Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Properly Understood, Indeed

The contributions of "Fr. Z" are inestimable. He's connected, reliable, and well-schooled.

Now and then, though, he leaves an enigma on the table, as he did while reviewing a letter about the Extraordinary Form (1962 Rite) written by the Director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Miami.

Quoting the letter:

In both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Missal, full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful is to be desired above all else.

Fr. Z comments:

Properly understood, of course. And since this included the phrase "above all else" we can most suitably begin with the person’s baptized character and then his or her state of grace. You see, true active participation is first of all an interior reality, not an outward expression. It leads to outward expression, the most perfect of which – in the liturgy of Mass – is the reception of Communion by a baptized person in the state of habitual grace....

Well, yes. On the other hand, there are some who ardently believe that Fr. Z's comments are the limits of actuosa participatio--that 'saying or singing their parts' is NOT part of "properly understood."

That belief is erroneous, as legislation of Pius X, Pius XII, John XXIII, and Paul VI makes clear.

So, properly understood, "properly understood" means acting according to Papal legislation on the topic.

I'm sure that is what Fr. Z. meant to say.

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