VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of Propositions 21-25 given to Benedict XVI by the recent Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.
The text below is based on a provisional translation in Italian, which had been published with the Pope’s approval. ZENIT is publishing translations of all 50 propositions.
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Acclamations in the Eucharistic Prayer
The Eucharistic Prayers could be enriched with acclamations, not only after the consecration but in other moments, as provided in the Eucharistic Prayers for celebrations with children and as is done in several countries.
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Given that the “lex orandi” expresses the “lex credendi,” it is essential to live and deepen faith in the Eucharist with prayer, with which the Church has always celebrated it, namely, the Eucharistic Prayer.
In particular, Eucharistic spirituality is strengthened by recognizing the importance of the Holy Spirit, who transforms the wafers, and makes the entire community become increasingly the body of Christ. The Synod hopes that the link between the epiclesis and the account of the institution will be shown with greater clarity. In this way, it would be more evident that the whole life of the faithful is, in the Holy Spirit and in the sacrifice of Christ, a spiritual offering pleasing to the Father.
In this framework, the Synod notes the need to specify better the different character of the causality that is given in the formula: “The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church.”
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The Sign of Peace
The greeting of peace in the Holy Mass is an expressive sign of great value and depth (cf. John 14:27). However, in certain cases, it assumes a dimension that could be problematic, when it is too prolonged or even when it causes confusion, just before receiving Communion.
Perhaps it would be useful to assess if the sign of peace should take place at another moment of the celebration, taking into account ancient and venerable customs.
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“Ite, Missa Est”
To make more explicit the relationship between Eucharist and mission, which belongs to the heart of this Synod, it is suggested that new dismissal formulas be prepared (solemn blessings, prayers over the people or others), which underline the mission in the world of the faithful who have participated in the Eucharist.
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Dignity of the Celebration
All participants in the Eucharist are called to live the celebration with the certainty of being People of God, royal priesthood, holy nation (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5,9). In it, each one expresses his own specific Christian vocation. Those among them who have received an ordained ministry exercise it according to their rank: Bishop, priests and deacons. In particular, the role of deacons and the service of readers and acolytes deserves greater attention.
Bishops above all, as moderators of the liturgical life, must promote a worthy celebration of the sacraments in their own diocese, correct abuses and propose the worship of the Cathedral Church as example.
This Synod renews its appreciation for the care with which presbyters celebrate the liturgy in a worthy manner, “attente ac devote,” for the greater benefit of the People of God. In this way they highlight the importance of faith, holiness, the spirit of sacrifice and personal prayer to celebrate the Eucharist. An excess of interventions should be avoided, which can lead to a manipulation of the Holy Mass, as, for example, when liturgical texts are substituted with foreign texts or when the celebration is given a connotation that is not liturgical.
An authentic liturgical action expresses the sacred character of the Eucharistic mystery. The latter should be reflected in the words and actions of the celebrant priest while he intercedes, with the faithful or for them, before God the Father.
Like all artistic expressions, singing should also be in profound harmony with the liturgy, contributing effectively to its end, that is, it should express faith, prayer, wonder, love for Jesus present in the Eucharist.
The value, importance and necessity of the observance of the liturgical norms must be underlined. The Eucharistic celebration must respect the sobriety and fidelity of the rite desired by the Church, with a sense of the sacred that helps to live the encounter with God and also with sensible forms that favor it (harmony of the rite, of liturgical vestments, of adornments and of the sacred place). It is important that priests and those responsible for liturgical pastoral care make known the applicable liturgical books (Missal, Lectionary) and the corresponding normative.
To orient the faithful on the mystery celebrated, a previous catechesis is necessary that fosters their active participation imbued with authentic piety. The ministers must help toward this full participation with the proclamation of the texts and recommending the appropriate times of silence, gestures and attitudes.