Monday, December 27, 2010

A Little Liturgical Silence Now and Then....

Over the years, I've come to the realization that occasionally, silence can be a good thing during Mass.

That happens to be counter-instinctual for church musicians (after all, they're paid to 'do' music), and for many priests and 'liturgy directors' who seem to confuse 'making noise' with 'active participation.'

(Some of those priests are from foreign countries and are members of "liturgically conservative" Orders. Yah, well, mal-formation is universal.)

But not for Benedict XVI:

The Catholic liturgy lives "a certain crisis," and Benedict XVI wants to form a new liturgical movement that brings back more sacrality and silence in the Mass, and more attention to beauty in chant, sacred music and art.

Good.

9 comments:

Aquinas said...

Not in our lifetime. The anti-beauty, anti-authority, anti-history attitudes regarding liturgy and fostered over the last 50 years by clergy and laity alike have become so deeply entrenched that overcoming them with what Benedict wants will take generations. I pray for it, daily, but don't expect to see it in this generation, or, likely, the next. And... the statement, "The Catholic liturgy lives 'a certain crisis'..." is one of the biggest understatements I've seen in a really long time.

Anonymous said...

While services are wonderful to help facilitate a commitment to the faith, it is how one offers their services to help make the world a better place on a daily basis that is MORE important.

Dave said...

Anonymous:

I invite you to reflect on why we call the Eucharistic Liturgy "the Mass". It comes from the traditional dismissal "Ite, missa est", or "Go, you are sent forth". The faithful are there to adore the Living God and to receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Once that happens, we get our marching orders to act upon the graces received ("missa" is the root for "mission" and "commission"), which includes all those good works. Every faithful proponent of Catholic social justice has considered the Mass to be the most important work there is.

Dave said...

From the Houston Catholic Worker:

Dorothy Day's spirituality was Christocentric. Merriman tells us that the centrality of the Eucharist was crucial to Dorothy and she never ceased to consider it as the greatest work of the day (for herself and for Catholic Workers)...She believed... that all life flowed from worship...

...She was convinced that the Catholic Worker movement had come about because she had been going to daily Mass, receiving communion daily and crying out like Samuel for direction.

Dave said...

More quotes:

The Blessed Sacrament is indeed the stimulus for us all, for me as it should be for you, to forsake all worldly ambitions. Without the constant presence of our Divine Master upon the altar in my poor chapels, I never could have persevered casting my lot with the lepers of Molokai; the foreseen consequence of which begins now to appear on my skin, and is felt throughout the body....

- St. Damien of Molokai

The best way to economize time is to 'lose' half an hour each day attending Holy Mass.

- Bl. Frederic Ozanam, founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society

When the Sisters are exhausted, up to their eyes in work; when all seems to go awry, they spend an hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This practice has never failed to bear fruit: they experience peace and strength...

- Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Amy said...

While services are wonderful to help facilitate a commitment to the faith, it is how one offers their services to help make the world a better place on a daily basis that is MORE important.

And for millenia, the same people who attended "services...to help facilitate a commitment to faith" also did things like gee, found hospitals and schools and other charitable efforts. To this very day, Catholic charitable causes are one of -- if not *the* -- leading source of humanitarian aid around the world. This effort is rooted in the faith you seem to deride.

Ever heard of the terms "corporal and spiritual works of mercy"...?

Anonymous said...

I'm not deriding anything. Absolutely, for some, services reenergizes and refocuses them.

But I know a number of people who attend mass, go through the motions, and then feel "good" about themselves, without necessarily trying to follow through with the message given that particular Sunday.

I also know a number of people who do not attend/rarely attend mass, and they live their lives according to the good book.

Dad29 said...

I know a number of people who attend mass, go through the motions, and then feel "good" about themselves, without necessarily trying to follow through with the message given that particular Sunday.

I also know a number of people who do not attend/rarely attend mass, and they live their lives according to the good book


So what?

If you read Cicero, Augustine, Machiavelli, or Shakespeare, not to mention the OT or NT, your observation is seconded, third-ed, etc.

Some people are good. Others are not. But without continuing education and exhortation in moral upright-ness, it's likely that the 'bad' will exceed the 'good.'

John Foust said...

How come Jesus didn't carry a Ka-Bar?