Sacrosanctum Concilium 33

We continue the examination of liturgical norms with this sub-section entitled “Norms based upon the didactic and pastoral nature of the Liturgy”

Although the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine Majesty, it likewise contains much instruction for the faithful (Cf. Council of Trent, Session XXII, Doctrine on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, c. 8.). For in the liturgy God speaks to His people and Christ is still proclaiming His gospel. And the people reply to God both by song and prayer.

This bit repeats an earlier definition of liturgy, namely the worship of God. But it also acknowledges the catechetical dimension of liturgy, a dimension that includes a response of gratitude to God.

Moreover, the prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present. And the visible signs used by the liturgy to signify invisible divine things have been chosen by Christ or the Church. Thus not only when things are read “which were written for our instruction” (Rom. 15:4), but also when the Church prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking part is nourished and their minds are raised to God, so that they may offer Him their rational service and more abundantly receive His grace.

These visible signs are important, as their expression is part of the spiritual nourishment the faithful derive from the liturgy. The following three numbered sections outline the principles to be used in the revision of the liturgy. The failure to apply these principles, be it in the imperfect application to post-conciliar liturgy, or the more obstructive attempts to retain the earlier Missals must be dealt with honestly and forthrightly.

Wherefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be observed:

And we’ll get to these starting tomorrow.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Sacrosanctum Concilium 33

  1. Anne says:

    “For in the liturgy God speaks to His people and Christ continues to proclaim His gospel.”
    Reminding us of a real presence and that liturgy and theology are closely related.

    “And the people respond to God both by song and prayer.”
    A referal to full, conscious, active participation

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