Bishops’ decision on liturgical matters for the region

The Lord’s blessings upon all as we begin this new year 2021. We your bishops met recently online from Jan 4 to 8, 2021 for our assembly as the Catholic Bishops Conference of MalaysiaSingapore-Brunei (CBCMSB). Among various matters that we deliberated upon were some concerning the Liturgy.

Jan 16, 2021

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Attention: All the faithful Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei

Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,

The Lord’s blessings upon all as we begin this new year 2021. We your bishops met recently online from Jan 4 to 8, 2021 for our assembly as the Catholic Bishops Conference of MalaysiaSingapore-Brunei (CBCMSB). Among various matters that we deliberated upon were some concerning the Liturgy.

1.1. On May 13, 2020, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CCDDS), wrote to Bishops’ Conferences in relation to a change to the Trinitarian conclusion to the collects (opening prayers) in the Roman Missal (2010).  The word “one” before God, in the English translation was felt could be misleading.

1.1.1. Decision: The Bishops decided to maintain the formula used in all the sacramentary in the region, and just omit the word “one”: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.”

1.2. The BiBle SuNDay usually celebrated in July in this region is replaced with the celebration of the “Sunday of the Word of God” universally on the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan 24, 2021. It is devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God (cf. Pope Francis’ Letter, Motu proprio Aperit Illis, Sept 30, 2019).

1.2.1. Action taken: Based on the discussion among the bishops last year at the CBCMSB and the need to explain this change to the people, a statement was issued by Cardinal Cornelius Sim and the  Regional Biblical Commission on Sept 30, 2020 on how this could be celebrated in our parishes. Translations of the statement were done in Tamil, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin. Likewise, a note from the CCDDS has been sent to all the Bishops on Dec 17, 2020.

1.3. The Chinese or luNar New year falls on Friday, Feb 12 and Saturday Feb 13, 2021, and the celebration closes two weeks later on Friday, Feb 26. Will the Conference consider dispensation from fast and abstinence during this period?

1.3.1. Decision: The Conference grants dispensation from abstinence to all the faithful celebrating the Chinese New Year in any way on the three consecutive Fridays, Feb 12, 19 and 26. However, all are asked to observe the regular fast and abstinence for Ash Wednesday on Feb 17.

1.4. error iN the orDo: Note that Mission Sunday, 2021 is on Oct 24, 2021, not  on Oct 17.

1.5. As ChriStmaS Day is on Saturday Dec 25, 2021, all Masses on Saturday will be of the Nativity of the Lord.

1.5.1. Decision: The bishops agreed to the proposal that those who attend the evening Mass is considered to have fulfilled the Sunday obligation (Dec 26, 2021, Feast of the Holy Family).

I hope the above is clear and helpful. If you need any further clarification you may contact your local parish priest or your bishop’s office.

I remain, yours faithfully in Christ

+ Rt Rev Bishop Sebastian Francis D.D.
President, CBCMSB Bishop of Penang Jan 10, 2021

Total Comments:2

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MARGARETH KONG9w6meg@gmail.com
Praise to the Lord. Lord have mercy on us all. Peace be with you.
Martha Robert
May God Bless all of you (Church Leader)