Thursday, August 25, 2011

Liturgical Thoughts (repost)

I seem to have let time slip away from me and neglected this series of posts, which I started during Lent. So this will serve as a re-introduction. I will also re-post the first in the series - Praying to the East - before continuing on to the next topic.

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Several weeks ago I began posting a few thoughts on some liturgical situations that I think could be improved at most Masses in the United States. To a certain extent, I suppose some of my comments on these issues may come down to opinion or personal taste. On the other hand, I do believe that there is a solid argument in favor of the positions that I advocate in each of these cases. Regardless of which side you come down on, I believe the issuance of the new liturgical translation (due out this Advent) presents a perfect opportunity to reevaluate some of our current liturgical practices/abuses. Besides just the words that we speak (which the new translation is supposed to improve), there are also gestures, symbolic actions, and music that may be in need of reform. As we adopt the new translation this Fall we may take this as an opportunity to ensure that other areas of liturgy comply with the rubrics and reflect a profound reverence for Sacred Tradition.

Here is a list of the topics I plan to address:
  • The orientation of the priest during worship
  • The use of Latin
  • Holding hands during the Our Father
  • Proper musical selections
  • Art and architecture
These are just a few topics that immediately come to mind. Each topic from this list will have its own brief post under the title Liturgical Thoughts (which will serve as a title for this series of posts). I may add to this list or change the order. I do not intend any of these to be exhaustive treatments of the topics at hand, but they will at least give a brief account of what I think could be improved or how we might approach these issues differently than we do now.

I tend to think along "traditional" lines on these matters, so my opinion on these issues will reflect a more traditional style. I am in no way an advocate of a complete return to the pre-Vatican II, Tridentine form of the Mass (however, I do favor greater access to this form). As I stated above, these are largely a matter of taste and opinion (though I think the case could be made that some opinions do weigh more heavily than others). As I am not trained in liturgy, I do not have the authority to say what is the correct path to follow. But I would like to convince fellow Catholics to rethink some of the practices we have come to accept as the norm.

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