Friday, March 23, 2018

IS LITURGICAL RENEWAL IN CONTINUITY ON A GRAND SCALE POSSIBLE TODAY BARRING A MIRACLE OF GOD?

The photo at the top of my blog entails great irony with its caption exquisiteness in Liturgy. In fact it is as banal as it gets a la 1970's and even more ironic given the fact the photo is of a recent daily Mass celebrated by the Supreme Pontiff.

The photo made me feel the way I felt at a Sunday Mass I attended while on vacation. I could not watch the priest at the altar facing the congregation as at a school's teacher's desk. I had to close my eyes. I feel the same way with the photo at the top of my blog. It is so uninspirational as to turn one's Liturgical stomach.

In the history of papal Masses, Low, High and Solemn High and everything in between, the image of the current ocupant of the Vatican Motel Six celebrating Mass for other guests and workers of this Motel tells the story of the loss of beauty and attention to detail and now in a papal Mass . Is there any wonder so many now have to either close their eyes at Mass in order not to be repulsed or absent themselves from Mass so as not to offend their sensibilities concerning the reason why we are to keep our eyes open during Mass which is meant to be visibly and sensually beautiful.

Thus John Nolan hits the nail on the head with this comment:

Remember that there are now two generations of Catholics whose only liturgical experience is of a vernacular 'over-the-counter' Mass with hymns. They need to be radicalized (in the true sense) and it will not be easy. 

In my some 38 years in my diocese I see very little radicalized liturgical renewal in our parishes. It is the same old same old as symbolized by the Papal Mass at the Vatican Motel Six. God help us and send a miracle!

17 comments:

rcg said...

There is a difference, a big difference, in wanting everyone to want it and wanting everyone to have access to it. I am not sure why the EF and respectful Liturgy was suppressed all those years. But the good news is that when people get the chance to choose a significant portion do and they are often, if not usually, energetic Catholics. The revolution is easy if people can just be given the choice.

Anonymous said...

"...the image of the current ocupant of the Vatican Motel Six celebrating Mass for other guests and workers of this Motel tells the story of the loss of beauty and attention to detail and now in a papal Mass."

On the other hand, the image is one of exceptional beauty, if one judges beauty not on the number and arrangement of candles on the altar, but on the presence of the Bishop of Rome celebrating mass with and for the people of Rome, his "flock."

Rood Screen said...

Anonymous,

The trouble is that this is not a simple meal shared between a leader and those he leads, but the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which Christ is at the center of attention as He offers us to His Father. We go to Mass to worship the Father, not to look at a pope.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

LOL. I recall you don't believe in any objective standard of beauty, so beauty is in the eye of the ideologue!!! Yes Mozart's Ave Verum is no more beautiful than "Gather us In!"

Anonymous said...

Girlieman (still anonymous) TJM -

What is the "objective standard of beauty?"

TJM said...

and Anonymous Kavanaugh is still Anonymous. What don't you tell us, unless you are a relevatist, an extremely bad trait for a "man of God."

Anonymous said...

I still prefer the kind of Mass celebrated daily by Pope Francis than the hurried murmured low mass where not even the readings are translated for the faithful, and where one can barely hear anything that the priest says (even Dominus vobiscum) which unfortunately still persists today in some Trad communities.
The Solemn Papal Mass celebrated in Latin is still splendid though even after all of the reforms...

Victor said...

Anonymous:
"I still prefer the kind of Mass celebrated daily...."

But I do not. So what do I do?

Henry said...

"the presence of the Bishop of Rome celebrating mass with and for the people of Rome"

No Mass is celebrated (by the pope or anyone else) merely with and for the people of Rome (or anywhere else). Every Mass is participation in the heavenly liturgy with and for the whole communion of saints. The view that a Mass is merely celebrated with and for the local assembly--and the kind of people who spout this stuff--epitomize what's wrong in so much Catholic liturgy today.

Anonymous said...

Who ever said, regarding liturgy, "I should get what I prefer"?

Some want 20 minute Sunday Masses with no music. Should they get what they prefer?

Some want every bell and whistle used at Sunday Masses - deacons, subdeacons, a phalanx of altar boys with torches, incense, the works. Should they get what they prefer?

Some want homilies that tell the "Bad Guys" in the congregation how they should be behaving and tell the "Good Guys" how holy they are. Should they get what they prefer?

Some want no music composed since Bach. Should they get what they want?

Anonymous said...

Every Mass celebrated in a particular place is celebrated for the people attending since those people are not 1) in heaven or 2) counted among the communion of Saints. It is most certainly joined mystically to the one Sacrifice of Calvary, yet in it's earthly elements, it is constrained by time and place.

"Merely" does not appear in my earlier comment. Adding it alters the meaning, a meaning I did not, clearly, intend.

Henry said...

Evidently Anon at 4:17 pm is unaware of the elementary fact that the communion of saints includes both the living and the dead, in heaven, on earth, and in purgatory. Apparently his understanding of the Mass is similarly deficient. One can see why he wishes to remain anonymous. So would I, were I so ignorant about topics on which I nevertheless wished to comment. (I assume most regular participants know who "Henry in Knoxville" is.)

Henry said...

"the hurried murmured low mass where not even the readings are translated for the faithful, and where one can barely hear anything that the priest says (even Dominus vobiscum) which unfortunately still persists today in some Trad communities."

This comment sounds either ignorant or mendacious. I doubt its author has any knowledge of such a Trad community. Because, in my wide TLM experience dating back to before Vatican II, I've never encountered one. For sure, I'd not need all the fingers of one hand to count the number of such Masses I've seen. Indeed, in order to see today a congregation as engaged, both actively and prayerfully, as Vatican II envisioned, you'll ordinarily need to go to an extraordinary form Mass.

Anonymous said...

It's neither mendacity nor ignorance. I'm happy that you haven't experienced many such low Masses, I unfortunately have, i've even served some in the early 2000s. I won't mention any priests by giving names because I don't want to shame anyone. However, the practice of not doing the readings in the vernacular at daily low Mass is the standard in many places in North America like Holy Innocents in NYC or the Oratory in Toronto. The SSPX parish in Paris does have the readings in the vernacular at daily Low Mass read in French while the priest reads them at the altar, and they don't even recognize the legitimacy of the reforms!

As for those above who don't like the word prefer, I'll just say that Sung Mass is objectively better than Low Mass, and that Mass where the faithful are allowed to hear the readings, the priest doesn't act like a spitfire, and doesn't behave as though there is no one beyond the altar rail is objectively less well celebrated, less exquisite, than a Mass where there is contact between celebrant and people, priest says the prays with intent, and care is made that the faithful hear the readings (as is all the case with the Holy Father's daily Mass).

John Nolan said...

I don't think the Low Mass should be the liturgical norm, although it should be remembered that the only one who needs to hear the priest is the server. In a large church or cathedral there might have been several Masses being celebrated concurrently, hence the large number of side chapels/altars, and a loud recitation would have been distracting.

At a Sunday Mass (Low, Sung or High) there would have been a sermon, preceded by the recitation of the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular. There was no sermon on weekdays, so the Mass proceeded without interruption. Those who attended weekday Mass regularly would have had a Daily Missal.

The provision of bilingual texts for the faithful was the most important achievement of the 20th century Liturgical movement. A pity they didn't leave it at that.

As for the Pope's daily Mass, it follows (more or less) the rubrics and texts of the Novus Ordo, including its decidedly non-traditional lectionary, in a somewhat less than accurate Italian translation. Some may find it exquisite, others banal and boring, but since it is a markedly different rite, comparisons are odious.

Henry said...

"There was no sermon on weekdays, so the Mass proceeded without interruption. Those who attended weekday Mass regularly would have had a Daily Missal."

Almost every time I hear a sermon at daily Mass, I wonder when was the last time anyone heard a weekday sermon that enhanced rather than dissipated spiritual intensity and concentration on the sacrifice of the Mass.

I don't correlate omission of repeated readings in the vernacular with an inaudible low Mass, which with a congregation is an abuse (since the Ritus Servandus specifies which parts are to be said in a clear voice). Most at a weekday Mass will have followed the Latin readings in their hand missals, so repetition in the vernacular is redundant (and mildly burdensome).

At sung Mass on Sunday, some or many attending will neither have their own hand missals nor bother on the way in to pick up the ubiquitous leaflets providing the day's propers and readings, so vernacular readings are necessary for them, even if burdensome for those who prepared for Mass by reviewing the readings in advance, so the vernacular repetition is the third time through,

Henry said...

Anon at 9:59 pm - "As for those above who don't like the word prefer, I'll just say that Sung Mass is objectively better than Low Mass, and that Mass where the faithful are allowed to hear the readings, the priest doesn't act like a spitfire, and doesn't behave as though there is no one beyond the altar rail is objectively less well celebrated, less exquisite, than a Mass where there is contact between celebrant and people, priest says the prays with intent, and care is made that the faithful hear the readings (as is all the case with the Holy Father's daily Mass)."

I agree. And I'm sorry I misread your anonymous 12:01 pm comment as a comment by one of the anonymous commenters here who do indeed to be (culpably) ignorant and/or mendacious. But the possibility of such confusion is the bane of anonymity. The only solution is a procedure like Fr. Z's, of requiring each commenter to have a moniker that identifies him individual (while preserving his personal anonymity if he prefers).