Sunday, March 25, 2012
INDIFFERENCE TO THE CHURCH AMONGST THE YOUNG AND LITURGICAL QUESTIONS
I was blown away by Anonymous who commented on March 24 at 9:58 PM on Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Reform.... He is an 18 year old and made some rather profound and insightful comments concerning Vatican II and the state of young people his age today. Read his comment there. But in terms of young people's indifferentism he observes the following:
"I am an 18 year old male. I do agree that most (around 75%) of Catholic youth are disinterested in the Church, and I honestly believe this is the Church's own fault. I will, however, make one point. I do know several very interested Catholic youth (16-24) in my parish and online, and the funny thing is that we all prefer the EF, we all like Catholic tradition, and we all love strong and teaching-rich homilies. So it is true that most Catholic youth are disenchanted, but the ones who remain committed are strangely all very similar in liturgical preferences and otherwise..."
I think Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski would also observe along with me that our young people for the most part seem indifferent to the faith, even those in our Catholic High School. They are good kids, but don't seem to have a fire in their belly for the Catholic faith, nor do they seem to have a sense of "awe and wonder" in the presence of God. Does it boil down to a lack of proper transmission of the faith and spirituality of the Church as well as a strong devotion and reverence toward God? Does the modern Mass fail to communicate to them through powerful signs the reverence that is due to God? Is there "fear of God" as one understands this as a "Gift of the Holy Spirit?" The law of prayer is the law of belief and if the law is corrupted in some form belief will also be corrupted.
The teenagers that I observe as being the most interested in the Faith of the Church and her strong spirituality and devotional life are teenagers who have parents who take a vital interest in forming their children in the ways of faith and do so at home with a powerful "home Catholic spirituality." In other words they don't leave it to others to form their children in the ways of faith; they do it themselves and through a variety of ways.
The three classes of teenagers that I have found most on fire for Jesus Christ and His Church in my 32 years of ministry are the following:
1. In Augusta, children formed by parents in a charismatic covenant community. They loved community, but more importantly they love the Lord and are willing to be followers of Him. I'm not particularly enamored with charismatic spirituality that is more Protestant than Catholic and I don't personally care for worship and praise music, especially of the charismatic kind, but something wonderful happens in these kinds of close nit communities, similar to strong ethnic (ghetto) Catholic parishes of the first half of the 20th century. My fervent prayer for the Alleluia Community is that it would move from its charismatic spirituality (which today is a bit dated) to an Extraordinary Form spirituality. But the Lord hasn't answered my prayer yet. But the Catholic kids there are very well catechized in the truths of the faith.
2. Home Schooled Catholic kids seem to be more on fire and interested in their faith too. I'm very impressed with the children of parents who use Catholic homeschooling programs, such as Seton, or any home schooling with an emphasis too on the Catholic Faith. These kids are well formed in the spirituality and traditions of the Church and they don't have to be inundated with peer pressure to appear indifferent to the Faith. I find home schooled kids to be very well rounded and sociable and know how to relate appropriately and respectfully around adults. Oh, and Seton Home Schooling curriculum uses the Baltimore Catechism for religion. I wonder if that is the elephant in the room that explains the inexplicable interest home schooling teenagers have for the faith. Of course, home schooling implies very dramatically that parents are involved intimately in all aspects of their children's education including religious formation. That is the key!
3. Teenagers who are searching for truth on their own and personally answer God's call by doing research on their own and turning to God and the Catholic Church to give their lives meaning and purpose seem to be very interested in the Church.They may be going through some kind of crisis and Catholicism is where God's actual grace has led them to find the healing, direction and purpose of life they need.
I'd like the 18 year old I note above to let us know how he became so interested in the Catholic faith, in terms of his educational and parental background.
Now to something else off-topic but maybe related:
Sacrosanctum Concilium states the following rather explicitly, although, in the modern liturgy, this Vatican II teaching has truly been ignored by modern priests who use the liturgy for their own purposes:
3. "Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority."
I don't know if there is anything official, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that with the two forms of the one Roman Rite allowed today, that there should not be mixing and matching of the two forms but respect for the two forms as they are currently designed to be celebrated according the rubrics and general instruction of each. Does anyone know of any official statement on this?
If so, this would seem to imply that the Ordinary Form is indeed a rupture with what is the basis for its reform, the Extraordinary Form, since the Ordinary Form is in fact a reform to the latter. Does this not in fact confirm the fact that there has been a rupture in how the EF Mass was reformed?
But my question concerns the OF Mass and the EF's influence upon how it can be celebrated today.Technically there is no rubric stating that either form has to be celebrated ad orientem or toward the people. One can face the altar and face the people at the same time, St. Peter's is an example. No matter what side of a free standing altar you are on, you are facing it.
However, can the following be added to the OF Mass?:
1. When celebrating ad orientem, each time the priest turns toward the congregation, may he kiss the altar as a priest must do in the EF?
2. When celebrating ad orientem, may the Collect and Post Communion Prayer be said/chanted at the Epistle side of the Altar?
3. When consecrating the Host and Precious Blood, may two genuflections as in the EF Mass be practiced for each consecration as in the EF Mass?
4. May the priest add yet another genuflection after the "Great Amen" which screams for a genuflection in the OF Mass (and was customary early on in the OF Mass, because it was prescribed in the 1965 missal which changed the rubric of the Per Ipsum and made it like the 1973 missal's ritual for it.
5. May the Penitential Act be prayed with the congregation kneeling and the priest bowing? May the profound bow of the "Incarnatus Est" of the Credo be replaced with the EF's genuflection at all OF Masses when the Creed is chanted or recited?
Can the following be allowed in the EF Mass?
1. There is explicit permission for the Scriptures to be read in the vernacular in the Low Mass without having to read them first in Latin. Does this extend to the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons as well as the Last Gospel as these are Scripture too?
2. Is it allowed to read or chant the readings in the normal parish High Mass (sung) when there is no deacon or sub deacon? I believe the High Mass without deacon and sub deacon is a pastoral solution for parishes to have a sung Mass, when these parishes have no deacons and sub deacons. Am I correct about this?