List of circular Letters by Dom Ambrose




Dear Rev. Father,

Dear Rev. Mother,

The recent General Chapter made it clear that it wished to give a 'new look' to the role of the Abbot General. Certainly it is my intention to try to fulfil this desire of the Chapter. Hence I feel rather embarrassed by the fact that my first communication to the Order is of a somewhat formal character. However, it has been pointed out to me that the first document to come from Vatican II was the Constitution on the Liturgy, so it may be a good omen that this communication of mine concerns the liturgy.

You will find enclosed an official approval by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship of the new text of the "Institutio Generalis Liturgiae Horarum pro Ordine Cisterciensium Strictioris Observantiae". At the General Chapter the President of our Liturgy Commission presented a text for discussion, and after some amendments it was taken to the Sacred Congregation where further modifications were suggested. It is this text which has been approved.

The whole matter has been under review since 1967, and we should be happy that at last some solution has been found. The liberty allowed to us by the Holy See, particularly in regard to the various schemata for the psalms, is such that everyone in the Order should be satisfied.

One request of the General Chapter concerned the so-called 'Little Hours' (Tierce, Sext, None). The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship passed this matter on to the Sacred Congregation of Religious. Another document you will find enclosed is the approval of what the General Chapter had asked.

A third document is an approval by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship of what the General Chapter had proposed concerning the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the sick. Only a few amendments were made.

Since these documents need some explanation, the members of the Permanent Council have added a few notes with the agreement of the President of our Liturgy Commission. However, the President himself intends to write an article for the next issue of 'Liturgiae' in which he will explain the background to the enclosed documents and give a detailed commentary on the Praenotanda and the Ordinarium.

This is all that needs to be said for the moment. Perhaps in a few weeks time I will write to you in a more personal vein to let you know what I have been doing since the General Chapter.

In the meantime I wish you every blessing and trust that you will let me know if there is anything that I can do to be of service.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Ambrose Southey