Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The FIUV Papers on the Liturgy

I've come to the conclusion that I'm much too serendipity in my old age. That is to say, at least as far as this blog is concerned, I'm not showing much method or strategy. I just kind of go with the flow and comment as I please... not good? Let me illustrate with one example where I could have done more. I think I would have enjoyed writing additional reviews and could have weighed in much more heavily on behalf of a project which has enjoyed my favor since I first became acquainted with it, namely the project, discussing specific issues concerning the 1962 Missal, which has become one of the pillars of the internet presence of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.

Anyway, a friend brought to my attention this omission on my part when he noted that he had read three of my comments on the FIUV Papers on the Liturgy. Now I am sure that I read the introduction and all of the papers, numbering 13 in all for now (for easy reference here). For some reason, despite the importance to me personally of nearly all 13 topics discussed, it seems as though I only had something to say about PP 3: The Manner of Receiving Communion, about PP 5: The Vulgate and Gallican Psalter, and about PP 11: Western Culture. Looking again, I can see that another three of the papers deserved posts from me: "deserved" in the sense that they masterfully handle issues dear to my own heart and do so in grand fashion. As I say, perhaps too serendipity, but then again, I do have a day job, as they say.

The genius of the 13 papers, to my mind, is that they do indeed teach and quite comprehensively, offering important lessons about why we need to focus more or better on the very real issue of what to do about the rupture in the continuity of our liturgical tradition which has come to be and not through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As important as it may be to get about the business of repairing, I find the work done by these papers to be of a prior importance to any decision about "reforming the reform" or "rebooting" after choosing a restoration point and establishing principles for the organic development of a restored Roman Rite. The FIUV Papers on the Liturgy really grapple with what the Holy Father calls the mutual enrichment of the two forms of the Roman Rite.

That said, what are the other three of the twelve I would like to have promoted the more? PP 4: Liturgical Orientation: It could be that I felt at a loss to add anything to one of the finer crafted pieces in the whole series. PP 6: Liturgical Pluralism: This particular text has what might be termed strategic value in terms of reasoning against the intolerance of the recent past which stifled what we now refer to as the Extraordinary Form of the Rite, not to mention the use of Latin in the celebration of Mass according to the Ordinary Form. PP 9: Silence (revised 10/10/12): More now so today than when the paper appeared a couple months back, thanks to various exchanges and reading the Evelyn Waugh material in "Bitter Trial", I appreciate even more the longing very regular Catholics have for genuine silence and, hence, the popularity of perpetual adoration. Silence must again become a hallmark of the Roman Rite, simply for the sake of our people.

Others might be drawn by the papers on Latin in the Liturgy or the study of Latin in the Seminary, the why and wherefore of perhaps adding some of the beautiful new prefaces to the 1962 Missal or not, questions about Eucharistic Fast and Holy Days of Obligation. Without wanting to be a reductionist about assessing their worth, let me say simply that reading and ruminating over the FIUV Papers on the Liturgy could serve as a marvelous primer for how to address what often ends up being controversial in a very different and respectful manner.


7 comments:

  1. Has Your Grace read Bishop Morlino's homily on "Turning towards the Lord". I published it on my blog. Cheers to you in this Advent Season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lux!
      I did and it is even better on audio.

      All the best for Gaudete Sunday!

      Delete
  2. Do you think that "ad orientem" worship will obtain throughout the Church.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Lux,

      I haven't really ever posed that question to myself. The rubrics of the Mass as we know it, were written for celebrating "ad Orientem" and have to be accomodated for celebrating from the opposite side of the altar from where the majority of the people are praying. Although it is common usage, I think our bishops and priests must become aware that, of the two options, oriented worship should also be their preferred choice. Nothing is quite as essential as this to restoring a sense of the sacred to worship, as it helps the priest focus on what he is about. He has to set the tone, accompanied of course by music and song which is also sacred in character.

      Delete
  3. I agree with you as my experience of celebrating 'ad orientem' certainly makes one more conscoius that one is standing before God, and not standing in front of an "audience". No matter how "pious" a person can be, there are under,yong factors whoch unconsciously affects the priest as he is "performing". Standing in front if his brothers and sisters and offering the Holy Sacrifice with everyone facing the Liturgical East certainly alters this consciousness that people are "watching Father at the Altar". I would hope that the powers that might be would convince our Holy Father to publish an encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy...otherwise the debate will remained comfined to very few persons and entire regions of the Globe will not re-discover the sacredness of the Liturgy. In a Caribbean diocese lately someone was suggesting a vigorous return to the "folk masses" of the 1970 ! Talking about an hermeneutic of rupture ! Direction needs to come from above in these very difficult times in the Life of the Church. Finally, I perceive that you seem to favour more and more the vetus Ordo, or "usus antiquior" as compared to your other writings. Have you experienced a change of opinion over the past few years (usus antiquior vs reform of the reform?).Thank you !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, Lux!

      To answer your question: ever since reading Dobszay's book on organic development and as I will point out in an upcoming post on Alcuin Reid's book on the history of the liturgy with emphasis on the Liturgical Movement, much is to be said about picking a point of "restore" and then continuing. The wisest thing for now however is the counsel of the Holy Father to allow the two forms of the one Rite to mutually enrich one another.

      Rather than legislate, especially for bishops, I think we need to find ways to acquaint them with the Holy Father's thought, as well as with the witness of people like yourself, who understand the urgency for respect for rubrics, of opting for ad Orientem, and for promoting the church as sacred space and for truly sacred music.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for your answer. Looking forward to your upcoming post.

    ReplyDelete