- The Second Vatican Council desired “to impart an ever increasing vigour to the Christian life of the faithful.” It is not surprising that the first aspect of the life and mission of the Church the Council discussed was the Sacred Liturgy “through which the work of our redemption is accomplished.” This Synod, therefore, emphasizes the need for overall uniformity and decorum in our liturgical celebrations. Adherence to the rubrics and texts in the liturgical books while performing liturgical functions is seriously called for. Priests are encouraged to educate the laity on the nature and importance of sacred liturgy as well as their role therein so that they do not exceed the limits of the demands of their common priesthood.
- Liturgy is a communal worship. Hence it is expected that all participate actively. For instance, parishes should provide Hymn Books for the congregation so that it would not be just the choir singing. We remind ourselves that by virtue of our baptism we are all called to participate in the priestly, prophetic and kingly offices of Christ. We are, therefore, called to the Church’s mission of evangelization. Since effective evangelization requires collaboration, we call on the faithful to responsibly work together in carrying out this mission of evangelization.
- The Holy Eucharist is at the centre of the Church’s life. The Eucharist makes the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist. In the Eucharist is a continued manifestation of the faith of the people and the love of Christ. In it, all the people of God share and offer themselves.
- There is a problem when some of our brothers and sisters think that Holy Communion received from Bishops or priests are holier than the ones received from The Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist. We, therefore, call on such brothers and sisters to understand that Holy Communion can be validly received from any person properly authorized by the Church.
- The homily should be clear, based on the scriptural and magisterial texts, nourish the people and lead to witnessing. It should be delivered with a method that is attractive and not be too long. Minimizing homilies to make time for fund raising trivializes the sacredness of the Mass. Parishes should consider saying the Liturgy of the Hours as this would help deepen the faith of the faithful and help them be familiar with the psalms.
Use of Electronic Gadgets
- For public liturgical celebrations, the use of i-pads and other electronic gadgets is not encouraged. However, for private prayers, especially when one has health challenges, it is permissible. As for administering the sacrament of reconciliation through telephone, it is strictly forbidden.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Priests are reminded to be careful with the Confessional Seal. The sacrament of Penance must not be exploited for any reason whatsoever. Penitents, including public sinners, must be handled with patience and love. People with speech impediment could write down their confessions for the priest and then get their penance and absolution.
Sacrament of Matrimony
- The Church teaches that marriage is indissoluble. Contemporary times have really witnessed a lot of turbulence in family life ranging from marriage breakdown to separation, etc. This is not unconnected with lack of adequate knowledge as to the nature and implications of marriage by those going into matrimonial life. This Synod encourages prospective couples to take the Marriage Course seriously and priests should endeavor to stick to the Archdiocesan policies regarding marriage. Effort should be made to ensure that Catholic Marriages are celebrated in registered places to let them be in compliance with civil requirements.
- We uphold the teaching of the Church that sacraments are instituted by Christ while sacramentals are instituted by the Holy Mother Church. The latter are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church (CCC 1667). So, it is not allowed that individuals create their own sacramentals.
- We urge that widows not be subjected to humiliation in the name of mourning their husbands and we denounce the occasional disrespectful handling of the coffins of the deceased.
- We thank God for the gift of healing ministries in the Church. However, we urge that the guidelines for such ministries be strictly adhered to with the aim of curbing religious syncretism, aberrations and abuses, especially liturgical abuses. This Synod recommends that the three liturgical oils, solemnly blessed by the bishop for use in the Church, should be made use of. This is, however, without prejudice to the use of olive oil for private devotions.