Thursday, June 28, 2012
MONSIGNOR ANDREW WADSWORTH STINGING CRITIQUE OF THE CLOSING MASS OF THE EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN IRELAND!
My comment first: YIKES, He hits the nail on the head and what further is there to write, read it and weep! How ironic that at a Eucharistic Congress where the Holy Father gives an locution on the nature of Liturgy and the on-going need for the reform of the reform that the liturgy itself in Dublin makes evident the problem to which the Holy Father speaks!
Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth stinging appraisal of the Dublin Mass:
"The Holy Father then went on to say (in a video message to the assembly at the Closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin) that:
“not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and "active participation" has been confused with external activity”
"In my view, this is the very crux of the matter and I would like to illustrate it with reference to the Mass at which Pope Benedict’s remarks were heard – the closing Mass of the recent Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. The improvements in liturgical culture and particularly the improvements in liturgical music, that have become increasingly evident throughout this papacy, particularly in large-scale celebrations were sadly almost entirely absent from this occasion, giving the event a sort of ‘eighties’ feel to it. More specifically:
- the entire liturgy had a ‘performance’ quality to it, with the assembly as the principal focus. This was borne out by the fact that musicial items were frequently greeted with applause.
- There was a frequent disregard for the provisions of the GIRM. This was particularly evident with reference to music:
+ None of the antiphons of the proper were sung for the entrance, offertory and communion processions (cf GIRM #40)
+ Gregorian Chant was conspicuous by its absence (cf GIRM #41). None of the Missal chants was used for the people’s parts of the Order of Mass (with the single exceptions of the gospel and preface dialogues), even though the liturgy was predominantly in English and these chants would have been known by most people present.
+ In the Profession of Faith, after the Cardinal celebrant had intoned Credo III, lectors read the Apostles’ Creed (which has a different intonation to the Nicene Creed) in a variety of languages, spoken paragraphs were punctuated by the sung response ‘Credo, Amen!” This is not recognizably one of the modes for the Creed described in the GIRM (cf GIRM #48).
+ Much music did not ‘correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action’ [GIRM #41] such as the celebrity spot during the distribution of Holy Communion of 3 clerical tenors, ‘The Priests’, singing the impossibly sentimental song “May the road rise up to meet you”. I feel like asking, just what is wrong with the Communion antiphon and psalm?
+ Despite the international character of the occasion, the use of Latin in the people’s sung parts was almost non-existent (cf GIRM #41).
The depressing cumulative effect of the disregard for all these principles in a major liturgy, celebrated by a papal legate, and broadcast throughout the world, is hard to underestimate. If I were given to conspiracy theories, I would almost feel persuaded that this was a deliberately calculated attempt to broadcast a different message and to oppose the better liturgical spirit of recent times. But surely it cannot be so?
I think we have to ask such questions and indeed to surmise that the influence of former barons of the liturgical establishment has found a new and conspicuous arena of activity in which to model their example of poor liturgy. There can be no talk of the reform of the Roman Rite until the GIRM is enforced as the minimum requirement. If it remains a largely fantasy text at the beginning of our altar missals then ‘the rebuilding of the broken down city’ will take a very long time."