Traditional Mass

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Continued . . .

38--What means does the Holy Father propose in numbers 127-129 of Mediator Dei for promoting participation in the Mass by the people?

"Therefore, they are deserving of praise," he writes, "who with a view to facilitating and making more fruitful for the Christian people participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, try to place in their hands the Roman Missal; so that the faithful, in union with the priest, may pray with him, using the same words and the very thoughts of the Church. Also deserving of praise are those who strive to make the liturgy--even in its external expression--a holy action, in which those present really take part. This participation may be accomplished in several ways. As, for example, when all the people, in accordance with the rubrics, either respond in a uniform manner to the words of the priest, or sing chants in keeping with the various parts of the Sacrifice; or when they do both. Or finally, in a Solemn mass, when they sing the responses to the prayers of Christ's ministers and take part in the liturgical chant."

"These modes of participation in the Sacrifice are praiseworthy and commendable, when they carefully comply with the precepts of the Church and the norms for sacred ritual. Their chief end is the nourishing and fostering of the devotion of Christians, their intimate union with Christ and His visible minister, and the stimulation of those interior sentiments and dispositions by which our soul must be in conformity with the High Priest of the New Covenant. They show in an outward manner that the Sacrifice, according to its nature (it having been accomplished by the Mediator between God and man) {I Tim. 2:5} should be considered as the work of the whole Mystical Body of Christ. Nevertheless, these exercises are by no means necessary for the constitution of its public and communal character. Furthermore, the dialogued mass cannot take the place of a Solemn mass; which even though celebrated in the presence of the sacred ministers only, enjoys a peculiar dignity, owing to the majesty of the ritual and the pomp of the ceremony. This latter, however, assumes much more solemnity and grandeur, if--in accordance with the desire of the Church--a numerous and devout people are present."
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]