Here are some excerpts from Pope Benedict’s new apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini:

Sacred liturgy: “I encourage the Church’s pastors and all engaged in pastoral work to see that all the faithful learn to savor the deep meaning of the word of God which unfolds each year in the liturgy, revealing the fundamental mysteries of our faith” (No. 52).

The homily: “The homily is part of the liturgical action and is meant to foster a deeper understanding of the word of God, so that it can bear fruit in the lives of the faithful. […] For this reason preachers need to be in close and constant contact with the sacred text; they should prepare for the homily by meditation and prayer, so as to preach with conviction and passion” (No. 59).

Celebrations of the Word of God: “The synod fathers encouraged all pastors to promote times devoted to the celebration of the word in the communities entrusted to their care. These celebrations are privileged occasions for an encounter with the Lord. This practice will certainly benefit the faithful, and should be considered an important element of liturgical formation” (No. 65).

Acoustics: “Concern should be shown for church acoustics, with due respect for liturgical and architectural norms” (No. 68).

Liturgical song: “As part of the enhancement of the word of God in the liturgy, attention should also be paid to the use of song at the times called for by the particular rite. Preference should be given to songs which are of clear biblical inspiration and which express, through the harmony of music and words, the beauty of God’s word. We would do well to make the most of those songs handed down to us by the Church’s tradition which respect this criterion. I think in particular of the importance of Gregorian chant” (No. 70).

Biblical apostolate: “The synod called for a particular pastoral commitment to emphasizing the centrality of the word of God in the Church’s life, and recommended a greater ‘biblical apostolate,’ not alongside other forms of pastoral work, but as a means of letting the Bible inspire all pastoral work” (No. 73)

Catechesis: “Catechetical work always entails approaching Scripture in faith and in the Church’s Tradition, so that its words can be perceived as living, just as Christ is alive today wherever two or three are gathered in his name” (No. 74).

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