Small-minded liturgical distractions removing the emphasis from Jesus Christ and our personal encounter with Him in the Liturgy to signs and symbols making these small gods and horrible distractions:
But many (bishops included) live as though this change has not happened as though it is still the time prior to St. Pope John Paul's indult and the blanket permission for this Mass by Pope Benedict in 2007. What are we to make of this?
Even Archbishop Blase Cupich has said, “You cannot base your decisions on a past era where things were different...”
The same archbishop wisely states the obvious about the liturgy:
It is clear [the bishops] must give priority
to educating priests and people about the doctrinal and pastoral
principles of liturgical renewal outlined by the Council. Specifically,
that means bringing people to an authentic understanding of the
Christian notion of the assembly. It means stressing the importance of
liturgical signs. It also involves clearly defining worship as
liturgical action, as dialogue between God and his people, and as a
celebration of the mystery of salvation. These are all central
What Archbishop Cupich writes can and should be applied to both forms of the Mass. But bishops today shirk their responsibility when it comes to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, but sadly also for the Ordinary Form, to make sure these celebrations are as they should be in all their parishes.
For example, today, those who seek the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, participate in an active way, understand what is taking place and the majority receive Holy Communion. I can't speak for others, but I consecrate enough hosts at the EF Mass so that the laity receive Holy Communion from the particular Mass I am celebrating with them joining me. Just because a congregation is using the EF Mass doesn't mean that Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium can't be implemented in terms of actual participation and understanding stressing the importance of the signs of the liturgy.
But shouldn't our liturgical celebrations in either form make sure that the "signs" of the Liturgy enable people collectively and individually to meet Christ? Should we be more concerned about "signs" and forget that one can become obsessed with these and place a religious encounter with the risen Lord in the back seat? What has been the "small minded" preoccupation of liturgists for the past 50 years as the 1970 missal and its General Instruction were implemented? It was on signs almost disconnected from Christ Himself and the encounter with the Sacred that Catholics have had in the Liturgy for 2000 years and the awe, wonder and reverence this created and nourished them!
For example, a preoccupation with small minded rules about signs led to the iconoclasm of church buildings; emphasizing the assembly as if it were some sort of god; making more of who proclaimed the Scriptures, who entered the sancturay and served the altar and distributed Holy Communion rather than Who we worship; Who we hear in the Scriptures; why we have a sanctuary; and Who it is we receive in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
There was more concern with how the bread and wine looked and tasted, the action of a procession marching lockstep to Communion stations and joining in a song of some sort than actually receiving our risen Lord in the most personal and intimate encounter a Catholic can have with their Savior in the context of being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ.
Isn't it time that we actually recover the actual encounter with our Risen Lord in the Ordinary Form of the Mass where small-minded preoccupations and distractions placed the emphasis everywhere but where it should be? Should not both liturgies enable everyone clergy and laity to encounter in a most personal, communal and intimate way, Jesus Christ, His one Sacrifice and preparing us for our personal judgment wearing the white, unstained robe of salvation?
Liturgists trained in the 1970's, 80's and 90's will have a hard time letting go of their academic gods as it concerns the liturgy. Yes much of their studies was wasted on the wrong things and this is painful for those who have post-graduate degrees to acknowledge. No one wants to admit that they might have invested so much time, study, energy and money on something that is now irrelevant.
But this happens to people in and outside of the Church all of the time. Just think of factory workers replaced by machines, key-punch operators whose training and skill is no longer needed and priests who thought there would only be one form of the Mass (in either form) who have to move on from their academic small-minded rules to something else?