Sunday, February 8, 2015
IS THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AS COMMONLY CELEBRATED IN A HORIZONTAL WAY A FORM OF GODLESS SECULARISM, A PARTICULARLY DASTARDLY KIND OF INCULTURATION?
In in effort by the priest or bishop at many liturgies to be warm, inviting and hospitable, the momentum of prayer, rightly religious, is often disrupted by a distracting form of secular, horizontal greetings, that reduces the congregation to welcomed guests in their own home or worse yet makes baptized visitors feel as though a Catholic Mass is somehow someone else's Mass when they are in a different church, thus the need to welcome them. This betrays the universalism of Catholicism that tends to be very suspicious of congregationalism. I always thought I was in my Father's house no matter which one and certainly not a guest to be welcomed!
But think of the trajectory and continuity of the Introductory Rite of an Ordinary Form Mass celebrated properly. It is transcendent. The chanted Introit is prayer, the Sign of Cross and religous greeting keep the focus on the sacred, not the banal or secular, the invitation to acknowledge our sins and God's mercy keeps up the momentum. The Kyrie and Gloria keeps us soaring. Then the Collect brings us to a finale prior to the Liturgy of the Word which indeed is horizontal and directed to all of us clergy and laity alike.
But what happens at funerals, weddings and many Sunday Masses? We start off great, get through a processional hymn of some kind, start with the Sign of the Cross and greeting and bam, the priest changes the venue from the transcendent and vertical to the secular and horizontal and completely disrupts the trajectory of prayer begun at the procession.
He launches into a secular greeting of some kind in a very warm way. Then he welcomes the congregation to their own home. Worse yet, if their are other clergy at the Mass, he welcomes them and introduces them by name. It is horrible and bishops are some of the worst perpetrators of this sort of thing.
Then to get back on track, the priest tries to get people back into a religious, transcendent sort of frame of mind. But it is too late. The transcendence is lost!
I like what Cardinal Mueller had to say in the post below this one. It has implications for the Liturgy!
Cardinal Mueller was speaking of our culture today, but his words could easily be an indictment of the Ordinary Form of the Liturgy as it is celebrated in so many place (and not intended by the Church actually to be such) and how bishops and priests in the manner in which they celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass have capitulated to this mindset, an errant form of inculturation from a very, very corrupt culture:
Never before, the German cardinal writes, has the world “encountered such radicalism which tends to define man without God, closing the door to transcendence and destroying the common foundations of the human person.”
“The challenge for the hierarchy and for all members of the Church is to resist these worldly infections”, he says, also in the “treatment of these spiritual of diseases of our time.”
Pope Francis, he says in closing, “is pursuing a spiritual cleansing of the temple, at the same time both painful and liberating, so the glory of God can shine in the Church and be a light for all people. Recalling then, like the disciples of the Lord, the words of Scripture, "Zeal for your house will consume me" (John, 2, 17).