Sunday, October 02, 2016

Articles and comments on worship: The place of culture in Christian faith


Suscipe, sancte Pater...

  • Mass: Omnia, quae fecisti. Commemoration of the Guardian Angels? Probably not in our 1962 Missal. Gaudeamus omnes in Domino. External Solemnity of Our Lady of Victories, commonly called Our Lady of the Rosary, with commemoration (second collect and second postcommunion verse) of the 20th Sunday after Pentecost. Preface was of the Trinity, for the Sunday. I thought the external solemnity would be next Sunday, after the feast. Anyway, as Fr. McKale mentioned, this celebrates the victory of the allied Catholic European naval forces under the papal flag at the battle of Lepanto, "saving Europe" from the Mohammedans. Don't invade; don't invite. Jesus saves; Mary prays.
  • Communion of love: Thomas Merton and liturgical reform. I'm not liberal high church (Episcopalian) but I agree with him. Among the places I like going to Mass is the daily Mass chapel, the 1920s former convent chapel, in the parish I live in, the Novus Ordo in spirit and in truth. (The return to tradition in English that John Paul II signed off on and Benedict XVI implemented five years ago. I've been back in the church going on five years.) But the old Mass is home. The goal of the old liturgical renewal was do the old services well, in the right spirit and knowledgeably (as Merton found at Corpus Christi, Manhattan), not to write new services, which is un-Catholic. At least three bad things happened to Roman Rite practice with Vatican II: 1) the space-age notion of "progress," a shiny, streamlined liturgy for modern man; not heretical but naïve, partly coming from the hubris of the new field of liturgical studies, so let's throw centuries of caution to the wind and write anew; 2) the dumb notion that "active participation" means any audible or visible response from the congregation, no matter how off-base or insipid, not a knowledgeable joining in common prayer, which can be silent; and 3) while most liturgical-movement clergy were sound (the movement revived Gregorian chant, wanting a congregationally sung High Mass, and created a traditionalist standby, the wonderful hand missal), a few, such as Annibale Bugnini, were heretics; neo-Protestants.
  • Lutheran Satire, from our close cousins, traditional Lutherans: Mr. Thompson and the vicar invent Children's Church. Blaming the Anglicans and Victorian sentimentality.
  • From the evangelicals: Dear parents: Your teens don't need contemporary worship.
  • Meanwhile, the secular world pushes religion as mere self-expression: deep-six that Jesus stuff and worship your blackness, for example.
  • The Anti-Gnostic: Hierarch of "Eastern America." The Serbians, the Levantines, the Meso-Americans, the Afghans, and on and on, are not coming here to be HERE; they are coming here to have a better THERE.
  • Two from Huw Richardson (paraphrasing: "I'm Russian Orthodox. I'm gay. But there's no such thing as gay Orthodoxy, just Orthodoxy."). Don't miss the comboxes:
    • Boutique-odoxy. Like inculturation: parishes have personalities and reflect the quirks of their priests, but how far should that go? Mistaking your nations/tribes and cultures for the church is the sin of Eastern Orthodoxy. An approach that's too parochial, that's congregationalist, can turn into that. On the other hand, semi-congregationalism, such as Easterners' grassroots traditionalism, can be a hedge against liberalism.
    • Relevant beauty. A Protestant culture isn't hospitable to Catholicism, so you can, and in some cases such as that, should mimic the old country, but you don't have to, sometimes you shouldn't, and let's not get confused about our mission.

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