Benedict to Swiss bishops: liturgy is not some ‘self-expression’ of the community

The folks at the Sala Stampa have finally gotten their act together and let us know what the Pope said to the Swiss bishops.  (My emphasis)

On the subject of the liturgy, the papal address made it clear that this "is not some ‘self-expression’ of the community which in the liturgy enters center stage, it is rather the community abandoning its ‘being itself’ to enter the great banquet of the poor, to become part of the great living community in which God Himself nourishes us. … And it must be borne in mind that the homily is not an interruption of the liturgy for the purposes of making a speech, but that it is part of the sacramental event, bringing the Word of God into the present moment of the community."

 

  "This means that the homily is itself part of the mystery, of the celebration of the mystery, and hence cannot be separated therefrom," said the Pope, highlighting the importance of it being the celebrant who pronounces the homily. "The priesthood is a thing of beauty only if the mission to be accomplished is seen as a whole, from which things cannot be cut off here and there. And this mission has always involved – even in the Old Testament rite – the priest’s duty to link the sacrifice with the Word, which is an integral part of the whole."

 

  As for the Sacrament of Penance, said the Holy Father, "we truly must learn it anew. Even from a purely anthropological point of view it is important, on the one hand, to recognize sin and, on the other, to exercise forgiveness. The widespread lack of awareness of sin is a worrying phenomenon of our times. The gift of the Sacrament of Penance consists, then, not only in the fact that we receive forgiveness, but also in the fact that we become aware of our need for forgiveness, … and so we can also better understand others and forgive them."

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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One Response to Benedict to Swiss bishops: liturgy is not some ‘self-expression’ of the community

  1. “The gift of the Sacrament of Penance consists, then, not only in the fact that we receive forgiveness, but also in the fact that we become aware of our need for forgiveness, … and so we can also better understand others and forgive them.”

    Right on. Since my reversion to the faith in 2002, this is the biggest lesson I’ve learned and one whose benefits need to be emphasized.