Saturday, March 29, 2014
My Response to Anonymous Poster
This is in response to an anonymous poster who commented on March 29th at 4:41 p.m. under the Code of Silence thread here. Anonymous poster's comments are in red while mine are in black. Those that are in blue are quotes from certain sources.
You quote the GIRM: "All the concelebrants, TOGETHER WITH THE PEOPLE sing or say the final acclamation Quia tuum est regnum"
If concelebrate meant to include the people, the words "together with the people" would be superflous, would they not?
Again the GIRM says "BOTH OF THE CONCELEBRANTS AND OF THE PEOPLE" which itself makes a distinction between those that concelebrate (the concelebrants) and the people.
First of all, I quoted the GIRM BECAUSE of this comment you made on March 28th at 9:19 p.m.: It is impossible, in the Catholic context, to speak of concelebration in respect to the participation of the laity. Thus, those quotes from the GIRM were made to show that the laity can participate in the concelebration. In addition, I also quoted the Eucharisticum Mysterium, which stated the following (The bold is my emphasis):
Concelebration of the Eucharist aptly demonstrates the unity of the sacrifice of the priesthood. Moreover, whenever the faithful take an active part, the unity of the People of God is strikingly manifested, 105 particularly if the bishop presides. 106
Concelebration both symbolizes and strengthens the brotherly bond of the priesthood, because "by virtue of the ordination to the priesthood which they have in common, all are bound in an intimate brotherhood." 107 ........
You quote the Sunday's Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia on "Concelebration", which clearly indicates that the present meaning of concelebrate is "exclusively the celebration by bishops and priests together."
Whether the ancient meaning of concelebrate is different to now is irrelevant. The GIRM provides for concelebration with the present, not the ancient meaning.
Yes, I quoted the Sunday's Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia on "Concelebration" which stated the following. (The bold is my emphasis):
The verb to "concelebrate in the Early Church had a somewhat different meaning from the present, more technical understanding. In Christian antiquity, all Christians "concelebrated according to their role or liturgical role in the Church.....In the Middle Ages, this term came to mean exclusively the celebration by bishops and priests together."
As you can see from the Sunday's Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia, the Early Church had a different concept of what it means to "concelebrate." Then you tell me that how the Early Christians defined "concelebration" during their time is irrelevant, and you insist that the GIRM of the present day is what matters the most.
The Catholic Church recognized the many variety of liturgies she had, and all of them are beautiful. None are irrelevant despite how old or ancient it is. According to Mediator Dei, Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy His Holiness Pope Pius XII Promulgated on November 20, 1947 (The bold is my emphasis.):
50. The sacred liturgy does, in fact, include divine as well as human elements. The former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in any way by men. But the human components admit of various modifications, as the needs of the age, circumstance and the good of souls may require, and as the ecclesiastical hierarchy, under guidance of the Holy Spirit, may have authorized. This will explain the marvelous variety of Eastern and Western rites. Here is the reason for the gradual addition, through successive development, of particular religious customs and practices of piety only faintly discernible in earlier times. Hence likewise it happens from time to time that certain devotions long since forgotten are revived and practiced anew. All these developments attest the abiding life of the immaculate Spouse of Jesus Christ through these many centuries. They are the sacred language she uses, as the ages run their course, to profess to her divine Spouse her own faith along with that of the nations committed to her charge, and her own unfailing love. They furnish proof, besides, of the wisdom of the teaching method she employs to arouse and nourish constantly the "Christian instinct."
61. The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the church in every age even to the consummation of the world. They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the santity of man.
The encyclical of Pope Pius XII says that the ancient liturgies are worthy of all veneration, and here you are saying that the ancient rites are irrelevant. In no way have I ever demean modern liturgies. I view all liturgies of the Catholic Church very beautiful, awe-inspiring, and worthy of respect regardless of how old it is. I do not regard them as irrelevant.
As I've often stated in many of my posts, one of the purpose of the Way is to celebrate in small communities as the Early Church did. And to do that, one must not only try to follow the process of the Early Church as a catechumen, but even think as they do. In other words, their (Early Church) concept of "concelebration" would apply in this case. And if one were to look at the Concelebration Mass in the GIRM, it is very similar to how the Way receives the Body and Blood of Christ.
Where in the statutes does it say that celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities is as the early church did?
In fact, the statutes explicity state:
"3 For the celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed,"
whereby we return to the GIRM and its use of the present meaning of concelebrate.
You should have read the "FOOTNOTES" in the Statutes. The footnotes stated on pages 21-22 of the Statutes reads (The bold is my emphasis):
5 "An itinerary of a catechumenal type, which follows all those phases which the catechumens in the early Church followed before receiving the sacrament of Baptism....
It is inspired by various documents of the Holy See, including:
- chapter 4 of the RCIA [Part II: 4 of the 1988 US edition] which suggests an adapted use of the catechesis and certain rites proper to the catechumenate for the conversion and maturation of faith even among baptized adults;.....
You may be interested to know that your previous post about this subject became part of a discussion on Catholic Answers.
Actually, I'm not interested at all. I don't even post on Catholic Answers.
Were you able to produce the opinion of one Catholic person of authority, a priest or theologian perhaps, who would agree with your opinion. I would take back my objection. You won't be able to though, because what you propose is so novel in the understanding of the Eucharist, that no one who claims to be Catholic and is of sound mind would ever say this about concelebration.
Again, I did provide a written letter from a priest who has a Ph.D in liturgy. This priest has celebrated in the Way in many different countries including Guam. You say that the liturgy of the Way is illicit, but Father Neil says it is not illicit. Nevertheless, those who oppose the Way continued to label the Way's liturgies as illicit and question the credentials of Father Neil. They might as well question the Pope who gave his blessings to the Neocatechmenal Way.
As an example, one reason you say that the NCW is illicit is the fact that we receive the Body of Christ standing up, then we sit, but do not consume the Body until everyone receives the Body of Christ, and then until after the priest takes Holy Communion. According to the GIRM in the concelebrated Mass:
The concelebrants may, however, remain in their places and take the Body of Christ from the paten presented to them by the principal celebrant or by one or more of the concelebrants, or by passing the paten one to another.
Then the principal celebrant takes a host consecrated in the same Mass, holds it slightly raised above the paten or the chalice, and facing the people, says the "Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God). With the concelebrants and the people he continues, saying the Domine, non sum dignus (Lord, I am not worthy)
Then the principal celebrant, facing the altar, says quietly, Corpus Christi cusodiat me ad vitam aeternam (May the body of Christ bring me to everlasting life) and reverently receives the Body of Christ. The concelebrants do likewise, communicating themselves.
The only slight modification I see here is that..... in the Way, the principle celebrant (the priest) approaches the people who remain standing in their place, and gives the Body of Christ to them. The people do not take it from the paten. Similarly to the concelebrated Mass, the members of the Way also do not consume the Body of Christ until after everyone receives it and then after the priest receives communion. We take communion together with the priest.
According to you, this concelebrated mass is not illicit, but the NCW (which holds a similar liturgy) is viewed as illicit.
My argument to you is this.....the Way's liturgy itself, with its slight modification, could not be illicit since it is very similar to the concelebrated mass. Could it be then that what you view as illicit is the laity celebrating this type of liturgy simply because you do not see the laity as priests?
And if this is the case, why then does the Catholic Church teach that the laity share in Christ's priesthood? The laity are the common priests while those ordained are called the ministering priests according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1547 and CCC 941). Was it not in this light that the Early Church understood "concelebration" as pertaining to all Christians?
After all, when the Apostle Peter said that we are a "holy nation and a royal priesthood", he was referring to all Christians (1 Peter 2:9).