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New apostolic letter stresses importance of active involvement in Mass


Pope Francis' recent apostolic letter, “Desiderio desideravi,” has once again emphasized the importance of liturgy in the Church. Giovanni Zaccaria, a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, recognizes the need to rediscover the meaning of the celebration of the Mass. 

GIOVANNI ZACCARIA
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
We have adapted a way of celebrating that is a bit of a 'show.' The faithful, when they go to Mass, say that they are going to the Mass of a specific priest.

Sometimes, we, the People of God, go to Mass as we go to the movies, a concert, or a conference.

Zaccaria believes the liturgy needs to be well explained so the faithful know that they are not merely spectators. 

GIOVANNI ZACCARIA
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
The first thing to understand is the priestly dimension of baptized people. All the baptized are priests; they participate in the priesthood through the common priesthood of the faithful; they participate in the priesthood of Christ. Therefore, in this celebration, they are also protagonists.

There are many elements in the celebration of the Mass that the faithful must better understand.

GIOVANNI ZACCARIA
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
When you kneel, it is another sign of the priestly dimension, a sign of everything you are doing. The gestures have already been established, but they need to be understood, explained better, because otherwise it becomes a party and the Mass is not a party.

This Italian Theology professor espeically values one particular detail from “Desiderio desideravi.”

GIOVANNI ZACCARIA
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
To appreciate silence again is one of the most urgent tasks in the Church. Thanks to silence, the liturgy acquires the vertical dimension that we risk losing.

The challenge that lies ahead is ensuring that Pope Francis' letter, rich in liturgical significance, reaches all of the faithful. 

AO

TR: AT