Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Few Words About the Modern Mass

These are so much fun that I had to steal them from Fr. Hunwicke's post.

You will enjoy (or have enjoyed) Mr Henry Sire's book Phoenix from the Ashes (see earlier posts) because of its dry and cutting wit. "Modernists shrink from beauty like a vampire from holy water". "If words were sufficient to bring men to him, God would not have needed to become a man and die for us; he could have founded a newspaper." " ... in the new rite, the Mass has become a lecture delivered to the people by the priest, with the altar as his lecture table." This last observation, of course, is along the lines of the criticisms levelled against modern liturgy on the grounds of its 'Enlightenment' ancestry; its didactic nature, its intellectualism, its linear avoidance of repetition. I have in mind particularly the writings of Dr Aidan Nichols OP and of the Anglican Catherine Pickstock, who has very acutely written about the 'oral' nature of traditional liturgy, its repeated beginnings and its "liturgical stammering". But you get a particular bite in Sire's book which, I think, comes from the facts that he writes from outside the 'professional liturgist' 'community'; and writes as a layman. "In an ordinary Mass today, the sense one has is not the offering of an eternal sacrifice but a lecture conducted by the priest and two or three women of the public-librarian class, to whom the readings and other duties of the church are allocated. The verbosity and preachiness of the liturgy is itself a middle-class characteristic with which many ordinary parishioners feel little rapport; and the alienation of working-class worshippers, in a way that was never true of the old Mass in poor parishes, has become a peculiar feature of the liturgical reform."...

Which is followed, naturally, by Fr. Bouyer's account of the creation of Canon 2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's great. No blogs on the Pope? In case you missed it, His Holiness was in the US this week.