Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bravo, Bishop Burbidge!

Bishop Burbidge, right, with Father Parkersonof the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, has issued diocesan norms for the liturgy of Holy Mass, refreshing our memories to recall and better implement norms that have already been promulgated for the universal Church in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and other official documents.

General Norms for the Celebration of the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass in the Forma Ordinaria (the ordinary form of the Holy Mass as celebrated in most Catholic parish churches.)

pg.2 #6 Sacred silence prior to the beginning of a Sacred Liturgy

pg.2 #9 Faithful are encouraged to dress appropriately

pg.3 #13 Explains difference between lector and reader

pg.4 #18 All liturgical ministers should dress appropriately. T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes and flip-flops are inappropriate

pg.5 Section 1.3 Sacred Texts
Liturgical Books

pg.5 #19, No approved texts are to be altered either by the priest or by the assembly…

pg.6 Section 1.2.3, The use of Latin and languages particular to the assembly

pg.6 #26 is laudable that the faithful be familiar with the acclamations and other prayers in Latin, namely the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Credo, the Pater Noster, and the Agnus Dei. Pastors are instructed to be pastorally judicious in forming the faithful in the use of these ancient sacred texts of the Mass.

pg.7 Section 1.5, Sacred Vessels
Outlines what materials the vessels can be made of.

pg.9 Section 1.7, Liturgical Music
pg.9 #42 It is laudable that the processional hymn or introit, the acclamations, the dialogues, and the litanies of the Mass be sung…even when musical accompaniment is not possible.

pg.9 #43 ...The use of simple chant is laudable given that Gregorian chant holds pride of place in the Sacred Liturgy.

pg.9 Section 1.8 Use of Incense
pp.9-10 #46, ...Incense is customarily used during celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy on Sundays…

pg.10 Section 1.9 Use of Bells
pg.10 #50, ...The use of bells during the Liturgy of the Eucharist is recommended…

pg.15 Section 4.3, Communion Rite
pg.15 #79 While it may be a custom in some place to hold hands as the Our Father is prayed, this gesture is not encouraged, as the reception of Holy Communion is the sign and bond of unity of the Church at prayer.

pg.17 Section 4.3.2 Posture and Gestures for Reception of the Holy Eucharist by the Faithful in the Assembly

pg.17 #92, The normative posture for the reception of the Holy Communion in the Dioceses of the United States is standing. However, communicants are not to be denied Holy Communion because they kneel.

pg.18 Section 4.3.3,Purification of the Sacred Vessels
pg.18 #97 Sacred vessels may only be purified by a priest, deacon, or an instituted acolyte.

pg.21 Section 6.2, Sacred Images
pg.21 #111, A cross adorned with the image of the Crucified Lord is to be…located on or near the altar...

pg.21 Section 6.4, Parochial Liturgical Formation
pg.21 #114 Liturgical formation is encouraged for the faithful in parishes. Among the formation topics, the following are recommended: The significance of the Eucharist in the life of a Catholic, the Eucharist and the Paschal Mystery, the Real Presence in the Eucharist and the Mass, Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, the right disposition of the faithful before Mass, active participation during Mass, posture during Mass, purification of sacred vessels, and sacred images and devotions in Roman Catholic worship.

The full document is available here:

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