Monday, January 26, 2009

Vatican II and the Liturgy

Today I have been thinking about the Vatican II Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium.

I have found a couple of great resources that I would recommend. The first is the essay by Pamela E. J. Jackson, “Theology of the Liturgy” in Ed. Matthew L. Lamb and Matthew Levering, Vatican II: Renewal Within the Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 101-128. This anthology opens with a address by Pope Benedict XVI on “The Proper Hermeneutic for the Second Vatican Council.” ('hermeneutic' means interpretation). I highly recommend all the essays in this anthology.

Pamela Jackson also has a longer book length essay in An Abundance of Graces: Reflections on Sacrosanctum Concilium (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books LTP), 2004. This is a very informative volume which contains a lengthy appendix reprinting Sacrosanctum Concilium; Pope Pius X, Motu Proprio Tra le sollecitudini The Restoration of Sacred Music; and the extremely important work, of Pius XII, Mediator Dei (On Sacred Liturgy) 1947.

Pamela Jackson notes; “ . . . it is important to recall that [Sacrosanctum Concilium] did not suddenly appear out of nowhere, but was the culmination of over a hundred years of research, reflection, writing, and pastoral work of the Liturgical Movement” (AOG, p. 3). It is fascinating to follow this journey and to ask how we got from Pope St. Pius X to the place we are now.


  1. Interesting. I note a reference to sacred music in the liturgy. Does she mean chant? Mozart? or just the end of kum-by-yah?

  2. The references to music are extensive in Pope Pius X, Motu Proprio Tra le sollecitudini The Restoration of Sacred Music. I will comment on this in towmorrows blog. . . :)

    . . . as a spoiler I think he hates opera!

  3. And exactly where are we now? Does a Saint dictate to us does the magesterium does the local litugist who has her own interrpretation?
    Do I need to buy a veil and repent of taking Communion in the hand or when I had my period or too soon after childbirth? And no matter how well I sing will I be barred from the choir because the Saint says I can't sing in Church because I am female?