About John Lilburne


Mane Nobiscum Domine

Its challenging to comment on a document that is presently only available in Italian. But I see some particularly encouraging signs from this Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II.

It is pleasing to see that lay ministers are specifically addressed, in n. 30
"Also you, lectors, acolytes and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion ...".
(Translating the Italian text "Anche voi, lettori, accoliti, ministri straordinari della comunione, ...").
I think this is the first time that a document of John Paul II has addressed lay ministers specifically.

For example the 1988 Apostolic Exhortation Christifidelis Laici began

"To Bishops
To Priests and Deacons
To Women and Men Religious
and to All the Lay Faithful"

It mentioned particular groups, but not lay ministers (acolytes and lectors). The 2004 Apostolic Exhortation has bishops, the clergy and the lay faithful. (The Italian is "ALL'EPISCOPATO, AL CLERO E AI FEDELI ").

In n. 17 the importance of lay ministers in celebrating Mass well is highlighted. This section also encourages studying the Roman Missal in the Year of the Eucharist.

Bishops are beginning the Year of the Eucharist with important teachings. For example Archbishop Hart in Melbourne has written a letter with suggestions including: "Emphasise the Church or Chapel as a place of silence and prayer, as distinct from a fraternal gathering place at the entrance of the Church."

The Liturgy Office of England and Wales have produced good documents on Exposition of the Eucharist. (At liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources)

However, I think the instructions on candles do not accord with the liturgical books. It has:

"When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration the same number of candles as used for the regular celebration of Mass in the Church should be lit. (This indicates the proper relationship between the rite of Exposition and the Mass. The use of additional candles at Exposition can be understood to indicate the priority of the rite of Exposition) Incense is also to be used."

At Mass two candles may be used (2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 117 and 1975 GIRM n. 79). For exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance 4 or 6 candles are to be used. (1973 Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, n. 85 and 1984 Ceremonial of Bishops, n. 1104).

Dispite this flaw they are good documents. The Divine Praises ("Blessed be God ...") are not in the liturgical books and not mentioned in these guides. The liturgical books are also followed with the instruction:

"The faithful should offer the same reverence to the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration as when the Sacrament is reserved in the Tabernacle, i.e. a single genuflection."

So there are encouraging signs that the liturgical books will be followed more closely in October 2005.

By J.R. Lilburne, 11 October, 2004. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

Other sites:

Italian version

Expected English version

Cardinal Arinze's launch of 8 October 2004 at zenit.org

CNS report by John Thavis