"So is Guardini right? Does modern man seem incapable of real worship? I think so. But the more important question for us is this: If he is right, what are we going to do about it?
"One of the few people who have wrestled with the issues Guardini raised is a Chicago priest who’s made his own important contributions to the liturgical and intellectual renewal of the Church, Father Robert Barron.
"Barron puts the issue this way: “The project is not shaping the liturgy according to the suppositions of the age, but allowing the liturgy to question and shape the suppositions of any age. Is the modern man incapable of the liturgical act? Probably. But this is no ground for despair. Our goal is not to accommodate the liturgy to the world, but to let the liturgy be itself -- a transformative icon of the ordo of God.”
Barron suggests that in the post-conciliar era, the professional Catholic liturgical establishment opted for the former path, trying to adapt the liturgy to the demands of modern culture. I would agree. And I would add that time has shown this to be a dead end. Trying to engineer the liturgy to be more “relevant” and “intelligible” through a kind of relentless cult of novelty, has only resulted in confusion and a deepening of the divide between believers and the true spirit of the liturgy.iiiThat's the hermeneutic of continuity, folks.
The Archbishop went on to enumerate four point he thinks should be recalled. The second is worth contemplation:
The liturgy is a participation in the liturgy of heaven, in which we worship in Spirit and truth with the worldwide Church and the communion of saints.v
This may be the most neglected dimension of the liturgy today. If our liturgies strike us as pedestrian, narrowly parochial, too focused on our own communities and needs; if they lack a powerful sense of the sacred and the transcendent, it’s because we have lost the sense of how our worship participates in the heavenly liturgy.
Smells and bells are not really optional; sacred time, sacred space, sacred language (whether Latin or vernacular) are not really optional.
Conversely, 'pedestrian' 'self-oriented' music should be dumped.
Good stuff, and more at the link.