Thursday, October 15, 2009

Archbisop Ranjith issues liturgical norms

Thanks to New Liturgical Movement for drawing attention to Archbishop Ranjith's circular letter concerning various religious movements and services.

The Archbishop, formerly Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, speaks of a sacred theology and tradition handed down to the apostles by Our Lord which do not yield to individual and private interpretation with a reminder that no one may alter, add or subtract anything from the liturgy of the Mass. So the priest may not add to the Mass, nor should choruses be included at points when they are not prescribed. So, for example, there shouldn't be any Hosannas or Alleluia's added to the Eucharistic Acclamation.
It is the Lord who gave us the liturgy and no one else; therefore no one else has any right to change it.
Naturally, the Church speaks with the authority of Christ Himself, so that legitimate changes may be made by the Church, if necessary.

The Archbishop speaks very sensitively about the adherents of other religions in Sri Lanka. Muslims and Hindus do not create any commotion in their worship. Their culture of worship is noted for its sobriety, so that praise and worship type singing, loud music, clapping etc, associated more with fundamentalist protestant communities, should be absent from the Mass.

He asks that where the practice of self-communion has been allowed, this should be discontinued. He recommends to all faithful, including religious, to receive Communion reverently, kneeling and on the tongue.

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