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Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
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National liturgists’ meeting focuses on Eucharist, Communion
the Inland Register
(From the Nov. 14, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)
Some 184 delegates from 94 dioceses gathered in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 15-19 for the annual National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.
The meeting, jointly sponsored by the Federation of Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) and the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) focused on the theme “Communion: Fruit of the Eucharist.”
A number of speakers and respondents helped members reflect on various aspects of the Eucharist:
• Nathan D. Mitchell, of the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy, and David Fagerberg, of the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, shared insights on the meaning of sacrifice in relationship to Eucharist.
• Rodica Stoicoiu, of the Washington Theological Union, and Vanessa White, the Director of the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, explored aspects of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and popular Eucharistic devotions and their relationship to the celebration of the Eucharist.
• Edward Foley, of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Linda O’Brien-Rothe, examined the idea of the fruits the Mass and Communion.
• Tom Richstatter, of St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, spoke on the liturgical issues involved in Eucharist and communion as related to catechesis.
A special forum on seminary liturgical formation took place at the beginning of the meeting, providing an opportunity for dialogue between FDLC members and those involved in liturgical formation in seminaries.
Twelve special interest sessions were offered by delegates of the FDLC as a service to parish ministers from the local area on a wide range of liturgical topics.
During the meeting the delegates adopted all five of the position statements that had been formulated during FDLC regional meetings in the course of the Spring and early summer.
The delegates to the meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions voted that the Board of Directors of the FDLC ensure the publication of a commentary on the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani 2002, including the adaptations for the Dioceses of the United States of America. This commentary would parallel the format of the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press, 2000) and would include history, context, explanation , interpretation and issues of inculturation of the various norms contained in the Institutio.
Delegates to the DLC meeting also voted that the Board of Directors of the FDLC, in collaboration with the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, commission and publish a pastoral study guide in English and Spanish to aid in the implementation of the norms and variations of the communion rite as found in IGMR 2002 and the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America. This study guide should help ensure that all of the elements of the communion rite work together to embody the unity inherent in Eucharistic communion itself.
The DLC delegates also voted that the Board of Directors of the FDLC establish guidelines, develop a course of study and an educational process for Liturgy Certification for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. The educational process should include on-line and distance learning.
The DLC delegates voted that the Sacraments Committee of the FDLC Board of Directors study the experience of the restored order of the sacraments of initiation for those baptized as infants for the theological and pastoral impact, and the effect on Eucharistic participation. The study will consist of the following actions:
1. To determine, at FDLC regional meetings in 2003, which dioceses have restored the order of the sacraments of initiation.
2. To develop a questionnaire and send it to the dioceses that have restored the order of the sacraments of initiation. This questionnaire will gather information on the experiences of these dioceses. The bishops of these dioceses would be invited to offer a reflection paper on their experiences of the restored order.
3. To share the returned reports with the BCL and the membership of the FDLC.
The DLC delegates also affirmed a need for a revised Lectionary for Masses with Children, and asked that the BCL include the Director for Masses with Children in the so-revised Lectionary.
Delegates also expressed concern regarding the lack of liturgical legislative and pastoral documents available in Spanish.
They also urged that the upcoming consultative review of the English language translation of the Second Typical Edition of the Lectionary for Mass “be conducted in a timely, expeditious and collaborative manner, so that errors and inadequacies in translation, grammar and intelligibility may be corrected as soon as possible.”
They also issued a statement expressing regret for the pain of the Church over the issue of sexual abuse by Church leaders.
“We offer our prayerful support for healing and reconciliation in our local churches,” they said.
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