More from the Sensible Bond

20 08 2008

An eloquently written blog. An excerpt from a post you can find at this link:

The trouble with this kind of systemitisation is that it often seems to suck up responsibilty for order into the system, leaving people behind doing their own thing. This could arguably be as true of the liturgical project of Pope St Pius V, as of Pope Paul VI’s. In this sense, the supporters of the early liturgical movement were not entirely wrong in their complaints about the privatisation of Catholic spirituality, or in their desire to make the prayer of the people more liturgical, or in their wish to make the liturgical prayers more immediately understandable. Yet one of the reasons that inspires systemitisation is the anarchy that can result from unbridled personal initiative; and who could deny the existence of liturgical anarchy in the Church in the 1970s, 1980s and to some extent still still today?…

While the newer liturgy was meant to promote better understanding, active participation and a more ecclesial spirituality, these days one often finds less understanding of the Sacred Mysteries, passive bench-potato-ism and a privatised spirituality which constantly treats the liturgical action as a blank canvas for creativity. Yet to blame the New Mass in itself (the system) is to make the same mistake that mid-twentieth century liturgical reformers made about the old Mass: the mistake which imagines that the problem lies with the system and not with individuals or with the prevailing culture.

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Miscellaneous notes: There is a quote going around trad-circles that the worst thing about the modern Catholic liturgy is that it turns the person in the pew into a theatre critic. While I love the old Mass and the old religion, and think the new stuff is inferior by comparison, I cannot romanticize liturgy by saying such things. If the modern devout CatholicĀ is a theatre critic, the people who heard Mass in the good ol’ days were people vegged out in front of the T.V. at three in the morning watching infomercials. It wasn’t perfect then, it isn’t perfect now, and it will never be perfect. I think the objective cult, not what one experiences out of it, is what is most important. The realm of sentiment can best be serviced by other aspects of Catholicism. Liturgy has its own function.

Also, Steve Skojec wrote a follow-up to Mark Shea’s comments on traditionalists. The only comment I will make is that Mark Shea responded that we should have “more traditionalists like Steve”, which sort of had the same flavor as a comment like: “we should have more old aunts who aren’t gossipers” or “we should haveĀ more kids from the barrio who aren’t crooks”. He betrays his prejudices even when he is trying to be magnanimous.