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Pope urges Church to make Sunday Mass more relevant to people's needs

Pope John Paul II says the liturgy must be attentive to the expectations of the faithful, but also to the needs of the baptised who do not participate regularly in liturgical and sacramental life.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, made the point in a message sent on behalf of John Paul II to the participants in Italy's national Liturgical Week, which ended in Assisi on Friday.

The message says that for the baptised, participation in the Mass is at the "heart" of Sunday. But at the same time, it adds, Christian assemblies are needed that "really live the meaning of participation, attentive to direction and willing to offer an increasingly appropriate and responsible liturgical service."

Celebrations should surmount "the obstacles of dispersion, of fragmentation of the community, of passivity and of indifference," the letter says.

The Pope calls for a "return to the roots of the faith and of the mission of the Church through an increasingly conscious participation in the Mass."

Thus, the Eucharist can become "the force of that spiritual renewal that will help diocesan and parochial communities to celebrate the Mystery with joy."

The Holy Father says the Eucharist should be connected "with the life of the parish". He urges a valuing of "places, areas and moments of meeting with the Lord leading to a liturgy that is attentive to the expectations of the faithful, as well as to the needs of those baptized persons who do not participate regularly in liturgical/sacramental life."


2 Sep 2002