Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sacramentum Caritatis - Part 54 - Pope Benedict XVI

The Eucharistic Celebration and inculturation

54. On the basis of these fundamental statements of the Second Vatican Council, the Synod Fathers frequently stressed the importance of the active participation of the faithful in the eucharistic sacrifice. In order to foster this participation, provision may be made for a number of adaptations appropriate to different contexts and cultures. (163) The fact that certain abuses have occurred does not detract from this clear principle, which must be upheld in accordance with the real needs of the Church as she lives and celebrates the one mystery of Christ in a variety of cultural situations. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Lord Jesus, born of woman and fully human (cf. Gal 4:4), entered directly into a relationship not only with the expectations present within the Old Testament, but also with those of all peoples. He thus showed that God wishes to encounter us in our own concrete situation.

A more effective participation of the faithful in the holy mysteries will thus benefit from the continued inculturation of the eucharistic celebration, with due regard for the possibilities for adaptation provided in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, (164) interpreted in the light of the criteria laid down by the Fourth Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Varietates Legitimae of 25 January 1994 (165) and the directives expressed by Pope John Paul II in the Post-Synodal Exhortations Ecclesia in Africa, Ecclesia in America, Ecclesia in Asia, Ecclesia in Oceania and Ecclesia in Europa (166). To this end, I encourage Episcopal Conferences to strive to maintain a proper balance between the criteria and directives already issued and new adaptations (167), always in accord with the Apostolic See.

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