Principles of Adoremus

Statement of Mission, Goals, and Principles

For 25 years, Adoremus has fostered the sound formation of Catholic laity in matters relating to the Church’s worship consistent with the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and aided Catholics (including priests and seminarians) with reliable information and encouragement. Adoremus provides sound resources to promote a more reverent, beautiful, and holy celebration of the Mass and other forms of worship. Since its founding, Adoremus has held to the following guidelines:

1. Adoremus Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy is an association of Catholics, established on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 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, and 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 expressed more eloquently than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s statement in Feast of Faith: “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” (p.75).

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 (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 1988). The pope was concerned not only with questions of liturgical translation, but also with liturgical renewal as a whole. He wrote: “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 following 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: [T]here 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” (23).

7. Adoremus 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 Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II (cited above), Adoremus believes liturgical changes approved since the Council should be reviewed and measured against a deeper understanding of the Council’s teaching and a hermeneutic of reform and renewal. 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, including changes more in harmony with the authentic renewal of the Liturgy expressed in the Council documents.

9. Adoremus believes that the liturgical reform mandated by the Second Vatican Council cannot be accomplished by a return to the pre-conciliar Liturgy, although it does not oppose the use of the Extraordinary Form according to the discipline begun with Summorum Pontificum.

10. Adoremus encourages cooperative effort and a fruitful exchange of ideas with all faithful Catholics, and seeks to build support for a new liturgical movement. Adoremus provides a forum for many Catholics concerned about the Liturgy and gives voice to their legitimate desires, opinions, and questions, in order to foster greater understanding and appropriation of and actual participation in the Church’s worship.