Monday, July 02, 2007

The Sense of the Sacred, Part II

From Bp. Serratelli, in the second part of his series on 'the Sacred' in Liturgy.

The Second Vatican Council began the liturgical reform with the hope of reinvigorating this sense of the Presence of God who comes to meet us in love. Two generations after the Council, we are still searching for a deeper sense of the sacred in our Liturgy. We now realize some of the ways in which this can be accomplished.

...Certain settings demand their own particular etiquette. Dress at a wedding reception differs from dress at a sports event. Conversation in a bar is louder than in a funeral home. The more we realize we are coming into the Presence of God in Church, the more respectful and reverent our whole person becomes.

...we need to cultivate a sense of God who is present to us. This is why we are called to observe moments of silence. Both before Mass begins and during Mass. Liturgy is much more than our joining together. It is our opening ourselves to God. By our singing and praying, we respond to the God who addresses us in Liturgy. A constant torrent of words and songs filling every empty space in the Liturgy does not leave the heart the space it needs to rest quietly in the Divine Presence

(Which is ANOTHER good reason that the priest should not be facing the Faithful, but rather God, during most of the Mass.)

...We pray in our total reality as body and spirit. And so, to recapture the sense of the sacred, therefore, we need to express our reverence through our body language. The norms of the Liturgy wisely have us stand in prayer at certain moments, sit in attentive listening to the readings, and kneel in reverent adoration during the solemn prayer of consecration. These norms are not arbitrary nor are they left to the discretion of any individual celebrant.

(Quoting Cdl Ratzinger): ...Only respect for the Liturgy’s fundamental unspontaneity and pre-existing identity can give us what we hope for: the feast in which the great reality comes to us that we ourselves do not manufacture but receive as a gift

...Today it has become commonplace at the end of the Liturgy to recite a litany of gratitude for all those who, in some way or another, have made the celebration beautiful. No doubt there is a way to express gratitude at the end of Mass. But is it possible that each time applause breaks out in the Liturgy at the end of the Mass for someone’s contribution, we lapse into seeing the Mass as a human achievement?

Here the good Bishop addresses the Modern penchant for arrogating Authority, manifested elsewhere in the mechanistic scientism of "defeating global warming" and in the arena of politics as "eliminating poverty (or disease, discomfort, name it.) The etymology of 'Authority' is quite important--the word begins with "author."

The Modern Project begins and ends with Man.

But that's not a complete vision, to say the least.

Part One of his series is excerpted here.

1 comment:

diana said...

Very good.

I suppose some day we can hope to see most Masses done the way V2 intended but until then we have to suffer the bland offerings of the typical parish.