturgy could not be restored by means of a mere reform. A true, profound liturgical renewal was necessary.

The editio typica tertia of the Roman Missal gives you an opportunity to reflect on several characteristics of this renewal. I am aware that your dicastery is engaged in promoting maximum fidelity to liturgical laws, reminding everyone of the principles formulated by the Second Vatican Council: ‘Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the Bishop…. Therefore no other person, not even a priest may add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority’. (Sacrosanctum Concilium §22).

Therefore, it must be clear to all that, while the contribution of experts can shed useful light on workable options, decisions regarding the liturgy remain subject to the direct responsibility of ecclesiastical authority, whose sole aim is to encourage the liturgical participation of the people in the glorification of God, and, at the same time, to make the possibility of sanctification more accessible and fruitful for every believer.

One of the most positive things about the appearance of the new Institutio (and the other liturgical books which will be available soon) may be that many more people can be expected to read them than ever before in the decades since the Council.

If the principles in these new books for the liturgy are applied with consistency, generosity, a true spirit of holiness, and transparency to God’s will for His Church, they can help to lead Catholics of this generation and the next to a deeper understanding of the Church’s liturgy, and would be a genuine source of encouragement and guidance to faithful clergy and laity alike.

Many Catholics hope that the Holy Mass may now truly become the "source and summit" of the lives of all Catholics, whose participation in the liturgy will be fuller, more active and more effective — as the Council fathers desired nearly four decades ago.

— Helen Hull Hitchcock is editor of the Adoremus Bulletin.



Helen Hull Hitchcock

Helen Hull Hitchcock (1939-2014) was editor of the <em>Adoremus Bulletin</em>, which she co-founded. She was also the founding director of Women for Faith & Family and editor of its quarterly journal, Voices. She published many articles and essays in a wide range of Catholic journals, and authored and edited <em>The Politics of Prayer: Feminist Language and the Worship of God</em> (Ignatius Press 1992), a collection of essays on issues involved in translation. She contributed essays to several books, including <em>Spiritual Journeys</em>, a book of “conversion stories” (Daughters of St. Paul). Helen lectured in the US and abroad, and appeared frequently on radio and television, representing Catholic teaching on issues affecting Catholic women, families, and Catholic faith and worship.