Sunday, July 17, 2011

  • Simple private prayer. God seems especially close right before you fall asleep for the night.
  • Liturgy is not “private time for me ’n’ Jesus”... it is the offering of the Bloodless Sacrifice to God and the seal of our incorporation into the Kingdom of God through the reception of Christ’s Body and Blood; it is the revelation of the Church’s true nature as a manifestation of the Kingdom made present in this world. It is not, therefore, an appropriate time to engage in private devotions or meditations...

    The normative form of the Ordo of Paulus VI, by the way, is also a sung dialogue between the people and the celebrant. It is seldom done that way, though. Instead, hymns are inserted at various points in the Mass, even though there is no real provision for this. One does wish that the Latin Church would simply adopt the corpus of Gregorian chant in English transcribed by various Anglo-Catholic groups over the past century, and use that, instead.

    In fact, the liturgical movement in the Latin Church, before it went off the rails around Vatican II, looked to restore what now sometimes gets called a “dialogue Mass” whereby the people give the responses typically given by the server. Certainly it is desirable and a plain outgrowth of this practice, that the people should know and be able to chant the parts of the Mass proper to them. This is the ideal, as are sung Masses.

    On the other hand, I know some Divine Liturgies where the priest and the cantor alone trade parts. This is not the ideal.

    So the ideals East and West are not far apart, but alas neither are the common practices.

    This is a bit of a different question from built-in, supposed-to-be-there silence.

    BTW Stuart’s description of the late Roman Empire is why the Roman Rite’s oldest collects are so terse and sometimes boring compared to Cranmer’s English compositions as John Hunwicke has observed. Of course neither Mr H nor I are Prayer Bookish nor Protestant so that’s not an endorsement of C’s theology! C had a bad agenda (a heretic and the king’s yes-man) but, without the constraints Stuart describes about early Western Europe, his best work was orthodox and cut loose in fine English prose.

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