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June 7, 1991     The Message
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June 7, 1991

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana June 7, 1991 I I II Liturgical law: A practical application By FR. WILLIAM DEERING Diocesan Director of Worship Due to an editor's error, the following article was omitted from publication, May 31. An article published earlier in the year was inadvertently used in its place. In a broad sense, liturgical law is included in Canon Law. Liturgical law is the Canon Law that orders the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. The term "liturgy" is the worship "carried out in the name of the church by per- sons lawfully deputed and through acts approved by the authority of the church" (can. 834, sec. 2). These acts of the church which make up the liturgy include all the rites published in the official litur- gical books approved by com- petent ecclesiastical authori- ty. Canon Law is intended to serve a pastoral purpose by providing harmony and unity in the external life of the Christian community. Liturgi- cal law has this same pastoral function. The following is an excerpt from the article an liturgical law in "The New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship." "Liturgical law aims to en- sure the unity and authentici- ty of Catholic worship within and among the local churches that make up' the universal church. Unity of worship does not mean total uniformi- ty of rubricism, the kind of slavish adherence to ceremo- nial minutiae that character- ized fidelity to liturgical law before Vatican II. It pertains rather to the ordering and maintenance of the essential structures, spirit, and charac- ter of the sacraments and other liturgical rites. The deepest purpose of liturgical law is that of the liturgy it- self: to build up the body of Christ through Spirit-filled celebrations of the saving mysteries. In order to fulfill this purpose, liturgical law is best observed not by mere rubrical exactitude but by ministers and assemblies who enflesh the law through meaningful liturgical celebra- tions that effectively signify and build up the local church in communion with the church universal." We can find universal litur- gical law chiefly in the offi- cial liturgical books. The principal liturgical books are: the Roman Missal (sacramen- tary and lectionary); the Roman R;tual (these rites are usually printed separately these would include the cel- ebrations of sacraments and funerals); the Liturgy of the Hours, and the Ceremonial of Bishops. All of these are ser- vice books with the exception of the Ceremonial which is a compilation of norms intend- ed as a guide for bishops, masters of ceremonies and others entrusted with the conduct of episcopal care- monles. Most of liturgical law can be found in the "General In- struction" which can be found in the beginning of the Missal and Liturgy of the Hours, or in the Introductions (praenotanda) to the other rites. Some liturgical law can be individually enacted and some liturgical law can bG found in authentic interpreta- tions of liturgical laws. In reading liturgical law none of the above is taken in isolation. Each document is to be read in conjunction with the others, especially to arrive at the spirit of what is intended. And even within a single document a statement is to be understood with the entire document in mind. In other words, nothing is to be taken out of context. Now, for the practical ap- plication. At the beginning of Lent a circular letter was sent to all pastors. This letter was concerning the meaning of the liturgical celebrations of Lent and of the Easter Tridu- urn. This letter was later re- ferred to in the Message. Cit- ing a liturgical law from the Sacramentary the article stat- ed that according to the an- cient tradition of the church the sacraments are not cele- brated. This is, of course, to keep the spirit of the Tridu- um as a single uninterrupted liturgical celebration (which it is). It was mentioned that during the Easter Triduum, therefore, Penance is not to be celebrated. Following upon this article, a letter to the editor of the Message quoted a statement from a document issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship: Circular Letter Con- cerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts. (January 16, 1988). Since the promulgation of the Missal of Paul VI in 1969 several pastoral questions had arisen. The answers to these were not clear in the Missal itself. For example, after the directive concerning not celebrating the sacra- ments on Good Friday, the missal did make provisions for shut-ins to receive com- munion on Good Friday, whereas on Holy Saturday only those who are dying are permitted to receive commu- nion as Viaticum. Nothing was stated about Penance and Anointing of the Sick. The above mentioned circular let- ter allows for such situations by stating that both on Good Friday and Holy Saturday the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated. It would seem that by the juxtaposition of Penance with Anointing of the Sick this would indicate emergency situations. Now, mind you, emergency can be taken in a very broad sense to benefit many people. The pastors to whom the local cir- cular letter was sent know this and therefore, none of them would refuse to hear someone's confession. In fact some even scheduled a time when individuals knew that a priest was available for such an "emergency" situation. While the circular letter from the Vatican states that Penance and Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated, earli- er in the same document the following is stated: "The faithful are to be encouraged to participate in an ever more intense and fruitful way in the lenten liturgy and in pen- itential celebrations. They are to be clearly reminded that both according to the law and tradition, they should ap- proach the sacrament of penance during this season, so that with purified heart they may participate in the paschal mysteries. It is appro- priate that during Lent the sacrament of penance be cele- brated according to the rite for the reconciliation of sev- eral penitents with individual F s 9,,. Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President i Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweller City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Prescription $rvtce Drugs-Sundries-Cosmetics Magazlnu - '*We Dellw," Comer Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stmtman 425-5293 Phone:486-3285 YOUR I FAMILY ,,PHARMACY PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists H. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave.- LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 454422 confession and absolution, as given in the Roman Ritual. Pastors should devote them- selves to the ministry of rec- onciliation and provide suffi- cient time for the faithful to avail themselves of this sacra- ment." (para. 15) And in Section C under the heading, "Holy Week," we read: "It is fitting that the Lenten season should be con- cluded, both for the individu- al Christian as well as for the whole Christian community, with a penitential celebra- tion, so that they may be helped to prepare to celebrate more fully the paschal mys- tery. "These celebrations, how- ever, should take place before the Easter Triduum and should not immediately pre- cede the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper." (para. 37) These are the celebrations of penance that are not to take place during the Tridu- um. Again, the pastors know this; perhaps this could have been made clearer for the arti- cle in the Message. This is a practical applica- tion of reading documents in liturgical law. None is to be read (and certainly not inter- preted) apart from the rest of the documents. Several pastors mentioned that because the penitential practices encouraged by the circular letter from the Vati- can and because of the local explanation of the Triduum, , their people were well pre- pared for the Easter Feasts. AUTO, HOME BUSINESS = FARM INSURANCE SERVICES SINCE 1913 INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 JAMES A. NIEMEIER Mater Dei Class of '69 WAS IS '86 BUICK REGAL, 2 dr, silver, #62692 87 CADILLAC BROUGHAM 4 DR, gray, #61628 88 CADILLAC SEDAN DEVILLE blue, #62124 89 CADILLAC BROUGHAM 4 DR, red, #62132 89 CHEV. CORVETTE 2 DR, gray, #61818 91 CHEV. 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