DMC 3

Thanks for the good discussion on the last DMC post. I would probably agree that a reexamination is called for, but let’s be careful about blind criticism of the document. It was groundbreaking for its time, and got the post-conciliar Church off to a good start. If anything, it set the bar too low for children.

At any rate, there was a post-conciliar consensus in the CDWDS that liturgical adaptation for children would be part of the picture, as it was for other groups.

3. The Church follows its Master, who “put his arms around the children . . . and blessed them” (Mk 10:16). It cannot leave children in the condition described. Vatican Council II had spoken in the Constitution on the Liturgy about the need of liturgical adaptation for various groups. [See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 38. See also Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Instr. Actio pastoralis, 15 May 1969.] Soon afterwards, especially in the first Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 1967, the Church began to consider how participation by children could be made easier. On the occasion of the Synod, the President of the Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy said explicitly that it could not be a matter of “creating some entirely special rite but rather of retaining, shortening, or omitting some elements or of making a better selection of texts.” [“De Liturgia in prima Synodo Episcoporum”: Notitiae 3 (1967) 368.]

The emphasis is important. No special rite for children (unlike the prescriptions of Summorum Pontificum) but retention, brevity, some omissions, and a better selection of texts.

Adults, too, respond to some of these adaptations. While the multiple strange acclamations are a puzzle, I often hear a positive reaction to the use of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses With Children. These texts are successful because they strip the anaphora to its essential elements.

When I read Fr Fox’s comments about the gestures of Eucharistic Prayer I, I thought it more of a positive commentary on gesture in general. There’s no reason why such elements could not or should not be included in other Eucharistic prayers.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory for Masses With Children, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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