“The teacher teaches the liturgy when it leads to an encounter with the Paschal Mystery of Christ. At the same time he must ensure that the liturgy shines with decency, simplicity and order. The ministry of the teacher is diakonia: he works with the bishop in the service of the community,” said Francis to the participants of the course “Liturgical Action Fully”.
Mariangela Jaguraba Vatican News
This Friday (January 20) in the Vatican, Pope Francis received the participants of the course for diocesan leaders of liturgical celebrations organized by the Pontifical Institute of St. Anselm.
According to the Pope, “this course, now completed, corresponds to the indications of the letter Desiderio desideravi on liturgical formation. In fact, cultivating the celebrations requires preparation and commitment. We bishops in our ministry are aware of this because we need the collaboration of those who prepare the liturgies and help us to fulfill our mandate of guiding the prayer of the holy people”.
Liturgy, the first art of the Church
“Your service in the liturgy requires not only indepth knowledge but also a deep pastoral feeling. I am therefore pleased that you are once again renewing your commitment to the study of the liturgy. For this reason the liturgy is never fully possessed, it is not learned as concepts, vocations, human skills. It is the first art of the Church, which defines and characterizes it.
Next, Francis made some considerations related to the implementation of the liturgical reform. According to him, one no longer speaks of a “master of ceremonies”, i.e. the person who takes care of “sacred ceremonies”. “The liturgical books refer to the Master of Celebrations. The Master teaches the liturgy as it leads to an encounter with the Paschal Mystery of Christ. At the same time he must ensure that the liturgy shines with decency, simplicity and order. The ministry of the Master is diakonia: he collaborates with the bishop in the ministry of the community,” he emphasized.
The Master first grows in the school of the liturgy
According to the Pope, one of the aims of the Second Vatican Council is to accompany the faithful in “regaining the capacity to live the liturgical action fully and to continue to be amazed by what is happening before our eyes in the celebration”. How can this be achieved? The answer can already be found in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which in number 14 recommends the formation of the faithful. “For this reason, the teacher first grows in the school of the liturgy and participates in the pastoral mission of forming the clergy and the faithful,” said the Pope.
According to Francisco, “One of the most complex aspects of the reform is its practical implementation, that is, the way in which what the Council Fathers have laid down is translated into everyday life, which accompanies the diocese, the parishes, together with the head of the Liturgy Pastoral Department Priests and other ministers in carrying out the solemn practice prescribed by the Council. This happens mainly through partying.”
growth in liturgical life
When the person responsible for the celebration accompanies the bishop to a parish, it is good to appreciate the style of celebration lived there. It’s no use organizing a nice “movement” when the bishop is there and then everything is back to how it was before. Their task is not to organize a oneday rite, but to propose a liturgy that can be imitated, with the adjustments that the community can integrate to grow in liturgical life.
The Pope admonished them to “ensure silence”. “Especially before the celebrations, help the congregation and concelebrants focus on what needs to be done. It is often noisy before and after the celebrations in the sacristy, but the silence opens and prepares the mystery, allows assimilation, lets the echo of the words ring out Word heard. Fraternity is nice to greet one another, but it is the encounter with Jesus that gives meaning to our encounter, our reunion. We need to rediscover and appreciate silence,” he concluded.