Monday, July 30, 2007

Something for your active participation discussions

Fr. Tim Finigan has an excellent post reflecting on the multiple liturgical styles of active (or "actual" depending on your translator) participation. Now I confess, I wasn't there in 1970 (hey, I wasn't even born yet in 1970) but his description of the change does strike as something that happens to this day and has happened to me in the past.

When celebrating Mass in Latin, the older form is more pastorally suitable than the newer form in that it is natural for the server to take up the more complex responses on behalf of the people. With the newer rite, people have to either read from a book or learn the Latin Confiteor and the Suscipiat by heart. For some people that is fine - for others it is indeed a "barrier to participation" if such a chorus is seen as being of the essence of real participation.


With the older form of the rite, a wider range of external participation is possible. With the newer rite, it seems to me that only one sort of participation is allowed - that of joining in audibly with the responses, reading things in a book or listening attentively to today's passage from the book of Numbers.
One is reminded of how the "new orthodoxy" which wasn't was and is implemented by force and fiat rather than as an organic growth of piety and perspective. I am reminded, again, of Pope John Paul II's statement that "the Church never imposes, she only proposes". I think there is a link in that statement somewhere even to liturgy itself. I'll have to think about that some more. Do read the rest of Father's post.