Bishops’ Conference November 2017 – Magnum Principium

The Bishops at the November 2017 plenary meeting made the following statement:

The Bishops’ Conference welcomes the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Magnum Principium and the affirmation of the role of the Bishops’ Conference in the oversight of the Liturgy.

We are grateful to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the guidance it has given to Conferences of Bishops that the Motu Proprio concerns future liturgical translations and cannot be applied retroactively. We look forward to the further assistance of the Congregation in its implementation.

We will continue to work with ICEL in preparation of the translations of the liturgical books so that the “sense of the original text is fully and faithfully rendered” and that the translations “always illuminate the unity of the Roman Rite”.

The Bishops’ Conference also approved the ICEL Grey book translation of Liturgy of the Hours: Lent & Easter.

See Catholic News for further Bishops’ Conference resolutions

Cycle of Prayer – Intercessions & Bible Sunday

Model Intercessions

The Cycle of Prayer is how the various days of special prayer are organised into a whole year’s calendar. When it was created in 1996 the hope was that parishes and communities would reflect, pray and act on the various intentions within a particular season. For many of the intentions there is a specific day and a Church agency which sends out material. To help promote some of the intentions which do not have as much prominence and also to offer for all the intentions a handy compilation of prayers the Liturgy Committee has prepared a couple of model intercessions for every intention in the Cycle of Prayer. These can be used or adapted in parishes and communities on the designated days and at other times.

Bible Sunday

In Pope Francis’ letter at the end of the Year of Mercy he commended the idea of a Sunday which focussed on the Scriptures. In England and Wales this is marked on the 2nd Sunday of Advent. This year the Scripture Working Group of the Bishops’ Conference has prepared a series of resources under the title of ‘Welcome the Word’. Rather than focus on one particular day there is material for the whole of the Advent – Christmas – Epiphany season. As well material focussed on the ministry of reader and psalmist, looking at the Lectionary for the Year of Mark; there are reflections on art and scripture and other aspects of God’s word.

The resources can be freely downloaded from the Bishops’ Conference website.

 

Holydays of Obligation

With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See. The days are:

  • The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)
  • The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter

The Holydays of Obligation for England and Wales are therefore:

  • According to a decision of the Bishops’ Conference (1984) Holydays which fall on Saturday or Monday are transferred to the Sunday.

The Bishops decided to retain the decision made in 2006 for the Body and Blood of the Lord to be transferred to Sunday as it allowed for Eucharistic Processions and other devotional practices to be celebrated.

For further information:

The place of silence

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

These words of St Teresa of Calcutta are a reminder of the importance of silence. The Liturgy Committee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship has produced a document The Place of Silence  which explores how silence is an integral part of any liturgical action. It looks, in particular, at the celebration of Mass and how silence is expected in different ways.

 

Forthcoming Liturgical Translations

In the document on translation Liturgiam Authenticam it is expected that the translation of all current liturgical books is revised. For English-speaking Bishops’ Conferences this work is done by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). Since the publication of Liturgiam Authenticam  in 2002 the first translation to be revised was the Roman Missal (2010) and this highlights another aspect of this process. For a number of liturgical books there has been a new Latin edition since the text was translated into English. So, therefore, the Roman Missal is the 3rd edition.

This year has seen the publication of the next two rites to be translated: Confirmation and Matrimony.

The translations are prepared by ICEL and reviewed by the bishops in two stages. The stages are referred to by the colour of the cover of the text. The Green Book is a text for review and comment. These are sent back to ICEL who then produce the Grey Book. This text is intended for voting on by the bishops. Any changes to the text have to be voted on separately. Once voting is complete the text  is sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome and will eventually given recognitio.

The following list gives the texts currently under review in the order they are being considered. It is difficult to offer a timescale for the various books but as an indication the Green Books for Confirmation and Matrimony were first received in 2012.

  • Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar
  • Exorcisms and Certain Supplications
  • Liturgy of the Hours
    • Supplement — celebrations added to Universal Calendar since publication
    • Partial revision (So far Green Books have been received for Advent–Christmas, Lent–Easter etc. which have translations of the Office Hymns, Intercessions and Magnificat & Benedictus Antiphons
  • The Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism
  • Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest
  • Order of Christian Initiation of Adults
  • Order of Baptism of Children
  • Rites of Ordination

In addition to this preparation is also being done on a new publication of the Lectionary.

90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen

The Bishops’ Conference establishes that, at all Sunday Masses on 11–12 June 2016, each parish prays for Her Majesty the Queen to mark her 90th birthday by including such an intention in the Bidding Prayers and by reciting at the end of Mass (after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing) the Prayer for the Queen.

Parishes may also wish to sing the chant Domine, salvum fac and/or the National Anthem.

The Prayer for the Queen and additional resources are available here.

Spirituality Resources for the Year of Mercy

The Spirituality Committee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship has produced a series of leaflets reflecting on the Parables of Mercy in the Gospel of Luke. These meditations can be used by both individuals and groups and based on the format of the Bishops’ document on Spirituality Do you love me.

Marriage & Confirmation: new translations

The following Press release was issued by the Bishops’ Conference on 30 November 2015.

The Sacraments of Confirmation and Marriage mark a new stage of life for those who receive them. The celebration of these sacraments are joyful occasions when families and friends come together to pray and give thanks with those who are to be confirmed and those who are beginning their married life together.

The Bishops of England and Wales have received the Holy See’s recognitio for the rites of Confirmation and Marriage. These will be published in January 2016 and will be used from Easter 2016.

The Order of Confirmation is the text to be used for the liturgical celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the liturgy those who have been baptised profess their faith, are then anointed with the oil of Chrism, which is accompanied by the laying on of the bishop’s hands, and are strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony is the text to be used for the celebration of marriage in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Although it is a new translation, it retains familiar texts from the English tradition. These have helped shape our understanding of marriage as a lifelong bond between man and woman. Amongst the best loved words are:

To have and to hold
from this day forward
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish
till death do us part.

Speaking of the new translation, the Chair of the Department of Christian Life and Worship, Archbishop George Stack, said:

‘These new translations explore the riches of the scriptural, theological and pastoral implications of the beautiful moments of life in which we encounter God in deeper ways in Confirmation and in Marriage.

‘They reflect the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew.13:51) I pray that those who study, pray and use them will “…know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).’

For further information

Bishops’ Conference – November 2015

At the plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in November 2015 the following decisions were made relating to the liturgy of the Church:

Revised Grail Psalter

The Bishops’ Conference supports the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in preparing a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours. This will include the use of the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in future editions of the Liturgy of the Hours in England and Wales.

National Calendar for England: Proper texts for the Divine Office

The Bishops’ Conference asks that further work be done on the Proper Texts in the Liturgy of the Hours for the National Calendar of England.

Lectionary

The Bishops’ Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales.

For a complete list of resolutions.

Liturgical Calendar 2016

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2016 has now been posted to the website.

For those wishing to look ahead the draft Calendar Notes for 2017 are available here.

Additions to the Calendar

The following celebrations have been added to the Universal Calendar: 11 October – St John XXIII, 22 October – St John Paul II. Both are Optional Memorials.

Changes to the Cycle of Prayer

The Cycle of Prayer is how the Days of Special Prayer are organised with an encouragement that appropriate prayer and activity takes place within the season.

The Bishops’ Conference has made a number of changes to the Cycle of Prayer which are effective from 2016:

  • Education Day to 2nd Sunday in September
  • Day for Life to the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • Racial Justice Day to 3 Sundays before the 1st Sunday of Lent

Summary of dates 2016

Sundays: Year C
Weekdays: Year II

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 29 November 2015
Christmas Friday 25 December 2015
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 3 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 10 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 27 March
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 8 May
Pentecost Sunday 15 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 29 May
St Peter & St Paul Wednesday 29 June
The Assumption Sunday 14 August
All Saints Tuesday 1 November
All Souls Wednesday 2 November

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