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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 2012-22: Using the Nicene Creed

July 31, 2012

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Circular 2012-22

RE: Using the Nicene Creed

My dear brothers in the priesthood and religious sisters:

When the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI opens the Year of Faith on October 11 this year, culminating on the Solemnity of Christ the King next year on November 24, the focal point of all the programs for the year will be the profession of faith. The Holy See has expressed its earnest intention to make the profession of faith a daily prayer for all Catholics. The Holy Father himself wants all Catholics to become more familiar with the Nicene Creed which is the profession of faith prescribed in the Missal for Sundays and solemnities. Here is the translation of the Nicene Creed in the edition of the Roman Missal that is now prescribed for public praying daily beginning October 11:

 

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

In obedience to the Holy See, please observe the following directives:

  1. The Nicene Creed must be taught in all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan beginning August 1, 2012 in preparation for the opening of the Year of Faith;
  2. Parishes and schools must reproduce copies of the Nicene Creed in order to help our Catholic faithful pray the profession of faith daily beginning October 11.
  3. The Nicene Creed must be prayed by all pupils in our Catholic schools at the start of each class day either in the classroom or after the flag ceremony.
  4. Beginning October 14, 2012, the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Nicene Creed will be the form of the profession of faith that we shall use in all Sunday Masses and solemnities.

Let us avail of the opportunity before us to renew among our Catholic faithful love for the Lord, loyalty to the Church and pride in our Catholic tradition during the Year of Faith and through the years ahead.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop  of Lingayen Dagupan

Cirular 2012-21: Memorial Acclamation

July 16, 2012 Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Circular 2012-21 RE: Memorial Acclamation

My dear brother priests and religious sisters:

As we  continue to implement the changes in the new translation of the Roman Missal, allow me to congratulate you my brother priests and religious sisters for your diligent and faithful accompaniment of our parishioners and students in dealing with the changes in the translation. Your loving accompaniment is a proof of your charity for Christ’s flock.

As we move on with the other parts of the Roman Missal, I invite you to please take note that the new English translation has removed the option “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” among the responses for the memorial acclamation. This response was never in the original Latin typical edition and was only added in the 1985 American adaptation.

When you compare Christ has died…with the other responses in the Latin typical edition, you will notice that all the three options are acclamations addressed to Christ Who, by the time of the memorial acclamation, is now present on the altar in His Body and Blood. The acclamation Christ has died…fails to acclaim the Real Presence of the Lord on the altar after the words of consecration have been said over the offerings of bread and wine. In fact, it is not addressed to Christ but is just a proclamation for others unlike the original options in the Latin typical edition.

Although the Roman Missal presents to us three options, in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, we shall take as our first priority this response:

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.

In case the acclamation is not sung, please consider the preceding response as our standard recited acclamation for the sake of harmony and discipline in the liturgy.

We shall cease to use the memorial acclamation Christ has died…by August 15, 2012 after the appropriate catechesis  has been done with the choirs, the commentators and the Catholic faithful.

Thank you for you fraternal attention and pastoral charity.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2012-17: Proper Disposal of Sacred Objects

May 15, 2012

Circular 2012-17

RE: Proper Disposal of Sacred Objects

My dear brother priests and religious sisters:

When the use new English translation of the Roman Missal becomes fully effective on the first Sunday of Advent this year, one of the matters to attend to will be the proper disposal of the old Sacramentary.

Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated for divine worship or veneration, it must be treated with reverence and not be used in either an improper or profane way (cf. Code of Canon Law, #1171). This applies to books, vestments, sacramentals and even spoiled Sacred Species.

The old Sacramentary may be burned and returned to the ground. They may also be placed inside the caskets of the Catholic faithful and buried with the mortal remains. Old and tattered vestments including albs and sotanas must be burned likewise and not used as rags. Vessels like chalices and ciboria that cannot be repaired anymore must be melted and reused for sacred vessels again. It is not permitted to sell or give away monstrances, reliquaries and vessels and use them as house decorations. The unused holy oils of last year must be burned or used for the vigil lamps for the Blessed Sacrament. A broken rosary or statue that cannot be repaired anymore must also be buried.

What has been dedicated to God must not be thrown out like any disposable object. They must be treated with respect and reverence always. In all these, the admonition is to always keep in mind the sense of the sacred in a world that seems so engrossed on the mundane. We are sacraments of the presence of God ourselves.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2012-16: Liturgy of the Neo-Catechumenal Way

May 14, 2012

Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle

Circular 2102-16

RE: Liturgy of the Neo Catechumenal Way

My dear brother priests:

With regard to the questions that our parish priests have raised about the practices of the Neo Catechumenal Way in the celebration of the Eucharist, I have sought the assistance of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Enclosed with this circular is the position of the said Episcopal Commission regarding the matter.

Please take note that the only permission granted to the Way is the transfer of the Rite of the Peace after the Prayer of the Faithful and the reception of Holy Communion  under both species either kneeling down or standing up but not sitting down.

Other than these two permissions, the Masses celebrated for the members of the Neo Catechumenal Way must strictly observe the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the other instructions of the Congregation for Divine Worship. In particular, the hosts and wine to be used for the Eucharist must be the same as those used in the dioceses of the Philippines. The lay faithful may be allowed to preach in the church or in oratory outside the Mass (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 161).

I entrust these clarifications to your kind information and faithful observance. Please  be assured of my pastoral concern.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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