Monday, February 13, 2012
THE RENEWAL OF THE LITURGY IS MORE THAN JUST THE REFORM OF THE REFORM BUT NOW WITHIN CONTINUITY, IT IS ABOUT THE PRESENTATION OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH AND NOT SOME CONCOCTION THAT EVOLVED AFTER VATICAN II AND NOT INTENDED, EVER, BY VATICAN II, ONLY INTENDED BY ELITISTS TRYING TO MAKE CATHOLICISM PALATABLE TO THE WORLD
I think too that there was too much experimentation and inculturation that has placed a wedge between Catholics of other cultures with each other--we lost some universalism with much of this. But let me reiterate, I am in favor of all kinds of inculturation with popular devotions including music. I just think we need more strictness concerning the Mass and what can or cannot be done there.
Also I am very grateful for the privilege of having once again the Missal of 1962, the Mass that was celebrated according to it since the Council of Trent called for it and even the Second Vatican Council used. At this point, I only pray that some vernacular be allowed for this missal as the Vatican II's document on the Liturgy asks as well as more lavish use of Scritpures for that. My suggestion has always been the following:
1. Prayers at the Foot of the Altar with a vernacular option
2. All prayers that change with a vernacular option, such as the introit and other antiphons, the collect, secret and Post Communion Prayer and the prefaces
3. The use of the revised post-Vatican II Lectionary
The 2011 English Roman Missal with an Extraordinary Form Order of the Mass and in English.
But even if there are no further changes to the Mass than what we have already for the Ordinary Form, I think there needs to be clarification on inculturation and styles of music and the return of the mandated Introit and other antiphons and a new emphasis on Gregorian Chant and music that is in keeping with chant, polyphony and even Anglican Chant and chants of other Liturgical Protestant churches.
Simply requiring kneeling as the norm and standing as the exception for Holy Communion will go a long way in recapturing a sense of the sacred that was so powerful prior to the revisions of the Mass.
Finally there needs to be a renewal of preaching that enables preachers at Mass to address the content of the Catholic Faith found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There needs to be an official syllabus of what must be covered every year and in an organized, methodical fashion.
Relying solely on the Gospel and other readings for the content of preaching has not passed onto our Catholic faithful the content of the Church's complete teachings nor inspired them to live Catholics lives by giving them concrete ways to do that. This may well suggest why a majority of Catholics support what President Obama is trying to do to the Catholic Church and other faith based institutions--remove religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Catholics should be the most sensitive to this kind of dictatorship.
But there is hope that we are officially in the era of the post Vatican II Church where we are rediscovering what came before the Council and that the Council was not a rupture with that, but in continuity.
Our spiritual battle with the world will be enhanced with this rediscovery and also with the EF Mass and the revised Ordinary Form of the Mass both of which will wonderfully lead to the law of prayer making for the law of belief.