Pope denounces empty and magical liturgy

Pope Francis has denounced liturgy that is detached from true spiritual worship as empty and almost magical.

The Pope also called for a renewed commitment by the Church to the Second Vatican Council’s vision of the liturgy.

He said this in a message to a symposium devoted to the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium – the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The Pope called for a renewal in the “commitment to receive and implement” the teaching of Sacrosanctum Concilium more fully.

One of the main aims of the document was to achieve greater lay participation in the Church’s liturgy.

Citing St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the Pontiff also spoke of the importance of “true spiritual worship” in which the faithful offer themselves as a living sacrifice.

A liturgy “detached from spiritual worship,” he said, might seem “almost magical” and have “an empty aestheticism”.

Citing Pope Benedict XVI, he added that the liturgy transforms Christians from within.

At the conclusion of his message, which was addressed to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope Francis called for “a renewed willingness to move forward on the path indicated by the conciliar fathers, because much still remains to be done for a correct and complete assimilation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy”.

The Pope said that the Constitution and postconciliar Church teaching “have made us better understand the liturgy in light of divine revelation” and said that Christ is the protagonist of every liturgical celebration.

Quoting the Constitution, Pope Francis said that “in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members”.


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