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The reintroduction of the regular distribution of the Eucharist under both species can be facilitated by the use of instruments that are fitting, observing the norms and the uses of the particular ritual tradition….

Liturgical formation of sacred ministers. In the formation of sacred ministers, care should be taken to promote progressive growth of the interior participation in the holy mysteries and in him who operates in them. In order to he mystagogues (spiritual guides) of the people, [candidates] must live in an exemplary way…their role in the liturgy is to be the font, food and model for a life of fullness received by the grace of the Lord. Moreover, they are to be perfectly formed toward a precise, in-depth and well-founded knowledge of the holy liturgy in its theological, spiritual and ceremonial aspects.

The importance of the liturgical life is also emphasized in the canons that address seminaries. These affirm that the liturgy is to be the font and culmination of life, that it is to be taught in virtue of its special importance as a necessary source of doctrine and of a truly Christian spirit, and that the candidates of priesthood are to nourish their spiritual life from it. It is, therefore, necessary that the liturgical life be celebrated with great care and always in its integral form in Eastern seminaries and in formation institutes of Eastern monks and religious, such that the candidates may be shaped by it and learn it in all its richness and completeness, giving due space not only to the Eucharist but also to the Divine Office….

Christian marriage. It should be noted that the obligation of the sacred rite, and thus of the priestly blessing, for the validity of the marriage is specific to Eastern law. In the Latin Church, simply the presence of the local ordinary, or the parish priest, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, is required. In the Eastern tradition, the priest, in addition to assisting, must bless the marriage. To bless means to act as the true minister of the sacrament, in virtue of his priestly power to sanctify, so that the spouses may be united by God in the image of the flawless nuptial union of Christ with the church and be consecrated to each other by sacramental grace….

Communal value of penance. Individual confession is contained within a context that is by its nature exquisitely ecclesial and thus communal, first of all because reconciliation with God is also reconciliation with the church. Moreover, in all the Eastern churches, the sacrament is traditionally administered in a framework of prayers, declarations, admonitions and absolutions, which can be praiseworthily celebrated by an assembly of faithful. Such practice is suggested, at least indirectly, when the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches affirms that the proper place of its celebration is the church and corresponds to the Eastern traditional usage of celebrating it, not in a confessional similar to that used in the Latin Church, but in the same sacred building and, in some traditions, in front of an icon of Christ. It will be the task of the authorities…to find the formulas that best express the richness of their own traditions.

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Tags: Ecumenism Eastern Christianity Eastern Churches