|Solemn Pontifical Christmas Midnight Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke at Ss. Trinitá dei Pellegrini | Rorate Cæli 2015|
- the central placement of the tabernacle in the sanctuary.
- ad orientem worship.
- Holy Communion on the tongue.
- proper chants (Introit, Offertory and Communion).
- celebration of the rubrics prescribed for the Ordinary Form (e.g., kneeling or bowing during the Creed, etc.)
- Tabernacle placement restores the sense that the Holy Eucharist is the source, centre and summit of the Christian life. That is, Jesus Christ is the head and heart of every parish family. If the Head of the Church family is restored to His appropriate position, all authority in a parish family and in each home will be rightly ordered and healthy. "The tabernacle is to be located in an elevated position in the sanctuary of the church, along the central axis behind the main altar" (Norms for the Placement of the Tabernacle in the Parish Churches of the Archdiocese of Vancouver- January 12, 2010).
- Ad orientem worship gives right focus and true direction to the individual's life and the Church's mission.
- Communion on the tongue celebrates with compelling witness Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour Who we receive with humility and with a dignity that has been restored by Christ. Communion on the tongue images the personal loving communion with Christ and His Church to which all people are called. That act of receptivity best helps instil an appropriate intention, the attitude of deference, as well as docility that permits openess to the action of the Holy Spirit. With our sense of dignity restored and wed to our humility before the living God Who sustains our very being, our celebration of or participation in the sacraments will necessarily be deepened. The Sacrament of Penance will become a well used gateway through which people discover their dignity in Jesus Christ. That dignity recovered will strengthen families and provide people the peace they need—and which only Christ can give—to live lives of virtue that necessarily influence society in ways beneficial to the common good.
- Proper chants. So called because they are the chants designated for specific liturgies, i.e., they are proper to a given liturgical celebration, proper chants restore a sense of the unchanging nature of the Mass and unite us with a continuous legacy of faith that necessarily includes a deep immersion in the true, the good and the beautiful.
- There are prescribed gestures for the Ordinary Form that are routinely overlooked, ignored, forgotten, what-have-you. These include the striking of the breast three times during the Confiteor (I Confess; at the mea culpa... my fault...) and the bow or genuflection during the Creed (at the mention of the Incarnation). Is it too much to ask that priests teach their flocks to be observant Catholics by pointing out and directing congregants to practice the liturgical gestures? A note in the parish bulletin, a reminder by the commentator or cantor spoken before Mass begins, a blurb on a parish website—these are simple catechetical moments that can shape attitudes and encourage embodied prayer that should be typical for Catholics.
"Oftentimes, (God) draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.
[H/T OnePeter5 blog] Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Portland, Oregon, clearly understands the foundational role that the liturgy plays in rebuilding our Catholic faith:
“I am solidly convinced that an authentic and faithful renewal and reform of the sacred liturgy is not only part of the New Evangelization—it is essential to its fruitfulness. The liturgy has the power to form and transform the Catholic faithful. We must live by the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of praying is the law of believing). What we celebrate in the Mass expresses the essential content of the faith, and it also reinforces our faith when celebrated well and with fidelity. The liturgy both teaches us and expresses what we believe. If we do not get the sacred Liturgy right, I fear that we will just be spinning our wheels rather than getting the New Evangelization going in the right direction. If we are transformed by the sacred liturgy, then we, as believers, can help transform the culture.”
Identity & Mission
Given an authentic Catholic environment, believers will likely adopt a more confident understanding of Catholic identity and then more likely translate their faith into action and become more transparent vessels through whom the Holy Spirit will guide the New Evangelization.