THERE is a need to restore public enthusiasm in the Eucharist to attract the youth who have other interests and a short attention span.
Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), acknowledged the need to make the liturgy or public workship more appealing to the young.
He was asked in a news conference on Monday, the second day of the congress, to comment on the observation that many Catholic youths today found the Mass “boring”.
He said the celebration of the Holy Mass has always been simple since it shows the life of Christ.
“The important word in liturgy is participation. To participate in the liturgy is to adopt the liturgy in particular circumstances,” Marini said.
He said the liturgical rites and rules, some of which date back to the 15th century, have undergone changes and adapted to local cultures, but that the process of inculturation takes time.
“I think there is a need to restore the enthusiasm (in the Eucharist) and (for a) variety in liturgical rites in the celebration,”said the Italian-speaking Marini through an interpreter.
“But the process of completing is slow in progress. That’s why we are now in these situations.”
Marini was in charge of the Vatican’s office on liturgical celebrations during the term of three popes, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
He cited as an example, the Diocese of Zaire which was allowed to adopt changes in the liturgy that were relevant to its own culture and eventually was used in other African countries.
In the Philippines, bishops and priests had been pushing for liturgical reforms to give the Mass a Filipino touch. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) submitted a proposal called “Misa ng Bayang Pilipino” by Fr. Anscar Chupungco in 1991, but there had been no response from the Vatican’s Congregation of Divine Worship.
Among the proposed revisions include the lectors’ kissing of the priest’s hand before reading the scriptures during the Mass and allowing the priest to receive communion only after administering the sacred host to all in the congregation.
This would show the Filipino gesture of respect, and the Filipino trait of hospitality.