Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Liturgical Handbook Published By Archdiocese of Portland

The Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook is a landmark publication for the Church in the United States. It is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for priests and deacons, and brings together the fundamental norms for the celebration of the Holy Mass and the Sacraments.

The handbook, which was sent to each of the archdiocese’s 120 parishes, was prepared by Msgr. Gerard O’Connor, director of its Office of Worship, and was issued by Archbishop Alexander Sample, a figure well known to readers of the New Liturgical Movement.

While some of the content is specific to practices in the Portland Archdiocese, most of it outlines the orthodox praxis of the Church, and so this would be appropriate to other dioceses as well. This page on the Archdiocesan website contains a description along with reviews from, among others, the Adoremus Bulletin. From here, it can be ordered online in hard copy, Kindle version or downloaded as a free pdf.
Here are images of pages from it so that you can see the style of presentation:

In the foreword to the book, Archbishop Sample writes:
This Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook is intended to serve as a guide to many of the aspects of the life of our diocese and our parishes that concern the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and the understanding of the faith it expresses. It is intended in the first place for priests and deacons, but also for the consecrated and laity who are engaged in a great variety of roles in ensuring that the Church in our Archdiocese is true to herself – one, holy, catholic and apostolic, but also alive, praying, caring and by God’s grace spiritually growing. As I write these lines I have in mind in a special way the parents of our children and those who assist them as religious educators. In page after page, this Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook tries to steer a path that allows it to be a practical guide, and not simply a statement of the law, necessary as the law is.
I would say that this is not only practical and legal, it is also inspirational. For example, drawing on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Sacrosanctum Concilium, it describes the Church’s vision of what the liturgy and the sacraments are for, and then orders the practical and legal norms to this. Even assuming a readership of priests and deacons, it is always worth remembering that for anything to be done well, people have to want to do what is right, but also, to know what is the right thing to do.

Archbishop Sample celebrates a Pontifical Mass in Washington DC in 2018, photo from a report by One Peter Five.

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