Friday, August 10, 2007

Sister Joan's take?

I'd sure like to read this article, but not so badly that I'd give the National Catholic Distorter my credit card number:



The Latin Mass:
The laity will decide

OK, I guess I don't have to give them that, or anything else about me, so long as I click through a link to find .... yes.... a picture of an oppressed woman in a mantilla, following the Mass in her "Tridentian" hand missal.

This is beautiful. Yes, it's shootin' fish in a barrel, but hey:
It does not make reconciliation easier with women, who are now pointedly left out of the Eucharistic celebration entirely, or with Jews, who find themselves in the Tridentine Good Friday rite again described as “blind” and as objects of conversion. One wonders if reconciliation is really what it’s all about.

Poor Mrs. Curmudgeon, struggling to reconcile herself. I would say she reconciled with Rome much easier singing the choral part of the Aspereges Me that she did when I first took her, still a heretic, to Mass in college so she could sing kumbayas

It all depends, of course, on what you want to teach about our faith in the Eucharist. . . The Latin Mass, in which the priest celebrates the Eucharist with his back to the people, in a foreign language -- much of it said silently or at best whispered -- makes the congregation, the laity, observers of the rite rather than participants in it.

There goes the materialist, eh? If you can't measure it, it isn't happening, right? I'll tell you (as someone who has assisted from the pew in both N.O. and Tridentine Masses, and as someone who has served at the altar in both N.O. and Tridentine Masses, that I participate most fully in Tridentine Masses where I'm in the pew, alone at a low Mass, focused on the prayer, instead staring at the ceiling at an N.O. Mass while the ICEL drone goes on, or instead of (long ago) serving the N.O. in my rope belt and alb-thingy and watching the people in the Nave, and even (more recently) serving in cassock and surplice in the Tridentine Rite and focusing primarily on the my duties and trying to get the Latin pronounciation of the response to Orate Fratres right.

The symbology of a lone celebrant, removed from and independent of the congregation, is clear: Ordinary people have no access to God. They are entirely dependent on a special caste of males to contact God for them. They are “not worthy,” the liturgy says, even “to receive” the host.
This is even funnier than the caption of the oppressed woman reading her "Tridentian" Missal. Of course, Sis, the it's that goofy ICEL gloss on the Novus Ordo liturgy that says we are "not receive." Obviously, you haven't actually been to or looked at a Roman Missal in a good long while. The Domine Non Sum Dignus is that we are "not worthy...that You should enter under my roof."
The Eucharist in such a setting is certainly not a celebration of the entire community.

Indeed it is not. What a relief, to spend 45 minutes at a low Mass, or 90 minutes at a high Mass, and escape from the our worldly society wherein everything is a celebration of yourself!

At the same time, the sense of mystique, the incantation of “heavenly” rather than "vulgar” language in both prayer and music, underscores a theology of transcendence. It lifts a person out of the humdrum, the dusty, the noisy, crowded chaos of normal life to some other world. It reminds us of the world to come -- beautiful, mystifying, ordered, perfumed. It takes us beyond the present, enables us, if only for a while, to “slip the surly bonds of earth” for a world less mundane. It privatizes the spiritual life. This is a God-and-I liturgy.

Careful, there, Sis. An objection to transcendence, beauty, and order? You're running the risk of making your agenda a little more clear than your spiritual handlers might want you to!

"The Vatican II liturgy, on the other hand, steeps a person in community, in social concern, in the hard, cold, clear reality of the present. The people and priest pray the Mass together in a common language, with a common theme. They interact with one another. They sing “a new church into being,” non-sexist, inclusive, entered together in the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee -- curing the sick, raising the dead, talking to women and inviting his community to do the same.

The Vatican II liturgy grapples with life from the point of view of the distance between life as we know it and life as the Gospel defines it for us. It plunges itself into the sanctifying challenges of daily life.

It carries within it a theology of transformation. It does not seek to create on earth a bit of heaven; it does set out to remind us all of the heaven we seek. It does not attempt to transcend the present. It does seek to transform it. It creates community in an isolating society. "

Aw, now you've gone and showed just a few more cards than you should have. Nevermind that the Latin is less "sexist" than the N.O. thanks to the useful noun homine. Oh well, and I'm quite sure your typical reader doesn't know who Robert Hugh Benson is, much less recall the humanist liturgy he imagined in his 1907 apocalyptic novel Lord of the World. And your typical reader has to be delighted that what passes for Catholic Mass is, ideally, more like the neo-pagan opening ceremonies of the modern Olympic Games than like the Mass of the saints.

"In their fundamental message, they present us with more than two different styles of music or two different languages or two different sets of liturgical norms. They present us with two different churches.

The choice between these two different liturgies brings the church to a new crossroads, one more open, more ecumenical, more communal, more earthbound than the other. The question is which one of them is more likely to create the world of which we dream. "

Yes, one more earthbound. Yes, one "to create the world of which we dream." No disagreement there, Sis. Here's the first time (and perhaps the only recent time) you've expressed a Catholic truth more clearly than the Holy Father.
Now it’s up to the laity to decide which church they really want and why. Which we choose may well determine the very nature of the church in years to come.
Yes, and once again, I still can't seem to find any New Coke at Hy-Vee?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It does not make reconciliation easier with women, who are now pointedly left out of the Eucharistic celebration entirely

What? Are they made to sit in back? Muzzled from saying the responses? Forcibly kept away from the communion rail? Made to pray in an entirely different room like Muslims?

Oh she means that a couple of pubescent girls aren't allowed to dress up like Job's Daughters (the masonic organization for young girls) and sit on chairs in the Sanctuary while the priest does his thing.