The liturgical formation of the people of God, by Joan

Pope Francis, on June 29, made public the beautiful apostolic letter desiderio on the liturgical formation of the people of God with which he wants to “invite the whole Church to rediscover, guard and live the truth and power of the Christian celebration” and asks that “the holy people of God be helped to drink from the fountain principle of Christian spirituality, rediscovering the principles expressed in the Constitution on liturgy of the Second Vatican Council”. He also asks to abandon polemics to listen to what the Spirit says to the Church, maintaining communion and admiration for the beauty of the liturgy, under the gaze of Mary.

In number 16 of this letter, the Pope encourages us to rediscover the deep theological meaning of the liturgy and its importance in the life of the Church, inviting everyone to deepen their liturgical formation. The liturgy is the gift of the Lord’s Easter which, when we accept it with docility, transforms the whole of existence: “One does not enter the cenacle if it is not by the force of attraction of his desire to eat Easter with us. To cure the spiritual worldliness that has crept into the bosom of the Church and therefore also into the liturgy, the beauty of celebrations must be rediscovered. This requires overcoming “ritual aestheticism” and “banal carelessness”, confusing “that which is essential” with “ignorant superficiality”, “that concreteness of ritual action with an exaggerated practical functionalism” (n. 22). He invites to take care of all aspects of the celebration and to take into account the liturgical norms established by the Church, so as not to deprive the assembly of what corresponds to it, that is, the paschal mystery celebrated in the ritual manner established by the Church.

Against spiritual worldliness we must rediscover the beauty of celebrations

There are 3 dimensions that clearly emerge from the conciliar impulse towards the renewal of liturgical life: 1.- Active and fruitful participation; 2.- Ecclesial communion animated by the Eucharist and the sacraments of the Church; i 3.- The impulse in the evangelizing mission, starting from the liturgical life that involves all the baptized. A good liturgical formation is needed for all the people of God, beginning with the ministers. It is the totality of the people of God that attends, that participates and that joins the priestly action of Jesus Christ, with the rites and prayers, which makes all public liturgical worship possible. This calls for an authentic art of celebrating: the art of faithfully obeying the liturgical norms; the art of harmonizing the rite (ornaments, decoration, places, forms of language, songs, gestures and silences) and the art of charity that knows how to unite discipline and spontaneity.

Saint Paul VI., by promulgating the Constitution of Sda. Liturgy, affirmed that “the liturgy is the first source of divine life that is communicated to us, the first school of our spiritual life, the first gift we can make to the Christian people, who believe and pray with us, and the first invitation to the world so that it unleashes its mute tongue in joyous and truthful prayer, and feels the ineffable regenerating power of singing with us the divine praises and human hopes, through Christ the Lord in the Holy Spirit.”

The liturgical formation of the people of God, by Joan-Enric Vives