Pope Benedict XVI remembered Pope Pius X, especially his interest in the liturgy, at today’s general audience catechesis, reports Catholic News Agency. Pius X gave attention to liturgical reform in an effort “to guide the faithful to a more profound prayer life and to a fuller participation in the Sacraments.” Referencing the 1903 Motu Proprio Tra le sollecitudini, he explained that Pius X asserted through it that “the true Christian spirit has its first and indispensable source in the active participation in the sacred mysteries and in public and solemn prayer in the Church.
“For this,” continued Benedict XVI, “he recommended to receive often the Sacraments, promoting daily participation in Holy Communion, (being) well prepared, and anticipating opportunely the First Communion of children to seven years of age, ‘when the child begins to reason’ …”
Though this is not mentioned in CNA’s report, of course Pope Pius X also called for a general reform of the liturgical books based on historical research, and he set up commissions for the reform of the Office and the Missal. These commissions began their work, expecting they would need decades for their task. Their work went dormant under Benedict XV and Pius XI, to be revived again under Pius XII and then culminate in the Second Vatican Council. When the text of Pope Benedict’s catechesis is released, we will report on what he said about Pius X’s planned reform of the liturgical books.