Roman Missal III
The Paulist Center Task Force on RM III has prepared reflection and insight papers to assist in the transition to the new missal.
RM III Task Force Members: Frank Desiderio, CSP, Paula Cuozzo, Michael Kurley, Mary Burke, Chris Cichello, Miska Vincze, Bob Bowers
Below are the links to the current papers:
The “Low Down” on Hell in the New Translation of the Creeds ~ by Miska Vincze, RM III Task Force Member of the Paulist Center Boston
The Apostle’s Creed in the new translation of the Roman Missal remains quite similar to the current translation with a few exceptions. One of these exceptions is the use of the word hell, which I will address in this short essay. Before I continue, I would like to say that this document is neither a criticism of nor a stamp of approval for the new translation of the Creed. It is intended to bring to light the difficulties inherent in the translation processi and to clarify the use of a potentially misleading term.
~ Frank Desiderio, CSP, Task Force Chair
From Vatican II to Roman Missal III:
A Tradition of Liturgical Development
Questions Regarding the New Translation of the Roman Missal
The Impact of the Roman Missal III on Liturgy and Music
Archdiocese of Boston
This is a series of articles that Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) has published, and has made available on their website:
From Loyola Press, which has a series of short and good articles, especially helpful for children:
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal
Forty years ago, the Second Vatican Council opened, instituting reforms in the life of the Church. Pope John XXIII called the Church to “ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate.” Among the work of the Council were changes in the liturgy to promote the full, active, and conscious participation of the faithful. As we begin a new church year on November 30, 2003, there will again be some modifications to our celebration of the liturgy. Why the clarifications?
In 1969, Pope Paul VI promulgated a new Roman Missal, a book used for the celebration of the liturgy, which includes the prayers of the Presider and congregation. Included in the Roman Missal was a General Instruction, containing the directives for the celebration of Mass, and the theological understanding behind the words, actions, and postures of the congregation. This General Instruction was modified again in 1975. In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a new edition of the Roman Missal, along with a third General Instruction. Like the previous editions, this document, translated in 2002, contains directives for liturgical celebrations throughout the worldwide Church.
Why is a new General Instruction being instituted now at the Paulist Center and throughout the Archdiocese of Boston? In the life of the Church, as in any person’s life, it is good to constantly reflect on how one is living out his or her life; throughout its history, the Church has been guided by the ancient principle of Ecclesia semper reformanda: “The Church, always reforming.” The community’s celebration of the liturgy, the source and summit of all Christian life, should be conducted with as much care and concern as possible. An examination of the new directives of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal—the majority of which are already part of our worship at the Paulist Center—shows clarifications rather than drastic changes. The Church, after reflecting upon thirty years of celebrating the new Roman Rite of the liturgy, has been able to gain a better sense of how to pray united as a community both local and universal.
Our Full, Conscious, and Active Participation in Liturgy
The revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) (pdf) reiterates the primary focus of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: the full, conscious, and active participation of all the faithful at liturgy. Over the past 40 years, the Paulist Center Community has endeavored to incorporate this conviction into our worship. The GIRM offers us the occasion to enhance our liturgy by asking us to review the ways we try to enact this essential principle.
Liturgical prayer begins with us. The Holy Spirit prompts us believers to bring our complete selves—body, mind, heart, and soul—to worship. We as faith-filled individuals gather from our disparate lives to a single place and form a community. We are members of the Body of Christ, gathered for public liturgical prayer. Our prayers to God emerge from our entire being. This communal prayer requires that all our senses be engaged in liturgy. And the Church draws on the breadth and depth of diverse spiritualities, talents, and abilities of all the faithful to enrich its prayer of thanksgiving and praise of God.
Various postures and gestures in liturgy reflect different movements of the heart.
We embody prayer in many ways: standing, sitting, kneeling, bowing, and genuflection as well as when we make the sign of the Cross, shake hands as a sign of peace, and process to the altar. These postures and gestures are not ceremonial. When done consciously and well, they create a new opportunity to participate in liturgy more attentively.
Society is filled with sounds and noise. People can be uncomfortable with silence and want to fill the void. In liturgy, however, silence is not dead or empty space. Instead, we are active listeners. Silence is a means for respecting what has been proclaimed and what has been enacted. It offers the assembly an appropriate opportunity to reflect, to take in what has been spoken and experienced, and to respond to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit. Silence is also symbolic of our awe of and reverence for the Almighty.
Words, spoken or sung, help solidify our witness and our communion with one another. Our attention to language and speaking the prayers aloud reflects our faith in the Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. Our communal prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer, and our prayers of response, such as responses to the Scriptures and dialogue prayers with the presider , are occasions for giving voice to the faith we hold in our hearts.
The GIRM gives clear instruction on the importance of music and song in our liturgy. Sung prayer includes hymns and antiphons, sequences and responsories. Music in prayer and worship uplifts the soul and helps to unify individuals into a single body. It expresses what words alone cannot achieve. A variety of musical styles can enrich our liturgy, and through the music of various ages and cultures, we are in communion with all Christendom. Music and singing strengthen our liturgical prayer, for music and singing are our prayer.
The GIRM offers us a way to pray more deeply in body, mind, heart, and soul and to promote a unity that is at the core of our liturgical spirituality. The bonds of faith that unite us are strengthened in our united prayer of word, song, silence, posture, and gesture—bonds of faith that unite the members of the PCC and all visitors to our chapel, along with other local communities in the diocese and around the world.
The liturgy is a gathering of the Body of Christ, called together by the Holy Spirit to a more perfect union through the sharing of Word and Sacrament. Symbols of the community as Christ’s Body include various ministerial roles, as well as the common words, actions, and postures of the congregation. This communal reality is a theological truth that the liturgy expresses through full, active, and conscious participation in word and body.
Roles Among The Gathered Assembly
The various duties undertaken by ministers and the congregation are to be understood as a diversity of roles among members of the Body of Christ. Each minister, through his or her service to the community in the liturgy, promotes the worship of God by the whole congregation. The ordained Presider, standing in the place of the Apostles, leads the community in prayer and sacrament. To nourish, challenge, and call forth the faithful, Ministers of the Word proclaim the scriptures, and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist share Christ’s Body and Blood. The Cantor proclaims the Word in song, along with Ministers of Music who lead the sung responses and hymns. The Sacristan assists in arranging the materials necessary for the liturgical celebration.
The Congregation’s Common Words and Postures
The postures and gestures that we, as a community, use in the celebration of the liturgy are as much a part of the prayer as the words spoken.
- Standing during the Entrance Rites, the proclamation of the Gospel, the Eucharistic Prayer, and Communion Rite—an action dating back to the earliest days of the Church—is a symbol of full human stature among a people who is “risen with Christ and seek the things that are above.”
- Sitting is appropriate for listening and meditation.
- Bowing is a bodily expression of reverential mindfulness.
- Kneeling, suggestive of the ancient gesture of prostration, signifies an awareness of human sinfulness and penitence.
The purpose of a set of common postures is to foster a deep connection for both the person and the community with the action and focus of the celebration.
The Reception of Holy Communion
The revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) gives much attention to the reception of Holy Communion at Mass, emphasizing that this is not merely a personal act of devotion; it is also a communal act of faith.
“For the celebration of the Eucharist is an action of the whole Church” and we are “the people of God, purchased by Christ’s blood, gathered together by the Lord, nourished by his word” and “made one by sharing in the Communion of Christ’s Body and Blood.” (GIRM n. 5)
Some of the recommendations for the Communion Rite will be new to the Paulist Center Community; others will not.
Singing. As we have done for many years, the General Instruction recommends that the assembly sing together a hymn while we come forward for communion, to express our “union in spirit by means of the unity of [our] voices, to show joy of heart and to highlight more clearly the ‘communitarian’ nature of the procession to receive Communion.” (GIRM n. 86)
Communion under both species. As also has been our practice, the General Instruction affirms that communion be offered under both species, so that we may respond more fully to the Lord’s invitation, “Take and eat. Take and drink.” Although some people are reluctant to drink from the common cup because they are worried about germs, there is little evidence to support these fears. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reviewed the literature on this subject and stated that the “risk for infectious disease transmission by a common Communion cup is very low.”
No self-intinction. Communicants should not take the bread and dip it into the wine, a practice known as self-intinction . The symbolism of the Last Supper is richest in the act of giving and receiving, and we are not to “take” but rather to “receive” the gifts of bread and wine. Self-intinction would be a form of “taking” rather than “receiving” Holy Communion. There are also practical concerns: it is difficult to dip the bread without touching your fingers to the wine and pieces of bread break off into the wine, “contaminating” it for those who are gluten-intolerant.
Posture and gesture. As a sign of our unity as members of the one body of Christ, the General Instruction calls for one common posture and gesture of reverence when receiving communion. Our bishops have determined that in the United States, communicants normally will receive standing, with a reverent bow of the head.
The entire community will stand for the reception of Communion, as we are able.
When you come forward for Communion, the minister will hold up the sacred bread. Bow your head in reverence to the presence of Christ, and then respond “Amen” after the minister says “Body of Christ.” When you approach the cup minister, he or she will hold up the Precious Blood. Again, bow your head in reverence to the presence of Christ, and then respond “Amen!” to the minister’s acclamation “Blood of Christ.”
- The community is called to worship through a welcome to all present and visitors. All stand for the Gathering Hymn, and remain so until the conclusion of the Opening Prayer.
- Recalling our common baptism with the Sign of the Cross, we reflect upon our sins and ask forgiveness.
The Liturgy of the Word
- All remain seated for the Proclamation of the Word. A short period of silence follows each reading and the psalm.
- All stand for the sung acclamation before the Gospel and remain standing through its proclamation, which is “the pinnacle of revelation, the words and deeds of the Lord.”
- All stand for the Profession of Faith and the Prayer of the Faithful. During the Creed, we bow together at the words: “He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary.”
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
- All sit as the gifts are brought forward, placed upon the altar, and prepared.
- All stand immediately before the invitation which begins: “Pray, sisters and brothers.”
- All remain standing throughout the Eucharistic Prayer.
- After each of the sets of words of institution of the Lord’s Body and Blood, we bow together.
- Both the Doxology and Great Amen are sung to conclude the Eucharistic Prayer.
- As a symbol of our Eucharistic unity, all stand, if one is able, until all members of the assembly have received communion.
- Each communicant makes a bow of the head before receiving the Lord’s Body, and a bow prior to receiving the Lord’s Blood.
- All may sit together for a period of silence following the Communion Rite.
- All together stand for the prayer after Communion.
- Following the prayer after Communion, some brief announcements may be made.
- The liturgy ends as the community is given a final blessing and dismissal, which calls the community gathered to go forth and live the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ.
Liturgical Roles: Volunteers Needed!
Each person serves God and the church in many ways. Some contribute their particular abilities and talents in a liturgical capacity. If you are so inclined, the Worship Committee asks you to consider serving the PCC in one of these essential roles.
Please contact Michael Kurley, Pastoral Minister of Liturgy and Music for more information.
Art & Environment Team Members help to prepare our chapel during the seasons of the church year and for other important celebrations in our community. If your talents lie in art, flower arranging or green-thumb plant maintenance, sewing, carpentry etc., please consider becoming involved.
Extraordinary Ministers of Eucharist assist the presider with the distribution of the Eucharist to the assembly when gathered for Mass. Those who are trained in this ministry may sign up for an assignment ten minutes before the liturgy begins.
Hospitality Ministers / Greeters warmly meet people at the front door, offer them bulletins, and (where appropriate) information about the community. They are especially welcoming to newcomers, individuals with special needs, and parents with children in search of childcare. Greeters may also answer questions about the community.
Lectors proclaim God’s Word to the assembly during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. There are six lector teams, which serve on a rotating basis. Teams prepare on Wednesday evenings; they break open the Word, share reflections, and suggest prayers that would be timely and appropriate to include within the General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful). If you are blessed with a love for Scripture and a good speaking voice, we urge you to volunteer.
Sacristans assist the presider and liturgical ministers in preparing for the liturgy and with clean up after Mass is over. Sacristans arrive at least 30 minutes prior to Mass to prepare vessels, bread and wine, and other items for our liturgical celebrations.
Please contact Michael Kurley, Pastoral Minister of Liturgy and Music for details about the following opportunities:
Cantors proclaim God’s Word in song as they sing the Responsorial Psalm, the Gospel Acclamation and occasionally, verses of other songs or prayers. Anyone interested in serving as a cantor must have attended a cantor school, workshop, or special training.
Singers and Instrumentalists help lead the assembly in song. Each of the weekend liturgies has a different music group. Each group meets 75 minutes before liturgy to rehearse, along with seasonal combined group rehearsals. If you sing in tune and can hold your part against a harmony, or if you play an instrument, please consider being a part of this important ministry. A simple “no pressure” audition is required.