Following is a translation of an article on the document on the liturgy approved by the Fathers of the ecumenical council on Dec. 7. The article, by Father Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B., one of the papally appointed council “experts,” appeared in L’Osservatore Romano on Dec. 8.
The constitution De Sacra Liturgia has had a happy outcome.
Let us be frank: some months ago when the Fathers of the council received this schema there were many who were very favorably impressed. Nevertheless there were some who were more or less troubled by that inclination deemed perhaps too daringly aimed toward a little known and uncertain future.
Even among those most favorable toward the liturgy and to the schema, not all dared hope for such complete success. The first remarks in the discussion — always made with an admirable balance of the fullest freedom and of the most responsible discipline, for which the Church holds the key — could at times give the impression that a storm was gathering over the schema.
However, as the discussion progressed, ideas and standpoints cleared up rapidly. From opinions expressed in the hall, it readily appeared that the schema — though in a thorny field filled with problems as delicate as they were urgent — was moving forward with prudence and equilibrium, even if accompanied by a frank understanding of the needs of the Church in the world of today.
The Fathers made numerous comments about the preamble and Chapter I. Their remarks occupy fully 249 pages of large format. But the corrections requested by the overall majority were, in fact, minor ones, intended mainly to improve the wording and to complete it in some secondary manner. Thus, when the voting was reached, there was a favorable judgment that was, remarkably, virtually unanimous.
Therefore, Chapter I of the schema De Sacra Liturgia on “General Principles for Reforming and Fostering the Liturgy,” has had the honor, not scheduled, of representing the first fruits which the Second Vatican Council begins to offer to the world. Continue reading