Sourcebook for Contemporary Liturgy

Sourcebook for Contemporary Liturgy



I have made this CD / USB at the request of some priest-friends who have presided at the Eucharist in Malate Church, Manila, Philippines. Here in Malate, in addition to the new Roman Missal, a book which we have called ‘Sourcebook for Contemporary Liturgy’ is made available to the Presider.


At the outset, I must state categorically that the texts contained in the Malate Sourcebook are unofficial. They were compiled over the years to complement the official resource, the Roman Missal. It is also important to state that the texts are merely models which should be adapted by the Presider as needed. They were never meant to be followed slavishly. In fact, in a particular celebration the Presider might select only one or two items from the many alternatives presented for a specific Celebration.


The idea to prepare these texts arose from my unease with the content, style and language in many of the Presidential Prayers in the old Sacramentary. And now that the Roman Missal has been promulgated my unease has gotten worse. The 1969 edition contained only one choice for the Collect. The1973 English language Sacramentary contained a collection of original compositions called ‘Alternative Opening Prayers’. This move inspired several bishops’ conferences to create new texts for their own countries. They were convinced that there ought to be a stronger link between the Presidential prayers and the liturgical readings.


In 1982, a working group was established by ICEL to compose scripture-related Presidential prayers. The Opening Prayers they prepared were not accepted by the Vatican. The need for new ones is more acute during Ordinary Time (34 Sundays) since existing texts are not as inspirational as those prepared for the other liturgical seasons of the year. Some Presiders spoke of the need for prayers that were more concrete in nature and which also spoke about “this world”.



Sunday Eucharist


The COLLECT (Opening Prayer) is supposed to set the tone for the readings that follow. But since the readings follow a three-year cycle the content / theme has to be very general.


In fact, the Collect, whether translated from a Latin original from one of the early church Sacramentaries or whether composed recently in Rome, has usually very little to say about “the joys and sorrows, hopes and aspirations” of people of the 21st century. Among the countries that developed sets of Presidential prayers based upon the readings of the three-year cycle for Sundays were Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands. At the time, they obtained the approval of the Congregation of Worship.



A brief word about the other two Presidential Prayers may be helpful.


The need for alternative texts for the PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS is obvious. If one browses through the Roman Missal one finds that there is a “sameness” about them. When we place our gifts of bread and wine on the altar-table we are presenting them before the Lord and the number of ways to state this in a prayer is very limited indeed.


The PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION is not a prayer of petition or of thanksgiving but rather one that expresses the need for the grace to live out in our daily lives what we have just celebrated. At the Dismissal we will be ‘sent forth’ to ‘love and serve the Lord.’ I have tried to incorporate an idea or phrase from the Scripture readings that would somehow respond to the need for this grace.


The Sunday Eucharist, for many Catholics, is the only contact they have with the Bible. Presiders, therefore, might try to use texts that refer to the Scriptures that are proclaimed during that celebration. This can be done not only in the Presidential Prayers but also in prayers like ‘Deliver us…’, ‘Prayer for Peace’ etc. A repetition of (or reference to) key phrases contained in the readings, especially the Gospel, can help the worshipper to go away from the Mass with some ‘food for thought’ during the coming week.


The Sacramentary used provide alternative formulae which could be used by the Presider. e.g. Greeting, Penitential Rite, Eucharistic Acclamation, Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, Invitation to Holy Communion, Solemn Blessings, Dismissal. This freedom to select was enhanced when the rubrics state that the Presider may introduce parts “in these or similar words.” Unfortunately, the new Missal has reduced this freedom. However, in Appendix Vll Pages 1385 -1388, of the 2011 MISSAL approved for the Dioceses of Ireland, there are seven (7) Invocations for the Penitential Act at the beginning of the Eucharist.


Daily Eucharist


Like other Presiders I have noted that many of the gospels used on Sundays are also used on Weekdays. After a lot of research and cross-referencing I developed a series of texts that can be used for Weekdays. Since these Masses are taken from a specific Sunday text there are the obvious limitations. While the gospels are either the complete text (C) or an excerpt (E) from a Sunday gospel, or from a parallel (P) gospel, the first Reading in Year 1 and Year 2 differs from the 1st and 2nd Reading in a Sunday liturgy. I did not have the time to make the corresponding adjustments to the texts for Daily Mass.


I have been able to create the following Masses: Weekday Masses for the different SEASONS 327 And for the Solemnities: DATES: BVM & General 66




In closing, I wish to acknowledge some of my sources and resources.


Like many other Pastors, in the Philippines and abroad, I am indebted to the late Fr Camilo J. Marivoet, cicm, who initially, through his publication, PASTORAL SERVICE, and recently in his 3 volume LITURGY ALIVE, challenges us to be more creative in the way we preside at the Eucharist.


It would be difficult for me to determine, after all these years, my source for any specific sentence or phrase in the Malate Sourcebook. Suffice it to say that I have used materials from the following sources:


PRAYERS for Sundays and Seasons by Peter J Scagnelli - LTP, 1998


Opening Prayers – The ICEL Collects - The Canterbury Press, 1999


Bread Blessed and Broken by John P. Mossi, S.J.Paulist Press 1974


New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies by Flor Mc Carthy, SDBDominican Publications, 2001


SAMBUHAY - Society of St. Paul, Manila, Philippines


The Living WordRedemptorist Publications, England


Over the past few years Claretian Publications Macau have carried the Malate Mass on their Website.
Sunday Liturgy guide


A quick reference to the Sitemeter indicates that the website is being visited on a regular basis. My assumption is that at least some of those who visit the site are making use of the texts in their respective ministries. This is sufficient reason to keep posting them.


In this CD / USB, apart from the Sunday Liturgies (A,B,C) and the MAJOR Feasts (ABC), e.g. Christmas, Holy Week and Easter, there are liturgies developed for special pastoral occasions; these can be found in the Miscellaneous folder.


I am very conscious that the texts contained in this CD/USB, even if they are just experimental, could benefit from the expertise of others who are better equipped in Theology, Scripture and also in the creation of liturgical texts. The Sourcebook is truly a work-in-progress. It will need constant revision. Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully received.


My current email address is: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.



Kevin Mc Hugh                             Feast of St. Columban, 23, November 2015