Acclamations in the Eucharistic Prayer
The Eucharistic Prayers could be enriched with acclamations, not only after the consecration but in other moments, as provided in the Eucharistic Prayers for celebrations with children and as is done in several countries.
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Given that the "lex orandi" expresses the "lex credendi," it is essential to live and deepen faith in the Eucharist with prayer, with which the Church has always celebrated it, namely, the Eucharistic Prayer.
In particular, Eucharistic spirituality is strengthened by recognizing the importance of the Holy Spirit, who transforms the wafers, and makes the entire community become increasingly the body of Christ. The Synod hopes that the link between the epiclesis and the account of the institution will be shown with greater clarity. In this way, it would be more evident that the whole life of the faithful is, in the Holy Spirit and in the sacrifice of Christ, a spiritual offering pleasing to the Father.
In this framework, the Synod notes the need to specify better the different character of the causality that is given in the formula: "The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church."
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The Sign of Peace
The greeting of peace in the Holy Mass is an expressive sign of great value and depth (cf. John 14:27). However, in certain cases, it assumes a dimension that could be problematic, when it is too prolonged or even when it causes confusion, just before receiving Communion.
Perhaps it would be useful to assess if the sign of peace should take place at another moment of the celebration, taking into account ancient and venerable customs.
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"Ite, Missa Est"
To make more explicit the relationship between Eucharist and mission, which belongs to the heart of this Synod, it is suggested that new dismissal formulas be prepared (solemn blessings, prayers over the people or others), which underline the mission in the world of the faithful who have participated in the Eucharist.
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Dignity of the Celebration
All participants in the Eucharist are called to live the celebration with the certainty of being People of God, royal priesthood, holy nation (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5,9). In it, each one expresses his own specific Christian vocation. Those among them who have received an ordained ministry exercise it according to their rank: Bishop, priests and deacons. In particular, the role of deacons and the service of readers and acolytes deserves greater attention.
Bishops above all, as moderators of the liturgical life, must promote a worthy celebration of the sacraments in their own diocese, correct abuses and propose the worship of the Cathedral Church as example.
This Synod renews its appreciation for the care with which presbyters celebrate the liturgy in a worthy manner, "attente ac devote," for the greater benefit of the People of God. In this way they highlight the importance of faith, holiness, the spirit of sacrifice and personal prayer to celebrate the Eucharist. An excess of interventions should be avoided, which can lead to a manipulation of the Holy Mass, as, for example, when liturgical texts are substituted with foreign texts or when the celebration is given a connotation that is not liturgical.
An authentic liturgical action expresses the sacred character of the Eucharistic mystery. The latter should be reflected in the words and actions of the celebrant priest while he intercedes, with the faithful or for them, before God the Father.
Like all artistic expressions, singing should also be in profound harmony with the liturgy, contributing effectively to its end, that is, it should express faith, prayer, wonder, love for Jesus present in the Eucharist.
The value, importance and necessity of the observance of the liturgical norms must be underlined. The Eucharistic celebration must respect the sobriety and fidelity of the rite desired by the Church, with a sense of the sacred that helps to live the encounter with God and also with sensible forms that favor it (harmony of the rite, of liturgical vestments, of adornments and of the sacred place). It is important that priests and those responsible for liturgical pastoral care make known the applicable liturgical books (Missal, Lectionary) and the corresponding normative.
To orient the faithful on the mystery celebrated, a previous catechesis is necessary that fosters their active participation imbued with authentic piety. The ministers must help toward this full participation with the proclamation of the texts and recommending the appropriate times of silence, gestures and attitudes
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Inculturation and Celebration
For a more effective participation of the faithful in the Eucharist, this Synod backs the promotion of greater inculturation in the realm of the Eucharistic celebration, taking into account the possibilities of adaptation offered by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the criteria established by the 4th Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship for an appropriate application of the conciliar constitutions on the liturgy, of 1994, and the directives contained in the postsynodal Exhortations "Ecclesia in Africa," "Ecclesia in Asia," "Ecclesia in Oceania" and "Ecclesia in America." With this objective, the Episcopal Conferences must assume full responsibility for increasing attempts at inculturation, fostering the appropriate balance between criteria and directives already issued and the new adaptations.
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The Art of the Eucharistic Celebration
Of great importance in the history of the celebration of the Holy Mass and of Eucharistic adoration is the function of sacred art in its different expressions, beginning with architecture. The latter translates the spiritual meaning of the Church's rites in comprehensible and concrete forms, which enlighten the mind, touch the heart and form the will. Moreover, the study of the history of liturgical architecture and of sacred art in general by the laity, seminarians and above all priests, can illuminate theological reflection, enrich catechesis and awaken that taste for symbolic language that facilitates sacramental mystagogy.
Finally, a profound knowledge of the forms that sacred art has been able to produce through the centuries, can help those who are called to collaborate with the architects and artists to design appropriately, at the service of Eucharistic life and of the present communities, both the areas of celebration as well as the iconography.
In the case of conflict between the artistic and celebratory aspects, priority must be given to the liturgical needs of the celebration, according to the reform approved by the Church.
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The Tabernacle and Its Location
In conformity with the Roman Missal's General Instruction (cf. n. 314), the Synod reminds that the tabernacle for the custody of the Blessed Sacrament must have a noble place in the church, of consideration, very visible, looked after under the artistic aspect and appropriate to prayer. With this objective, consult the Bishop.
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Eucharist and Means of Social Communication
The means of communication, including the Internet, offer a good service to those who cannot participate in the Mass, for example, for reasons of health or age. Moreover, they can also reach baptized persons who have fallen away or even nonbelievers. When the means of communication are used, it is important to celebrate the Eucharist in worthy, appropriate and well-prepared places. It must be remembered that, in normal conditions, to fulfill the obligation, physical presence is necessary in the celebration of the Eucharist, and that it is not sufficient to follow the rite through the means of communication. The language of image is representation and not the reality in itself.
The liturgy must be devout and invite to prayer because it celebrates the paschal mystery. The liturgical norms of the Church must always be observed, value must be given to the sacred signs, attention must be given to the artistic expression of the place, objects and liturgical vestments. It is necessary to ensure that the singing and music correspond to the mystery celebrated and to the liturgical time.
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As fruit of the Year of the Eucharist, the Synod strongly recommends that significant efforts be made to give value to and to live the "Dies Domini" in the whole Church. It is necessary to affirm anew the central character of Sunday and of the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist in the different communities of the diocese, especially in the parishes (cf. "Sacrosanctum Concilium" 42). Sunday is truly the day in which one celebrates with others the risen Christ, sanctified day and consecrated to the Creator, day of rest and availability. The Sunday Eucharistic celebration is a humanizing grace for the individual and the family, because it nourishes the Christian identity with contact with the Risen One. Therefore, the duty to participle is triple: with God, with oneself and with the community.
It is intended to help the faithful to consider as paradigmatic the experience of the primitive community and that of the generations of the first centuries. Christian must be given the opportunity, through catechesis and preaching, to meditate on the "Dies Christi" as the day of the Lord's Resurrection and, therefore, as a feast of deliverance, a day given to enjoy the goods of the Kingdom of God, day of joy because of the encounter with the Living, present among us.
We hope therefore that the Day of the Lord will also become the day of Christians, respected by the whole society with rest from work. Manifestations proper to the Christian community should be organized around the Eucharistic celebration, such as friendly get-togethers; formation of children, young people and adults in the faith; pilgrimages; works of charity; and different moments of prayer.
Although Saturday afternoon belongs already to Sunday (First Vespers), and it is permitted to fulfill the Sunday obligation with the pre-festive Mass, it is necessary to remember that it is the day of Sunday in itself which must be sanctified so that there is no "void of God."