Sacrosanctum Concilium 11

Commentator cites or claims “huge oversight on the part of modern critics of participation, [including me, more or less] who suggest there’s too much emphasis on the external.” Point made, but sauce for goose is also for gander, in this case Father at the altar ought to be and look absorbed, not be looking around, counting the crowd, etc. Not businesslike. Some do, some don’t.

See therefore also the next paragraph: “As spiritual guides, pastors are urged to see that their personal focus is not limited to the rubrics. Their responsibility is the full awareness of the people, their active engagement–external and internal, and that the faith community as a whole experiences spiritual growth as a result of liturgy.”

Catholic Sensibility

The council bishops recognized that the old legalistic/minimalist approach was a millstone around our necks.

But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain (Cf. 2 Cor. 6:1.) . Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects.

This is also the introduction to the oft-repeated council sentiment of full, active, and enriching participation. The council is explicit in stating…

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  • Todd  On 02/22/2018 at 12:49 PM

    I think clergy can focus on the rites while they are leading them, and do due diligence in preparing them and their parish when they are not.


    • Jim Bowman  On 02/22/2018 at 1:50 PM

      They have to do the rites right, of course, even with loving care. But if the lay worshipers are to both sing and pray at the same time, same goes for “presider,” as mass-celebrant is now known.


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