In his fifth apostolic exhortation entitled Querida Amazonia, dated 2 February 2020, Pope Francis dedicates four articles to the liturgy, mentioning specifically the Eucharist, as well as Sunday and the sacraments. Regarding the sacraments, the Pope underlines the importance of their accessibility to all – even to the poor and the forgotten ones of the Amazon. Speaking on the Eucharist, the Pope highlights the importance of the inculturation of the liturgy: in it we can take up
many elements proper to the experience of indigenous peoples in their contact with nature, and respect native forms of expression in song, dance, rituals, gestures and symbols. The Second Vatican Council called for this effort to inculturate the liturgy among indigenous peoples (cfr. SC 37-40, 65, 77, 81); over fifty years have passed and we still have far to go along these lines.
Only in a footnote concluding the cited n. 82 of the apostolic exhortation is mentioned briefly that «[d]uring the Synod, there was a proposal to develop an “Amazonian rite”». The various extant rites in the Catholic Church were formed and developed throughout history and were not manufactured; neither can an organism foreign to the Church in the Amazon fabricate a rite. Rather, the local Church itself must bring to maturation this work of inculturation. Strictly connected to the issue of liturgical inculturation is the inculturation of ministry:
Inculturation should also be increasingly reflected in an incarnate form of ecclesial organization and ministry. If we are to inculturate spirituality, holiness and the Gospel itself, how can we not consider an inculturation of the ways we structure and carry out ecclesial ministries? The pastoral presence of the Church in the Amazon is uneven, due in part to the vast expanse of the territory, its many remote places, its broad cultural diversity, its grave social problems, and the preference of some peoples to live in isolation.
The central point, then, follows in n. 86: «There is also a need for ministers who can understand Amazonian sensibilities and cultures from within». Only they can bring about liturgical inculturation. It is the duty and the responsibility of the local Church to form them in this task and to open to them the way for translating it into action, while keeping the bounds of inculturation in accord with the universal Church.
Our journal’s first issue of 2020 continues the tradition of in-depth liturgical research through historical and theological studies. The editorial Board, during its meeting on 19 October 2019, decided to implement some changes regarding external aspects of the journal, which have already been implemented in this issue.
Already from the year 2019 the index is placed at the beginning of the of the issue. The editorial staff hopes that once the reader is accustomed to this new placement, contents can be found more easily in the journal.
A second change involves the indices (names, manuscripts, Patristic sources and Christian authors, liturgical sources, magisterial sources and euchological texts). Up until now, these indices have always been found at the end of the second issue of the year. However, as libraries want to bind several issues together into single volumes, these indices became difficult to use. Furthermore, to conduct research, one needed to retrieve and compare the indices of every single year. Therefore, in the future, an issue of the journal dedicated entirely to indices will be published every five years. This way the reader will always be able to consult five years’ worth of issues at once. Annual indices will nevertheless be published on the journal’s website: www.ecclesiaorans.com.
Lastly, considering the increasingly international nature of the contributions in each issue, in the future we will preserve the methodological choices of each author without conforming them to a particular manual of style. The editorial staff will intervene only to ensure the uniformity and internal consistency of individual articles.
We hope that this change will accelerate the editorial process so that we can continue to guarantee the timely publication of the journal.
At the start of the year 2020, the sixth volume of the liturgical studies series accompanying this journal was released. The author, Alain Pierre Yao, who earned his doctorate from the PIL, presents his research entitled, Les “Apologies” de l’Ordo missae de la liturgie romaine. Sources – Histoire – Théologie (EOSR 3), Editrice Domenicana Italiana, Napoli 2019, 400 pages, ISBN 978-88-94876-68-0. We reproduce here the abstract of the volume:
Un coup d’œil sur l’Ordo Missae postconciliaire suscite une question: Pourquoi y a-t-il des prières privées dans la liturgie, acte public du peuple de Dieu rassemblé ? Puisque la question n’a jamais été approfondie, ces prières sont toutes dénommées abusivement apologies. Notre recherche a consisté d’abord à explorer la liturgie byzantine et les liturgies occidentales pour élucider la question de leur origine et déterminer les différents témoins de leur entrée dans la célébration eucharistique. Ensuite nous nous sommes focalisés sur celles qui sont restées dans l’Ordo Missae après le concile Vatican II. Cette étude nous a, enfin, conduit à avoir une idée claire sur leur contenu respectif qui nous a permis de proposer une nouvelle dénomination ainsi qu’une redéfinition du terme apologie.
As the editorial staff was finishing the issue, the pandemic caused by the coronavirus has disrupted the life of the Ateneo and of all of us. With the Adnotationes at the end of this text, we would like to inform readers, among other things, of the changes that have affected academic life due to the emergency. To the scientific contributions of various authors, we have also added a note that aims to present at least some of the issues and challenges that this period brings regarding the liturgy. Likewise, the next International Congress of Liturgy, scheduled from 5 to 7 May 2021 at Sant’Anselmo, will be dedicated to the challenges of the liturgy during the time of the coronavirus.
At this point, all that remains is the expression of our sincere gratitude to the authors and collaborators and best wishes for a good read to those who have in hand this present issue and/or the new volume of our series.