Sacrosanctum Concilium 35

I’ll be posting on these three sections examining those “norms” today. First we read that words and actions, intimately connected, should be made evidently so.

That the intimate connection between words and rites may be apparent in the liturgy:

1) In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and it is to be more varied and suitable.

With near unanimity, the new Lectionary is considered a success. The criticism have been that if anything, the 1970/2002 Lectionaries have not been as varied as they could be. This would be one of the main handicaps of the indult for the 1962 Rite. I don’t see how Roman Catholics can get away from an expanded Lectionary.

2) Because the sermon is part of the liturgical service, the best place for it is to be indicated even in the rubrics, as far as the nature of the rite will allow; the ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.

The council clarifies the purpose of the “sermon,” which aligns with our understanding of the homily, namely that the preacher is to trust the liturgical texts given for a particular celebration and mold the preached word accordingly.

3) Instruction which is more explicitly liturgical should also be given in a variety of ways; if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in prescribed or similar words.

This bit established the role of commentator, of which only vestiges remain in mainstream liturgical practice.

4) Bible services should be encouraged, especially on the vigils of the more solemn feasts, on some weekdays in Advent and Lent, and on Sundays and feast days. They are particularly to be commended in places where no priest is available; when this is so, a deacon or some other person authorized by the bishop should preside over the celebration.

“Bible services,” not Communion services. These would include not just liturgies of the word, but also traditional formats such as lessons and carols, or more plain celebrations of the Office of Readings. Note also the provision for lay presiders to be employed at the authorization of the local bishop.

There’s a lot of say about the norms of which we’re reminded in SC 35, but I leave anything else to your discussion.

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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 35

  1. Gavin says:

    3) this reminds me of one nightmare of a job I had, wherein the priest would always say after the kyrie “now let us give glory to God in the highest”. Frankly, I think it was a bad idea. I’m pretty sure the people were planning on doing that as it is.

    4) this is sadly neglected. The Catholic attitude is “we’re at church an hour per week and no longer!” What would jump to mind for me is the hours, but you rightly mentioned lessons and carols as an example. If we held an evensong, who would come? And just how much support would it get in the parish from anyone not involved in planning it?

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