Thursday, March 9, 2017
JUST WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE LITURGY IN THE WORLD TODAY? IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK!
First Things has an article on the formlessness of the liturgy and how to reform the reform. Yawn!
Don't get me wrong, if more parishes were exposed to the EF Mass and every Catholic priest had a comfort level in celebrating it, I believe we would see this influencing the Ordinary Form, what is called erroneously "mutual enrichment."
It is said that young people when exposed to the EF prefer it, not in a nostalgic way, but because of its mystery and reverence. I have not seen statistics on this. However, in my previous parish we had a monthly EF Mass at one of our normal Sunday Masses and I didn't see the young flocking to it or saying let's do this every Sunday.
At the Cathedral here in Savannah which as a weekly EF High Mass, there is about 200 or less people attend. Given the number of Catholics in Savannah and the tourist population, it should be packed given what traditionalists say about the EF Mass and its appeal!
Prior to Vatican II there were two to three forms of the EF Mass, Low, High and Solemn High. Most parishes did not celebrate the Solemn High regularly. In a multiple Mass parish, only one would be the High Mass, the rest Low Masses. Most Catholics prior to Vatican preferred the Low Mass early in the morning because sit was simple and more importantly short!
I suspect with the OF Mass, if we had only one Sung Mass on Sunday and no singing of the Mass at the other Mass times, this would go over very well compared to offering the EF Mass every Sunday at all Masses low or high!
I wholeheartedly endorse what the recent letter on music in the Mass suggests. But this has to come from our pope and bishops and be a program of restoration and renewal.
But today, we not only have multiple Masses with multiple styles of music, good, bad and horrible, but we have different language Masses which presents an entire new set of problems for pastors trying to determine what is good music in Spanish, Vietnamese or Portuguese or whatever language! It is simply impossible today for most priest to present a coherent renewal of music in their parishes!
Yes, the EF Mass is important for the reform of the Ordinary Form, but much more is needed and most of it focuses on reverence in the OF Mass, its music and how to move forward in that realm, not only on the grassroots level, but more importantly on the level of bishops and their program of renewal they expect priests to implement!