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On the QUESTION of Kneeling or Standing After the Consecration Until After the GREAT AMEN During the Eucharistic Celebration

March 19, 2016

Your Eminences and Excellencies,

During the January 2016 112thCBCP Plenary Assembly in Cebu, there was a discussion on the issue of standing or kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. The discussion included a question on why we do not continue kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. After a short discussion, the Permanent Council of the CBCP was tasked to look into this issue.

So, at the March 15, 2016 meeting of the CBCP Permanent Council one of the issues discussed was this issue on the posture of standing after the consecration and to keep standing or of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the reason for this letter.

Before the 1990s, we can still recall that we had the established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

In the 1990s the practice of standing after the consecration was begun. This change in the established practice was based on the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist which were approved by the CBCP in January 1990. Number 3 of the 1990 Guidelines states: “The people should kneel from the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer…. If the acclamation after the consecration is sung, the people may stand for it and keep standing.” However, in reality the practice became always standing after the consecration until the Amen.

In January 2003 at the 86th CBCP Plenary Assembly, one of the proposals that the CBCP approved to include among the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002was:“Proposed Philippine Adaptation: ‘In the Philippines, the people kneel after the Sanctus, rise for the memorial acclamation, and kneel after the Lamb of God.’”

In both instances, the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist and the proposed Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002, no recognitio was ever received from Rome.

Specifically for the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002 that were submitted to Rome, no answer was ever received. Archbishop Romulo Valles, during an ad limina visit in September 2003,made a follow up at the office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the status the Philippine proposed adaptations.After that, until up to now we have not received a formal written reply.

In February 2016, Bishop Julius Tonel, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, made a query with the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments about this specific proposed adaptation. In reply to his query, it was confirmed that a formal reply or recognitio had never been given.

With the above information, we sought the advice of some of our bishops knowledgeable in the Code of Canon Law. They have responded that no answer or silence from Rome means that the recognitio has not been given. Without the recognitio the CBCP does not have the authority to make or implement any such adaptation. This being the case, we have to revert to the established practice before the request.

Based on the above documented information, the Permanent Council came to the decision that we must ABANDON the practice of standing after the consecration until the Amen as we do not have the authority to make such an adaptation nor do we have the authority to implement it. We must go back to the previously established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

To go back to our established practice is very much in keeping with our current General Instructions of the Roman Missal, approved by the CBCP and given the needed recognitio from Rome, published in the Philippine Edition of the Roman Missal of 2011. Number 43 states: “Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer …, it is laudable for this practice to be retained.”

Another way of saying this is that we go back our established practice where the people kneel beginning after the Sanctus and remain kneeling until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer knowing that this is in harmony with the present GIRM.

You are kindly requested to inform our clergy and Catholic faithful about this re statement of position and lead them, through liturgical catechesis, to deepen our reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament. The spirit of the law is to observe greater reverence for the Real Presence.

We remind you of some lines contained in our Pastoral Exhortation to Open the 2016 Year of the Eucharist and the Family:

Kneeling is part of our Christian culture. We cannot abandon or set aside the culture of kneeling in favor of the culture that says as freemen we must face God on our feet. Bending the knee before the tabernacle in genuflection, kneeling down at the celebration of the Eucharist, kneeling down to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament—these are little but sublime acts of adoration that we must preserve and protect.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Circular 2016-10; Festival of Families

February 6, 2016

Martyrdom of Saint Pedro Bautista and Companions

 

Circular 2016-10

RE: Festival of Families

 

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

In communion with the Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrating 2016 as the Year of the Eucharist and the Family, we shall hold a Festival of Families in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on March 13, 2016, Sunday, from one o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening at the Narciso Ramos Sports Complex in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

The parishes  are kindly requested to send five families to the Festival to manifest our pastoral concern for the Christian family. There is a registration fee of PhP150.00 to cover the expenses of a souvenir shirt.

I trust that you will give this ecclesial event in the Year of the Family and the Eucharist your usual inspiring support.

Sincerely yours,

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2016-8: Annual Retreat of Priests

January 13, 2016

Circular 2016-8

Re: Annual Retreat of Priests

Reverend Fathers:

In line with our collective decision during the monthly meeting of the clergy last January 8, we have made arrangements for a preached retreat for 2016.  There will be two batches of retreats, that is, August 22 to 26 and August 29 to September 2, 2016 at the Good Shepherd Spiritual Center in Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City. Msgr. Gerry Santos, professor of moral theology at the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary, has kindly agreed to facilitate both retreat groups.

In choosing the retreat batch that you wish to join, please confer with the priests of the parish and the neighboring parishes or schools, so that the sacramental needs of the parish may be attended to while you are on retreat.

Kindly contact the Chancery and signify the batch of your choice before March 1, 2016.

Let me take this occasion to remind you dear brothers that the Code of Canon Law imposes upon every cleric the duty to make a yearly spiritual retreat (CIC Canon 276) as one of the means to grow in piety. The annual spiritual retreat binds all of us in conscience.

Thank you. Oremus pro invicem.

Sincerely yours,

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2016-6: Parish Religious Stores

January 12, 2016

Circular 2016-6

RE: Parish Religious Stores

Reverend Fathers:

The matter of parishes operating stores for religious books and devotional articles was discussed during the regular clergy meeting last January 8.  It has been noted too that there are some instances when the articles on sale are no longer related to the promotion of religious devotion and catechesis.

This practice has left a mistaken impression among the Catholic faithful that Sep 9, 2011 – the Church is engaging in business and commerce beyond its spiritual mission.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has sent some alarming signals about imposing taxes on such religious stores. Unless properly guided by our legal counsel, the maintenance of religious stores might become an entry point for the BIR to even examine the other collections and fund sources of the Catholic Church. The Church stands at risk as secularism gains ground. We choose the path of pastoral prudence.

In consideration of the foregoing, it was decided during the said clergy meeting that in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, we will not open new religious stores and close the ones that are in existence, unless such stores have submitted their records to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and have gained business licenses from the government as required by law.

This policy on religious stores will also enhance our desire to rid the parish operations of any semblance of business and commerce. It is a hard climb but we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2016-7: Twenty Four Hours for the Lord

January 13, 2016

Memorial of Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor

Circular 2016-7

RE: Twenty Four Hours for the Lord

My dear people of God:

In the Bull of Indiction Misericordiae Vultus of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis expressed his desire that the initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, in every diocese. So many people, including young people, are returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; through this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives. Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. For every penitent, it will be a source of true interior peace”. (Number 17, paragraph 3).

In obedience to the will of the Holy Father, we shall hold the Twenty Four Hours for the Lord on March 4, Friday starting at six o’ clock in the morning until six o’clock the following morning March 5, Saturday.

The Jubilee Churches of Mercy for this reconciliation activity will be:

  1. Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City
  2. Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag
  3. Epiphany of the Lord Co-Cathedral and Parish in Lingayen
  4. Saint Dominic Parish in San Carlos City
  5. Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish in Bayambang

You are advised to observe the following guidelines:

  1. The Vicar Foranes will make the schedule of priest confessors to insure that the entire twenty four schedule is covered. The parishes and schools near the Jubilee Churches of Mercy must also be organized on schedule to insure the distribution of penitents throughout the twenty four hour program.
  2. The regular Mass schedule in the Jubilee Churches must be observed. When there is no Mass, the Blessed Sacrament must be exposed for solemn adoration keeping in mind that the Eucharist is a sacrament of mercy.
  3. Beginning Ash Wednesday February 10, the appropriate announcements at Masses and through streamers, posters and social media must be made. We should make the Sacrament of Reconciliation attractive to the youth and children as envisioned by the Pope.
  4. 4. Please be reminded that the Pope has also “conceded to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.(Letter on Indulgences for the Jubilee of Mercy, September 1, 2015)
  5. 5. The liturgy for the Communal Celebration of Penance and the Prayers for the Holy Hour of Mercy will be released in due time.

There is an immense wellspring of grace awaiting us in this Jubilee of Mercy. Let us prepare the people to avail of these blessings and let us make the News of Mercy attractive to the youth most particularly.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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