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Local Church to Celebrate Matrimony with New Order


PLENTONG – The new Order of Celebrating Matrimony will come into effect in this region on 8 December  2016. This was discussed during the 18th Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission (ERLC) of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei meeting held in Majodi Centre from April 25 to 29.

The revised Order of Celebrating Matrimony was presented by Fr Jude Miranda. The introduction in this Second Edition has been significantly expanded to include more extensive theological commentary, as well as pastoral instructions on the preparation of a couple for marriage.

Among the changes, there are now two forms for the entrance rite, the Penitential Act is explicitly omitted, the Gloria is to be sung or said, an additional reception of the Consent, new acclamations, and a different wording for the questioning of the non-Christian party is added. Other cultural issues during a marriage rite were also discussed and priests are encouraged to catechise those preparing for marriage to avoid adding anything outside the approved rubrics.

The ERLC Secretariat will be publishing the books for the region.

All eleven dioceses of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of this region were represented at this meeting. Bishop Francis Sebastian thanked the representatives from Singapore for organising this year’s meeting.

Members were updated on the BM, Mandarin and Tamil translations of the Revised Roman Missal. The ERLC decided to adopt the Indonesian text rather than starting from scratch. However, there was a delay as the first Indonesian translation was deemed not satisfactory by the Indonesian Conference of Bishops. The Keningau Diocese is tasked with compiling a list of words that needs to be substituted with the local Bahasa words so that Recognitio can be obtained for them It was agreed to use the Taiwan text when it becomes available as seminarians from this region are sent there for their formation.

The status of the revised Sing Your Praise to God (SYPG) Hymnal was also presented. The new SYPG Hymnal will consist of over 500 hymns that are liturgically appropriate for use in Mass. The hardbound SYPG hymnal will be ready by Advent 2017. It is hoped that through this hymnal, together with proper formation, the congregation will better appreciate the Catholic liturgy and liturgical hymns.

Bishop Sebastian informed the members of the availability of the new Order of Confirmation that will come into effect on Pentecost Sunday 2016. The new Order of Confirmation, however, will only be implemented in this region on Pentecost 2017. Bishop Sebastian mentioned that the CBCMSB is not keen to adopt the revised translation of the Liturgy of the Hours due to the cost of printing such books. The bishops believe that there are not many changes in the texts to warrant its reprint. However, the ERLC members, while recognising the high cost of replacing them, pointed out that the closing prayers need to be changed to be similar to those in the new Roman Missal. In the end, members considered that this issue was not urgent at the present moment.

All the eleven dioceses presented their reports and issues relating to liturgy. Several dioceses have formation programmes on liturgy which is open to all.

Raymond Goh presented a talk on Online Collaboration and Messaging Platform for ELRC document management and communication. The ERLC Secretariat will explore further on this matter.

The practice of Ancestor Worship by certain dioceses and priests was also discussed. The recommendation of the ERLC is that where it is practiced, guidelines should be developed and Recognitio obtained. It was not recommended to start if it is not the practice in the parish so as to avoid confusing our Christian tradition with cultural piety.

There was a side trip to three parishes in Singapore and other places of interest at the end of the fruitful meeting. The next ELRC for 2017 will be held in Sandakan from May 8-12. – Fr Robert Leong @ Herald

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