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Liturgical Items for November Meeting Are Memorials for Blesseds Marianne Cope and John Paul II, Blessing of Sacred Oils

 
October 18, 2011

WASHINGTON—The inclusion of two new optional memorials, for Blessed Marianne Cope and Blessed Pope John Paul II, in the Proper of Saints calendar for the United States as well as the approval of a new translation of the Rite for Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and for Consecrating the Chrism are liturgical items that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB will consider during their Fall General Assembly, November 14-16, in Baltimore.

The request for the inscription of the Optional Memorial of Blessed Marianne Cope as an addition to the Proper Calendar for the dioceses of the United States was made by the bishops of Syracuse and Honolulu and the minister general of the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities.

The feast day for Blessed Marianne Cope, January 23, is currently observed as an Optional Memorial in the Diocese of Syracuse (where she entered religious life) and the Diocese of Honolulu (where she served for many years). The Provinces of Los Angeles and San Francisco have recently petitioned to have the observance added to their proper calendars.

Mother Marianne Cope, OSF, was beatified in May, 2005.She spent her life in Hawaii caring for those afflicted with leprosy. The proper texts for the Memorial of Blessed Marianne Cope have already been confirmed for use by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The USCCB Committee on Divine Worship approved of the request at its June meeting in Seattle and it is presenting it now to the full body of the bishops for approval. They will also vote to approve a Spanish translation of the texts for the Blessed Marianne Cope Optional Memorial prepared by the USCCB Subcommittee on Divine Worship in Spanish. Both of these actions require a two-thirds vote of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Likewise, the beatification of Pope John Paul II highlighted the great devotion that already exists for him among the faithful universally. Because blesseds are not normally inscribed on the Universal Calendar, it is left to the local authorities to suggest the inscription of the observance of a blessed on a particular Calendar (diocesan, religious, or national calendar).

The Congregation for Divine Worship issued a decree on April 2, 2011 permitting the celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving for Blessed John Paul II in local churches at the designation of the diocesan bishop during the year following the beatification.Beyond that year, the Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar do not permit the observance of memorials of blesseds unless they are inscribed on a particular calendar. Together with the decree, the Congregation also furnished vernacular translations of the liturgical texts, including English and Spanish.

At its June meeting in Seattle, the Committee on Divine Worship recommended the inscription of the Optional Memorial of Blessed John Paul II, October 22, into the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America. This action would require a two-thirds vote of the Latin Church members of the USCCB and subsequent confirmation by the Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican.

Finally, the U.S. bishops will also vote to approve the English translation of the Rite for Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and for Consecrating the Chrism. This rite will not be included in the U.S. adaptations to the new Roman Missal, as the U.S. bishops had originally hoped. The Congregation considered that the text belongs more properly in the Roman Pontifical. However, it authorized a new draft translation in conformity with the principles of Liturgiam authenticam for publication, once approved, either in a revised edition of the Roman Pontifical or as a separate ritual text.

Because the current Rite of Blessing of Oils and Consecrating Chrism appears only in the Sacramentary, which will be replaced this Advent by the Roman Missal, Third Edition, a text

needs to be brought to publication in time for use in Holy Week 2012.The Congregation for Divine Worship has already revised the draft text of the Rite, which was originally submitted for consultation to the bishops in 2009, and has returned it for consideration and approval by English-speaking conferences of bishops. It is hoped that, once approved, the Congregation will quickly offer a recognitio (approval) so that the text can be printed and distributed for use in the week of April 1, 2012 (Holy Week).

This action equally requires a two-thirds vote of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Coverage of the bishops’ meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be Monday, November 14, and Tuesday, November 15. Media conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form at www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/upload/application-news-media-credentials.pdf and submit it by November 4 to media-relations@usccb.org, fax to (202) 541-3173, or mail to:

November Meeting Credentials
Office of Media Relations
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

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Keywords: liturgy, divine worship, November meeting, Fall General Assembly, Blessed Marianne Cope, Blessed John Paul II, blessing, rite, sacred oils, chrism, Roman Missal





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