Sacrosanctum Concilium 27

If I had a counter, this is the fifth explicit reference to “active participation” in the liturgy constitution. While the council acknowledges long-held Catholic teaching about any of the Church’s liturgies being a communal enterprise, it states the preference for incarnation. By that I mean the outward expression of liturgy impacting the sanctification of believers.

It is to be stressed that whenever rites, according to their specific nature, make provision for communal celebration involving the presence and active participation of the faithful, this way of celebrating them is to be preferred, so far as possible, to a celebration that is individual and quasi-private.

This applies with especial force to the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments, even though every Mass has of itself a public and social nature.

It is clear to see the council’s preference for public liturgy and against trends to human privatization: Masses without congregations, baptisms, weddings, and encounters with the sick. I had a friend who related an experience of a priest saying a “private” Mass (literally) at the parish-scheduled time and sending an acolyte into the church to announce Communion would be distributed within a few minutes.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Sacrosanctum Concilium 27

  1. Anne says:

    private mass….announce communion will be distributed within a few minutes…..

    hmmmm….liturgical abuse. IMO
    I wouldn’t have let that one slide without questioning or even reporting to the diocese.

  2. Vincent Farrell says:

    “For there are today, Venerable Brethren, those who, approximating to errors long since condemned teach that in the New Testament by the word ‘priesthood’ is meant only that priesthood which applies to all who have been baptized; and hold that the command by which Christ gave power to His apostles at the Last Supper to do what He Himself had done, applies directly to the entire Christian Church, and that thence, and thence only, arises the hierarchical priesthood. Hence they assert that the people are possessed of a true priestly power, while the priest only acts in virtue of an office committed to him by the community. Wherefore, they look on the eucharistic sacrifice as a ‘concelebration,’ in the literal meaning of that term, and consider it more fitting that priests should ‘concelebrate’ with the people present than that they should offer the sacrifice privately when the people are absent” (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei n. 83, November 20, A.D. 1947).

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