Recently I have had a couple questions which mention Notitiae.
Notitiae is the official publication of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. In Notitiae the Congregation publishes editorials, scholarly studies, new liturgical texts, reports of plenary meetings, speeches or writings of the Holy Father pertaining to liturgy or liturgical law, official responses to questions called dubia.
Here is the first:
I was wondering if there are any online or otherwise searchable databases for the Notitiae from the CDW. I’m doing some research this summer on the sacramental role of the deacon in the context of Mass, and wanted to see if any questions pertaining to my particular topic have been addressed by the Congregation. I already know what the answers are to may of my questions, but I need to cross-check that with anything that has been officially stated by the Church. Any thoughts?
My thoughts? I wish there were a searchable database of Notitiae.
Don’t forget to consult the Holy See’s Directory for Deacons and also the searchable indices of the CD-ROM disks of L’Osservatore Romano.
This question also came by e-mail:
Do you have any sense of when 1) the Liturgia Horarum 5th volume, currently in proof form according to Notitiae, might see the light of day, and 2) if there are any plans for a new edition of the basic 4 vols.?
My set is worn and weary from years of use and I am planning to purchase another, but would hold off if anything new is coming down the pike.
The questioner is referring to a volume which will be a supplement to the Latin edition of the post-Conciliar Liturgy of Hours, which replaced the Breviariarium Romanum. Clerics, most religious and consecrated virgins are obliged to recite this each day. Many lay people are beginning to recite it also, alone or in groups, to unite themselves in their own way with the Church’s official daily prayer. You might think about prayer as divided into three types, liturgical (ecclesial), communal, and personal. When the Liturgia horarum or Breviarium are used, people unite themselves with the entire Church which prays incessantly chasing and running before the sun in our planets whirlin’g sweep.
The old Breviarium and the newer Liturgia horarum are in four volumes, dividing the year but all having the same structure.
The Office of Readings, after the hymn and three psalms, has two readings, the first from Scripture, and the second from sub-Apostolic, Patristic, Conciliar texts, or works of doctors, saints and other spiritual writers.
The "5th" volume of the Liturgia horarum has been in preparation for some years. It will not be so-much a further division of the liturgical year (I believe the Ambrosian volumes divide the year in 5 volumes), as a supplement to all four volumes. The 5th volume will offer addtional optional readings for the Office of Reading… optional readings for second reading only, not the first.
I asked Cardinal Arinze about this volume yesterday evening (he was with us for a few days at a group of priests in an annual gathering). The Cardinal Prefect responded that the Congregation is indeed working on the volume, that progress is being made. It is very difficult to balance the right variety of readings, suitable for the occasions. Also, it will be necessary to find the proper critical editions and then be sure the translations of the non-Latin texts are good. It is a complicated process.
In any event, there is progress with the 5th volume.