Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt.7

10. The Connection Between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist
Pastors should therefore "carefully teach the faithful to participate in the whole Mass," showing the close connection between the Liturgy of the Word and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, so that they can see clearly how the two constitute a single act of worship.47 For "the preaching of the Word is necessary for the very administration of the sacraments, inasmuch as they are sacraments of faith, which is born of the Word and fed by it."48 This is especially true of the celebration of Mass, in which it is the purpose of the Liturgy of the Word to develop the close connection between the preaching and hearing of the Word of God and the Eucharistic Mystery.49

When therefore the faithful hear the Word of God, they should realize that the wonders it proclaims culminate in the Paschal Mystery, of which the memorial is sacramentally celebrated in the Mass. In this way the faithful will be nourished by the Word of God which they have received and in a spirit of thanksgiving will be led on to a fruitful participation in the mysteries of salvation. Thus the Church is nourished by the bread of life which she finds at the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of Christ.50

11. The Priesthood Common to All the Faithful and the Ministerial Priesthood in the Celebration of the Eucharist
 The more clearly the faithful understand the place they occupy in the liturgical community and the part they have to play in the eucharistic action, the more conscious and fruitful will be the active participation which is proper to that community.51

Catechetical instruction should therefore explain the doctrine of the royal priesthood to which the faithful are consecrated by rebirth and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.52
Moreover there should also be further explanation of the role in the celebration of the Eucharist of the ministerial priesthood which differs from the common priesthood of the faithful in essence and not merely in degree.53 The part played by others who exercise a ministry in the Eucharist should also be explained.54

12. The Nature of Active Participation in the MassIt should be made clear that all who gather for the Eucharist constitute that holy people which, together with the ministers, plays its part in the sacred action. It is indeed the priest alone, who, acting in the person of Christ, consecrates the bread and wine, but the role of the faithful in the Eucharist is to recall the passion, resurrection and glorification of the Lord, to give thanks to God, and to offer the immaculate Victim not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with him; and finally, by receiving the Body of the Lord, to perfect that communion with God and among themselves which should be the product of participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass.55 For the faithful achieve a more perfect participation in the Mass when, with proper disposition, they receive the Body of the Lord sacramentally in the Mass itself, in obedience to his words, "take and eat."56

Like the passion of Christ itself, this sacrifice, though offered for all, "has no effect except in those united to the passion of Christ by faith and charity . . . To these it brings a greater or less benefit in proportion to their devotion."57

All these things should be explained to the faithful, so that they may take an active part in the celebration of the Mass both by their personal devotion and by joining in the external rites, according to the principles laid down in the Constitution on the Liturgy,58 which have been further determined by the Instruction <Inter Oecumenici> of Sept. 26, 1964, and the Instruction <Musician Sacram> of March 5, 1967,59 and through the Instruction Tres abhinc annos of May 4, 1967.

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