Participants to Synod concerned about trivialization of the Eucharist


The interventions of the Prelates present at the synod during the first general congregations of the Synod on the Eucharist, indicated their concern of the trivialization of the sacrament within ecclesial communities.

On Monday, during his talk, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Cult and the Discipline of Sacraments, approached this Tuesday the theme of receiving communion in the mouth or in the hand, reminding how receiving the communion in the hand has led to abuses, “that could happen, and that already happened, like the use for satanic rituals, the auction on the internet and other wrongs.”

The prelate didn’t propose an answer to this dilemma, but invited for “greater vigilance for celebrants, in order to ensure that it is consumed.

Msgr. Peter Kang, of Cheju (Korea), warned that the participation of children in the Eucharist is decreasing dramatically along with the age. The children that don’t come to Mass say that Mass is boring and not interesting. As well, adults say the same, and don’t feel motivated to participate.

Our priority is to justify and make grow the heart of the Catholics, their desire and aspiration to participate in the Eucharist. In order to transmit to the modern people the eucharistic mystery, it is not sufficient to reinforce vigorously the rules  and regulations of Eucharistic celebration.

On our part, as bishops, we have to work with more intensity to search for the instruments  that would bring to the Catholics of today, the experience of the genuine value of the Eucharist, the plain participation to it, and the experience of the joy it arouses, said Msgr Kang.

The Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Emeritus Prefect of the Congregation that presides Cardinal Arinze, warned on his behalf of the tendency to convert certain liturgical celebration, like wedding or funeral masses in events more “social” than properly liturgical.

The liturgy of the deceased, above all, and the abuse that leads to convert the homily of this liturgy in an praise to the deceased person, he warned.

Msgr. John Patrick Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, referred to the necessity to stave off the trivialization of Mass, when broadcast through television.

“I can attest that most of  the televised liturgies are celebrated reverently and reflect careful preparation. Occasionally, however, individual celebrants will be seen to depart from the liturgical norms of the Church, and this can serve at least to disorient and perhaps disedify some viewers, and give some priests and people the impression that departure from liturgical norms is justified, because they have seen it on television.”

Broadcast liturgies should be viewed as normative for what is to be expected in local celebrations of the Eucharist. The reverence of the celebrant and participants, the faithfulness to the liturgical law of the Church, the quality of the music and the participation of the faithful should be models of liturgical worship, inspiring for the faithful and edifying for those who do not share our faith but who may be watching or listening, even out of curiosity.

The telecasting of the liturgy is not merely a service for the sick and the elderly who cannot personally assist at Mass. Watching a telecast liturgy can be an appropriate preparation for personal assistance at Sunday liturgy or it can be a continued period of thanksgiving and reflection after the worshipper has returned home.

The Archbishop of Chile proposed a Year of  penance”, to complete the Year of the Eucharist.”  Msgr Cristian Caro Cordero, Archbishop of Puerto Montt (Chile), proposed this Tuesday, the call for a “Year of Penance”, to reinforce the fruits of the”Year of the Eucharist”, that will end this month.

 “My proposal is that, given the narrow theological, spiritual and pastoral link between the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, and taking into account the many shadows surrounding this sacrament, that a year be devoted to the Sacrament of Penance, having as fundamental themes: The sense of a living God and his true eclipse in the modern culture;

The need of salvation and the proclamation of Jesus Christ; the sense of sin, that is decreasing or absent, as a consequence of moral relativism; the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance; spiritual guidance, the Sacrament of Penance as an encounter of the sinner that converts from his own misery and God which in his mercy, forgives him; the conditions in which to receive the Holy Communion.”

Then, in respect to the relation between Eucharist and the pastoral of vocation, Msgr. Caro Cordero proposed that “ in the “Year of Penance”, Priests would be encouraged and formed for spiritual guidance of youth and give more time to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which together with the Eucharist is fundamental for spiritual guidance.

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