Tuesday, August 14, 2012
THE CLASH OF TWO VERY DIFFERENT WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND ITS FORM AND OPTIONS
A couple of comments at the Praytell Blog show the challenges we face today in the reform of the reform of the Mass that is the reform of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.
Msgr Andrew Wadsworth with ICEL comments that, "the Liturgy is something we receive from the Church not something we make for ourselves. This principle does not in any way limit the legitimate diversity of style which the Church permits in relation to liturgical music but rather explains the norms that govern it."
But another person comments on Msgr. Wadsworth by writing, that the "GIRM lists lots of things as mandates, priorities, and options. “Options” is not a dirty word. It enables the parish priest, in consultation with his parishioners, to serve the highest needs of the faith community. Even as GIRM lists priorities, the paramount concern is the “sanctification of the faithful,” not the absolute letter of the liturgy."
And yet a third person writes a comment, "Who – if not “we” – is the Church? We receive the official rites from the hierarchy, but (to paraphrase the maxim about the Eucharist) we, the Church, then make the liturgy, while simultaneously the liturgy makes us. If one thinks that the Church is something/somebody other than all those baptized in water and the Spirit, who are united in that Spirit as the Body of Christ to offer the sacrifice of praise again and again to the Father, then “the liturgy is something we receive from the Church” is an impossibility."
MY COMMENTS: It seems to me that the brilliant Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth understands that the Liturgy is primarily a "vertical" endeavor, where Christ the Head with His members the baptized, offer the one sacrifice to the Father. The ordained priest receives the gifts from the laity, offers them to God, God consecrates them as these become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ and the priest returns the gifts of the laity back to them, but transubstantiated.
The other comments make the liturgy into a horizontal event, something we do, rather than something Christ the Head of the Church is doing on His Body's behalf (all the baptized).
These comments confirm that the vertical verses the horizontal understanding of the Liturgy is paramount and that the horizontal elements of the liturgy as experienced since the Second Vatican Council is the corruption of the reform of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The Vertical must be recovered in the Ordinary Form. We need the Extraordinary Form to show us what this means and how to do it. The verticality of the Extraordinary Form must enrich the EF's revision which is the Ordinary Form.