Random Thoughts

Random Thought 1: The history of the liturgy can be divided into six periods: 1) Primitive liturgy (1st to 3rd century): 2) Growth of Rites 4th to 6th century): 3) Fixation of the Roman Rite (7th to 9th century): 4) Clericalized Liturgy (10th to 15th century): 5) Age of Rubricism (16th to 19th century): 6) Liturgical Renewal (20th century).

Liturgical Renewal: In 1903 Pius X began the last phase of the history of the Liturgy to our time with the statement that “the active participation [of the people] in the holy Mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church” is “the foremost and indispensable fount” of the "true Christian spirit” (Tra le Sollecitudini). This gave rise to the Liturgical Movement (which had its roots in many previous events, notably the work of Dom Prosper Gueranger in the 19th century). 

      After some forty years of ferment throughout the Catholic world, Pius XII issued his celebrated Encyclical Mediator Dei (On the worship of the Church), which upheld the importance of the Liturgy and gave approval to the Liturgical Movement in progress. The same pope went on to make reforms in the Easter Vigil and in the celebration of the Eucharist. Pope John XXIII inserted the name of St. Joseph in the Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I), laying the basis for further changes in a text that had been unchanged for some three hundred years.

      International congresses of scholars and experts in Liturgy also paved the way for liturgical reform beginning in 1951, above all the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy at Assisi in 1956 and the Eucharistic Congress at Monaco in 1960.

      In 1962 the Second Vatican Council convened for its deliberations, and in 1963 it issued the first decree — the epoch making Constitution on the Scared Liturgy, which termed the Liturgy the fount and summit of the whole activity of the Church and called for a wholesale liturgical reform.

 Dictionary of the Liturgy, Catholic Book Publishing Co., ©1989

Next Week: My own personal interpretations of this history of the Liturgy.

Ext meeting © JOSEPH MEILINGER 2021