Rome approves new U.S. bishops' adaptation to Ordinary Form of the Mass.
by Flora Polis
Washington D.C. (RSN) -- As Pope Benedict has begun to further reform the liturgy of the Roman Church, Rome has given approval to a recent request submitted by the USCCB after their last plenary meeting. Although only affecting the reformed Mass (or "ordinary form" as coined by Pope Benedict in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum), the change will be subtle according to Msgr. Pall Froiso.
"The change will not be something jarring or upsetting to the Mass. In fact, we feel that many won't even notice it. However, it is a great way to increase the communal fellowship within the context of the Mass."
Although approved by Rome, the change will only be optional, and will be examined for a five year period. Msgr. Froiso said the bishops hope that after the trial period, it will be allowed to become a permanent adaptation for all Catholics in the United States. "We feel that it's simplicity will make it easy for permanent approval after the trial period," explained Sister Rosa Fopill, spokesperson for the subcommittee of social interaction and liturgical synergy.
In addition to the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the new option will intrduce the Liturgy of Fellowship. It will take place between the Communion Rite and the final dismissal. Here is a summary of the new rite:
1) After Communion, all ministers in the church will line up before the altar.
2) The priest will say a fellowship prayer over the people.
3) The people will then process with the ministers to the parish's community center.
4) All will fellowship for a time yet to be specified for by the bishops' committee.
5) Coffee and donuts will be served to all.
6) A collection will then be taken up.
7) After a short prayer, all process back to the church
8) Mass ends as usual.
"We wanted to make this optional, because some small churches just don't have enough people to get the coffee ready in an orderly manner. The vocation crisis is hitting us hard on all fronts," said Sister Rosa.
The bishops hope to introduce it at the papal liturgy when Pope Benedict visits Washington D.C. later this year.
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