Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Preaching on the Ritual Actions of the Liturgy?

In the most recent issue of America, Edward Foley, O.F.M. CAP, of Catholic Theological Union, has an interesting article on re-thinking the content of the homily. Preview the article here: . He points out that the liturgical documents do not require that the homily always be from or about Scripture, but that as "The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation" (21 & 24) points out, it must be "nourished" by scripture, which is not the same as preaching from a particular text.

Foley quotes # 52 in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy": "By means of the homily, the mysteries of the faith and the guiding principles of the Christian life are expounded from the sacred text..." and then points out that "sacred text" can be interpreted as not just Scripture, but any text from the ordinary of the Mass. (See also #92 from 2003 "Introduction to the Order of the Mass" which mentions preaching for other "texts and rites of the liturgy."He goes on t o suggest the importance of preaching the liturgy itself and expounds on what we lose by hearing preaching based only on Scripture.

What would change if priests and deacons preached about the Eucharistic prayer texts? Or any of the Mass texts? Would the people not become more familiar with not just the words, but with underlying tradition, theology and meanings of these texts? How might this enrich their understanding of the Mass? How might this be an effective way to catechize the folks about the text changes coming soon?

Now, the question is - are the clergy up to this challenge?

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