Liturgy Should Transmit the Faith, Says Master of Papal Celebrations

Publishes an Assessment of Application of Vatican II Reforms

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Rather than eliciting polemics, the post-Vatican II reform needs “to transmit to the faithful the authentic meaning of the liturgy,” says the master of papal liturgical celebrations.

Archbishop Piero Marini has just published a book entitled “Fortieth Anniversary of ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’: Memoir of an Experience” (“Il Quarentesimo della Sacrosanctum Concilium — Memoria di Una Esperienza,” Vatican Publishing House, 56 pages).

“There is the impression that not enough is being done to transmit to the faithful the authentic meaning of the liturgy,” the prelate notes.

In the small volume, he rereads the 1963 constitution on the liturgy, the first document adopted by the conciliar fathers at Vatican II, in the light of his 18 years of service in papal liturgical celebrations.

For Archbishop Marini, the reform continues to inspire, as it proposes the model of encounter between fidelity to the roots and openness to new sensibilities.

“Papal liturgy after the Council has been an authentic liturgy, solidly rooted in Tradition and fully consistent with the indications of ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium,’ and integrated in the real situations of the assembly,” the archbishop contends.

He described papal liturgy as “centered in the paschal mystery and projected toward the glorious Parousia of the Savior, but also a liturgy of compassion, attentive to contemporary man’s pain, which seeks to give an answer to his legitimate aspirations.”

Archbishop Marini believes that liturgical formation is of decisive importance, since the liturgy is the place par excellence for the transmission of the faith. Many bishops imprisoned in the 20th century succeeded in transmitting the faith when celebrating it, he stressed.

Authentic liturgy is “an authentic school in which one learns to pray and to live in the following of the Lord,” he states.

Regarding the polemics that arise around the liturgy, Archbishop Marini encouraged the following of the example of charity offered in this area by John Paul II.

“The authenticity of the celebrations is not only measured by the precision with which we follow the Church’s prescriptions to celebrate the rites,” the archbishop said, “but also by the capacity to produce in our Eucharistic communities fruits of mutual listening, communion and concord, of forgiveness and the common search for God’s will.”

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