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December 2007 - January 2008
Vol. XIII, No. 9

FDLC: Changes -- and Contrasts

“A pre-Vatican II liturgical theology and practice have no chance of speaking to a post-Vatican II world”, said Bishop Donald Trautman, concluding his second farewell address as outgoing chairman of the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) to the convention of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). “The full, conscious and active participation of all the people is the goal in the reform and promotion of the liturgy”, said the bishop, quoting his own 1996 address to the FDLC.

“Do we accept this teaching of Vatican II?” Bishop Trautman continued. “If we do, we should not be calling for a retreat from the reform of the liturgy of Vatican II.

“There should be no backsliding”, he told the participants at the close of the annual FDLC convention in Hartford October 9-12 — less than a month after Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter. Summorum Pontificum, removing restrictions on celebrating the pre-conciliar form of Mass became effective. (The letter was issued July 7 with an effective date of September 14.)

Bishop Trautman called on FDLC members to be “the liturgical voice of God’s people”, and he urged them to “be an informed voice, a prophetic voice, a courageous voice calling for implementation of and faithfulness to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

“Please keep John and Mary Catholic in mind. Be faithful to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: that is our goal, that is our agenda, that is our mission statement”, the bishop proclaimed.

At the same FDLC convention, Monsignor James Moroney was honored “for his twenty years of generous service to the FDLC as Board Member and chair (1987-1995) and as Associate and Director of the USCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy (1995-2007)”.

Monsignor Moroney’s address to the group struck a somewhat different note. He said that “our dream” is “to bring heaven to earth: to experience a glimpse of the heavenly Jerusalem in the Sacred Liturgy”; but he pointed out that “the dream is too great to be the possession of any one group”, and named several liturgical organizations with markedly divergent liturgical views. “It is the dream of the Church”, he continued, “who in her love for her Spouse seeks to teach her children the Paschal hymn, first sung from the wood of the Cross and now echoed at altars in every time and place”.

“Love that dream and love your fellow dreamers”, he told the FDLC members, “whether they sing it in hymns or polyphonic forms, whether they prefer to kneel or to stand, whether they prefer Latin or English, whether they prefer to look East or West.… For at the end of the world, when we stand before the first singer of the Paschal hymn, what will matter most will not be our personal preferences, but our full and actual participation with heart and soul and body and mind in the Holy and Living Sacrifice of Praise!”

The November meeting of the USCCB concluded Monsignor Moroney’s twelve years as Executive Director of the BCL Secretariat, though he continues as a member of the Holy See’s Vox Clara committee and as a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship. Monsignor Anthony Herman will now direct the Secretariat of the re-named Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW).

The addresses of Bishop Trautman and Monsignor Moroney to the FDLC were published in the September-October edition of the BCL Newsletter.

– hhh

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