The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is preparing a booklet to help priests celebrate the Mass properly and the faithful to participate better, according to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
Antonio Cañizares confirmed this Tuesday at an address at the Spanish
Embassy to the Holy See on “Catholic Liturgy since Vatican II:
Continuity and Evolution.”
“We are preparing it; it will help to
celebrate well and to participate well. I hope it will come out this
year, in the summer,” the cardinal told ZENIT.
…When speaking of
the liturgy, continued the cardinal, one must not forget what the
conciliar document states: “Christ is always present in his Church,
especially in the liturgical action. He is present in the sacrifice of
the Mass, be it in the person of the minister, ‘offering himself now
through the ministry of the priests as he then offered himself on the
cross,’ be it especially under the Eucharistic species.” …
stressed that the objective of the liturgy “is the adoration of God and
the salvation of men,” which is not a creation of ours, but source and
summit of the Church.”
The prefect of the Congregation for Divine
Worship and the Sacraments criticized existing abuses such as
showmanship, and praised moments of silence “that are action,” which
enable the priest and the faithful to talk with Jesus Christ and which
exclude the predominance of words that often becomes showmanship on the
part of the priest.
The correct attitude is the one “indicated by Saint
John the Baptist, when he says he must decrease and the Messiah must
The cardinal criticized the effort to make the Mass
“entertaining” with certain songs — instead of focusing on the mystery —
in an attempt to overcome “boredom” by transforming the Mass into a
He added that the Council did not speak of the priest
celebrating Mass facing the people, that it stressed the importance of
Christ on the altar, reflected in Benedict XVI’s celebration of the Mass
in the Sistine Chapel facing the altar.
This does not exclude the
priest facing the people, in particular during the reading of the word
He stressed the need of the notion of mystery, and particulars
such as the altar facing East and the fact that the sacrificial sense of
the Eucharist must not be lost.