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Archive for January 1st, 2008

The National Catholic Reporter had a letter Liturgy reform: No going back

The throne room protocols of the Tridentine Mass, the elevations, barriers, brocade, structures and language separating clergy from laity gave way to a worshiping community in which all the baptized were called to full, conscious, active participation. A new way of worshiping marked the beginning of the end of the vertical ecclesiology that for 500 years had shaped every aspect of the church’s life and ministry around hierarchical and clerical preeminence…

This is something we need to listen to and protect against which is exclusive vertical liturgical worship. It is IMO the reason we had many saying rosaries, or having novena while at mass pre-1960’s. The faithful were not engage in the mass. This vertical emphasis was needed, because the protestant reformers rejected the sacradotal priesthood. The times demanded explicit actions and gestures to support the belief in the sacramental priesthood. The same can be said of the Sacrificial aspect of the mass to the de-emphasis of the meal aspect.

However the post Vat. II reformers have gone to extremes in allowing almost anything to the point of sacrigilous novalties in their desire to meet their defination of “Active participation”.

From Catholic liturgical library: Sacred Congregation of Rites issued the instruction, De musica sacra

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious and active participation in the ceremonies which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy.
Such participation by the Christian people as a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people” (I Pet. 2:9; 2:4-5) is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true spirit of Christ . . .Participation

There is a difference between Royal Priesthood/Universal Priesthood. We faught those battles with Gnostics, Montanists, Catharist, Protestant Reformers. Isn’t it clear by now that there is a difference between the two? What Archbishop Piero Marini has allowed to occur IMO on his watch is in practice the Exclusion of the vertical to support the active participation of the laity. And that is what is the out cry and need from the laity that the Archbishop have ignored or failed to recognize. It’s not retrenchment as he claims below it’s about balance.

“Church music and secular music are now each influenced by the other. This is particularly clear in the case of the so-called “parody Masses”, in which the text of the Mass was set to a theme or melody that came from secular music, with the result that anyone hearing it might think he was listening to the latest “hit”. It is clear that these opportunities for artistic creativity and the adoption of secular tunes brought dan­ger with them. Music was no longer developing out of prayer, but, with the new demand for artistic autonomy, was now heading away from the liturgy; it was becoming an end in itself, opening the door to new, very different. ways of feeling and of experiencing the world. Music was alienating the liturgy from its true nature.” [The Spirit of the Liturgy pp.146-7, author Cardinal Ratzinger]

opponents of Vatican II knew from the outset that the one way to preserve Trent was to halt liturgical reform. To look back over the 42 years since the close of the council is to see that progress in the reform has been real but slow, and to admit that any awakening of Catholic laity to their full baptismal identity is still in the future. At the same time, those devoted at many levels to a pre-Vatican II model of the church have worked hard to bring down many aspects of liturgical reform. Frustrating the process of vernacular translations, crimping the rubrics for Mass to accentuate the ordained and, most recently, restoring the Tridentine rite, are among the more visible signs of successful retrenchment….Marini said in an interview. “The faithful don’t receive permission from priests to participate in the Mass. They are members of a priestly people, which means they have the right to participate in offering the sacrifice of the Mass. This was a great discovery, a great emphasis, of the council. We have to keep this in mind, because otherwise we run the risk of confusion about the nature of the liturgy, and for that matter, the church itself.”

It’s difficult to tell how the Archbishop is using the term “participate” with respect to offering the sacrifice of the mass. As it’s worded I have trouble with how his statement can be balanced with the Council of Trent:

“If any one saith, that all Christians have power to administer the word, and all the sacraments; let him be anathema.” Seventh Session CANON X
“If any one saith, that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood; or that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of forgiving and retaining sins; but only an office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel, or, that those who do not preach are not priests at all; let him be anathema.” Twenty-Second Session CANON I

“Let’s think of tourist centers, where it would be lovely for people to recognize each other in something they have in common. So we ought to keep such things alive and present. If even in the great liturgical celebrations in Rome, no one can sing the Kyrie or the Sanctus any more, no one knows what Gloria means, then a cultural loss has become a loss of what we share in common. To that extent I should say that the Liturgy of the Word should always be in the mother tongue, but there ought nonetheless to be a basic stock of Latin elements that would bind us together“[God and the World, pp417-8,author Cardinal Ratzinger]

“I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us.” Quote from
Catholic Culture
by Cardinal Ratzinger.

And that last quote is what we all need to listen to whether we find ourselves supporting left, right or center.

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