The Holy Father, in his video address to the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland, made some statements about our liturgical participation.
Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice. At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities.
The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery. [The signa we are presented with in liturgical worship should bring us to the res.] Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. [Is that what liturgical worship at your parish does for you?] Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, [Tell me if this sounds familiar…] and “active participation” has been confused with external activity. Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. [The widespread implementation of Summorum Pontificum is of great importance.] In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life. [We must return to ad orientem worship to facilitate this.]
The Eucharist is the worship of the whole Church, but it also requires the full engagement of each individual Christian in the Church’s mission; it contains a call to be the holy people of God, but also one to individual holiness; it is to be celebrated with great joy and simplicity, but also as worthily and reverently as possible; it invites us to repent of our sins, but also to forgive our brothers and sisters; it binds us together in the Spirit, but it also commands us in the same Spirit to bring the good news of salvation to others.