Pope: Study of the liturgy must lead to greater ecclesial unity

At the meeting this Saturday (7th) with the members of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute Saint Anselm of Rome, which is dedicated to the study of the liturgy, the Pope recalled the three fundamental dimensions to renew the liturgical life. “We must continue the task of forming the liturgy in order to be formed by the liturgy”

Jane Nogara – Vatican News

This Saturday morning (07) Pope Francis received the members of the Pontifical Saint Anselm Liturgical Institute on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its foundation, an Institute dedicated to the study of the Liturgy. A necessity, said the Pope, who found an illuminating motivation in the Second Vatican Council with the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.

“From this conciliar impulse – the Pope said – stood out three dimensions to renew liturgical life. The first is active and fruitful participation in the liturgy; the second is ecclesial communion animated by the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacraments of the Church; the third is the impulse to the evangelizing mission starting from the liturgical life that involves all the baptized”. And he affirmed that the Pontifical Liturgical Institute is at the service of this threefold need.

Active participation in liturgical life

With regard to formation to live and to promote active participation in liturgical life, Francis said: “The key here is to educate people to enter the spirit of the liturgy. his Institute, he said, “this is what should happen: to be imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, to feel its mystery, with an ever new wonder”.

“The liturgy is not a property, no, it is not a profession: the liturgy is celebrated. And one only participates actively to the extent that one enters its spirit. It is not a matter of rites, it is the mystery of Christ, who once and for all has revealed and fulfilled the sacred, the sacrifice and the priesthood. Worship in Spirit and Truth”

“On this point, I would like to emphasize the danger, the temptation of liturgical formalism: to go after forms, formalities and not reality, as we see today in those movements that try to go back and deny the Vatican Council itself. In this case, celebration is recitation, it is lifeless, joyless.”

ecclesial communion

Referring to the second aspect, Francis said that dedication to liturgical study increases ecclesial communion, pondering:

“Giving glory to God in the liturgy is reflected in love for others, in the commitment to live as brothers and sisters in everyday situations, in the community in which I find myself, with its merits and limitations. This is the way to true sanctification. Therefore, the formation of the People of God is a fundamental task for living a fully ecclesial liturgical life.”

evangelizing mission

As for the third aspect, which states that each liturgical celebration always ends with the mission, the Pope reminded those present:

“What we live and celebrate leads us to go out to meet others, to meet the world around us, to meet the joys and needs of so many who perhaps live without knowing the gift of God. Genuine liturgical life, especially the Eucharist, always spurs us on to charity, which is, above all, openness and attention to others.”

Then, after addressing the three fundamental dimensions, he said:

“I emphasize once again that the liturgical life, and the study of it, must lead to greater ecclesial unity. It is not possible to worship God and at the same time make the liturgy a battleground for non-essential issues.”

Finally, recommending: “The challenges of our world and of the current moment are very strong. Today, as always, the Church needs to live from the liturgy. The Council Fathers did a great job of ensuring that this was the case. We must continue this task of forming the liturgy in order to be formed by the liturgy. The Blessed Virgin Mary, together with the Apostles, prayed, broke the Bread and lived charity with everyone. Through her intercession, may the Church’s liturgy make present today and always this model of Christian life”.

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