Mazza, Enrico. "Chapter Fifteen: The Liturgical Reform of Vatical Council II." The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press/Pueblo, 1999, 251-261.
In this chapter, Mazza has jumped from the 16th century Reformation and council of Trent, the topic of the previous chapter, to the 20th century and Vatican II, which was especially interested in developing a pastoral level teaching on the participation of the faithful in the eucharist (Mazza 1999, 251). The focus shifted from "devout reception" of the sacrament to "active participation." The communicant was to understand and participate actively in the rite (Mazza 1999, 252).
Mazza observes that two points of doctrine were considered of primary importance in Vatican II: the true presence of the body of Christ in the eucharist, and the way the eucharist was related to Christ's sacrifice on the cross were to be clarified (Mazza 1999, 253). The root of the challenge is that while the eucharistic celebration is a "repraesentatio" of the sacrifice of Christ, the consecrated elements are not to be seen as a representation but as a real and literal presence of Christ (Mazza 1999, 254). Finding an adequate means of distinguishing between the two is a difficult challenge. Mazza considers it to be the challenge which was not articulated adequately in Trent. Dealing with it well would make it possible to interpret the patristic authors in such a way that they could speak to our current age (Mazza 1999, 255).
In Vatican II some reforms to the iturgical practice were approved, which may have appeared minor but could have had substantial impact. The kiss of peace was restored, as was a universal prayer of the faithful (Mazza 1999, 256). The altar was moved from the wall so as to take on more prominence. The practice of adding additional priests around the celebrant, leading in the responses or as a choir of celebrants was revived (Mazza 1999, 257). The additional voices had become silent by the eighth century. Its restoration is not explained, but is simply performed (Mazza 1999, 259). However, it may suggest the fact that all the members of the priesthood would have an equal footing in the eucharistic celebration.