Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sacramentum Caritatis

I just quickly read through the holy father's exhortation. It covers a lot of ground, and is mostly about a proper theology of the Eucharist and the Mass.

Those who expected a series of prohibitions or very specific mandates will be disappointed.

However, it has a lot to say about the Eucharist, which will be skipped over by some, I suspect. (I am skipping over it for the moment!) It does offer support for several aspects of the "reform of the reform":

* preference for Gregorian chant--all music not created equal (42);
use of Latin--priests should learn and use it, and teach the faithful to do the same (62);
* churches should have perpetual adoration (67)
* encourages locating the tabernacle in the apse of the church (69);
Read it for yourselves (just posted) . . .

One has to wonder at some advanced claims about the contents of this exhortation that have not been borne out--that it would offer a sweeping series of mandates concerning the Mass. Likewise, one wonders why the holy father took so long with this letter.

I have a feeling there is more coming from Pope Benedict on the Mass; he has written far too much about the liturgy. But this should be a cautionary tale about relying too much on rumor and speculation.

(Biretta tip to Rorate Caeli.)


Domenico said...

I think the more common prediction about this document was not that it would itself contain sweeping reforms--since it is in fact a reflection on what was said at the Synod which didn't touch on that subject--but that it would be part of a one-two punch of documents coming out in sync.

paul said...

The tabernacle has to be prominent and visible when one enters the church. The obvious bias of the document is that a separate Blessed Sacrament chapel is
"best practice" and where architecture does not allow this the Apse is the most appropriate place. It does not indicate that the Apse is the preferred option.

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