Liturgy Committee Meeting Report

Carmel Bulletin, 15 September 2013

Liturgy | Our Lady of Mount Carmel, WentworthvilleThe Liturgy Committee met at the end of August.

One matter the committee considered was that raised at the previous Pastoral Council meeting, namely the concern that parishioners are not able to participate in the prayers and responses of the Mass due to an inability to remember and access the texts.  For those who find the print of the pew cards too small, copies of booklets with the prayers and responses of the Mass in larger print are now available for you to take from the literature stand in the parish centre.  The committee also discussed the importance of everyone making an effort to learn and remember the texts of the Mass.  Every parishioner, including liturgical ministers and members of the assembly, is encouraged to commit themselves to participate as fully, consciously and actively as possible in the liturgical celebration.

The Liturgy Committee also began to examine the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on sacred art.  As we continue to progress towards adopting a design for the renewal of the church, it will be necessary to consider how the different elements that make up the church, such as artworks, will contribute to the overall makeup of the building.  The Council Fathers remind us that the Church has adopted artistic styles from every period over the centuries, and that the Church continues to have a responsibility to support artists and encourage truly beautiful, sacred art that adorns the church building with reverence and honour.

18/8/13 – Artistic Quality and Beauty

Michaelangelo's "Pieta", St Peter's Basilica, Rome
Michaelangelo’s “Pieta”, St Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Recently I referred to a key statement from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy about sacred art:

The Church has not adopted any particular style of art as her very own; she has admitted styles from every period… Thus, in the course of the centuries, she has brought into being a treasury of art which must be very carefully preserved. The art of our own days, coming from every race and region, shall also be given free scope in the Church, provided that it adorns the sacred buildings and holy rites with due reverence and honour…

Sacrosanctum Concilium, article 123

It is important that art is part of our church buildings.  Sacred art seeks to reflect something of the beauty of the divine and raise our hearts and minds to God.  It is important, therefore, that artistic works within a church “adorn the sacred buildings and holy rites with due reverence and honour”.  This extends from the more obvious artistic works such as statues and other sacred images, through to the artistic design and appointment of church furniture, sacred vessels (eg patens and chalices) and architectural elements.

Consequently, the artistic works that adorn our church should be of the highest quality that we can provide.  The Church needs to support, encourage and commission the work of talented artists in the field of sacred art.  Artistic works within a church should engender a response within us, and within the generations of people who will engage with and appreciate quality artworks into the future.