Monday, 11 March 2013

Authentic Liturgy

His Lordship, Philip, Bishop of Portsmouth has issued a wide ranging and excellent Pastoral Letter. See it here. It even has footnotes. This is wontderful as it might encourage priests and laity alike to follow up on some of the teaching expressed in it and do a  little 'learning' during Lent.

It ends thus...

Let me add a final thought: the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, especially the Mass, which is principally where we experience the power of God’s love and receive a foretaste of heaven.
In recent years, a false idea has arisen that envisages the Mass as something we do, rather than what God is doing. In fact, in the Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus offers Himself to the Father through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit associates us with Christ's prayer and offering. This is why the Mass is not ours; it is God’s work. In this Year of Faith, I would like to invite everyone to review their attitude towards the Mass, to celebrate Mass authentically, to focus at Mass on Christ, not on ourselves as priests or people. It is important, of course, that we do our part, that we abide diligently by the rubrics, that we participate actively with due reverence, and that in our parishes, schools and communities, we foster the full variety and nobility of the Roman Rite, in its liturgical and musical styles, although always with the best examples. In this regard, many of our communities are now international, and so I wish to ask each parish and school to ensure, as Vatican II called for, that everyone knows the Latin prayers and the Latin chants of the Mass, at least those given in the new Missal. This is important in itself and for the young, but also as a work of evangelisation: that any visitor will know they have reached the universal 'Church of the Ages'.

I cannot think of a better way to express it. Let us hope that the diocese of Portsmouth takes heed of the bidding of her Bishop and the teaching of Our Holy Mother, the Church.

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