Thursday, May 17, 2018

ALL CATHOLICS SHOULD ENDORSE ROBUST ACTUAL AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE MASS, NO MATTER THE FORM, EAST AND WEST, AND THE MULTIUDE RITES IN THE ROMAN RITE (LATIN RITE)

 

 Topic of the Congregation for Divine Worship Plenary Session as Praytell is reporting

I hate the debate on actual/active participation. It is both spiritual (internal) and external. When I celebrate Mass in the vernacular or in Latin and I hear the congregation robustly sing or say their parts and in the most prayerful internalized faith they have, I am edified and their witness to the liturgical acts that belong to them strengthens my faith.

I must say that I get annoyed with the laity in whatever form of the Mass sit, stand or kneel as bumps on a log. Maybe they are faithful, mesmerized or otherwise engaged and practicing Catholics but their liturgical style of bump on logs approach to the Mass isn't sacramental--there has to be sacramental signs of their actual participation that is at its foundation spiritual, faith-filled by the grace of God but also external by the grace of God.

This brings me to what Fr. Anthony of Praytell is reporting (with my concluding comments at the end):

The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments is holding a plenary session in February 2019, as Pray Tell reported.  Pray Tell has learned that the proposed topic for this plenary session is:
The Liturgical Formation of the People of God.
It’s a rich topic with many aspects, and the treatment of it might extend in several possible directions.
The wording of the topic suggests a  commitment to the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized that the church is the entire “People of God.” As the Vatican’s International Theological Commission affirmed in 1984,
‘One can say, indeed, that the expression “people of God” has come to stand for the ecclesiology of the Council.”
MY COMMENTS: For Fr. Anthony, ecclesiology once again becomes that golden calf of worship rather than what the Mass is intended to be, the worship of God the Father through His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Once again the problem since the council and before is peripheral aspects of the Church and her liturgy become the object of adoration and not God Himself and the Sacrifice of His only Begotten Son to save us from eternal damnation because of our sinfulness.

I pray that this plenary session helps the Church in all forms of her liturgy to include the Eastern Rites and all our Latin Rites, (which also includes the Extraordinary Form) to understand what actual participation is in a hierarchically ordered Church each with his or her own responsibilities and calling!

Let's not make gods or gold calves out of ecclesiology or peripheral aspects of the liturgy.

16 comments:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"For Fr. Anthony, ecclesiology once again becomes that golden calf of worship rather than what the Mass is intended to be, the worship of God the Father through His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Ecclesiology is not a Golden Calf. (Neither is Christology or Soteriology or Eschatology or any of the theological sciences.)

Ecclesiology is the study of the nature and structure of the Church.

Ecclesiology is expressed in worship: We (The People of God) gather to worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (what the mass is intended to be). That is how it should be. We, the creatures, sinful and sorrowful, assemble in faith to worship God through our participation in the Divine Mystery.

Our full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy is how we express or live out or make our "sacramental sign" external in our worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

An atheist could appreciate the study of Christ as an academic pursuit which Christology is and to make Christology, the academic pursuit of Christ central to one's Catholic life is idolatrous as is making the study of the organization of the Church one's most important understanding of worship.

Thanks for making my point---worship isn't an academic pursuit be it Scripture study, ecclesiology, Christology or eschatology.

Worship is being swept up into the love of God and giving thanks and praise to Him for it and the greatest sacrifice which can be actively and passively received.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. Anthony has not made the study of ecclesiology central to the act of worship.

No one sits in Church, I hope, with an ecclesiology text in his/her hands, believing that text or the academic pursuit of an advanced degree in ecclesiology is going to save him/her.

He has described what we know - that ecclesiology describes the nature and structure of the Church, including the Church at worship during mass.

Henry said...

"you've gotta love it!"

Only if the circular sanctuary, with its butcher-block altar, is actually a revolving platform that rotates full circle during the Canon. So that everyone in the pews enjoys the manifold spiritual benefits of ad orientem celebration, at least part of the time.

Marc said...

Only by joining together as the collective People of God can the individual believer actualize his or her irrevocable calling as a person made in the image and likeness of God. Vatican II's communio ecclesiology can only be properly understood when the communion of God's people enter into their liturgia, which is proper to their role as children of God.

Further, it is only within that collective framework that an individual can activate his innate spiritual sense as it is immanantized as part of the worship community. That is how the people of God "become Church," as it were. The community is absolutely necessary for both the individual believer's experience to take place and to be formed by the spiritual sense of each member of the community.

So it is perfectly clear that ecclesiology plays a major role in forming the liturgy since the liturgy cannot exist without a properly understood sense of the communion of all the individual believers, upon whose personal experience the liturgy depends for its very existence.

TJM said...

Ah, before Vatican Disaster II, disagreements like this would not have occurred. Just another "glory" to spout about!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

So as I celebrate the EF Mass I am suppose to think about Fr. Ruff's idolatry that the EF Mass doesn't actualize the people of God ecclesioogy as well as when I am celebrating the OF Mass. It is absurd to compare any Mass be it the EF or OF or Eastern Rites and say that one Mass is better at true ecclesiology than the other--absolutely absurd and inimical to what the Mass actual is--the worship of Christ by those in attendance as well as the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant.

So, I ask FrMJK what is different about the ecclesiology of the two Masses I celebrate given the fact that all three aspects of the Church, militant, suffering and triumphant are present?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"So as I celebrate the EF Mass I am suppose to think about Fr. Ruff's idolatry that the EF Mass doesn't actualize the people of God ecclesioogy as well as when I am celebrating the OF Mass."

Who suggested that you should think about anything?

"So, I ask FrMJK what is different about the ecclesiology of the two Masses I celebrate given the fact that all three aspects of the Church, militant, suffering and triumphant are present?"

We've done this one before, Allan, and you steadfastly refused to join in a serious conversation about ecclesiology and then Cardinal Ratzinger's essay.

ByzRC said...

"I pray that this plenary session helps the Church in all forms of her liturgy to include the Eastern Rites and all our Latin Rites, (which also includes the Extraordinary Form) to understand what actual participation is in a hierarchically ordered Church each with his or her own responsibilities and calling!"

Though a laudable notion, I'll submit that the Eastern Churches are mostly and already well acquainted with the meaning of active vs interior participation and, in the first instance, are not in need of guidance from our Roman big brother.

Victor said...

The Church is a mystery so it will always be problematic to give a complete or robust definition of the Church which is what ecclesiology is about. Fr Ruff and other neo-Modernists claim that the definition of the Church before and after V2 is radically different. If so, are we to assume that the Church before and after V2 are not the same churches? After all, when you change the nature or essence of something, it is no longer the same thing. Ecclesiology can refine definitions, but when they are radically changed, there is a grave problem.

It is interesting that ecclesiology became such an issue last century, because "the Church" was precisely what the Modernists and neo-Modernists wanted to redefine, before, during, and after the Council. In redefining what the Church is, you also had to redefine what man is, as that new conception called "modern man", and therefore what liturgy is in relation to modern man.

Fr Komonchak of CUA summarised 20 years ago, many of the problemata regarding ecclesiology in the Vatican II documents, which, as he pointed out, were all concerned with elaborating the nature of the Church, specifically as she related to the modern world:

http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/RDSpeeches/99Ecclesiology.cfm

I keep mentioning the victory of the neo-Modernists in the (new?) Church of Vatican 2. For those who have the time (2.5 hours), here is a wonderful lecture on this by Dr. William H. Marshner of Christendom College on how the Modernists were finally victorious in the Church (in 2 parts):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVS-kOW6eM8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of1zMRtALLQ

George said...

Participation in the Body of Christ is of course a co-operative response to God's freely given grace. We should participate in Mass with the proper spiritual disposition, a desire to pray well and to connect to God' s love for us, so that in this way what is intended will be what is effected. After all, Christ, with His intention to participate in our human nature, did so and by doing so, through His Suffering and Death enabled our participation in His Divine life. In the Divine Trinity we find the participation of the community of Persons who function as one Being. So likewise though we are a singular being, our worship of God is as one community and our spiritual participation, even when alone, is as part of the one
Body of Christ.

Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072), Bishop, Doctor of the Church Opuscule 11 “Dominus vobiscum”:

"If those who believe in Christ are one, no matter where any particular one of them happens physically to be, the whole body of the Church is there through the sacramental mystery. And everything suitable to the whole body seems suitable to each one of its members... Hence it is that, when several of the faithful are together, they can say: “Incline your ear, O Lord; answer me, for I am afflicted and poor. Keep my life, for I am devoted to you” (Ps 86[85]:1-2). And when we are alone , we can still sing: “Let us all sing joyfully to God our strength; acclaim the God of Jacob” (Ps 81[80]:2). It is not misplaced for us all to say together: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth” (Ps 34[33]:2) nor, when I find myself alone , to proclaim: “Glorify the Lord with me, let us together extol his name” and many other, similar expressions. Solitude prevents nobody from speaking in the plural while the mass of the faithful can just as well express themselves in the singular. The Holy Spirit's power, which dwells in each of the faithful and encircles them all, means that in the latter case there is a peopled solitude and in the former a great many who form but one."

TJM said...

This NO mantra on actuosa participatio has morphed into something never intended by the Council Fathers. It has become like the Levee at the court of Louis XIV - hand me a sock, hand me my underwear, blah, blah, blah. Actual participation has almost nothing to do with external participation, but everything to do with internal, spiritual participation. NEWSFLASH, most of us, armed with our Missals and proper Catholic training were already doing this before the liturgical "progressives" mucked things up.

Joe Potillor said...

The ability to get oneself lost in the Liturgy is something that the West has generally forgotten, or in 99.99% of the parishes in the west doesn't happen. I would agree with byzRC that the East does not need to learn so much on the active participation part from the occasional Roman overlords :p.



Gene said...

"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies...take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But, let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream." (Amos 5:21-24) I think our priorities are skewed.

Marc said...

There's a rather major difference between the Old Testament sacrifices and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Namely, the O.T. sacrifices availed nothing in themselves, principally serving a two-fold role of, first, forcing the Israelites to sacrifice those very animals they were prone to worship as idols and, second, representing a type of the One True Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.

Our priorities can only be skewed when we fail to recognize the centrality of the Mass in the life of the Church: it is the summit and the source of the Christian Faith. Since it is Calvary represented, it is the most important action taking place on the earth each time it is offered.

The supposition that the mass should serve ecclesiology instead of ecclesiology serving the mass is errant. That is the same sort of inverted, man-first theology that is otherwise found in the post-Vatican II millieu, though.

Anonymous said...

My NO parish priest walks down to the altar in a casual manner, swinging his arms. Sometimes he genuflects mostly just makes a slight bow before the altar table even though the tabernacle is directly behind the table. He is not a deliberately disrespectful person but his ad hoc movements impress us that where he is and what he is doing is just ordinary ambulatory activity. There is no rite to the rite. I also attend Eastern rite masses when TLM is not available. Only the NO is utterly un-sacred, formless performance.

Interestingly, this totally informal, de-ritualized worship model can be argued to have been borrowed from secular culture. For example dancing, a community activity, as generally engaged in today also tends to be a formless activity where the expression of emotions takes on a formless, chaotic character, emphasizing the most basic goal which appears to be individual physical exhaustion.

So, the NO rite is formless active participation for participation's sake, where individuals can enact any random emotion not shared at all by others in the assembly. So much for community worship, no shared goal of offering the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to the Father. Add to this cheesy music and the aesthetic, never mind the sacred quality of the Mass is now pushed to a totally meaningless level. Cain's sacrifice to the the Lord was of poor quality and the Lord did not receive it well. That is or most often is the NO Mass, Cain's sacrifice.