Liturgy: Gluten-free Hosts
sufferers should still consult with their doctors before consuming the new hosts. "In rare cases even 0.01% is still too much," Fasano said.
See the Catholic Key story posted on the Web.
Although the sisters' work seems to be the most promising to date, others were also working on the problem and the Church has also recently approved other low-gluten breads in Italy and Australia.
* * *
Follow-up: Homilies While Walking
The column regarding homilies-while-walking-about (see Aug. 31) brought to mind a related question from a South African correspondent.
She wrote: "Instead of a homily, a certain priest played the song 'Imagine' -- by the Beatles or by one of the Beatles -- and then pranced about the altar and up and down the aisle. Is this type of behavior in keeping with the liturgy? I was not present but two independent persons called me to ask whether I knew if this is what we can expect in the future."
After the publication of the recent instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," I certainly hope we can expect no more of this kind of thing in the future.
Of course, if the congregation took John Lennon's imagination seriously, especially the lines about imagining no heaven and no religion, the good father would be prancing down the aisle of an empty church.
"Redemptionis Sacramentum" Nos. 67 and 68 are very clear regarding the qualities of the homily:
"Particular care is to be taken so that the homily is firmly based upon the mysteries of salvation, expounding the mysteries of the Faith and the norms of Christian life from the biblical readings and liturgical texts throughout the course of the liturgical year and providing commentary on the texts of the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass, or of some other rite of the Church.
"It is clear that all interpretations of Sacred Scripture are to be referred back to Christ himself as the one upon whom the entire economy of salvation hinges, though this should be done in light of the specific context of the liturgical celebration. In the homily to be given, care is to be taken so that the light of Christ may shine upon life's events. Even so, this is to be done so as not to obscure the true and unadulterated word of God: for instance, treating only of politics or profane subjects, or drawing upon notions derived from contemporary pseudo-religious currents as a source.
"The diocesan Bishop must diligently oversee the preaching of the homily, also publishing norms and distributing guidelines and auxiliary tools to the sacred ministers, and promoting meetings and other projects for this purpose so that they may have the opportunity to consider the nature of the homily more precisely and find help in its preparation."
Thus it is evident that the practice you mention in no way corresponds to what a homily should be, and indeed it deprives the faithful of their right to have God's Word and the Church's teaching imparted to them.
The practice described is further weighed down by the superficiality and overall lack of respect shown toward the liturgy by the intromission of elements that are totally alien to the sacred rite.
While the song in question is not without merits, it hardly reflects Christian theology. But the principle that no external element may substitute the homily would hold true even if the priest had played specifically Christian music. Not even Handel's Halleluiah Chorus or Mozart's Requiem, can replace the preaching of God's word.
It is also difficult to excuse as a momentary slip due to the deliberate planning required in carrying out such an operation.
As "Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 79, says: "Finally, it is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions."
If the priest in question were to continue engaging in similar practices, the diocesan bishop, who, as seen above in RS 68, oversees the preaching of the homily, should be informed in a sober and factual manner so that he may orient the priest to a correct understanding of his mission as preacher of God's word.
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Liturgy, Mass, Host, Homily, Communion
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