after all, means "thanksgiving," and every celebration
of the liturgy is a song of communion with and gratitude to the
God who loves us. The liturgy is the means God gives us to express
our love to Him in return. Therefore, if we really love God, nothing
is more important than the liturgy, and that's why Vatican II described
the eucharistic liturgy as "the source and summit" of
our life in faith.
Now in the
real world of daydreams, crying babies and wandering homilies, the
beauty of Sunday Mass may not always be so obvious, and we can easily
miss the point of how we worship and why. But recovering a right
sense of worship not just in the way we participate in the
Mass, but in our celebration of all the sacraments is vital.
As the old
Latin saying goes, lex orandi, lex credendi. In other words,
how we pray shapes how and what we believe. Right worship feeds
right faith, and right faith leads us closer to God. Wrong worship,
of course, leads in a different direction. This is why any discussion
of changing the liturgy is usually so long and so animated.
In March of
this year, the Holy Father promulgated a new edition of the Roman
Missal for the celebration of the Mass. This is one of the most
important and one of the best developments in the
liturgical life of the Church since the Second Vatican Council.
Studied and followed consistently, the new Roman Missal has wonderful
potential for recovering both the beauty and power of Catholic worship.
We don't yet have an official English edition of the text, but we
do have a "General Instruction" (the GIRM) to guide us
in applying what's new and different about the Missal's content.
as archbishop is to ensure that this new abundance of good information
about the Mass is welcomed in all our parishes. With that end in
mind, I'm beginning this week a series of columns here in the Register.
My goal is not just to explain the elements of the Mass, or the
diversity of our roles within the Eucharist, or why we do certain
actions like kneeling, standing or singing. All of these things
are important, of course. But my real goal is to reawaken in all
of our hearts a love for worshiping God together as one faithful
Church. I hope you'll join me.
will continue this series on a regular basis throughout the coming