Yes, Fr. Anthony makes some good liturgical points. He’s a Benedictine after all. But the bad points are so bad and so cliche that I wince for him when I read them. It’s as though he hasn’t reflected on the lived and unlived experience of the Mass in the years since July 7, 2007. It’s a time warped article. Press the title for the article. I have a quote below the title that will make you wince:
Here are the winceable quotes:
The end point [of the reformed Mass] is that worshipers are transformed to be the Body of Christ, to offer themselves to one another, to live sacrificial lives for the sake of the world, to be Christ’s presence in the world, to witness to the coming Kingdom which is already present in transformed lives of Christian disciples.
Only with this starting point and end point do Catholic teaching on the Real Presence and eucharist as sacrifice come into their own. Such teachings flesh out, at a second-order level of intellectual reflection, how to think correctly (and not say anything false) about transformation of bread and wine and about the relationship between Christ’s action on Calvary and in the Mass.
If one were to start instead with abstract doctrine, and to see the liturgy as merely a production machine to effect a liturgical sacrifice and the transformation of bread and wine, the form of the liturgy wouldn’t matter that much. But the Second Vatican Council saw a need to reform the liturgy so that it would better express the nature of the true Church (SC 2) and more readily draw participants into the mysteries celebrated. The form matters.
The liturgy is more sacrificial when the community participates actively, when the peace is exchanged before Communion, when Communion is offered under both forms, when the congregation sings during the reception of Communion. These better enable worshippers to share in Christ’s sacrifice by their communal piety, so that the liturgy embodies worshipers’ intention to give their lives in self-offering.