Monday, May 16, 2011

These Stories Make Me Nervous

There have been two stories in the Catholic news services that are making me very nervous. One is a Catholic News Service story that the National Catholic Reporter posted on their website. It was a report of the Vatican issuing instructions to local bishops, telling them to make access to celebrations of the Tridentine Mass easier. The other CNS story, posted on the blog “Pray Tell,” reports the comments made by a Vatican official. He stated that it is the Pope’s intention not to have two forms of the Mass existing side by side, but to merge elements of both into one liturgy

Now I grew up during the time when Vatican II was still in session. The Mass my family and I attended was the Tridentine Liturgy, and I mean attended, not participated in. We observed the liturgy being celebrated. When I became an altar boy, I memorized the liturgical Latin, but the words had no meaning for me. The Eucharistic liturgy that came out of the Vatican II renewal was meant for all the people of God. We, the laity, can actively participate in the celebration, worshiping in a language we can understand, being able to witness, to see the miracle that is the consecration; the Body and Blood of Our Jesus Christ, present on the altar.The current liturgy is not perfect, that is because of the human element. But this liturgy has become a very important part of my faith life. Now I understand why there are those who still find the Tridentine liturgy attractive, but for me, it does not represent my understanding of what it means to be Church, to be the People of God in today’s world.

So instead of trying to turn the clock back, we need to listen to the faithful, what are they looking for in the Eucharistic liturgy, and how can we improve it so that it will answer the spiritual needs of all the Church.

1 comment:

  1. This just made me think for the first time that one of the problems with the old Mass may have been genuinely that it papered over cracks. It made priests seem holier than they really were and it made people feel pious when actually it just kept them comfortable. Thanks for the interesting post.

    God bless!