Saturday, January 10, 2009

Liturgical oases

On the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a young Salesian (the first priest I've met in a long time who's actually younger than I am!) said Mass in the next parish along - with (almost) nothing left out, nothing put in, and with great devotion. Just a few hours earlier he'd been disc jockey at a New Year's party.

More than ever, I'm starting to think we need a "Society of Pope Paul VI", dedicated to preserving and promoting the Ordinary Rite of the Latin Church in the face of mind-numbing (and occasionally heart-breaking) attempts to make it more "relevant". So much New Age blather attracts people looking for transcendence, while the most transcendent fact imaginable is being disguised as a combination of sing-along and pep talk.

I hope this doesn't come across as grumpy, or whining, or controversial, because really I feel happier and more hopeful than I have in a long time.


Anonymous said...

Or one develops a "preference" for the EF. Or one gets very confused at different people pulling one in different directions as to this Mass or the other, whilst one's parish priest sometimes seems to be of the opinion that "It's all the same Mass, so you shouldn't go running off to an EF," and then proceeds to miss the rubrics JUST enough to really distress one. Or one begins to despair. Or...something.

Sorry, wish I was in a more cheerful mood :S

Paul said...

As to preference, I'm happy with anything that actually follows the rubrics, although I do have an aesthetic attachment to Latin (albeit that my experience of EF masses has been consistently uninspiring, but this is clearly just my experience).

The argument "it doesn't really change the Mass" is surely best answered with the consideration, "then it won't hurt you to stop doing it".

I do wonder, if it's all the same Mass, why shouldn't you choose to go to the one you find most inspiring, or even just most pleasant? It's strange that people who don't like restrictions on their own innovations are so quick to hamper the choices of people who might like something other than innovation.

But around here there simply isn't an option: all the parishes for miles around, and even the chapels of the religious, seem to be cast in the same mould. There's this creepy sensation that their innovations and ad libs conform to a single model, just not the model provided by approved liturgical publications. "Non-conformist conformity"? "Slavish self-sufficiency"? I haven't found a word for it.