Sunday, December 01, 2013

Active Participation According to the Mind of the Church Part 2 of 2

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (December 1, 2013):
Countless scholarly articles have been published over the past 40+ years explaining the nature of Active Participation. Two of the most notable quotes are by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. On page 127 of the 1985 book, The Ratzinger Report:
“The [Second Vatican] Council rightly reminded us that liturgy also means ‘actio’ something done and it demanded that the faithful be guaranteed an ‘actuosa participatio’, an active participation…But the way it has been applied following the Council has exhibited a fatal narrowing of perspective. The impression arose that there was only ‘active participation’ when there was discernible exterior activity - speaking, singing, preaching, reading, shaking hands. It was forgotten that the Council also included silence under ‘actuosa participatio’, for silence facilitates a really deep personal participation, allowing us to listen inwardly to the Lord’s word. Many liturgies now lack all trace of this silence.”
From his 2007 exhortation Sacraméntum Caritátis:
“52. The Second Vatican Council rightly emphasized the active, full and fruitful participation of the entire People of God in the eucharistic celebration. Certainly, the renewal carried out in these past decades has made considerable progress towards fulfilling the wishes of the Council Fathers. Yet we must not overlook the fact that some misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning of this participation. It should be made clear that the word ‘participation’ does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration. In fact, the active participation called for by the Council must be understood in more substantial terms, on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relationship to daily life. The conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium encouraged the faithful to take part in the eucharistic liturgy not ‘as strangers or silent spectators,’ but as participants ‘in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, actively and devoutly’. This exhortation has lost none of its force. The Council went on to say that the faithful ‘should be instructed by God’s word, and nourished at the table of the Lord’s Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to make an offering of themselves. Through Christ, the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and each other’.

55. In their consideration of the actuosa participatio of the faithful in the liturgy, the Synod Fathers also discussed the personal conditions required for fruitful participation on the part of individuals. One of these is certainly the spirit of constant conversion which must mark the lives of all the faithful. Active participation in the eucharistic liturgy can hardly be expected if one approaches it superficially, without an examination of his or her life. This inner disposition can be fostered, for example, by recollection and silence for at least a few moments before the beginning of the liturgy, by fasting and, when necessary, by sacramental confession. A heart reconciled to God makes genuine participation possible. The faithful need to be reminded that there can be no actuosa participatio in the sacred mysteries without an accompanying effort to participate actively in the life of the Church as a whole, including a missionary commitment to bring Christ's love into the life of society.”
The point made clearly in these and other writings on the subject is that Active Participation is an interior action and disposition. It is erroneous to suggest that the concept pertains merely to external activity.
Special Sunday Masses to Debut at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte, Michigan Fr. Mark Borkowski is commencing occasional Sunday Tridentine Masses at Our Lady of the Scapular, a.k.a. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wyandotte. The first Mass will take place on Sunday, December 15 at 12:00 Noon.

Christmas Masses Scheduled

Tridentine Masses for Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, have been scheduled:
  • 12:00 Midnight: High Mass at St. Joseph Church, Detroit
  • 12:00 Midnight: Solemn High Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (orchestral Mass; details here) 
  • 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Joseph Church, Detroit
  • 9:30 AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit
  • 2:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor
- Choir will sing Michael Praetorius’ Missa a 8 and motets including Hieronymus Praetorius’ In Dulci Júbilo
- Deacon will be Deacon Joe Tuskiewicz; Subdeacon will be seminarian Jacob VanAssche from Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary
Please note that there will be no Masses at Assumption Church on Tuesday, December 24 or Tuesday, December 31.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 12/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Francis Xavier, Confessor)
  • Sat. 12/07 9:00 AM: Low Mass at St. Hyacinth (Immaculate Heart of Mary) [First Saturday]
  • Sat. 12/07 8:30 AM: High or Low Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Grotto Carmelites - First Saturday; open to all).
  • Monday-Saturday 7:30AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto
  • Monday-Wednesday-Friday 7:00PM: High or Low Mass (varies) Assumption Grotto
  • Holy Days and Sundays 9:30AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto (except as noted here)
  • Sundays at 2:00PM: High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor

[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for December 1, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

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