Sacrosanctum Concilium


I – General Principles

II – The Eucharist

III – Other Sacraments and Sacramentals

IV – Divine Office

V – The Liturgical Year

VI – Sacred Music

VII – Sacred Art

SC reflects on the nature and laws of the Liturgy, on its place in pastoral life. It aims at rendering the participation of the faithful more authentic by actualizing a living liturgy, one in faith but diverse in the expression of that faith.

The constitution on liturgy promoted more active communal participation in the Mass as the central act of Roman Catholic public worship. Among the initial steps undertaken in the liturgy included the replacement of Latin, the ancient language of the service, by vernacular languages.

The Council has authorized the use of the vernacular, or mother tongue, not only for parts of the Mass but also for the administration of every sacrament and sacramental. It has directed national councils of bishops to establish liturgical commissions whose task is to produce suitable translations of liturgical texts, and to promote knowledge and love of the sacred liturgy.

Liturgy is at the center of Christian life and worship. It is through the active sharing in these sacred rites that the faithful, the People of God, “will drink deeply from the source of divine life. They will become the leaven of Christ, the salt of the earth. They will bear witness to that divine life; the will be instrumental in passing it on to others.”

The liturgical books are being revised and the rites simplified. The first book to appear, following the Council’s decree, is known as the Ordo Missae. Issued in January 1971, this book sets forth the rite which is to be followed, in keeping with the changes introduced by the Council and by the Liturgical Commission.

The Altar:

The sacrifice of the Mass:

Celebrant does not say privately those parts which are sung by the choir.

The prayer before the preface is to be said or sung aloud.

The prayer “Through him, and with him . . . “) is to be said or sung in a loud voice.

The “Our Father” is said or sung in the vernacular by the people together with the priest.

The words when giving Holy Communion have been shortened to “Corpus Christ” — “The Body of Christ;” the person communicating says “Amen”

The Epistle may be read by a lector or by one of the servers; the Gospel must be proclaimed by the celebrant or by a deacon.

On Sundays and Holy Days, the Gospel is to be followed by a homily.

This homily may be based upon some other text of the Mass, taking account of the feast or mystery which is being celebrated.

After the Creed follows the “prayer of the faithful.”

The Eucharistic Fast is one hour to be reckoned from the time when Holy Communion is to be received, and not from the time Mass starts.

Those who receive Communion in the Mass of the Easter Vigil, or at the Midnight mass of Christmas, may also receive Communion on the following morning

The Sacraments and Sacramentals:

The vernacular may be used throughout the rites of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, and Matrimony; and in the distribution of Holy Communion; in conferring Holy Orders, in funeral ceremonies, and in all blessings.

Catechumenate to be revived.

To be revised: baptism, confirmation, penance, anointing of the sick, matrimony.

Blessings may now be give by any priest. Exceptions: blessing of Stations of the Cross, blessing of church bell, foundation stone of a church; new church or public oratory, or of a new cemetery.

Concelebration of Mass and reception of Holy Communion in both species:

The Divine Office:

The Liturgical Year:

Sacred Music – worship becomes more noble when it is carried out with solemn singing, especially when the celebrant, ministers and people take an active part.

Sacred Art –should have dignity and beauty, because they serve as symbols and signs of the supernatural world. Number if statues and pictures should be moderate, with true sense of proportion observed.

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