Cardinal Sarah then turned to the nature of the "active participation" call for by Vatican II, noting that it is "primarily internal." He noted that "if we understand the priority of internalising our liturgical participation we will avoid the noisy and dangerous liturgical activism that has been too prominent in recent decades. We do not go to the liturgy so as to perform, to do things for others to see: we go to be connected with Christ's action through an internalisation of the external liturgical rites."
He added that we cannot " dismiss the possibility or the desirability of an official reform of the liturgical reform," saying that some of the post-conciliar reforms "may have been put together according to the spirit of the times and that there has been an increasing amount of critical study by faithful sons and daughters of the Church asking whether what was in fact produced truly implemented the aims of the Constitution, or whether in reality they went beyond them."
Indeed, the cardinal stated that in meeting with Pope Francis last April, the Holy Father asked him to study the question of a reform of the reform. He reflected, "if we are to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium more faithfully, if we are to achieve what the Council desired, this is a serious question which must be carefully studied and acted on with the necessary clarity and prudence."
Cardinal Sarah exhorted priests to "be worshippers first and foremost," adding that the faithful "can see the difference between a priest who celebrates with faith and one who celebrates in a hurry, frequently looking at his watch, almost so as to say that he wants to get back to the television as quickly as possible!"
"I have also seen priests, and bishops, vested to celebrate Holy Mass, take out telephones and cameras and use them in the Sacred Liturgy … to do this is a sacrilege. No bishop, priest or deacon vested for liturgical ministry or present in the sanctuary should be taking photographs, even at large-scale concelebrated Masses. That priests often do this at such Masses, or talk with each other and sit casually, is a sign, I think, that we need to rethink their appropriateness, especially if they lead priests into this sort of scandalous behaviour that is so unworthy of the mystery being celebrated, or if the sheer size of these concelebrations leads to a risk of the profanation of the Blessed Eucharist."
Cardinal Sarah then turned to his call for priests to say Mass facing in the same direction as the people. He noted that this is "permitted by current liturgical legislation" and "is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite."
"Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre," he added.
The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship appealed also to his fellow bishops to "please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ's faithful to him as fellow worshippers."
Cardinal Sarah concluded by saying, "we must sing the liturgy, we must sing the liturgical texts, respecting the liturgical traditions of the Church and rejoicing in the treasury of sacred music that is ours, most especially that music proper to the Roman rite, Gregorian chant. We must sing sacred liturgical music not merely religious music, or worse, profane songs."
The cardinal was followed in his address by Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, who said the invitation to say Mass eastwards "calls us to realise once again, in all our liturgical celebrations, that Christian liturgy is essentially oriented to Christ whose coming we await in joyful hope."