St. Paul VI on Liturgical Reform

Today, October 14, 2018, Paul VI is canonized along with Oscar Romero. We conclude our series of posts on Paul VI’s words on liturgical reform with his address to a general audience at Castelgandolfo on September 3, 1969.

We must reread, dearest children, that noble document, the Constitution on the Liturgy, and  try to grasp what it contains that is continuous with the Church’s tradition of prayer and what it proposes to us that is new. Specifically, it reminds us how the liturgical celebration reflects and embodies the mystery of the Church, a pilgrim in time (see SC art. 2); it expresses the desire that we be not passively present at the liturgy but as sharers “especially in the divine sacrifice of the eucharist.”

Praise be to God that the liturgical movement, taken up and advanced by the council, has spread throughout the Church, and entered into the awareness of clergy and people. The choral prayer of the Mystical Body, which the Church is, is reaching and stirring the people of God, who are consciously becoming a community and experiencing an increase in faith and grace. Therefore, supernatural faith is reawakening, eschatological hope is guiding ecclesial spirituality, charity is reassuming its life-giving active primacy. And all of this in a pagan, worldly century, deaf to the cries of the soul.

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