Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chaldean Synod: Bishops to present Pope with reformed liturgy

[Chaldeans are Babylonian Catholics. Liturgical languages are Syriac and Arabic. The 310,000 Chaldean Catholics are found in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and North America. For reference, here is the Chaldean Liturgy as it stands presently, prior to the reform spoken of below. Hopefully they will help demonstrate good, organic liturgical reform!]

The final text of the new mass is expected for
tomorrow after seven years spent working on it.
Participants say reforming the liturgy was the priority, not politics.

Rome (AsiaNews) – The final version of the
reformed liturgy of the Chaldean Church will be
presented to the Pope tomorrow morning. The Holy
Father will also receive all the Chaldean bishops
who are currently taking part in their Church’s
special synod that began on November 8 in Rome.

This synod comes seven months after the last one
that took place in a Baghdad. Its focus was
almost exclusively on the liturgy and private
law, overshadowing more political issues that
some bishops had highlighted in the period leading up to it.

“There was no way of discussing anything else,” a
source close to the synod told AsiaNews.
“Reforming the liturgy was the main issue. We had
been working on it for seven years and everyone
expected the meeting to come up with final version.”

Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Bishop of Amadiyah (northern
Iraq), also took part in the sessions. He confirmed this version of the events.

“At the beginning of each session, we spoke a
little of the situation in our country, but the
issue that took most of our attention was religious, not political,” he said.

“We are working on reforming the mass, and then
we’ll propose a new liturgy for feast and week
days. Once the Vatican approves it, it will be
implemented on a trial basis for three years in
various dioceses,” he explained.

A source involved in the synod said that the
proposed changes “aim to maintain the tradition
whilst introducing modern elements for pastoral purposes”.

Mass will have a “more organic structure”
preserving changes made over the centuries, and
adding new words to some moments like the anaphor.

“With the Vatican’s green light, the new mass
will be gradually explained to the faithful and
priests. A trial period will then begin at the
parish level and the process will end with a new
synod vetting whatever problems that may emerge
and deciding a definitive version,” the same source said.


More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: