We reach the end of the third instruction on the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium.
13. In conclusion: it must be remembered that the liturgical reform decided on by the Council affects the universal Church. It thus requires in pastoral meetings a study of its meaning and practice for the Christian education of the people to the end that the liturgy may become vital, touch the soul, and meet its needs.
It would be interesting to know how many of the early disaffected clergy, musicians, and liturgists participated in such meetings. It might be even more indicative how widespread such meetings were on the diocesan level in the late 60′s and early 70′s, a rather critical time for the reform.
The contemporary reform aims at making available liturgical prayer that has its origin in a living and honored tradition. Once available this prayer must appear clearly as the work of the entire people of God in all their orders and ministries. (See GIRM 58.) The effectiveness and authenticity of this reform has as its sole guarantee the unity of the whole ecclesial organism.
The goal: making liturgy a tradition both living and honored.
Prompted by a ready obedience to church laws and precepts and by a spirit of faith, and putting aside purely personal preferences or idiosyncrasies, pastors especially should be ministers of the community liturgy through personal example, study, and an intelligent, persistent catechesis. They will thus prepare for that flowering spring expected from this liturgical reform, which looks to the needs of the age and which repudiates the secular and arbitrary as lethal to itself.
This last paragraph strikes me as a challenge put forth to pastors who might otherwise consider resistance. I like the emphasis for these guys: personal example of prayer first. Then personal study. Then a catechesis for the people that is both intelligent and persistent.
Note also that even seven years after Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Roman liturgists weren’t yet expecting a spring. These reforms were only seeds planted for a future blossoming.
Pope Paul VI has approved this Instruction, prepared at his mandate by the Congregation for Divine Worship, and confirmed it with his authority on 3 September 1970, ordering its publication and its observance by all concerned.
Any last comments before we move on?