L’arte di celebrare il servizio liturgico – Kunsten å feire liturgien

«Il sacerdote, per celebrare con arte il servizio liturgico, non deve ricorrere ad accorgimenti mondani ma concentrarsi sulla verità dell’eucaristia. – In order to celebrate the liturgical service with art, the priest must not resort to mundane artifices but focus on the truth of the Eucharist.»

Slik skriver Nicola Bux, prest, teolog, forfatter, rådgiver for Troskongregasjonen og personlig venn av pave Benedikt, i L’Osservatore Romano. Og han skriver videre – se italiensk og engelsk tekst:

The General Instrucion of the Roman Missal states: «A priest also … when he celebrates the Eucharist, … must serve God and the people with dignity and humility, and by his bearing and by the way he says the divine words he must convey to the faithful the living presence of Christ.» The priest does not make up anything, but with his service he must render as well as possible to the eyes and ears, but also to the touch, taste and scent of the faithful, the sacrifice and thanksgiving of Christ and of the Church, whose tremendous mystery may be approached by those who have cleansed themselves from sins. …

The priest is minister, not master, administrator of the mysteries: he serves them, and does not use them to project his own theological or political ideas and his own image, to the point that the faithful become focused on him rather than look to Christ Who is signified by the altar and present on the altar, and high upon the cross. As the Holy Father recently warned, the culture of the image in the worldly sense marks and conditions also the faithful and the shepherds. … From the manner of celebrating Mass many things can be deduced: the chair of the celebrant in many places has decentralised cross and tabernacle, occupying the centre of the church, sometimes overtowering in importance the altar …

The ars celebrandi consists in serving with love and fear the Lord: for this is expressed with kisses of the altar and the liturgical books, bows and genuflections, signs of the cross and incensations of people and objects, gestures of offering and supplication, and the showing of the Evangeliary and of the Holy Eucharist.

Now, such a service and style of the priest celebrant or, … can be seen from his preparing himself at vesting in the sacristy in silence and recollection for the great action that is preparing to do; from his going to the altar, which must be humble, not ostentatious, without indulging in looking to the right and left, almost as if to seek applause. Indeed, the first act is the bow or genuflection before the cross and the tabernacle, in short before the divine presence, followed by the reverent kiss of the altar …

He will touch the holy gifts with wonder and astonishment and with adoration, and the sacred vessels he will cleanse calmly and carefully, as so many fathers and saints call for. He will bow over the bread and the chalice in saying the consecrating words of Christ and while invoking the Holy Spirit at the supplication or epiclesis. He will elevate them separately fixing his gaze on them in adoration and then lowering it in meditation. He will genuflect twice in solemn adoration. He will continue with recollection and a tone of prayer the anaphora until the doxology, elevating the holy Gifts offering them to the Father.

… and St. Thomas says: «This Sacrifice, then, as the passion of Christ itself, even though it is offered for everyone, ‘has no effect if not in those who unite thmesleves to the passion of Christ through faith and charity … To them, still, it helps more or less according to the measure of their devotion'». Faith is a condition of participation in the sacrifice of Christ with all myself. In what consists the action of the faithful, different from the priest who consecrates? They, remembering, give thanks, offer and, conveniently disposed, communicate sacramentally. The most intense expression is in the response to the invitation of the priest shortly before the anaphora: «May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.»

Without faith and devotion of the priest there is no ars celebrandi and the participation of the faithful is not favoured, above all the perception of the mystery. … The lack of devotion in the liturgy impels many of the faithful to abandon it and dedicate themselves to secondary forms of piety, widening the gap between the one and the other.

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