GILH 166-168: Readings in Honor of Saints

As we look at Chapter III-VIII, we consider Readings in Honor of Saints

166. The “hagiographical” readings or readings in honor of saints are either texts from a Father of the Church or another ecclesiastical writer, referring specifically or rightly applicable to the saint being commemorated, or the readings are texts from the saint’s own writings, or are biographical.

Writings about the quality of the saint, or something historical or biographical, or something from the pen of the saint herself or himself.

167. Those who compose particular propers for saints must ensure historical accuracy [See SC art. 92c.] as well as genuine spiritual benefit for those who will read or hear the readings about the saints. Anything that merely excites amazement should be carefully avoided. Emphasis should be given to the individual spiritual characteristics of the saints, in a way suited to modern conditions; stress should also be laid on their contribution to the life and spirituality of the Church.

Was the “mere” appeal to amazement a problem before Vatican II?

168. A short biographical note, simply giving historical facts and a brief sketch of the saint’s life, is provided at the head of the reading. This is for information only and is not for reading aloud.

This is good. It properly belongs in the homily anyway, unless the saint is well known to the community.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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