ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS TO
THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF
FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS
Room adjacent to
St. Paul VI Audience Hall Thursday, 14 February 2019
The liturgical formation of the People of God.
The task that awaits us is indeed essentially that of spreading among the People of God the splendour of the living mystery of the Lord, Who makes Himself manifest in the liturgy.
. . . liturgical formation means first and foremost being aware of the indispensable role the liturgy holds in the Church and for the Church. And then, concretely helping the People of God to interiorize better the prayer of the Church, to love it as an experience of encounter with the Lord and with brothers who, in the light of this, rediscover its content and observe its rites.
Since the liturgy is an experience extended to the conversion of life through the assimilation of the Lord’s way of thinking and behaving, liturgical formation cannot be limited to simply offering knowledge – this is a mistake . . . In order for the liturgy to fulfil its formative and transforming function, it is necessary that the pastors and the laity be introduced to their meaning and symbolic language, including art, song and music in the service of the mystery celebrated . . .The Catechism of the Catholic Church itself adopts the mystagogical way to illustrate the liturgy, valuing its prayers and signs.
Mystagogy: this is a suitable way to enter the mystery of the liturgy, in the living encounter with the crucified and risen Lord. Mystagogy means discovering the new life we have received in the People of God through the Sacraments, and continually rediscovering the beauty of renewing it.
Regarding the stages of formation, we know from experience that, in addition to the initial phase, it is necessary to cultivate the ongoing formation of the clergy and laity, especially those who are involved in the ministries serving the liturgy. Formation not once, but continuing.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are all called to deepen and revive our liturgical formation. The liturgy is in fact the main road through which Christian life passes through every phase of its growth. You therefore have before you a great and beautiful task: to work so that the People of God may rediscover the beauty of meeting the Lord in the celebration of His mysteries and, by meeting Him, have life in His name. I thank you for your efforts and I bless you, asking you to always reserve for me a place – a large one! – in your prayer.