The Mass in Sacred Scripture

Throughout the history of the Church, the liturgy has been revised and updated so that the expression of the Church’s worship may reflect the Spirit-filled vitality and dynamism of the Church herself.  The liturgical reforms of Vatican II are intended to be instruments of catechesis and evangelization. The Council is clear that it “earnestly desires that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy … for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 14).

Blessed John Paul II, in reflecting on the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, challenged us to “enter more deeply into the contemplative dimension of worship, which includes a sense of awe, reverence, and adoration which are fundamental attitudes in our relationship with God”  (Pope John Paul II, “Authentic Liturgical Renewal”, 130). The Second Vatican Council, in instituting legitimate changes and revisions to the Eucharistic liturgy that are in harmony with Sacred Tradition, endeavored to make the Mass more open to full and active participation by the lay faithful, through which the People of God, “inspired by faith, hope, and love, offers to the Father, in, with, and through Christ in the Holy Spirit, a sacrifice of praise and self-giving” (Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, 97).

This movement of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church led to the Roman Missal revision of 2000.  The revised Missal received recognitio (official approval from the Vatican) for use in English-speaking counties on March 25, 2010 (and in the United States on June 23, 2010 for implementation on November 27, 2011).

The Mass in Sacred Scripture was inspired by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and its desire that “the treasures of the bible be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 51). The Mass in Sacred Scripture walks the reader through a brief history of the liturgical changes at Vatican II that led to the 2010 Roman Missal revision in English, presents the approved English texts of the Roman Missal alongside some of the Scripture passages from which the Mass texts were derived, and shows the intimate connection between the Mass and the Bible.  The booklet ends with a short question and answer section designed to root what happens at Mass within the fertile soil of our every day lived experience.

The Mass in Sacred Scripture clearly shows that, without a doubt, the Catholic Church fosters great reverence and respect for the Word of God, and recognizes the vital role Sacred Scripture plays in the lives of the Church and her children.

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©2012 Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers