Liturgy Stuff from the USCCB

Three major bloggers tell it, so it must be true. Sing To The Lord, the proposed USCCB document on sacred music, gets downgraded to “guidelines” and is taken off the discussion  table laden down with over a hundred amendments. The motumaniacs and their allies seem pleased that nothing will knock over their four-foot candlesticks. They still can’t spell their most beloved bishop’s name. If I were a conservative Catholic, I’d say that what makes my ideological adversaries happy must make me sad. But if the bishes weren’t ready to tackle sacred music, maybe it’s just as well. That leaves MCW and LMT as endorsed by the USCCB in ’83, and people seem free to take or leave that good advice.

John Allen does report on the weekday liturgy of the word in the absence of a priest. Thanks to Pope Pius X, people have become accustomed to daily Communion. Bishop Weigand of Sacramento suggested promoting the Liturgy of the Hours as an alternative. Bishop Trautman thinks the Communion service practice needs some regularization to prevent abuses. Bishop Blair of Toledo doesn’t want to encourage the “deacon’s Mass” or the “lay Mass.”

This progressive’s view is thumbs down on Communion services. Sure, it will take a lot of effort to make morning or evening prayer work, but it needs to be done. It would be better for a lay leader in a parish without a priest to be identified, discerned, and brought to the bishop for ordination and to provide a community’s Eucharist than to maintain the modernist innovation of Communion services.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to Liturgy Stuff from the USCCB

  1. caecilia says:

    “MCW and LMT as endorsed by the USCCB in ‘83”

    Can you provide a citation for this?
    I had always heard both were endorsed by the BCL but never put to the vote of the full conference, but recently someone else said it was actively published as promulgated by the full national conference.
    It would be great if there were some reference for this.

  2. Todd says:

    The 1983 USCCB document, The Church at Prayer #44, in which the bishops refer to MCW, LMT, and EACW, and give this conclusion:

    “The norms and guidelines of these documents should be followed by pastors, and all those engaged in the liturgical arts.”

    Clearly, the bishops were operating on a different sort of wavelength in the 70’s and 80’s, but they were able to distinguish between “norms” and “guidelines,” trusting pastors and liturgical leaders to consider the work of their committee and their own endorsement of that work.

  3. Liam says:

    Recall that this action by the entire USCCB predated by 15 years the more formal framework for conference legislation introduced by Apostolos Suos.

  4. sacerdos says:

    Well, Todd, paint me progressive! I have never been a big fan of Communion services, and have long thought that introducing the Liturgy of the Hours, especially when a priest is not available to say Mass, would be an optimal way to encourage truly liturgical prayer.

    I think you will find this has already been clarified for their excellencies. In an oft-glossed-over passage, Redemptionis Sacramentum clearly states that the practice of a Communion Service on a weekday is to stop. I don’t have the exact wording, but R.S. says that such services should only be used on Sundays in the absence (and complete unavailability) of a priest – meaning the faithful would have to drive more than 30-60 minutes to otherwise attend Mass.

  5. Chironomo says:

    Actually, it doesn’t leave MCW and LMT intact… they have been supplanted by the new document, even though it will not become particular law without approval from the Vatican. Further, the Bishop’s “Directory on Music and the Liturgy” would supplant those parts of even the revised document which pertain to the “threefold judgment” should it gain the recognitio of the Vatican (which is still unlikely!). More likely is the replacement of both documents by a curial document on music, which is expected some time this coming year. It is likely that many so-called Catholic musicians would continue doing what they please, even if they have to turn to Protestant hymnals to do so!

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