Home » Events » M.A. Thesis Defense of MICHAEL GEORGE M. VILLASIS (Philippines) on 17 April 2024

M.A. Thesis Defense of MICHAEL GEORGE M. VILLASIS (Philippines) on 17 April 2024

Mar 21, 2024

The Theology and Ministry Program of the School of Humanities invites you to the oral defense of the M.A. Thesis entitled “‘JOY HAS COME TO THE WHOLE WORLD’: A Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Study of the Adoratio Crucis on Good Friday” by MICHAEL GEORGE M. VILLASIS on 17 April 2024, Wednesday, 10:45 a.m. at DLC 201, 2/F Dela Costa Bldg., Loyola School of Theology. The Board of Examiners is composed of Br. Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W., D.Phil. (Second Reader/Principal Examiner), Fr. Cristopher Fajardo, S.T.D. cand., and Fr. Emmanuel Marfori, S.Th.D. The M.A. Thesis Adviser is Fr. Oliver Dy, S.J., S.T.D., Ph.D. The defense is being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a field of specialization in Systematic Theology. It is open to the public.

Abstract: On Good Friday, the day of the Lord’s suffering and death, the Church abstains from the sacraments, fasts strictly, and disrupts the rhythm of its liturgical observance. In its stead, the Church celebrates the liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, in which the Christian faithful listen to the Lord’s words, venerate his life-giving cross, and partake of his Body in Holy Communion. The stark silence and simplicity of this day occupy a distinct place in the celebration of the Easter mysteries.

The adoratio crucis (adoration or veneration of the cross) is the second part of the Good Friday celebration. In the rite, as practiced throughout the centuries, the cross, crucifix, or cross-relic is shown to the people, who approach and adore it both individually and as one community, while psalms or hymns are sung. Notably, the interplay of personal devotion with the communal nature of the liturgy can be seen; both find a place in one act of worship in this rite.

This paper is a historical, theological, and pastoral study of the adoratio as practiced in the Roman Rite. First, the history of the ritual was examined, from its beginnings in fourth-century Jerusalem and its adaptation in Rome, up to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Second, drawn from its historical development, a theology of the adoratio was illustrated with respect to the meaning of the Cross, its connection with liturgical theology, and its place within the celebration of the Triduum. Third, an understanding of the contribution of the adoratio to the life of the Church was formed, especially in its importance in liturgical formation and Christian mission. In this manner, using the adoratio crucis as an illustrative example, the relationship between prayer, belief, and living was underscored, following the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

What is shown in this study is the significance of the adoratio as a symbol not only of the Lord’s death, but of his triumphant Resurrection. As such, it becomes not only a commemoration of a past event, but a way of participating in a mystery that continues to be fruitful and saving in the lives of people, and a promise of the Kingdom that is to come. It is therefore a celebration of God’s triumphant love in Jesus Christ; as we adore the Cross, we sing not just of sorrow but of joy: “Venit gaudium in universo mundo.” Joy has come to the whole world.

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