In the 1960s Catholics learned a lot about what to do in the revised Mass. Unfortunately not too many people were told why. We focused on the practice, but often neglected the theory. In this commentary on the revised version of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), Dennis Smolarski, S.J., encourages us to experience more fully the graces that result from our liturgical activity by reflecting on our actions, and even contemplating God's influence in what has occurred. In The General Instruction of the Roman Missal: 1969-2002, Smolarski puts the latest changes in the 2003 GIRM in context, points out the major differences in the editions of GIRM, and offers thoughts about continued liturgical renewal, overlooked liturgical principles, and points that still need to be emphasized. Chapters include "Introduction," "History: What Has Been Done?" "Evolution of the GIRM: What Has Been Done?(Continued)" "The 2000 and 2002 GIRM and the Third Edition of the Roman Missal: What Is Being Done?" "General Evaluation," "The U.S. Adaptations to the GIRM and the Norms for Communion Under Both Kinds," "The Future: What Should Be Done?" and "Conclusion."
Dennis C. Smolarski, S.J., Ph.D., is a faculty member at Santa Clara University. He has had a long-standing interest in Western and Eastern liturgies and worship and is the author of How Not to Say Mass and Sacred Mysteries.