Tuesday, July 10, 2012
OVERCOMING LITURGICAL RIGIDITY
Often when one thinks of the FSPX, one thinks of liturgical, dogmatic and moral rigorism and rigidity. To the outsider, it appears that they want nothing to do with the Ordinary Form of the Mass even if celebrated in Latin, with only boys and men serving and minor clerics reading and only the schola singing and ad orientem. I don't know if this is completely true, but I think it is. They are rigid, rigid, rigid and quite judgmental to a fault toward Vatican II and the vast majority of faithful Catholics who have embraced it.
But this same rigidity is also found at the other spectrum. There are some post Vatican II Catholics who claim to be very faithful Catholics who absolutely despise their pre-Vatican II heritage and want absolutely none of it to touch them again. They were schooled in the secular school of suspicion of authority a la 1960's, fierce individualism when it comes to morality and contempt for natural law. Situation ethics is their foundation.
Being dogmatic and moral relativists, they fight tooth and nail, like the FSPX but in a different orientation, to keep what the FSPX want out of the post-Vatican II Church. They hate the pre-Vatican II Liturgy, now called the Extraordinary Form and are aghast and flummoxed at the suggestion that the EF Mass should enrich the Ordinary Form and that any of the so-called accretions to the EF Mass should return to the OF Mass, such as the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the EF's Offertory Prayers and the Last Gospel, not to mention the quiet Canon.
Somewhere in the middle is the vast majority of Faithful Catholics who will accept what the Magisterium proposes to them although they may be flexible in terms of their own personal morality and acceptance of others who reject the Church's moral teachings.
They have a live and let live attitude about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, but do like clarity when it comes to moral teachings and the dogmas and doctrines of the Church, even though they personally struggle to accept them all in our pluralistic society and Church.
The great sleeping giant that is the majority of faithful Catholics will always support their Church and accept good Liturgy in whatever form they encounter it.
They want warm community, personal relations with faithful Catholics and a transcendent and awe inspiring Liturgy that is also warm and appealing and touches not just the mind and soul, but the heart and emotions.
If the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the EF's Offertory Prayers were restored and the Last Gospel added to the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, they would like to know why and then within six months if not less be totally at home with it.
And if the Magisterium banned guitars, bongos, snare drums, pianos and other non-liturgical instruments, and, let's say, only allowed no instrumentation for singing or the pipe organ, brass and classical strings, not to mention the tympani, I think they'd handle it a bit better than the extremes I mention above.
Where do you situate yourself in the grand orchestra of faithful Catholics and how flexible are you?