Wednesday, March 14, 2007

More on The Papal Document

From Fr. Z.:

...Benedict is forcefully underscoring the importance of the liturgical action itself. The action is the rite. Thus the celebration of the Eucharist conforms Christian life. It conforms the Christian through participation in a mystery which is to be lived. So, there is a direct connection between the way the rite, the actio, is celebrated and living like a Christian.

This logically leads to the necessary of a reform of the way the Church is celebrating the actio. The idea is this: celebrate the liturgy well (I would add especially Holy Mass, the Eucharist) and it forms us to live better. The impact of good liturgical celebration on Christian living requires, therefore, great vigilance and fidelity. Thus, there is both a qualitative dimension to the effect of good liturgical celebration (actio) and even the quantitative dimension!

... Benedict argues for a direct dependence of actuosa participatio on the ars celebrandi. This is not so new, if you think about it with common sense. The Pope says that to go into the depths of the ars celebrandi (and thus create the proper impact on the Church through active "personal" participation, there must be close fidelity to the rite itself which is the the actio and which makes the actio happen.

Which also re-inforces the priest as the alter Christus. The 'good-time-Charlie' priest is not able to engender a well-formed actuosa participatio, thus his flock will be mis-formed, as well. But that is qualified:

"Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity." Thus the priest must use "obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality."

Which is to say, "alter Christus but not The Christus"

And as to actuosa participatio, Benedict says:

"We must not overlook the fact that some misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning of [active] participation. It should be made clear that the word "participation" does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration… ... it must be understood in more substantial terms."

Like metanoia, for example.

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