Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A change in Vatican Christmas liturgies

Zenit is reporting on the liturgical changes at the Vatican this Christmas season. I found this one particularly interesting:

Monsignor Marini explained these changes to L'Osservatore Romano, pointing out that the Christmas liturgical celebrations "should bring the faithful to contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation." He affirmed that "everything should contribute to stirring up awe: the words, the gestures, the silence, the music, the signs, the songs -- the rite in its entirety."

Among the changes is the placement of a sculpture of the Virgin and Child Jesus on a throne traditionally displayed on the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This year it will be placed next to the altar of confession for a longer period, from Christmas Eve until the feast of the Epiphany.

This change emphasizes that "Christmas time is a Marian time," explained the monsignor. The Virgin Mary does not take attention away from the mystery of the Son of God made man. On the contrary, he said, "she helps us to understand the mystery in its true significance."