In his final address to the clergy of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI observed that the Second Vatican Council began with a consideration of the liturgy as a very positive sign, because “the primacy of God was self evident”, as was the desire of the Council Fathers to open to the entire people of God the possibility of worshiping in the common celebration of the liturgy. The fiftieth anniversary of Sacrosanctum con cilium invites us to return to its sources and to examine the development of the ideas which have shaped the evolution of our experience of the liturgy in these past fifty years.
“Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the nature of the liturgy itself…” [SC,14]. Many considered this to be an innovation and are surprised to discover that it is a key concept of the liturgical movement evident from the early twentieth century onwards. The treatment of this not