Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Liturgy is not a time for self-expression....

says the vatican. Huzzah! I love Cardinal Arinze more and more, let me tell you. There's a bit from that I've posted below, but I've always thought this.

The way I see it, the Mass is like a play, right? There's a script, and the players all have their parts. It's like when you go to theater to see Macbeth's the same every time. You know what to expect going in. It's not like on day you're going to go and find out, "hey, in our version, Duncan lives and Lady MacBeth bakes brownies for everyone!" No. The Mass is the same way. You go in, you know what's going to happen.

Regular readers of this space are aware of my ongoing frustration with the visiting priest at our parish who fills in for our pastor from time to time since we only have one priest. And he likes to change all sorts of things, like God isn't "father", he's "God" in th Doxology, and Jesus wants to preserve us from "undue" anxiety....hmmmm. What exactly is "due" anxiety? And if you're still having a problem with calling God "father" then I think you've gotta get on board with that pretty quick. So let's just have Mass the way we're supposed to have it, huh? Thank you.

Signs are growing that Pope Benedict XVI intends to bring the liturgy back to a more traditional form after a top Vatican official protested the use of “Do-it-Yourself” services. In a keynote speech delivered at Westminster Cathedral recently, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, also said that individual priests should not add to or subtract from the approved rites, mentioning the practice of playing background music in particular as one practice that should stop. “The Mass is the most solemn action of the sacred liturgy, which is itself the public worship of the Church,” the cardinal said. "'Liturgy', says Pope John Paul II, 'is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church'. “It follows that individuals, whether they be priests or lay faithful, are not free to add or subtract any details in the approved rites of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. A do-it-yourself mentality, an attitude of nobody-will-tell-me-what-to-do, or a defiant sting of if-you-do-not-like-my-Mass-you-can-go-to-another-parish, is not only against sound theology and ecclesiology, but also offends against common sense. Unfortunately, sometimes common sense is not very common, when we see a priest ignoring liturgical rules and installing creativity, in his case personal idiosyncrasy, as the guide to the celebration of Holy Mass. Our faith guides us and our love of Jesus and of his Church safeguards us from taking such unwholesome liberties. Aware that we are only ministers, not masters of the mysteries of Christ.” The cardinal's comments come a week after proposals were announced by a Vatican commission to outlaw the use of drums and electric guitars from church services. The commission outlined 50 proposals on reforming the liturgy, with Vatican insiders saying that the commission also proposed to increase the use of Latin during Mass. But Fr Tom Jordon from the National Conference of Priests, said he was unaware of any deviation from the Rubrics provided by the Roman Missal in the nation's churches but added that since Vatican II in was inevitable that the personality of priests shone through during Mass.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Amen to that!
I get very frustrated when the priest thinks he can change the words of the mass to suit himself.

I would like to see them say the mass correctly.