Wednesday, August 17, 2011
PHOBIAS ON BOTH SIDES THE THE MASS DIVIDE
Progressives who embrace the "spirit" of Vatican II grind their teeth in suppressed anger at those who wish to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and desire strong catechesis based upon sound doctrine.
Those who prefer the EF Mass and Baltimore Catechism look at what has happened to the Church since Vatican II, especially the dramatic decline in the percentage of Catholics who attend Mass each Sunday and the seemingly lack of strong conviction about the faith from those formed by wishy-washy catechesis in the 1970's and 80's, and wonder what planet those who push the "spirit" of Vatican II live on.
Progressives say that the EF Mass stymies participation of the laity, exalts the clericalism of the clergy and thwarts authentic growth in spirituality and becoming an adult decision maker in morality. They also deride the limited amount of Scripture read during this Mass over the course of a year.
Shouldn't there be more discussion and foment from bishops who are the primary liturgists of each diocese and maybe even more leadership from the Congregation of Divine Worship to look at blending the best of both worlds into each form of the Liturgy with the hope of one day having one reformed Mass that doesn't appear to be such a dramatic break with what had preceded it?
Just some thoughts on this, nothing dogmatic:
1. Why can't the EF Mass be celebrated in the vernacular, or at least some major parts of it, except maybe the Roman Canon and quiet parts of the priest?
2. Why can't kneeling for Holy Communion become the norm for both forms of the Mass, thus indicating that the reverence and spirituality of both forms of the Mass are not different and comparisons between the "reverence" of standing and kneeling are no longer a point of contention?
3. Why can't the OF Mass be celebrated Ad Orientem or the EF Mass facing the people? I know that question is a hot potato and I do sympathize with those who say facing the people tempts the priest to look at the congregation while he is praying to God and to become more of a performer rather than a leader of liturgical prayer. I'm inclined to sympathize with the move toward Ad Orientem for a whole host of reasons.
4. Why can't the revised OF lectionary of the Mass become the norm for both forms of the Mass allowing the EF's one year lectionary for Sundays to become a 4th year option, year D?
5. Why can't the soon to be released revised English Roman Missal not also have an "EF" form of the Mass while still keeping the vernacular, all the prayers, calendar and lectionary? That would be oh so simple to do!
Just some thoughts on overcoming current day phobias that exist in our polarized Church and her liturgy.