Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Interesting Endnote

While perusing through the endnotes of Sacramentum Caritatis, I came upon this:

"(150) Taking into account ancient and venerable customs and the wishes expressed by the Synod Fathers, I have asked the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place, such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar. To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord's insistence that we be reconciled with others before offering our gifts to God (cf. Mt 5:23 ff.); cf. Propositio 23."

It's interesting to note that the sign of peace is before the presentation of the gifts at the altar in the Anglican liturgy. That seems to me to be a good place for it. As Pope Benedict points out, it fits more in line with what is taught in the Gospels. I'm curious as to whether the early Christians did it the way the Anglicans do or as the current practice is in the Catholic Church. If it did change, when did this take place? Perhaps someone who is familiar with the history of the liturgy would be able to shed some light on the subject.

In any case, after having read the Pope's exhortation, I get the sense that a "reform of the reform" is imminent with not only the upcoming motu proprio, but also the Pope's expressed will that seminarians "receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant."

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