Saturday, January 25, 2020


Pope Francis uses liturgy to help ‘hear the voice of the Lord and feel welcomed’

Pope Francis uses liturgy to help ‘hear the voice of the Lord and feel welcomed’

The same Crux interview with the same Monsignor which I commented below this post has this to say about the Liturgy, which I basically applaud. My comments in red:

Any predictions on any future liturgical reforms or surprises we can expect from Francis?

(Monsignor Kevin Irvin): I confess to being a better historian than a fortuneteller! But I do know that about a year ago the international leadership of the Congregation for Divine Worship (not just those in that office in the Vatican) met in Rome to discuss liturgical formation. This is to say their meeting did not deal with this text or that, about a style of music or a rubric for the liturgy. Liturgical formation concerns appreciating what is occurring in and through the liturgy. Some examples are:

- The importance of the proclamation of the Word of God and preaching at the liturgy. (This is evidenced by Pope Francis calling for the third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be an annual Sunday to emphasize the Word of God. I judge this is one way to highlight what is always in the liturgy. The proclamation of saving events and deeds and that their proclamation implies that these deeds are happening still in the act of the liturgy. (Good so far, nothing to disagree about!)

- The importance of active participation of all in the gathered liturgical assembly who by our baptism into the Church as a royal, baptismal priesthood become partakers together in these sacred mysteries.(I hope that the excesses of the baptismal priesthood of the laity don't further protestantize Catholicism to the laization of the priests as happened at the Reformation. And I hope he isn't referring to active participation meaning having a ton of want-to-be second class priests in the sanctuary, meaning the clericalization of some of the laity. I hope by active participation is the internal understanding and participating in the Sacred Mysteries even in a Korean or Spanish Mass that a participant may not understand.)

- The importance of appreciating the celebration of the liturgy as our continual experience of the paschal dying and rising of Christ and our dying and rising through, with and in him. I often say that one of the purposes of the liturgy is to invite us to put on a pair of glasses that are the paschal mystery so that we view nothing less than life through that prism. A prism where suffering leads to glory, humiliation leads to triumph, suffering and death lead to eternal life. (Perfect, this is true of both forms of the one Latin Rite and in the Ordinary Form, no matter the language used, understood or not understood.)

- The importance of experiencing the liturgy through our bodies as well as through our minds and hearts. This means that the act of gathering together reflects that we are “one body, one spirit in Christ” and that in the liturgy we stand, sit and process (at the presentation of the gifts and at communion) to signify that we are a pilgrim people, on the way through this life to life eternal. We bow, we genuflect, we kneel as external bodily expressions of who we are as the people of God worshiping the Triune God in and through the liturgy. We raise our voices in song, spoken responses and prayers to give voice to what we believe in communion with each other. (Don't put too much emphasis on the presentation of the offerings, it's overrated in the Ordinary Form. As for being a pilgrim people, the fact that we travel to Mass on foot or by other transportation means, is the best symbol of this pilgrimage. Going forward to kneel at the altar railing is as much a pilgrimage as going to a Communion station. But the authentic procession, the most import one is not our pilgrimage as important as it is, but God's pilgrimage to us through the Incarnation and His coming to us by having the priest go to the Communicant with Holy Communion not the other way around. )

- The importance of “trusting the liturgy” to be and say what it is and proclaims as opposed to adding, deleting or making comments throughout the liturgy. As a ritual the liturgy is to be trusted and observed. The act of liturgy is like putting your hand into a glove. It is familiar, we know what it is. Our human effort makes it come to life. Liturgy is not reinventing the wheel. It is what it is. (Yes he agrees with Fr. Z! Say the black and do the red!!!! Perfect and much needed in the corruption of the Ordinary Form desperately in need of reforming!)

So in the end I see no ritual surprises coming from Pope Francis. I see a pope whose concern is to grow in holiness and mission for and according to the liturgy we celebrate. (Amen!!!!)

1 comment:

Dan said...

'god of surprises' in 4,3,2........