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Monday, September 19, 2011

Restoration and Revision of Syro-Malabar Holy Mass

Roman Pontiffs always took special interest to keep up and foster the ritual patrimony of the Syro Malabar Church. A commission was appointed in 1934 with a special mandate of restoring liturgy. Another commission was appointed in 1954. The restored text of Holy Mass, the book of rubrics and calendar called "ordo celebrationem" (1959) and the propria called "supplementum mysteriorum" (1960) were published. The restored Holy Mass was inaugurated in 1962. But considering the wish of the people, it was adapted in 1968. Soon attempts for further restoration started and directives were given from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The Syro-Malabar Qurbana was again restored to the pre-sixteenth century East Syrian Form in 1986 and the solemn Divine Liturgy was inaugurated in 1986 by Pope John Paul II. With minor adaptations through the permitted options the restored test came to be used in 1989. It is a fact that a great majority of bishops, priests, religious and laity are dissatisfied with the static nature, ambiguous phrases, style, language, monotonous prayers, rubrics etc.. of the present text.The Syro-Malabar Bishops in a joint pastoral letter in 1990 promised the members of the Church that the present text of he Holy Mass can be improved in the light of is use for five years. Its revision will have to follow the genuine liturgical traditions of our Church; but at the same time,it should be open to the requirements of cultural adaptation. Besides, before this revision, suggestions of the priests, religious and laity will be taken into consideration. (from Dr. Andrews Thazhath, The Quest for Identity, 1992)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Church Historian A.M. Mundadan on Cardinal

On account of the originality of Cardinal Parecattil's vision and magnitude of his pioneering contributions, the Cardinal became a sign of Contradiction. For, in his vision, he was far ahead of his contemporaries; by his contributions, he was far above several other leaders. It was this uniqueness that made the Cardinal a controversial figure; but it was the same uniqueness made him a prophet of modern Indian Catholicism. Like any prophet in history, he also became a sign of contradiction because a powerful group of conservatives could not understand nor accept his ideas. He was sometimes isolated, sidelined and even ignored. But he bore 'all the heat and burden of the day' so that others after him might march ahead safely and comfortably.

Bishop Bosco Puthur on Cardinal's view on Liturgy

The Cardinal is convinced that it is in the field of Liturgy that iculturation has to take place in the most effective manner. Along with Pope Paul VI, then Cardinal Montini, His Eminence believes that "Liturgy is for man and not man for Liturgy". In the Indian context he was trying to move the needle of the Liturgy clockwise and not anti-clockwise. Life changes, the tastes, aspirations and needs of people change. Time change and we change with them. So liturgy should be 'ever ancient and ever new'. In the filed of Liturgy, His Eminence has been dragged into controversy from different quarters. Pained at being misunderstood by certain circles in Rome, the Cardinal bluntly makes his standpoint clear: "Your Excellencey, please believe me, I stand for neither Latinisation nor de-Chaldeanisation. I stand for Indianisation". ( Bosco Puthur: Joseph Cardinal Parecattil, The Theologian in A.M Mundadan CMI)

Cardinal's Vision on Liturgical Language

In the Synod of Bishops held in 1967, the Cardinal spoke on the norms to be kept in the translation of the liturgical texts. He held that the translation should be true to the original, but not literal. This principle is by now accepted by the Universal Church. The "Instructions on Translation of Liturgical Textx" published in 1969 by the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy amply bears witness to this fact. Speaking about fidelity to tradition, the Cardinal quoted Pope Paul VI who said in Bombay that "it must not be a dead veneration of the past, but it must be joined to a living adaptaiton to the needs of the people". The Cardinal was very happy about the outcome of the discussions in the Synod Hall on Liturgy. It was expressed by him in a message braodcast by th Vatican Radio on 28th October 1967. In the message be pointed out that liturgy was not something merely academic, by pratical par excellence. Unnecessary repetitions must be avoided. Inculturation must be an imperative in the process of liturgical renewal. Reviewing the innovations brought about by Vatican II the Cardinal felt that the concelebration of teh Eucharistic Sacrifice and the use of the vernacular are two major achievements in the field of liturgy. ( From Antony Nariculam: Second Vatican Council and Cardinal Parecattil in Dr. A.M Mundadan CMI Cardinal Parecattil, The Man, His Vision and His Contribution)