Saturday, May 14, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt. 11

II Celebration on Sundays and Weekdays

25. The Celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays
Whenever the community gathers to celebrate the Eucharist, it announces the death and resurrection of the Lord, in the hope of His glorious return. The supreme manifestation of this is the Sunday assembly. This is the day of the week on which, by apostolic tradition, the Paschal Mystery is celebrated in the Eucharist in a special way.75

In order that the faithful may willingly fulfill the precept to sanctify this day and understand why the Church calls them together to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday, from the very outset of their Christian formation "Sunday should be presented to them as the primordial feast day,"76 on which, assembled together, they are to hear the Word of God and take part in the Paschal Mystery.
Moreover, any endeavor that seeks to make Sunday a genuine "day of joy and rest from work"77 should be encouraged.

26. The Celebration of Sunday Around the Bishop and in Parishes
It is fitting that the sense of ecclesial community, especially fostered and expressed by the celebration of Sunday Mass in common, should be encouraged both around the bishop, particularly in the cathedral church, and in the parish assembly, where the pastor takes the place of the bishop.78
It is important that the active participation of the entire people in the Sunday celebration, which is expressed in singing, should be assiduously promoted. In fact, sung Masses (<Missae in cantu>) should be preferred as far as possible.79

On Sundays and feast days above all, the celebrations which take place in other churches or oratories should be arranged in connection with the celebrations in the parish church so that they contribute to the general pastoral effort. It is preferable that small religious non-clerical communities and other similar communities, especially those that work in the parish, should take part in the parish Mass on these days.

As regards the time and number of Masses to be celebrated in parishes, the good of the parish community should be kept in mind and the number of Masses should not be so multiplied as to weaken the effectiveness of the pastoral effort; for example: if through the great number of Masses, only small groups of the faithful were to come to each of the Masses in a church that can hold a great number of people. Another example would be if, for the same reason, the priests were so overburdened by their work as to make it difficult for them to fulfill their ministry adequately.

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