Liturgy

Eucharistischer Kongress 2013

Eucharistischer Kongress 2013

Eine Frau erhält von einem Priesters die heilige Kommunion.
Eucharistiefeier. © KNA-Bild

50 Jahre Liturgiekonstitution des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils – die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz lädt im Jahr 2013 zu einem Nationalen Eucharistischen Kongress in das Erzbistum Köln ein. Damit möchten die deutschen Bischöfe an das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil (1962-1965) erinnern und sich den eucharistischen Fragen und Anforderungen wieder neu stellen.

Der Nationale Eucharistische Kongress im Rahmen des mehrjährigen Gesprächsprozesses findet vom 5. bis 9. Juni 2013 in Köln statt. Die Vollversammlung der deutschen Bischöfe hat sich für dieses Leitwort entschieden:

„Herr, zu wem sollen wir gehen?“ (Joh 6,68)

Organisiert wird der Kongress durch einen Lenkungsausschuss unter dem Vorsitz des Erzbischofs von Köln, Joachim Kardinal Meisner. Stellvertretender Vorsitzender im Lenkungsausschuss ist Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch, der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz.

Vor Ort in Köln übernimmt das Projektbüro Eucharistischer Kongress 2013 die Vorbereitung.

 

Eucharistischer Kongress Thema bei der Vollversammlung in Trier

Die Vorbereitungen für den nationalen Eucharistischen Kongress waren am 19. Februar 2013 Thema bei der Frühjahrs-Vollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz in Trier.

Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch, und Joachim Kardinal Meisner, der Erzbischof von Köln, sowie Msgr. Robert Kleine, der Sekretär des Eucharistischen Kongresses, haben in einem Pressegespräch vom aktuellen Stand der Planungen für das Glaubensfest berichtet.

Zur Pressemitteilung und den Statements vom 19.02.2013

 

„Wie können wir Gott verehren?“

Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch:

„Wie können wir Gott verehren? Das fragen sich viele Menschen. Vor einem halben Jahrhundert hat das II. Vatikanische Konzil zu diesem Thema eine wegweisende Antwort mit der damals verabschiedeten Liturgiekonstitution gegeben. Daran erinnern wir uns im Jahr 2013. Dieses Jubiläum ist für die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz eine gute Gelegenheit, besonders für die Eucharistie zu danken und zu einem Eucharistischen Kongress einzuladen, den für sie das Erzbistum Köln ausrichten wird. Der Eucharistische Kongress ist Teil des Gedenkens an das II. Vatikanische Konzil. Dessen Abschluss vor 50 Jahren, also im Jahr 2015, wird ein großes Fest der Weltkirche und der Kirche in Deutschland sein.“

Was ist ein Eucharistischer Kongress?

Durch Feier, Anbetung und Katechese Jesus Christus im Geheimnis der Eucharistie besser kennen und lieben lernen

Jugendliche beten und sind im Gespräch in einer Halle der Kölner Messe.
Weltjugendtag 2005: Jugendliche im Beichtgespräch.

Ein eucharistischer Kongress kann sowohl national als auch international stattfinden. Auf nationaler Ebene findet er sich – wie auch 2013 in Köln – auf Beschluss der Bischofskonferenz zusammen, oder nach Ermessen der einzelnen Ortsbischöfe in den jeweiligen Diözesen. Ein Internationaler Eucharistischer Weltkongress kommt auf Vorschlag des Päpstlichen Komitees für die eucharistischen Weltkongresse und nach Verkündung durch den Papst zusammen.

Im Zentrum eines Eucharistischen Kongresses stehen Gottesdienst, Anbetung, Glaubensverkündigung, Glaubensvertiefung und die Frage nach der Lebensführung aus dem Glauben. Wortgottesdienste, theologische Vorträge und gemeinsame Gebete werden dabei abgestimmt auf das spezielle Thema des Kongresses.

Während der Kongresstage sollen die Gläubigen gemeinsam bezeugen, dass Jesus Christus im Geheimnis der Eucharistie die Mitte des Lebens, der Kirche, und ihrer Sendung ist. In der Eucharistie wird dem letzen Abendmahl Jesu Christi, seines Todes und seiner Auferstehung gedacht. Sie ist eines der sieben Sakramente, in denen in den Opfergaben von Brot und Wein die Gegenwart Christi erfahrbar wird. Jesu Tod und Erlösung der Menschheit wird in der Eucharistie verkündet. Dabei ist Jesus Christus in den Gaben von Brot und Wein vergegenwärtigt.

Durch intensive spirituelle und pastorale Vor- und Nacharbeit sind die Ortskirchen auch über die Feierlichkeiten des eucharistischen Kongresses hinaus gefordert und tragen die Ergebnisse und Anregungen weiter.

 

Ein Blick zurück

Der erste Eucharistische Weltkongress 1881 in Lille (Frankreich)
„Das derzeitige große Übel der religiösen Gleichgültigkeit ist, dass man nicht auf Jesus Christus als den eigentlichen Erlöser und Gott zugeht. Man gibt das einzige Fundament, das einzige Gesetz, die einzige Gnade des Heils auf“, so der Wegbereiter der  Eucharistischen Weltkongresse, der hl. Peter Julian Eymard (1811 –1868). Seine geistige Schülerin, Emilie Tamisier (1834- 1910) organisierte daraufhin, allen Schwierigkeiten trotzend, den ersten Eucharistischen Weltkongress im Jahr 1881 in Lille.

Eucharistische Weltkongresse in Deutschland
Bisher fanden in Deutschland zwei internationale Eucharistische Weltkongresse statt: der 20. Eucharistische Weltkongress vom 4. bis zum 8. August 1909 in Köln und der 37. Eucharistische Weltkongress vom 31. Juli bis zum 7. August 1960 in München unter dem Motto „Pro mundi vita/ Für das Leben der Welt“.

Kanada 2008
Der letzte Eucharistische Weltkongress 2008 in Quebec (Kanada) stand unter dem Thema „Die Eucharistie, Geschenk Gottes für das Leben der Welt“ und begann am 15. Juni 2008  für die Dauer einer Woche.

Köln als Gastgeber 2013

Blick auf den Kölner Dom und die Hohenzollernbrücke. © WJT
Blick auf den Kölner Dom und die Hohenzollernbrücke. © WJT

Das Erzbistum Köln freut sich sehr, nach dem Weltjugendtag 2005 nun erneut Gastgeber eines so wichtigen Glaubensereignisses sein zu dürfen. Erzbischof Joachim Kardinal Meisner möchte ein „wichtiges Zeichen des Glaubens in der Öffentlichkeit“ setzen und in diesem Rahmen ebenfalls das 1.700 jährige Bestehen des Erzbistums Köln feiern.

 

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Easter – the Greatest Feast in the Christian Calendar

Easter – the Greatest Feast in the Christian Calendar
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
4 Apr 2012
The meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ’s victory of death. His resurrection symbolises the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. Easter also symbolises the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His three-year ministry. His resurrection gave the irrefutable proof that He really was the Son of God. 

Easter Triduum: (Triduum from the Latin meaning three days)

Lent ends before early evening when Holy Thursday begins. The Easter Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, followed by the high point of the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday Night and closing with Vespers on Easter Sunday.
The Easter fast is sacred on the first two days of the Triduum – Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
Holy Thursday is also the day that Catholics commemorate the institution of the three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood and the Mass.
Holy Thursday – there is the morning Chrism Mass when the priests of each diocese gather with their bishop to consecrate holy oils, which are used throughout the year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick. This ancient practice dates back to the fifth century and stresses the role of the bishop as a successor to the apostles.
There is only one other mass on this day, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper which is celebrated after sundown. This mass commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion and ends with the removal of the Body of Christ from the tabernacle in the main body of the church.
The mass recalls the Last Supper, in which the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, offered to the Father His Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine and gave them to the Apostles as spiritual nourishment, and He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood to perpetuate the offering.
The person celebrating the mass  will wash the feet of twelve priests to symbolise Christ’s washing the feet of His Apostles, the first priests.
After mass the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to the Altar of Repose where it remains until the communion service on Good Friday. After the procession the altar is stripped bare, and all the bells in the church are silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.
No mass is now celebrated until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection. However during the night there is the continued Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, just as the disciples stayed with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal of Judas.
Friday – is the Friday within Holy Week – Good Friday – which is traditionally a time of fasting and penance, commemorating the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and death. For Christians, Good Friday is not just an historical event but the sacrificial death of Christ, which with the resurrection, comprises the heart of the Christian faith. The customs and prayers associated with Good Friday typically focus on the theme of Christ’s sacrificial death for our sins. The major Good Friday worship service begins in the afternoon at 3.00pm – the time Jesus likely died. Various customs and traditions are associated with the Western celebration of Good Friday. Including the Veneration of the Cross, Holy Communion, which was consecrated on Holy Thursday and distributed during the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified as well as the Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross or Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.
Saturday Evening –  Service of Light and Easter Vigil – although celebrated on Holy Saturday, it is the dramatic Easter liturgy that marks the official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus and beginning of Easter. It is the most important Mass of the liturgical year as well as the first celebration of the Eucharist during the fifty-day long celebrations of Easter, and is marked by the first use since the beginning of Lent of the acclamation “Alleluia”. The holy water front are drained, all the lights are out, the tabernacle is empty. The service begins outside the church. A new fire is lit and blessed and a Paschal is prepared. The priest lights the candle from the new fire and this is processed through the church, being lifted at three different times. Everyone lights their candle from the Easter candle and continues in procession until the whole church is alight. The paschal candle symbolises Christ, the Light of the World. The Mass begins. During the Mass the Easter water is blessed, new members are brought into the Church through baptism and the faithful are blessed with water and renew their baptismal promises.
Sunday – for Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving known as Lent. It is a day of celebration commemorating the Resurrection of Christ. Unlike Good Friday, the churches are usually filled with flowers and is considered a very special feast because it represents the fulfilment of a Christian’s faith.
Way of the Cross in Rome

Every Good Friday a very emotive Way of the Cross takes place in Rome with the Holy Father.  Television cameras join the thousands of people around the Roman Colosseum in contemplating the Passion of Christ. Each year the Pope asks someone to write the reflections for the Way of the Cross however for the first time ever, Pope Benedict XV1 has asked a married couple to write these. The invitation comes at a time when the role of the family is in the spotlight  and under scrutiny with governments and legislators tackling issues of same-sex marriage and wider society questioning the institution of marriage.

The Sign of the Cross

The Sign of the Cross 

 

By Fr Habib Jajou

London 2011

 When we were children, we were taught by our parents, priests, and catechists to make the sign of the Cross many times on a daily bases as a ritualistic hand motion. ‘The Christian begins his day, his prayers, and his activities with the Sign of the Cross: “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”’(CCC2157). We make the sign of the Cross ‘over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still.” As St. Cyril of Jerusalem from the forth century said (Fisheaters, the Sign of the Cross 2010) and “In all our travels and movements”, says St Tertullian (Newadvent, Sign of the Cross 2010).

 

What is the significance of making that, and what does it include? This is very important matter to all of us, especially for the new generation who are struggling because of the clashing symbols and multi cultural mass media.

 

Signing the Cross is an old prayer. We believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ His only Son, our redeemer and saviour, and we believe in the Holy Spirit, whom we have accepted when we were baptized. We were baptized ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (CCC232). We were taught to sign the Cross that we enjoyed, and still, many times a day. It’s a prayer that dates back to the early church. We can find it in the Our Father, the Eucharistic Prayer and every Church’s Sacrament which we celebrate in the church and in every daily prayer.  ‘The sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross.’ (CCC1235) We can say that it’s a perfect gesture and prayer which almost have not been changed across the history of the church. How and why do we make the sign of the Cross?

 

To sign the Cross, we have to mark on our forehead then on our breast, after that on the shoulders from the left to right. This is when we hold the thumb and two fingers together and saying ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’

 

Why do we sign the Cross? Firstly, this sign indicates symbolically the shape of Christ’s Cross. Secondly, it’s a symbol of our faith as Christians in the crucified Christ. Thirdly, it means we believe in the Trinity; One God in three Persons. It’s a mystery of the Holy Trinity which is the central of our faith. Fourthly, it means we join our mind, heart and strength all together and dedicated them to our God. It reflects the union of the three dimension of our personality: the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual. Then, by signing the Cross, we remember of ‘God become bearers of the saving and sanctifying action of Christ’ (CCC1189), we declare that by this sign we are invited by Jesus Christ to share His life. After that, it means that the Trinity dwell in us when we are sealed by Christ. Finally, by signing ourselves with the Cross we protect our selves and lives.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ told the Apostles to sign it when they baptize the new believers every where. We have to thank and praise God, our Father, for adopting us in Jesus Christ, His only Son. It’s worth mentioning, Amen, which is an Aramaic word and means saying ‘yes’ to God’s will for us, is Jesus word.

 

We have seen how the sign of the Cross is encountering the faithful during the day everywhere. It’s a short prayer that makes him/her a king/queen of peace, joining with a witness of believers across 2000 years who followed Jesus Christ.  

 

As we have been facing the challenges of the clashing symbols in the religious and cultural fields of life, it’s an urgent matter to adhere to this sign. We have seen and heard that in many places, the Christian symbols have been banned; however, the sign of the Cross is still a lively symbol for many. It has a significant value in the Christian’s culture, religion, and faith. It makes us more hopeful and optimistic, because it’s an image of the center of our faith.

 

The sign of the Cross is more important for a Christian than collecting ideas. It joins religious and cultural symbols. Members of the parish clearly know what and why they are doing it. By signing the Cross, every time, they see themselves, the others, and the world in a new vision. They know that they must imitate Jesus Christ firstly, by this sign, and how life should be in this world; a world where God created for people of good will.

 

As a result, teaching those catechised the sign of the Cross, as our mother church teaches, should be the first lesson for them. I think, parish priests should occasionally continue confirming this sign during the celebration of the Sacraments. There is a ‘harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful’ (CCC1162). Moreover, Christian media should also take its part in confirming it; ‘Along with traditional means such as witness of life, catechetics, personal contact, popular piety, the liturgy and similar celebrations, the use of media is now essential in evangelization and catechesis.’; ‘The media can be used to proclaim the Gospel’ (John Paul II, PASTORAL INSTRUCTION “AETATIS NOVAE”1992). The pastors and people of the Church should be encouraged to use media for translating their faith.

 

Bibliography

 

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