Sacred Liturgy: Great Mystery, Great Mercy

Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick Lecture, Kenrick Glennon Seminary, St Louis, MO, October 8, 2015

The Ghent Altarpiece “Adoration of the Lamb”, by Jan Van Eyck.

Reflecting on the state of divine worship in the Church, I believe that this is a good time for Catholics of the Roman Rite, a very good time. Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council initiated a liturgical reform in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, we now inherit the eucharistic project of the last years of Saint John Paul II, and the liturgical project and “pax liturgica” of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Pope Francis respects this inheritance. His liturgical style may be simpler than his predecessor, but he has maintained what he achieved. Benedict and Francis both revere the German scholar Romano Guardini, a deep influence on sound liturgical renewal.1

The papal projects are gradually correcting a misapplication of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform, discontinuity, or rupture from our tradition, with many errors and abuses. However, in surveying where we are, I do not wish to dwell on poor liturgy. I emphasize examples of how the situation is improving, leading into my major themes, mystery and mercy.

Liturgy, Made or Given
One major misinterpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium is that we make the liturgy, that worship is something we fabricate or put together, not a gift of the Church handed on to us within a living tradition. To all of us is entrusted this gift of liturgical worship, with its own patterns, plan, laws, logic, and cultural qualities.

In this context, myths linger such as the “gathering rite,” implying that we gather ourselves for worship. Pope Benedict insisted that God gathers us for worship, just as he called his Chosen People out of Egypt, to assemble in the wilderness, there to learn how to worship, through sacrifice to the true God, and how to live justly, following the Commandments of God’s Law.2 In the Third Eucharistic Prayer, we address God the Father: “You never cease to gather a people to yourself,” a people later described as “this family, whom you have summoned before you.”

In not a few parishes, the liturgical reform drifted away from worship, to teaching and edifying instruction, to didacticism. The church became an auditorium for imparting messagesand doing what you are told. This was underlined by an irritating commentator, a histrionic cantor (she of the upraised arm and the glinting eyes) and, especially, when the celebrant acted like a television compere, or an earnest coach giving his team a pep talk. This liturgical decadence is fading, even if not everywhere.

We may also sense a deeper more spiritual understanding of the Council’s ideal of “full active participation,” far beyond the mechanical “stand up and sit down, say this or sing that” mentality.

The Vernacular
In the language of worship, we have moved beyond imagining that “vernacular” means everyday speech, a mistake maintained for over forty years in the banal English translations. These were also derived from the application of the principle of “dynamic equivalence,” that is, to give the meaning, rather than the content, of the Latin original. That has been corrected in the policy of two Popes applied through the Vox Clara Commission. The 2011 translations of the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) are a vast improvement. They are not perfect, somewhat clumsy here and there, which unfortunately encourages a lingering group of petulant critics, some with an ideological agenda.

By contrast, let me pass on the reactions of some devout daily Mass-goers I questioned some months after the new texts were introduced. An elderly man announced that the new texts sounded “more holy” and women liked them because they were “poetic.” They also noted clearer allusions to the Scriptures, largely lost in the old paraphrases. Certainly, the language is more hieratic, dignified, and formal, as befits the worship of God, and that has already had an effect on the “atmosphere” of our liturgies. 

In most English-speaking countries, liturgical music was rapidly replaced by popular music, or what I call “sacro-pop. Some may recall the “polka mass,” the “jazz mass,” and, worst of all, the “rock mass.” Then improvement began, for example, the work of the Saint Louis Jesuits which, in its time, marked a recovery of scriptural sources for liturgical music, and a rejection of whining, self-centered folk songs.

Today, the new translations are encouraging composers, musicians, and choirs to develop a better music.3 Pope Benedict’s provision in Summorum Pontificum for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is also reviving the patrimony of Latin chant and polyphony. In my own country, Australia, we are about to publish the new national hymnal, Catholic Worship Book II, which reflects these developments with a richer repertoire of music, old and new.

The Art of Celebrating
A fresh emphasis on the skills of worship began at the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist, endorsed by Pope Benedict in his response, the apostolic exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, where we find the ars celebrandi, meaning the “art of celebrating.”4 The words convey a sense of responsibility, skill, professionalism and, especially, reverence.

I have argued elsewhere that the ars celebrandi is better described as a “craft” more than an “art.”5 Unlike art, which is highly specialized in Western society, the craft of the ars celebrandi is meant to be accessible, not only to the principle craftsmen—the bishops, priests, and deacons—who celebrate and preside over divine worship, but to all the faithful, particularly those in liturgical ministries. Whether you are a server, a lector, a singer, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, do you see your ministry as a refined skill, calling for understanding, training, and prayerful reverence?


Mystery in the Scriptures
The papal projects of our time inspire a deeper and more spiritual understanding of the Sacred Liturgy, particularly the rediscovery of mystery in Christian worship. I will link mystery to the topical theme of mercy. But what do we mean by “mystery”?

Mystery eludes rational analysis, nor can it be “deconstructed” by post-modern nonsense philosophers. Mystery suggests the numinous, a sense of divine presence, an otherness, yet entering sacred space, sacred time, sacred language in our concrete world. Saint Paul proclaimed a “Great Mystery,” the nuptial mystery in Ephesians 5:37, yet in Colossians 1: 24-29, mystery is God’s hidden plan in salvation history. The Greek word, musterion, was rendered as sacramentum in Latin, suggesting those seven mysteries, and their summit and source: the Mystery of Faith, the Eucharist.

The worship described in the Old Testament always involved profound reverence before the Mystery of the God of Israel: Abraham’s oak of Mamre, Jacob’s celestial ladder, Moses before the burning bush, Moses on Sinai with the elders, the tent of meeting in the wilderness, the local shrines such as Shiloh and, finally, the Temple. Therefore, to trace out how mystery is central to worship, I must go back to our roots in the first Covenant.

The Heritage of Israel
Christian worship was definitively formed by the Jewish heritage, and then gradually, enriched by many cultures absorbed by an ever-expanding Universal Church. This process shaped the sacred space, time, ceremony, song, and prayer of a new priestly people.

Christian scholars are discovering a more specifically Jewish interpretation of the New Testament, hence, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Paul, and Saint John. This trend has bearing, not only on Christology, or on lectio divina, but on how we understand liturgy, and the first culture that shaped it. Therefore, I identify the great, three streams that flow from our Jewish heritage: the Passover, the Temple and the Synagogue.

The Passover
From the table of the Last Supper, the Lord’s radical reshaping of the Passover set the course for the Christian Eucharist, and the ministerial priesthood. As Saint Paul acclaimed, “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed, so let us keep the feast…” (1 Corinthians 5: 7-8). The Eucharistic Lamb of God is central in all Catholic liturgies, Eastern and Western. Moreover, when the disciples heard the Eucharistic words of Jesus Christ, as Jews they would immediately think of sacrifice, a body separated from the life-force, the blood. And his body and blood are offered up “for you and for many,” the sacrifice sealing the “new and eternal Covenant.”6

As an auditor at the Synod on the Eucharist in 2005, I was present when, in a rare intervention, Pope Benedict responded to the perennial question about relating the sacrifice to the meal. He went directly to the Passover, showing how the domestic source for worship in the earliest Christian era was a sacrifice offered to provide a sacred meal.7

The first assemblies for the Eucharist were located in people’s homes, what are now called “house churches.” The Anglican liturgist, Gregory Dix, argued that the plan of a Roman villa determined the space for worship.8 His views need to be modified when we also consider the influence of the synagogues. In turn, the synagogues were shaped by something far greater, the Temple on Mount Zion.

The Temple
Even if it only survived forty years into the history of the Church, the Temple provided a focus for worship. As far as we know, it was a permanent stone form of the tabernacle, the sacred tent of divine encounter set up in the desert. The Temple was not only a place for sacrifice and worship, it was God’s dwelling among his people, his “house” which embraced his people, the “house” or family of Israel. The focus of divine presence was represented by the Ark of the Covenant, containing the sacred tablets of God’s Law, the Torah.

A raised sacred space, a holy place or sanctuary, and a fixed altar, redefined domestic liturgy, both in the house churches, and in modest, pre-Constantinian churches, about which we know little, and after Constantine, in the basilicas, great and small, that become our Eucharistic temples.9 In the Christian East, the basilica of Hagia Sophia epitomized the marvelous flowering of the Byzantine Rite. Further East, the Syrian, Egyptian, Chaldean rites had already taken shape, always with a focus on a sanctuary, a holy place, a focus for worship.

The Temple on Mount Zion also guided the eschatological dimension of worship, evident in celestial symbols in the Letter to the Hebrews and the liturgical visions of the divine future in the Book of Revelation. Together, we journey towards the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, as the Second Vatican Council beautifully proclaimed.10 Eschatology shaped the Christian practice of orientation, facing or turning towards the East, praying to the risen Lord, the Savior who is coming again.

I was surprised to discover how orientation fascinates younger clergy, born well after the Council. During two retreats I gave to Australian seminarians, they asked me to celebrate Mass “facing the altar,” which I did on a Thursday, a Eucharistic day. An older generation would call that a reversion to “Mass back to the people,” with the middle-class subtext “How dare you turn your back on me!” Yet, these young people understand that our liturgy is a procession, the celebrant with us, leading us towards the risen Lord. Good liturgy is not a self-centric gathering, about which Pope Benedict has warned.11 In years to come, we will see growing emphasis on orientation, already suggested once a central crucifix is set directly on the mensa of the altar.

The Synagogue
The synagogues emerged during the captivity in Babylon, when the Jews had no temple. They functioned as schools of the Law, assemblies for worship, praise, and instruction. Sacrifice was never offered in these places. Nevertheless, they came to reflect part of the plan of the Temple, with the focus on a shrine to contain the sacred scrolls of the Torah. This replicated the sacred space of divine presence, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, or, in the Second Temple, and Herod’s reconstruction, the mysterious empty shrine—the Holy of Holies, that is, after the Ark had been lost.

Like Our Lord himself, Saint Peter and Saint Paul preached in synagogues, and some of these places apparently became churches. The synagogue, thus, provided the first covered space for a larger Christian assembly, gathered by God, to learn in the school of his word, and to sing his praise in psalms and hymns.12

However, unlike the synagogue, the Christian church contained an altar for the one sacrifice of the New Covenant, instituted at the Last Supper. Here, the whole community celebrated Christ’s new Passover every Sunday, the first day of resurrection. Moreover, there was a pool for Baptism, the first baptistery. This pattern needs to be set alongside the Roman house churches, indicating that there was no single model for sacred space in the early Christian centuries. Unlike worshippers in the courts of the Temple, the norm for Christians is to celebrate the liturgy indoors.

The Streams Merge
Christian worship was not affected by the destruction and loss of the Temple in 70 AD, or by the expulsion of Christians from the synagogues, and the attendant loss of the Passover rite. Careful reading of the New Testament reveals that a distinctive Christian understanding and praxis of worship was developing, not bound to the old order of Temple, Passover, and synagogue.13 There is a basic reason for this development.

We never relied on one sacred building or place, such as a holy mountain. We can identify with Jeremiah who rebuked those who put their faith in the Temple, rather than God.14 We can worship anywhere. Our Lord’s words to the Samaritan woman about those who “worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:21-24), reveal a new sense of universal access to God in Christ.

The source of this freedom is the Incarnation. Through Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, God dwells among us in our flesh—the personal God, ever accessible for prayer and worship. For us, Jesus Christ is the one priest and victim, the temple and altar (cf. Hebrews 2:14-18, 7:11-26 etc.). His risen body is the true temple (John 2: 18-22), and from the Last Supper, flows his Eucharistic sacrifice.

The text in Hebrews 13:10 “we have an altar” was written at a time when, strictly speaking, there were no Christian altars, but the author of the Letter knew that Christ in the Eucharist is our altar. The Roman Canon bears witness to this early tradition: the sacrifices of the Old Law culminate in the gifts “borne by the hands of your Holy Angel (Christ the Priest) to your altar on high.” We see the influence of Hebrews 8:1-7, the heavenly sanctuary patterned after the earthly one. 

Moreover, Saint Peter uses the Temple to tell us that we are the living stones “built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,” ultimately “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a sacred nation, God’s own people.” (1 Peter 2: 4-10). “House” here also means a family, thus, as the Letter to the Hebrews states, “we are his house” (Hebrews 3:1-6).

Saint Paul expressed the same sentiments in Ephesians 2, but he also reminds us that the body of each baptized Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). These truths nourished that early Christian sense of offering sacrifice on the altar of one’s heart, through a life of faith, witness, and prayer. But that is all derived from our great thanksgiving, the Eucharist.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church proposes, liturgy includes the sacraments. These also flow from the Hebrew heritage. The scholastic theologians understood well how the sacraments were anticipated in the rites of the Old Testament. But once again, the Incarnation marks the change—from type and prophecy, to divine realities in the concrete world. 

In God’s new Israel, the liturgy and sacraments extend the Incarnation, and accomplish the healing work of our Redemption. Christ, the Priest, is at work in each sacrament, the acting Christ in his working body, the Church, herself a great “sacrament” in the world.15 Through these sign-acts, Christians are caught up in the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, in grace—or as the Eastern Fathers teach us—in our divinization.

Christ, the true Priest, prays in the universal living Temple of his Mystical Body.16 Through the Psalms, both Temple and synagogue have always shaped the daily “Prayer of the Church” or Divine Office, better described in post-conciliar language as The Liturgy of the Hours. 

However, the first centuries of Christian history were marked by a gradual weakening of the influence of Jewish culture in Christian worship. In a wider social context, as Christianity moved out beyond Judaism, we may add the influence of the Greco-Roman mystery cults, with particular bearing on the rites of Christian initiation. Then, suddenly in the early fourth century, came freedom from persecution, and so began the building of many churches for public worship. Like the Temple, they were solemnly dedicated, but that was achieved basically by the first celebration of the Eucharist, by the divine presence.

So the Temple remained pivotal, whether in Roman or Byzantine basilicas, in Romanesque and gothic cathedrals, abbeys and churches. The Temple model is obvious in classical and baroque churches; then, in the sober nobility of the neo-gothic projects of Pugin, Viollet le Duc, Wardell, Cram; and nineteenth century architects, now recognized for their inventive skills. In this city of St Louis, the temple model is epitomized in your glorious Cathedral of Saint Louis, which I like to imagine as San Marco in Venice just after the mosaic artists completed their work.

Rejecting the Temple Model
However, something went wrong in our post-conciliar era, with effects that linger to this day. This shows what can happen if you overemphasize one of those three streams: Passover, Temple, or synagogue. The liturgical movement and its post Vatican II developments included some sincere, but misguided, attempts to shape worship only around the Passover, understood as a meal, hence the house church model.

This trend marked a rejection of the Temple model for sacred space and sacred action. It was influenced by social factors in the twentieth century, including a hunger for intimacy, adapting worship in new situations, even persecution under the totalitarians, and the view that Christians were now a diaspora in secularized society. At the same time, a secularized style of worship emerged, partly attributed to Karl Rahner.17 Here, we enter the contested area of how to relate nature and grace, secular and sacred.

Recently, I celebrated a Confirmation Mass in a school auditorium in a parish where the beautiful neo-gothic church had recently been destroyed by fire. The teachers in the school decided to place the altar at the side of the auditorium, rather than on the stage. They sought intimacy—for five hundred people! It was a disaster. No one saw anything, of either the Confirmation rite, or the Mass. You can achieve the intimacy of the house church tradition in a small chapel, but not in an auditorium, or even in a large church.

After the Council, some Catholics succumbed to another trend already dominant in Protestantism. They turned our churches into Christian synagogues. At the Reformation, the word replaced the sacrifice. Churches were adapted, or built, for preaching the word; the lofty pulpit replaced the stone altar. Let me add that Lutherans never quite lost the Temple model, and Episcopalians recovered it in the nineteenth century.

A New Liturgical Movement
Today, the Temple is rising again in the “new liturgical movement” that Cardinal Ratzinger called for in 1989.18 The Temple model is visibly reflected in building new churches, or repairing the harm done by clumsy or brutal renovation. The United States is leading the way here, and I honor the work of Duncan Stroik, and architects and artists seeking to recapture or adapt styles of architecture, art, and design that are vectors for the Christian Mystery. James McCrery’s magnificent new baldachino in the chapel of this seminary is a beautiful example of style meeting liturgical requirements. At the same time, there are more sensitive interpretations of last century’s modern styles, evident in the interior of the new cathedral in Oakland.

All these positive developments are marked by a rediscovery of mystery as beauty, not only in terms of sacred space and art, but in the ars celebrandi and in sacred music—in a word re-sacralization or, as your own Professor James Hitchcock put is so directly, “the recovery of the sacred.” His prophetic words were first published in 1974; then, in a new edition in 1994.19

I pause to honor the memory of his beloved wife, Helen Hull Hitchcock, and all she achieved through the Adoremus Bulletin, which is now happily back in circulation. The bulletin affirms another great truth: that worship belongs to the Christian people, that they have the right to have the liturgy authorized by the Church in all its purity and noble simplicity.

An Anglican “Use”
Another example of re-sacralization is Pope Benedict’s ecumenical provision for a new “use” within the Roman Rite. I am a member of the Vatican commission, Anglicanae Traditiones, preparing liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans. Our work culminates this year in the publication of the second of two volumes, Divine Worship: the Missal, following Divine Worship:Occasional Services. The missal contains a “use” of the Roman Rite that has been put together from various sources: from the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Roman Mass, and from the various Anglican versions of the Book of Common Prayer20 which include elements of the pre-Reformation Sarum Use.

However, we avoided the error of making up a liturgy for ourselves. We only brought together existing material from liturgies within the Western traditions, which was precisely what happened for the greater part in the drafting of the Novus Ordo, although the details of how this happened are not always edifying.21 Even in the preparation of the Missal of Saint Pius V in 1570, choices had to be made, for example, in reducing the number of Prefaces.

The new liturgical books of the Ordinariates will attract interest. However, I am well aware that only a seminary or university library would be able to purchase the beautiful, but expensive, altar edition of the missal.

The Holy Trinity we worship is revealed as the God of mercy in the Old and New Testaments. The reverent approach to the Divine Mystery is often an awesome awareness of the mercy of this personal God who ardently wishes to relate to us, creatures created in his own image.

We sing, say, or hear the word “mercy” in texts of the Roman Rite, and in all the rites of the East. The word “mercy” flowed from the Psalms of Israel into those repetitive Christian invocations, Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison. In the Communion Rite of both the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Mass, we ask Jesus, the Lamb of God, to have mercy on us, indicating the propitiatory, or atoning, purpose of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the one atoning Sacrifice of the Cross in sacramental form. In the Byzantine Rite, the Sacred Host is evocatively called “the Lamb.”

However, “mercy” is not a cringe word, not always a cry to be spared. In worship, it may express the praise of God’s merciful love, to use a favorite expression of Saint Therese. When we praise the Trinity in the Gloria, we celebrate divine mercy.

On the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the Year of Mercy initiated by Pope Francis in his Bull of Indiction, Misericordiae Vultus, which begins with the beautiful proclamation, “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.”22 During this year, we can expect not only emphasis on sacramental penance and indulgences, but on Eucharistic adoration, for example, the twenty-four hours of prayer during Lent. Before the tabernacle or monstrance, we find mystery and mercy intersecting. Here, the mystery of divine presence forms our sanctuary.

The spread of Eucharistic adoration is another feature of a happier liturgical era. Here, I firmly reject the accusation that the current liturgical revival is mere “restorationism.” If we look at the spread of prolonged Eucharistic adoration, it goes far beyond what pertained before the Council. Thanks to reforms after the Council, adoration can be maintained by authorized lay faithful, it is no longer restricted to certain religious congregations, and it is appealing to young Catholics.

Next year, there will be added emphasis on Divine Mercy Sunday. I am well aware of the theological and liturgical criticisms of Saint Faustina’s novena in the Octave of Easter.23 But then, I see hordes of people coming to confession on the Sunday, the little ones, the broken ones, the marginalized souls our Pope wants us all to welcome with mercy. There are times when popular devotion conquers a rigid liturgical mentality.

In this context, let me reveal an example of God’s merciful providence. In the Missal of Blessed Paul VI, the old collect for the Sunday in the Easter Octave was replaced by a new text. Its opening words are “Deus misericordiae sempiternae…”—“God of everlasting mercy…” But that language appeared at a time when the Divine Mercy devotion was still under an official ban. The new collect waited for thirty-two years, ready for the decision of Saint John Paul II to add “Divine Mercy Sunday” as the subtitle for the Easter Octave Sunday in the 2002 edition of the missal. God has his ways.

Let us, therefore, work together to enrich worship in these times. At a communal and personal level, let us praise and welcome God’s gift of worship in the Church. The Great Mystery and Great Mercy provide the means of our redemption and sanctification, hope, and foretaste of eternal life.

  1. Pope Francis cites him in his encyclical, Luadato Si, and his influence is evident in the Pope’s rejection of modernity’s destructive mastery of the natural world. Pope Benedict took the title of his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, from the title of a book by Guardini.
  2. Cf. Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2000, Part I, Chapter 1, “Liturgy and Life,” pp. 15-19.
  3. See the New Liturgical Movement website:
  4. Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, 38-42.
  5. Peter J. Elliott, “Ars Celebrandi in the Sacred Liturgy,” in Sacred Liturgy, the Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church, The Proceedings of the International Conference on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacra Liturgia, 2013, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, 2013, ed. Alcuin Reid, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2014, p. 73.
  6. I have developed this in Peter J. Elliott, Sacrifice in the Liturgy, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2012.
  7. He has proposed a rich theology of the Lord’s sacrifice, see Joseph Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,1980, pp. 51-60.
  8. See Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, Dacre Press, London, 1960, pp.16-27.
  9. Covered extensively in Les lieux de la liturgie, La Maison Dieu. Revue de pastorale liturgiques 193, Les Editions de Cerf, Paris 1993.
  10. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 8,
  11. Cf. The Spirit of the Liturgy, op.cit., pp. 80-82.
  12. On the relation between synagogue worship and Christian liturgies, see George Every, The Mass, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1978, pp. 50-55.
  13. As evidence, the Christian hymns recorded by Saint Paul, for example Philippians 2: 5-11 and the celestial hymns in the Book of Revelation with the final cry “Maranatha!”, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
  14. Cf. Jeremiah 7: 4.
  15. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, 251.
  16. Cf. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mediator Dei, 142-144.
  17. See Michael Skelley S.J., The Liturgy of the World: Karl Rahner’s Theology of Worship, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville Min., 1991. It is difficult to draw precise conclusions that attribute secularized Catholic worship to the direct influence of Rahner. In the context of the “sixties,” there was also a trend towards secularized worship among some liberal Anglicans and Lutherans.
  18. See Manfred Hauke , “Klaus Gamber: father of the “new liturgical movement,” in Benedict XVI and the Sacred Liturgy Proceedings of the First Fota International Liturgy Conference, 2008, ed. Neil J. Roy and Janet E. Rutherford, Four Courts Press, Dublin 2010, pp.24-69.
  19. See, James Hitchcock, The Recovery of the Sacred, First edition, Seabury Press, 1974, second revised edition, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1994.
  20. We respected the Tudor prose of Thomas Cranmer, while correcting his doctrinal errors.
  21. Cf., The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer, From Youth and Conversion to Vatican II, the Liturgical Reform and After, tr. John Pepino, Angelico Press, Kettering OH, 2015, pp. 219-222, a remarkable account by a member of the Consilium that prepared the Novus Ordo, describing experts hurriedly putting together Eucharistic Prayer II in a restaurant among other interesting matters.
  22. Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, April 11, 2015, 1.
  23. Cf. Ibid, 24, where Pope Francis praises Saint Faustina as “the great apostle of mercy.”
Bishop Peter J. Elliott About Bishop Peter J. Elliott

Most Rev. Peter J. Elliott holds degrees in history (Melbourne), in theology (Oxford), with a Doctorate in sacramental theology from the Istituto Giovanni Paolo II per studi su matrimonio e famiglia, Lateran University, Rome. From 1987 to 1997, he served as an official of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family. He returned to Melbourne as Episcopal Vicar for Religious Education, and General Editor of thirteen catechetical texts: To Know, Worship, and Love. In 2004, he became Director of the Melbourne Session of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family. In 2007, he was ordained Titular Bishop of Manaccenser, and appointed Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne.

Having served as a Consulter to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, he is a Member of the interdicasterial commission, Anglicanae Traditiones, preparing liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans. He is a member of the Australian Bishops' Liturgy Commission and the Australian National Liturgical Council. Among other works, Bishop Elliott is the author of Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, Ignatius Press 1995 etc. (Guia pratica de liturgia, Ediciones Universidad de Navarra 1996) and Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Ignatius Press 2002. He is editor of Prayers of the Faithful, Catholic Book Publishing Corp, NJ, 2009.