On the website of the Archdiocese of Washington, Msgr Charles Pope has published an interesting piece on the liturgical life of the early Church, debunking the idea that liturgies in the ancient “house-churches” were informal affairs, like celebrating Mass “around the dining room table”. Msgr Pope brings together the text of an ancient church order known as the Didascalia, and remains of a house-church discovered in the excavations of the ancient city of Dura Europos, in what is now eastern Syria.
Catholic World Report has a article entitle “Finding What Should Never Have Been Lost: Priests and the Extraordinary Form”, on the experience of four priests, all ordained long after Vatican II, and their rediscovery the tradition rite of Mass. Fr Paul Beach of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, says “celebrating ad orientem resulted in a diminished focus on the priest. ‘When I celebrate the Mass, it has less to do with me, the priest, and is more about God, ... The cross is the image we see, which gives it a sacrificial feel as we approach the hill of Calvary.’ ” Although he celebrates the majority of his Mass in the Ordinary Form, about 250 attend the Extraordinary Form Mass at St. Martin’s in Louisville regularly, and most of these are his age or younger. “People are surprised that we attract so many young people,” he says. “They mistakenly think people are coming to the Extraordinary Form for nostalgic reasons.”
He does far more baptisms and weddings than funerals at the parish, he noted, “with lots of screaming babies.” Click the link above to read the full article.
|Christ the Good Shepherd, from the Baptistery of the house church at Dura Europos, ca. 250 A.D. (Image from wikipedia.)|