The Liturgical Year and Inculturation: 13th Asian Liturgy Forum
THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND INCULTURATION
13th A s I a n L i t u r g y F o r u m (ALF)
South-East Asian Region,
September 16-20, 2009
Bahay Pari, San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex, Edsa, Makati City
We, the delegates to the 13th Asian Liturgy Forum of South-East Asia, met from September 16-19, 2009 to discuss the timely and urgent topic of Liturgical Year and Inculturation. The meeting was held in Bahay-Pari of San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex, Makati City, Philippines, under the auspices of His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila to whom we express profound gratitude. The delegates to the meeting came from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. We are now pleased to share the result of our three-day meeting.
- The history of the liturgical year shows that the calendar of feasts has been constantly adjusting itself to political, cultural, and religious environment of local Churches. This should serve as a guiding principle in our work of inculturating the liturgical year.
- We note that inculturation normally takes place within the framework of approved liturgical books, whereby the substantial unity of the Roman Rite is preserved. Hence, the inculturation of the liturgical calendar does not result in a totally new calendar that is an alternative to the typical edition of the Roman Rite.
- However, we acknowledge that inculturation might not always be sufficient to address certain local needs. We would not preclude the creation of particular liturgical calendars while retaining the register of feasts of the Roman Rite.
- Roman traditional liturgical symbols may need to be adjusted in accord with the seasons of the year in the local Church. This would be applicable, for example, to liturgical feasts like Christmas and Easter whose original symbols do not correspond to existing seasons of the year in a particular Church.
- Inspired by liturgical history, we recognize the role of local cultural and social traditions in the institution of some liturgical feasts like the Chair of St. Peter in Rome, which originated in the ancestral feast of ancient Rome called parentalia. In accord with liturgical norms, local Churches could institute feasts derived from their traditional and other established practices.
- Likewise, the cycle of human work has shaped some liturgical celebrations like Rogation and Ember days. We believe that in the industrial world marked by the rhythm of work and rest, production and consumption, and strikes and negotiations, the Church should similarly establish pertinent liturgical feasts.
- In regions where popular pious exercises abound and continue to be meaningful to the faithful the liturgical calendar can be enriched by the integration of popular religious practices with the liturgical feasts.
- Sometimes political situations have left their mark on the liturgical calendar as witnessed by the institution of the feasts of Christ the King and St. Joseph the Worker. Local Churches may propose similar feasts to accompany the faithful across political systems.
In conclusion, given that time is relative, that situations are provisional, and that culture and traditions are in constant evolution, the Church should continue to revise, reinvent, and create liturgical feasts that meet the actual needs of the faithful.
That in all things God may be glorified.
Source: Archdiocese of Manila website
Note: Monk’s Hobbit is not happy with these liturgical developments.