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The use of acronyms (words made up of initial letters of a group of words) is now commonplace in everyday language. The word CHOGM, for example, is very much in the news at present! While acronyms are helpful for brevity, their overuse can lead to a sort of “in” language which excludes outsiders.
Liturgists can be as guilty of this as anyone. I’m sure many people who saw this notice in a parish bulletin thought it was some sort of secret code: “ This week a revised edition of GIRM was released by Rome. The ACBC will delay issuing any new directives until ICEL has completed its work on the document”.
While acronyms should be avoided as much as possible in general communications, people involved in liturgical planning, ministry and leadership need to be familiar with abbreviations which crop up regularly in rites, documents and journals.
Here are some commonly used liturgical abbreviations:
CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)
CIC Codex Iuris Canonica, the 1983 Code of Canon Law (also called CCL)
CSL Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Vatican II, 1963)
DMC Directory for Masses with Children (1973)
DOL Documents on the Liturgy 1963 – 1979: Conciliar, Papal and Curial Texts
GILH General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours (1971)
GILM General Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass (1981) – see also LMI
GIRM General Instruction of the Roman Missal (1975)
GIRM 2000 New version of GIRM issued in Latin (2000)
GNLY(C) General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar (1969)
LMI Lectionary for Mass: Introduction (1981) – also call GILM
SC Sacrosanctum Concilium, Latin for “This sacred council”, another name for CSL
OCF Order of Christian Funerals
RB Rite of Baptism for Children
RC Rite of Confirmation
RCIA Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
JB Jerusalem Bible (translation used in current Lectionary).
NT New Testament (now often called Christian Scriptures).
NEB New English Bible
NRSV New Revised Standard Version (ecumenical and scholarly translation issued in 1989).
OT Old Testament (now often called Hebrew Scriptures).
ACBC Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
ACOL The Australian Consultation on Liturgy, ecumenical body inaugurated in 1976.
ICEL International Commission on English in the Liturgy, founded in 1963 by Bishops from English-speaking countries to formulate liturgical texts.
ELLC English Language Liturgical Consultation, international ecumenical body which succeeded ICET, International Consultation on English Texts.
INRI Abbreviation of Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, Latin for ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’, inscribed on Jesus’ cross.XP Capitalised Greek letters chi and rho, the first two letters of the word for Christ and hence used artistically as a monogram for Chr