18 June 2005

Liturgical soothing

Wonderful post over at Traditio in Radice, with quotes about the liturgy from our dear Papa Ratzi. I hope W (blessings to you and your bride!) and GFvonB won't mind if I copy out some of it here; it's partly for me, but also to share with others (not that anyone reads my blog ).

I entered the Church in 1971. In a few short years, the world seemed to be in such terrible trouble; the war, and Nixon resigning. It was in 1974 that I lost my dear one. Two years later, my father allowed something to happen with his new wife that resulted in my sister and me being estranged from him in the most hurtful, bewildering way, for the rest of our lives.

I'd joined the Church for what it was: the one beacon of stability and truth in my crazy world. But the Church went into the weeds liturgically, and, as I noted in a previous post, the people in charge were mean and cruel and implacable about it. It was a terrible time. I never lost faith in God, but I lost faith in the Church, and - since I felt rebuffed and unwelcome at every turn when I tried to go back - I wandered away.

Now I read the Holy Father's words, and they soothe my soul.

When people talk about being discriminated against as a minority, or persecuted for their faith, I know something of what they mean. It was a serious problem to be Catholic during the decades after VII. It's still tough, unless you find a traditional Latin Mass to attend. We who believe Jesus is present on the altar, who want to show reverence to Him, have been cruelly treated over the years. He has heard our prayers, it would seem.

I do not ask for the reforms to be rolled back. I ask for some Latin, some reverence, and a bit of silence after the Consecration and before Communion, so that I may visit with the Lord privately, in my soul, even as we worship Him together. I will celebrate with the others after Communion. But the moment of Communion is intimate and special. It is not a time for the inanities of folk tunes. It is a moment for silence, when Jesus comes to each of us, individually, healing and nourishing and nurturing each of us according to our needs. He has so much to impart; prayerful silence is the way to know Him, not tacky, schlocky music sung standing. If tacky, schlocky music was the way to know God, you'd hear it sung in monasteries everywhere. As it happens, you don't. You find silence. Liturgists: Get. A. Clue.

Liturgical Quotes

The Second Vatican Council
“...there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing...”

Sacrosanctum Concilium, 23

“Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites... Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass that pertains to them...”
Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36, 54

“The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as proper to the Roman Liturgy; therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services...”
Sacrosanctum Concilium, 116

Venerable Pope Pius XII
“This persistence of Mary [at Fatima] about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith in her liturgy.... In our [future] churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them.”
On the message of Our Lady of Fatima

“One would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table-form.”
Encyclical Mediator Dei, 62

“To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united.”
Address to Liturgical Congress in Assisi, 1956

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI)
“But the fact that [the liturgy] was presented as a new structure, set up against what had been formed in the course of history and was now prohibited, and that the liturgy was made to appear in some ways no longer as a living process but as a product of specialized knowledge and juridical competence, has brought with it some extremely serious damages for us.”
Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997

“I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us.
Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997

“[there] is need for a new liturgical movement to call back to life the true heritage of Vatican Council II . . . For the life of the Church, it is dramatically urgent to have a renewal of liturgical awareness, a liturgical reconciliation, which goes back to recognizing the unity in the history of the liturgy and understands Vatican II not as a break, but as a developing moment.”
Cardinal Ratzinger on the State of the Catholic Liturgy, The Wanderer, May 8 1997

“Today we might ask: Is there a Latin Rite at all anymore? Certainly there is no awareness of it. To most people the liturgy seems to be rather something for the individual congregation to arrange.”
The Feast of Faith, p. 84

“One of the weaknesses of the postconciliar liturgical reform can doubtless be traced to the armchair strategy of academics, drawing up things on paper, which, in fact, would presuppose years of organic growth. The most blatant example of this is the reform of the calendar: those responsible simply did not realize how much the various annual feasts had influenced Christian people's relationship to time. In redistributing these established feasts throughout the year according to some historical arithmetic -inconsistently applied at that - they ignored a fundamental law of religious life.”
The Feast of Faith

“Certainly, the results [of Vatican II] seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to a dissension which - to use the words of Pope Paul VI - seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which had developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said then years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church”
in L'Osservatore Romano (English edition), 24 December, 1984.

“As for the oriented (i.e., turned to the East) altar, the Cardinal notes, in his preface for the French edition:

The importance of this book lies above all in the theological substratum brought to light by this learned research. The orientation of prayer, common to priest and faithful - of which the symbolical form was usually towards the East, i.e., towards the rising sun - was understood as turning our eyes towards the Lord, the true Sun. In the liturgy we find an anticipation of His return; priests and faithful go to meet Him. This orientation of prayer expresses the theocentric nature of liturgy; it obeys the exhortation: “Let us turn towards the Lord!””
F. Gerard Calvet, O.S.B.,
Abbot, Monastery of St. Madeleine, Le Barroux, France, quoting from
The Feast of Faith (Abbot Calvet wrote the first preface of the English edition)

“What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”
Preface to the book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Mgr. Klaus Gamber.

“I was dismayed [by the ban of the old missal]. Such a development had never been seen in the history of the liturgy. I am convinced that the ecclesiastical crisis of today depends on the collapse of the liturgy...”
From his autobiography

No comments: