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On these pages, I hope to have some reflections on the current state of the Catholic Liturgy (Roman Rite) and some materials dedicated what some call “the new liturgical movement” and a look at a possible and possibly needed “reform of the reform” as well. These pages will usually be expanding, I hope, so please be patient and understanding, as I work on filling this vast theme out, step by step. Thanks! And I am most open to any suggestions and feedback you might have as well—contact me at:
MAGNA CARTA OF RENEWAL/ CRISIS IN LITURGICAL SITUATION/ TRANSLATION PROBLEMS/ PROBLEMS WITH REFORMED RITES/ BEFORE AND AFTER “RENOVATIONS”/ SIGNS OF HOPE / THE CLASSICAL LITURGY LIVES!/ BLESSED OASES/ LIGHT FROM THE EAST/ DEEPENING LITURGICAL LIFE–NOW!/ FINAL HOPE
“How I love Thy house, O LORD, the place where Thy Glory dwells!” (Ps 26:8) “LORD, it is good that we be here!” (Mt 17:4)
The charter for this new liturgical renewal is, of course, the Second Vatican Council’s rich and traditional Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy(which, sad to say, seems to have been seriously misunderstood and too often misapplied in the last decades of liturgical “renewal”). I might add, too, that The Catechism of The Catholic Church (which every Catholic should have–and can be ordered from this link) gives wonderful teachings on the Church’s liturgy, sacramental life and worship that can serve well in any new liturgical movement to reappropriate the great heritage that is ours as Catholics. No liturgical renewal worthy of the name can be unfaithful to these great words of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which expresses incomparably the essence of the Catholic Church’s vision of her liturgical worship of God in spirit and in truth, in the beauty of holiness:
“2. For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, “the work of our redemption is accomplished,” and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.
The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, the object of our quest.
The liturgy daily builds up those who are in the Church, making of them a holy temple of the Lord, a dwelling-place for God in the Spirit, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ. At the same time it marvellously increases their power to preach Christ and thus show forth the Church, a sign lifted up among the nations, to those who are outside, a sign under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together  until there is one fold and one shepherd .” _______________________________________________________
1. Secret prayer of 9th Sunday after Pentecost 2. Cf. Heb. 13:14. 3. Cf. Eph. 2:21-22. 4. Cf. Eph. 4:13. 5. Cf. Jn. 11:12. 6. Cf. Jn. 11:52. 7. Cf. Jn. 10:16.
Perhaps the greatest theologian of our times, Fr Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote a piece that might set the tone for any discussion of the Catholic Liturgy in his New Elucidations (Ignatius Press)–which can be ordered from this link–and it’s worth reading and pondering deeply, “The Worthiness of the Liturgy.” And another wonderful source of insight into the Church’s adoration of the Thrice-Holy God is this chapter on “Adoration” from Msgr Romano Guardini’s classic “The Lord” (which can be ordered from this link). And for one other piece–to set the tone–here is a short reflection of Pere Henri Marie Lacordaire, OP, on the beauty of holiness–its sublimity and “extravagance”– that has characterized much of the best of the “Catholic ethos” of litugical worship of the Triune God. More recently another significant Catholic voice (and, not surprisingly, the voice of a convert, Fr Richard John Neuhaus) calls for a new appreciation of the holiness of beauty.
A book that deals specifically with “the new liturgical movement” has been published,
“BEYOND THE PROSAIC: RENEWING THE LITURGICAL MOVEMENT”
a collection of papers presented in 1996 at an international conference of the Oxford Centre for Faith & Culture (instrumental in “The Oxford Declartion” featured on this site on “Signs of Hope Page”)….you can order this important book from this link.
Another book that has received rave reviews is by a young scholar, Catherine Pickstock, and I add this new and important book here for those interested in a more in-depth look at some of the issues connected with liturgical renewal and reform: (and on my BookCenter Page, there are two reviews of this work).
AFTER WRITING: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy
“Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ……..who has predestined us…to be full of love…..to the praise of His Glory!” (Ephesians 1)
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