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Current Hot Topic: Liturgy

  /   Thursday January 02, 2003  

It seems that we have a hot discussion about Liturgy going on at St. Blog’s. It’s time for my twenty-five cents :-).

Let’s recap . . . .

First, the original post by Jeff Culbreath that started it all. Mr. Culbreath asks if it is a sin to attend a Novus Ordo.

Then, Michelle of And Then? chimes in with this response.

I wrote this piece, but I don’t think I got into the meat of the discussion. I have written an earlier post about the Tridentine Mass here, when I attended for the first time. I haven’t been back, but I need to go back.

Finally, Dave Palwak chimes in here, and Michelle posts a snippet from her comments.

I’m sure there are others, but I don’t have the links. Be sure to read the comments. There are some good, thoughtful things there, too.

Now, for my twenty-five cents:

1. You will convince me of Geocentricism before you will convince me that it is a sin to attend the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo was approved by the Church who has the power to bind and loose.

2. Neither will you convince me that the Novus Ordo is an inferior rite. The apparent inferiority is a result of the pass-the-marijuana mentality that some “liturgists” have imposed on the Mass, among other things that have been imposed. Besides that, our translation stinks (Check this site out.). Getting a better translation will improve things significantly.

3. While I would never want to go back to the Tridentine Mass, there are some elements that I wish had been preserved. I would rather the priest face the same direction as the people during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I like kneeling to receive the Eucharist, and I like the silent canon of the Eucharistic prayer. Contemplation practically went by the wayside with the Novus Ordo.

4. On the other hand, there are good changes that came with the Novus Ordo. The use of the vernacular is in many ways a positive change. Some potential converts would probably give up before they could receive appropriate catechesis on the Liturgy if they Liturgy remained in Latin. I would have thought it was too weird myself. I was in high school.

5. There is a fine line to walk when we “vote with our feet.” If we alienate ourselves from our Ordinary, then we have effectively become Protestant. How can we hope for our Ordinary’s support of reverent Liturgy if we say nothing that doesn’t implicate him as being in league with the Antichrist?

6. Liturgy is, in my opinion, the most difficult subject to find authentic teaching on. I was totally clueless for several years before I picked up some orthodox sources. Even then, I regarded them as rigid for some time. When I convey the things I have read to others, they view my viewpoint as rigid. Even some priests who are basically orthodox seem to have some odd liturgical views. Often, the reason why people aren’t bothered by liturgical abuse is because they just don’t know better. When you tell them, they think you are overly obsessed by rules. Our culture hates rules.

7. Being stuck in a less-than-exemplary Liturgy can be offered up as a penance. We may well gain more merit from being at a Mass that is not offered very well than at a good one. However, I do not intend to imply that we should seek out the worst Mass that we can find and go to it. There comes a time in which we should avoid certain Masses because of their lack of reverence. However, I don’t think that church-shopping for the best Mass is always appropriate.

I don’t know whether I’ve addressed the discussion well or not. Maybe I am a little distant from it. Here in Memphis, it has been my observation that there are very few parishes in which you will find serious liturgical abuse. I rarely find more than a few odd wording changes.

The only problem we have is bad music. I belong to one of the few parishes that doesn’t use the OCP materials, but our music is still so artsy-fartsy that few can sing it. One parish uses what appears to be a kind of litrugical pop music that is also difficult for congregational singing, though it is good for listening at home. Our latest FOCIS conference invited John Angotti to talk about liturgical music for people of all ages. I didn’t go to the conference (It was pretty lame last year.), but I know that John Angotti isn’t my favorite muscian.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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