LiturgyIt is often said that monks and nuns live their lives according to the liturgy. That means more than going to choir several times a day to sing the praises of God or following a calendar marked out with feasts and fasts. It means allowing one's whole life to be caught up in the great act of liturgical remembering or anamnesis which is the Church's year. In the following pages you will find some simple explanations of the liturgical seasons and their significance.
"After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not "manufactured" by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition. . . . The greatness of the liturgy depends – we shall have to repeat this frequently – on its unspontaneity."
Pope Benedict XVI
"Let us consider, then how we should behave in the presence of God and his angels, and so stand and sing the psalms that mind and voice may be in harmony."
Liturgical Calendarof the Diocese of Portsmouth from Advent 2011 to Advent 2012: compilation copyright © 2011 Diocese of Portsmouth and reproduced by permission.