Sunday, January 21, 2007

Liturgy Done Right

Cdl. Arinze, speaking to a French institute of studies on the liturgy.

(One might regard this as a "lecture" in the admonitory sense...)

While, therefore, a higher liturgical institute should promote research, it above all bases its strong and durable foundations on the faith, on the Tradition of the Church and on the heritage enshrined in liturgical texts, gestures and postures. Such an institute appreciates that the sacred liturgy is a gift we receive from Christ through the Church. It is not something that we invent. It has therefore unchangeable elements which come from our Savior Jesus Christ, as in the essential forms of the sacraments, and changeable elements which have been carefully handed on and guarded by the Church.

...A higher liturgical institute trains experts in the best and authentic [theological]-liturgical tradition of the Church. It forms them to love the Church and her public worship and to follow the norms and indications given by the magisterium.

...Liturgical celebrations will beautifully manifest the faith of the Church, nourish this faith in the participants, awaken this faith in the dormant and the indifferent, and send the people home on fire to live the Christian life and spread the Gospel. This is very far from the cold, man-centered and sometimes openly idiosyncratic mannerism which our Sunday congregations are sometimes forced to endure.

...Unfortunately, many homilies as delivered by priests or deacons are not up to what is desirable. Some homilies seem to be mere sociological, psychological or, worse still, political comments. They are not sufficiently grounded in Holy Scripture, liturgical texts, Church tradition and solid theology. In some countries there are people who do not appreciate that the delivery of the homily at the Eucharistic Sacrifice is a pastoral ministry assigned only to ordained ministers: deacon, priest or bishop. Lay people laudably conduct catechesis outside Mass, but not the homily which demands ordination.

...The common priesthood of all the baptized and the ministerial priesthood of the ordained priest come from Christ himself. Confusion of roles in the hierarchical constitution of the Church does damage. It does not promote witness to Christ nor holiness for clergy and laity. Neither attempts at the clericalization of the laity, nor efforts toward the laicization of the clergy, will bring down divine graces.

...If a diocese does not have enough priests, initiatives should be taken to seek them from elsewhere now, to encourage local vocations and to keep fresh in the people a genuine "hunger" for a priest (cf. John Paul II, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," No. 32).

One wonders how many Milwaukee-istic peccata were hit by these excerpts alone...

If you don't know, then take the hint: read the red!

HT: The New Liturgical Movement

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One wonders how many Milwaukee-istic peccata were hit by these excerpts alone...

Very likely quite a few. Expect the usual knee jerk reaction from the Professional Catholic Ruling Class:

• Arinze is taking the Church backward;
• We've made too much "progress" to "turn back the clock" like this;
• This is a pathetic attempt by the hierarchy to take back the gains made by the laity;
• This is simply further evidence of the cluelessness of the current Papacy.

As usual, they just don't get it. Standing in the smoking wreckage wrought by the policies, enthusiasms, and innovations of the last forty years, they smile and say, "This is progress!"

Happily, their hallucinations are finally being recognised for what they are. And, slowly, things are changing. It may take some time to rebuild this beautiful House, but the time, and the love, and the effort will be well worth it. And we can count on significant help from the original Builder.