''.1rFIE VATICAN has banned. any further experiments with A the Catholic liturgy. Vatican sources said this week. The ban comes in a still unpublished "instruction" on liturgical practice issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship. Advance copies of the document have been sent to the world's bishops.
The document specifically prohibits experimentation with the Mass unless the congregation gives prior permission.
Further. Mass cen only be celebrated in a sacred place except by speciel permission of the local bishop thus ruling out home masses which have become popular in the United States and some other parts of the world.
Liturgical reformsinstituted by the Ecumenical Council and put into effect by Pope Paul have been attacked by traditionalists as going too far, and by liberals as not going far enough. But. the congregation said, "now conies the necessity for every section of the Church's community to deepen its grasp of the renewal of the Mass" while "abandoning individual preferences."
However. the new instruction prohibits use of any but
biblical readings during Mass. and says fixed prayers already approved by the congregation cannot be replaced, although priests may use other prayers for local needs or special occasions.
The instruction said bishops' conferences could consider new forms of music to be played during the Mass, "providing that they suitably stimulate prayer. express the mystery of Christ. help active participation and are in harmony with the spirit of the Mass." It said the bread used in the mass must be recognisable as such, although the actual form was not rigidly established.
The congregation banned the Use in church of furniture intended for secular use, and it said priests must wear proper vestments while celebrating Mass. They could not. for example. merely place a stole over their regular suits or cassocks.