Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Music Ministry"

There is a lot of tossing around of the term "such and such ministry" in the Catholic Church, on the level of the laity.

Fr. G has pointed out to me that this is rather incorrect, (outside of sacramental ordination?)

Someone else can sort out the exact terminology or whatever; it seems to be a distinction between a role or office, rather than a ministry, but here's the applicable document:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici_en.html

and some relevant excerpts from 23:

"a person is not a minister simply in performing a task, but through sacramental ordination."

"...In the same Synod Assembly, however, a critical judgment was voiced along with these positive elements, about a too-indiscriminate use of the word "ministry"...Precisely to overcome these dangers the Synod Fathers have insisted on the necessity to express with greater clarity, and with a more precise terminology..."

3 comments:

Father said...

Mara is our Music Director and Phillip is our Youth Director. So there are ready titles for people in such postitions in the Church. They are vital to the ministry of the priest and an extension of his ministry.
I wanted to say this so that there wouldn't be a nationwide panic in the Catholic Church over what then should be the titles of people who serve in these postitions. Everyone remain calm!
The charge of "clericalism" which goes both ways and is the possible retort over reluctance to call everything a "ministry" is now so washed out in the anti-authoritarian world in which we live that it is irrelevant. Anyone who thinks that a priest is respected for his position alone...is mistaken to put it mildly.
Furthermore, there is the issue of why people have this need to be acknowledged with certain titles...that is a whole other matter. These things happen for reasons...

Felipe said...

What about Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?

Father said...

Extraordinary MINISTERS of Holy Communion is a valid term. Note that the term is in light of ORDINARY MINISTERS of Holy Communion. Thus there is a relationship to the ordained state; these "ministers" are radiant powers of the clergy. The authority of the "Extraordinary" minister is based on that of the "ordinary". I would encourage you to see the discussion that Mara has cited in her blog. Also there is another Vatican document promulgated by an unprecedented seven or eight dicasteries or congregations all at the same time. This document also mentions the problem of calling everything a "ministry". It has the catchy title: "Instruction on Certain Question Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of the Priest".