In 2021, a new document on the liturgical rite in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre is published. Below we present the preface signed by Cardinal Filoni, Grand Master, which highlights the link between this Order of the Liturgical Rite, the new Constitution, the General Regulations and the book on the spirituality of the Order.
This text takes into account the practices and experience gained in the Investitures of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. With the revision of the Constitution and the General Regulations, as well as with the publication of the Lineamenta on the spirituality of the Knights and Dames of the Order, it seemed appropriate to revise the Order of the Liturgical Rite too, to adapt it to the principles of simplicity and solemnity, that admission to the Order entails.
The revision of the order of the Rite also intends to trace the fundamental lines to which every Lieutenancy must abide. This does not mean that some useful adjustments cannot be made while respecting the fundamental lines traced here. This will allow for a unity of style in all the Lieutenancies that favours the cohesion and beauty of the liturgies of the Investitures.
The Rite of the Prayer Vigil and the Investiture ceremony are two parts of the same solemn Act. It is of great significance that a new Dame and a new Knight experience these moments with a spirit of meditation and joy, supported by the esteem and affection of the other members, similar to the ancient practices of which the history of the Investitures themselves is rich. Being aware that the Risen One calls us by name and chooses us for a noble ecclesial mission also helps us to respond generously to the commitment that we take on and to grasp the richness of the rites of which this moment is rich.
At the beginning of the Prayer Vigil and the Investiture ceremony, some appropriate general indications were introduced to help the liturgical celebration, so that it always appears an expression of the highest praise of God and the commitment that the members of the Order assume in front of the Church towards the Holy Places and the Christian community of the Holy Land.
The liturgy is always the highest expression of community prayer addressed to the Lord. It is not an expression of a formalism to satisfy appearances, on the contrary, it tends towards the fundamental nature, which is praise of God. Therefore, both the rites and the environment must be consonant with the purpose of the solemn moment.