Pope Francis on the importance of liturgical formation and mystagogy

On Thursday 14th February, Pope Francis addressed the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. The subject of the Congregation’s plenary meeting was “The Liturgical Formation of the People of God.”
Here is the English translation of his text, and a report in the Catholic Herald.
He argued that proper liturgical formation of both clergy and laity is fundamental, and quoted from Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council’s 1963 constitution on the sacred liturgy.

“In order for the liturgy to fulfil its formative and transforming function, it is necessary that pastors and the laity be brought to grasp its meaning and symbolic language, including art, song and music at the service of the celebrated mystery, even silence,” he stated.

He pointed to mystagogy as a suitable way to enter into the mystery of the liturgy, “in the living encounter with the crucified and risen Lord”; he pointed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an example of a book that illustrates the liturgy in this manner.

Referencing the title of the congregation’s plenary assembly, “the liturgical formation of the People of God,” he said the task awaiting them is “essentially that of spreading the splendour of the living mystery of the Lord, manifested in the liturgy, in the People of God.”

“To speak of the liturgical formation of the People of God means first of all to become aware of the irreplaceable role that the liturgy plays in the Church and for the Church,” he stated.

“And then concretely help the People of God to better internalise the prayer of the Church, to love it as an experience of meeting with the Lord and with the brothers and, in light of this, to rediscover its contents and observe its rites.”

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