Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO OF LITURGICAL RENEWAL AS UNDERSTOOD FOR THE PAST 50 YEARS

What Cardinal Robert Sarah did with his liturgical editorial in L'osserverato Romano last week is what Pope Benedict had done. Both have taken a razor and shredded the status quo litmus test of what authentic liturgical renewal for the Church means and given us a brand new, but authentic to our tradition, hermeneutic. For those of the post-Vatican II ideologies concerning a somehow dogmatically new ecclesiology that then shapes the liturgy and the architecture in which it is celebrated, this is very, very, very threatening as it debunks their false gods and the premise which has shaped the deconstruction of Catholic Church churches and her liturgy.

Let's face it, the liturgy prior to Vatican II wasn't broken. That doesn't mean that there were not misunderstandings about the laity's participation, what they should and shouldn't do and how the priest was to comport himself. A 15 minute Low Mass boggles my mind.

But let's face it, prior to Vatican II in the USA almost 90% of all Catholic minimally practiced their Catholic Faith by attending Sunday Mass regularly and at least going to confession once a year and receiving Holy Communion once a year during the Easter Season. That is an astounding statistic and reads SUCCESS!

Today in large northeast metropolitan areas, hotbeds of progressive silliness and secularism, the Church does well if 12% of Catholics attend Mass. The problem is that of the 12% attending, we're not sure just how Catholic they are. They are all over the place even to the point of disagreeing if Christ is truly present under the form of Bread and Wine or if the Mass is even a sacrifice. That is quite corrput to say the least.

The Mass prior to Vatican II was not broken although some aspects of lay participation was wanting. The Ordinary Form is broken and needs repair. It's brokenness has led to a very, very, very broken, divided and dysfunctional Church.

What Cardinal Sarah and Pope Benedict before have done is to chart a new course and hermeneutic not by calling into question the modest reforms requested by Sacrosanctum Concilium, that would be suicide for the Catholic Church, but calling into question the advisability of some of the actual reforms that went beyond SC. These were post-Vatican II decisions and implemented by the proper authority of the pope but not above questioning. Pope Benedict questioned Pope Paul VI's ratification of what Pope Benedict called a "manufactured" liturgy which broke with Sacred Tradition in terms of organic development of the liturgy which was actually occurring since the 1920's and the so-called new liturgical movement of that era.

As I mentioned, the Ordinary Form Missal is not going to be suppressed in favor of returning exclusively to the EF Missal. Pope Benedict did state that he felt that some of the newer Masses for various causes could be added to the EF Missal as well as newer prefaces. In a sense, if these marvelous additional Masses were added, the prefaces added and the expanded modern lectionary as years b, c, and d in addition to the EF's lectionary, and the allowance of the changing parts of the Mass to be in the vernacular, save the propers, wouldn't we have all the reforms that SC envisioned? And wouldn't the 1962 Missal be basically then the Ordinary Form of the Missal?

What Cardinal Sarah debunks about post-Vatican II liturgical ideology  is the following:

1. That one can still have the PATFOTA with the Ordinary Form

2. That priests and laity should face the same direction throughout the entire Mass (save for the Liturgy of the Word, I would presume) with the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which means that all the silly rearranging of liturgical spaces after Vatican II was a colossal waste of time, energy, money and resources and divided Catholics in a very polarizing way

3. That filled Silences are bad, such as the quiet Eucharistic Prayer and people don't constantly have to be doing something

4. That profane clothing should not be worn in the Sanctuary during Mass

5. That the EF's Offertory Prayers are perfectly suitable for the Ordinary Form--which is a bombshell as so many in the post-Vatican II era denigrated these as a kind of Eucharistic Prayer, such silly rubbish then and now!

6. The Last Gospel could easily be a part of the Ordinary Form

Unfortunately, the other elephant in the room that Cardinal Sarah did not seem to address is liturgical music and the proliferation of the use of hymns of dubious quality and dubious instrumentation during the Mass and a failure to chant the actual parts of the Mass by the priest, choir and congregation!

Chanting the Mass should be given priority over the proliferation of hymns that have no place in the Mass, especially what is called contemporary hymns or worship and praise music!

In the 1980's and 90's for me to enunciate in writing what I have just written would have earned me such condemnation as being so pre-Vatican II ( the equivalent in the crass Church of the "spirit of Vatican II"  of using the "n" word in pre-desegragated southern society).

But with friends like Pope Benedict and Cardinal Sarah, I can get away with it today! My how much we have grown since the 1980's!

2 comments:

Joe Potillor said...

It's rather a good thing, and I'm not going to be cynical. The status quo needs to go.

John Nolan said...

Confusion abounds here. Take this paragraph -

'In a sense, if these marvellous additional Masses were added, the Prefaces added an the expanded modern lectionary as years b, c and d in addition to the EF's lectionary, and the allowance of the changing parts of the Mass to be in the vernacular, save the propers, wouldn't we have all the reforms that SC envisaged?'

One hardly knows where to start on this, but here goes:

1. The 3-year OF Sunday lectionary is unwieldy and problematical enough. Who in their right mind would want a 4-year cycle?
2. In any case, the EF lectionary is a yearly cycle which links with the Mass Propers and the Office. The Mass of the day should not be seen in isolation from the daily Office.
3. The changing parts of the Mass are the Propers, by definition. So to allow the vernacular for the changing parts of the Mass 'save the Propers' is not to allow the vernacular at all.
4. SC was essentially the Bugnini draft schema, slightly modified. What the Council fathers envisaged or expected is another matter, since Bugnini (once reinstated by Paul VI) went on to fabricate a new rite of Mass which all along was what the authors of SC intended.
5. To say that the Council never mandated the destruction of the Roman Rite, the abandonment of Latin, the change of orientation and everything else is a truism. Yet Inter Oecumenici (issued while the Council was still in session) charted the way forward, was backed by the Pope, and was seen as the first step to implementing SC.