CELEBRATING THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN CHRISTIAN LIFE
THE EUCHARIST, THE CENTER OF CHRISTIAN LIFE CELEBRATION
RESULOTION-1. All Parish Worship Committees in coordination with the Diocesan Commission on Worship shall devise ways and means to give instructions to the people on the meaning and importance of the Eucharist Celebration especially the Sunday parish Mass.
R-2. Every parish shall develop a program of liturgical formation which include bringing the mass to the people outside the church building and spending some minutes before the Mass to teach the people and to deepen their love of the Holy Eucharist.
R-3. All Parishes in coordination with the Diocesan Commission on Worship shall train lay ministers who will lead the people in participating actively in liturgical and para-liturgical services.
R-4. The priests shall not hesitate to concelebrate when occasion arise that call for expression of unity of sacrifice and priesthood during retreats, conventions, pilgrimages, town fiestas, priestly meeting, taking into consideration the provisions of the Ecclesiae Semper (S. C. R. March 7, 1972) and the declaration In Concelebratione Missae S. C. D. W. (August 7, 1972). But concelebration should not become a status symbol of enhance the pomp of private or semi-private affairs.
R-5 Each parish shall have a fixed schedule of Masses according to the convenience of the people, one Mass to a priest daily and no other Masses outside the scheduled Masses shall be celebrate except ritual Masses, such as funeral and wedding and other justified by pastoral reasons.
SOME FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO ACTIVE PARTICiPATION OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN LITURGICAL CELEBRATION
RESULOTION-6. Lay ministers, who assist the priest during liturgical celebration, shall also act as leaders of the people and help maintain order at Mass.
R-7. The priest celebrant shall wholeheartedly recognize the role of the lay ministers during celebration and not usurp the parts proper to them.
R-8. A. sub-committee for music shall be established as part of the parish worship committee to supervise the singing of the whole congregation during liturgical celebration and to make available to the people materials needed for community singing.
R-9. A sub-committee for liturgical environment shall be established to provide an orderly, clean and peaceful atmosphere for liturgical celebration. It shall also make sure of the proper lighting and adequate sound system.
PARTAKING OF THE SACRIFICIAL MEAL
RESULOTION-10. He people shall be reminded periodically by priest and lay ministers when they explain the meaning and importance of the Mass, that participation is perfect when one receives communion in that Mass, and when they explain the right relationship between Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
R-11. In order to show the faithful the fullness of sign in the Eucharist banquet, Holy Communion shall be made available to the faithful under both species under the ritual Masses (i.e. funeral, wedding, baptism), retreats, religious seminars and, Masses for particular groups; the provisions of instruction Memorial Domini (29 May 1969) and of the instruction Sacramentali Communione (S.C.D.W. June 29, 1970) should be taken into consideration.
THE EUCHARIST AS PERMANENT SACRAMENT
RESOLUTION-12. In accordance with the documents Eucharistiae Sacramentum, pastors shall be reminded that exposition of the Blessed Sacraments immediately after the Mass for the sole purpose of giving benediction with it. Is forbidden.
R-13. In all parishes regular time for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament shall be scheduled monthly, preferably on First Friday during which the faithful have a fitting amount of time for reading of the Word of God, for hymns, prayers and for periods of silent prayer, in order to stimulate them to an awareness of the marvelous presence of Christ and lead them to spiritual communion with him.
R-14. In all parishes of Diocese there shall be a “period of solemn exposition each year, even if were not strictly continuous, giving the local community the opportunity to adore and meditate on this mystery more deeply and fervently” (Eucharistiae Sacramentum). During this annual solemn exposition no other non-Eucharistic devotions shall permitted.
R-15. In addition to what is said in Chapter II of the decree on the Presbyteral Community regarding frequent holy hour of priest, the priests shall also spend some time daily before the Blessed Sacrament.
R-16. Whenever the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, no popular or private devotions shall be allowed in the place.
R-17. The parishes institute a program of pre-sacramental catechist in coordination with the Formation Committee by which those concerned (i.e. parents, ninong and ninang for infant baptism, candidate and ninong or ninang for confirmation, candidate for first communion, the couple for marriage) are properly prepared for the celebration and for Christian living.
R-18. The parish worship committee shall look for ways and means to discourage baptism and confirmation during town fiestas or at least make the celebration of these sacraments on these occasions meaningful (if it cannot be avoided).
R-19. Baptism Ritual Mass shall be encouraged in every parish to show the people of God the intimate connection between baptism and the Eucharist which together with confirmation constitute the Sacrament of Initiation.
R-20. The Parish Pastoral Council shall devise a program to prepare even out-of-school children for the completion of Christian initiation.
R-21. In all parish it shall be made clear to persons concerned that only two sponsors for baptism and one for confirmation are permitted by the Church law.
RECONCILIATION OF PARENTS
In the Lent of 1976 the new Rite for Reconciliation was introduced in our Diocese.37 It offered us three ways of doing sacramental penance: 1) individual confession with individual absolution; 2) communal celebration with individual confession and individual absolution; 3) communal celebration with general confession and general absolution. Many parishes continue with the traditional manner of reconciliation which is substance is the first according to the new Rite. But some parishes carry out a manner of reconciliation which is not sanctioned by the new Rite. They have individual confession with general absolution. This is a misunderstanding of the official documents and needs correction.
R-23. Parish Priest shall be encouraged to construct in their churches confessional room(s) according to the specification of the new Ordo Paententiae as adapted by the CBCP.
R-24. The provisions for giving general absolution is found in adaptation of the Ordo Paenitentiae CBCP shall be conscientiously followed.
R-25. The second manner of reconciliation (1.e. communal celebration with individual confession and individual absolution) shall be celebrated occasionally in parishes, when all or several priests of the vacariate help in the celebration.
R-26. Priest shall make themselves always available to the people for individual confession and stay in confessional at definite times, at least twice a week, for people to make individual confession.
R-27. In order to develop the virtue of penance among the faithful, Friday may be recognized as a “Day of Penance”. This should be explained to the people by the priest in their spiritual talks, counseling, allocutions, homilies and other similar means.
THE CELEBRATION OF MATRIMONY
RESOLUTION-28. All the parishes of our diocese shall organize uniform pre-matrimonial catechist, from which no marrying couple should be exempted. This should already contain general instruction on other sacraments.
R-29. The Mass, within which a wedding is performed, shall as much as possible, be properly celebrated as nuptial Ritual Mass, the intention of which must be for the newly –wed and not for any other.
R-30. The priest shall use the Rite approved for the Philippines by the Sacred Congregation keeping in mind the many adaptations that can be done by the minister according to the rubrics themselves.
PASTORAL CARE AND ANOINTING OF THE SICK
RESOLUTION-31. Every parish shall include in the pastoral program the pastoral care of the sick through home visitation and community prayer for the sick.
R-32. Communal anointing of the sick according to the New Rite shall be encourage in every parish at least once a year.
FUNERAL RITES AND PRAYER FOR THE DEAD
RESOLUTION-33. The parish worship committee shall Christianize the many good folk practices concerning the dead and the bereaved especially during wake, by means of Bible Services and prayer sessions organized by its members.
R-34. In order to move classification of church funeral rites, there shall be no more “dapit-at-hatid”; and that the Diocese Commission on Worship shall prepare an adapted ritual that will do away with all semblances of categorization.
THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORD OF GOD
RESOLUTION-35. Bible Service with or without Holy Communion shall be held on Sundays in places where priest are unable to go, presided over by trained lay minister.
R-36. Penitential Services (Bible Services with theme of penance) shall be regularly celebrated on schedule in the parishes, in small communities and in catechism classes, in order to strengthen the virtue of penance and to prepare remotely for sacramental reconciliation.
R-37. The priest shall conscientiously and assiduously guide with sound doctrine and direction the many Bible and prayer groups being formed in parishes.
RESOLUTIONS-38. The distinction between liturgical and non-liturgical popular devotions shall be made clear to the faithful; hence, novenas should not be incorporated into the Mass.
R-39. Since the non-liturgical practices must lead to Christ and His Paschal Mystery and must be nourished by it, the Diocesan Commission on Worship shall find ways and means to educate the people in order in order that popular in order that popular novenas lead them to Christ.
R-40. When there is a solemn blessing of any objects or place, a reading of the Bible and homily concerning the meaning of the act shall be given as much as possible by the minister for the growth of the faith of the faithful, pending the publication of the new Benedictional or Book of blessings.
THE PLACE OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATION
37. The arrangement of the place of Liturgical celebration should follow the principles laid down in the General Instruction on the Roman Missal. 46 The most important part of the place of celebration or the church is the space where the people of God is Gathered to celebrate the mysteries of Christ. The center of the church is the altar on which the sacrifice of Christ is sacramentally actualized and the Ambo Lectern from which the World of God is preached to the people. It should be first of all suited to the celebration of the Paschal Tritium which is the paradigm of all liturgical celebration throughout the years.
38. Our churches in the diocese according to post Vatican II liturgical document should be simple and noble but not ostentatiously magnificent. Church décor should bear reference to the paschal mystery and instruct the faithful and not become mere decorations inside or outside the church. “There should be too many such images, lest they distract the people’s attention from the ceremonies.”47
39. Among parishes in the Diocese, Tayabas has the greatest number of images inside the church (48 images), Sariaya comes next with 32 images, Atimonan and Tiaong follow with 24 images, each. The Cathedral has 17 images, Dolores 14, Malinao 13, Guamaca, Lucban, Mauban with 12 each, Catanauan 11, Alabat, Malicboy Mulunay, Pagbilao, San Narciso, Padre Burgos 10 each, Buenavista9, Plaridel, San Vicente, San Francisco 8 each Lucasan7, San Isidro, San Antonio, Panaon 6 each, Holy Rosary, Iyam, Red V, Sampaloc 5 each, Calauag, Guinayangan, Hondagua, Lopez 4 each, Ilasan, Cababay, Calumpang 3 each, Agdangan Cotta 2 each Univesity site 1.
R-42. In the church there shall be “not more than one image of any particular saint”, and there shall “nor be too many such images” and “those which are there ought to conform to correct order of prominence” (according to the litany proposed in the litany of the saints”)
R-43. In churches of Spanish origin have preserved interior, recent additional images which go against the special architectonic of the place shall be removed.
R-44. In the churches of post Spanish origin, the ideal number of images for perpetual exposition includes the following: one image of the Lord, plus the Blessed Virgin and another image of the Patron Saint, plus the Stations of the Cross. When there are images others than those mentioned above and these cannot be removed for other reason or another, this Synod recommends that from now on no additional images be exposed for public veneration.
R-45. There shall be in the church. Only one altar to signify the unity of sacrifice and one ambo for the Word of God to signify unity of the word of God, and only one tabernacle. A simple lectern at a less prominent place may be had for the one use of the commentator.
R-46. An image of mediocre artistic quality shall not be exposed in the church for public veneration.
R-47. As much possible there shall be in the church in chapel of the Bless Sacrament.
R-48. If space and fund are available, a funeral chapel shall be constructed adjacent to or near the church in order that the not too Christian practices during wakes may be eliminated.
LITURGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF TRADIONAL RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
40. In the Diocese of Lucena as in other diocese of the Philippines we still find traditional religious practices which came to us from the time of Spanish missionaries of Frailes. These practices can be considered the audio-visual aids the Frailes devised in order to make the liturgical rites in Latin understandable to the people. Even if the Liturgy in those times was highly clerical, the missionaries tried to make the faithful participate in the celebration in a meaningful way. But since the Tridentine Liturgy was untouchable, all the audio-visual aids introduced by the Friles were mostly confined to the periphery of Liturgy. They were meant, however, to make the official liturgical ceremonies understood by the faithful.
41. The traditional religious practices in our Diocese can be grouped into two types: (1) The Holy Week religious practices, and (2) Marian religious practices. The Holy Week religious practices include Hosannahan during the processing commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, Estasyon Heneral around the town, Procession of Passion Scenes on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, Visita Iglesias on Holy Thursday, Sinakulo, Salubong, at the dawn of Easter Sunday and Buhusan ng Tubig on Easter Sunday (at least in two parishes). In two towns of the diocese they have Centurion, which is version Marinduque’s Morion.
42. Devotional practices to the Blessed Mother are generally held in May and October. Other devotions in May are the Santa Cruzan and the San Isidro Pahiyas at Pabitin.
43. These traditional practices have religious and liturgical meaning which though obscure though the passage of time can be recovered, so that they can become again powerful means of teaching and growth in faith of the people. The Church must act at one these traditional practices with Liturgy; otherwise, they will become mere tourist attraction.
RESOLUTION-49. The parish pastoral council shall make a thorough study of all religious folk practices in the parish, complete with slides/pictures and sound scores as much possible, that will serve as materials for further studies to be undertaken by the Diocesan Commission on Worship in order to recover their liturgical significance.
R-50. The parish pastoral council and the parish worship committee shall devise ways and means to regulate traditional fold religious practices and prevent their becoming mere tourist attractions and perhaps becoming mundane and superstitious, in co-operation with the civil authorities.
THE LUCENA DIOCESAN COMMISSION ON WORSHIP AND PARISH WOSRHIP COMMITTEES
44. Sacrosanctum Concilium decreed that “every diocese is to have a commission on the sacred liturgy, uder the direction of the bishop, for promoting the liturgical apostolate”. 48 In the Diocese of Lucena the Worship Commission has acquired a name, Diocesan Liturgical Service-Lucena (DLS-Lucena), because of the services which it has been giving the parishes for the past four years. The DLS-Lucena has been providing Sunday missalette, PATNUBAY, and a monthly liturgical guide called UGNAYAN SA LITURHIA.
45. The faithful and the priests have been greatly benefited by these publications and wish that the office continue the work.
46. The first apostolate performed by the DLS-Lucena was to give three-day seminar in all the parishes of the Diocese. Together with the Music Commission and with the help of the seminarians of St. Alphonsus School of Theology, DLS-Lucena has started liturgical renewal in the diocese.
RESOLUTION-51. The LDCW shall be headed by the Diocesan Director of the Worship with the Worship Committee of the Diocesan Council of the Laity (DCL).
R-52. The Commission of Worship shall have: 1) a sub-commission on sacred and liturgical arts 2) a sub-commission on the preservation of historical and artistic monuments and on the establishment and care of the diocesan museum.
R-53. The LDCW shall study, plan supervise, regulate, in short, manage the entire Christian life celebration (worship) program of the diocese in harmony with other pastoral activities of the Local Church under the direction of the Bishop.
R-54. The LDCW, moreover, shall create a program for the ongoing liturgical formation in the diocese.
R-55. The LDCW shall also promote studies and necessary experiments whenever there is a question of adaptation to be proposed to the CBCP or Holy See.
R-63. all semblances of classification or categorization in the celebration of all sacraments, as regards church fees, shall be moved.