Friday, February 20, 2015

Mutual Enrichment?

A dear friend of mine from the Caribbean wrote me to ask if I was going to discuss these Zenit quotes attributing a certain stance to the Holy Father regarding the reform of the reformed liturgy. While I was thinking about it, Joseph Shaw came out with a super article over at LMS Chairman. I recommend the article as totally respectful, super level-headed and thought provoking.

He is right in affirming that although the Ordinary and Extraordinary are two Forms of the same Roman Rite, well, to simplify a bit, they don't really mix all that well. Mr. Shaw might even say they don't mix at all. I am fine with that, not only because of the reason with which he argues the point but because of the very different character/nature of the two forms. Especially when it comes to the profound silence of a Low Mass, we are talking about something which is totally foreign to the Novus Ordo daily Mass crowd. Taking one or the other as your point of departure and proceeding to cut and paste cannot be justified.

Our author counsels using the freedom which is ours since Summorum Pontificum and offering the Extraordinary Form liturgy in a parish at its own time, not supplanting Ordinary Form offerings presently on the parish schedule; he is confident people will be drawn to the Mass of the Ages. One of the great scandals or tragedies of the post-conciliar reform was the arbitrariness and often violence with which it was imposed. I applaud Joseph for his sensitivity in this matter.

Nonetheless, the Ordinary Form cannot be left to so much in its regard which has been and is abuse, especially with regard to music, preaching, dance, exaggerated offertory processions, riotous exchanges of the sign of peace, and the casual saunter to dead run Communion processions which leave no sense of the Real Presence. I think that decorum, respect for the rubrics which are there and opting for preparing the gifts and praying the Eucharistic Prayer ad Orientem are not impositions on people but the minimum to be sought after (in all charity) in faithfulness to the Second Vatican Council. 

Our dear Pope Emeritus Benedict did not give us a blue-print for whither the "mutual enrichment" of the two forms should lead us, but at some point we hope and pray that the Supreme Legislator will deem it time to intervene. When that day comes, I am convince that the arbitrary which has plagued us for nearly a half century will give way to something which we "Romans" too can call Divine Liturgy.

Anyway, read Shaw and pray for a restoration of our continuity with a tradition as old as the Church itself!

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