1st February, 2008.
Dear Father/Principal/Religious/Brothers and Sisters,
With the approach of Lent and the beginning of a new year, I invite you to join with me in working to reflect upon our celebration of the Eucharist, which is the centre of our faith.
Pope Benedict has especially invited us to a new level of fidelity to the Rite as the means given by the Church and to do so with beauty and faithfulness in continuity with the long tradition of the Catholic Church.
It is timely that on 24th May 2007 the Holy See approved the General Instruction of the Roman Missal for Australia, which outlines how we are to celebrate Mass, with a number of changes from that published in 1975. The General Instruction in English is published by Saint Paul’s Publications, Strathfield, N.S.W., and is also available from the Catholic Bookshop.
In the early part of this year I encourage you and your community to study the Instruction so we will be ready together for its implementation on Pentecost Sunday, 11th May 2008. Because our unity in prayer exists in the way that we celebrate the Eucharist this is a time of review when we lay aside any practices contrary to the General Instruction taking up with faith and generosity the great prayer which will be the source of our unity and holiness.
I commend it to your attention and action.
Two matters affect the people:
While there is no substitute for careful reading, reflection and following of the Instruction I am appending to this letter a list of the main variations from the previous General Instruction for easy reference.
I know I can count on your generous acceptance of what the Church asks us to do and that it will bring us and our communities great blessings as we pray together.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.