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Cardinal says Mass is about nourishing the faithful

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has said that Mass is about nourishing the faith of the people, not the observance of liturgical norms as an end in itself.

Cardinal Arinze (pictured) was speaking on Vatican Radio during an important meeting of the Congregation that has attracted 32 cardinals from around the world, including Cardinal George Pell of Sydney.

He conceded that observing liturgical norms is "always important", but said that Mass should be celebrated in such a way that it nourishes faith and gives people the "desire to return the next Sunday or even every day".

"Not only is it about observing liturgical norms, which is always important, but above all of having a celebration that manifests the faith of the priest and the faithful; a celebration that nourishes the people's faith, so that when they leave they really feel nourished, reinforced, with the desire to return the next Sunday or even every day," said the cardinal.

"In short, a celebration with dignity and discipline, and especially with faith and devotion," he said.

The four-day meeting, which involves 51 delegates, is addressing three main topics, including the art of celebrating the Eucharist, the preaching of homilies, and proper liturgical formation.

The assembly heard an address on "ars celebrandi" -- the art of celebrating -- by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Cardinal Pell, who is one of the four main speakers, is delvering a speech titled The Meaning, Method and Scope of the 'Recognitio', in his capacity of chair of the Vatican's Vox Clara English translations committee.

The 'Recognitio' is the Holy See's recognition of translations of liturgical and other texts made by bishops' conferences.

How to Celebrate a Mass "Not an Academic Question" (Zenit 2/3/05)

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Pell's key role in Vatican liturgy meeting (CathNews 29/2/05)

Pope calls priests to improve homilies, form laity in meaning of liturgy (Catholic News Agency 3/3/05)
May the Christian community grow in love for the Eucharist (Vatican Information Service 3/3/05)

4 Mar 2005