Saturday, January 21, 2006

Guest Column: Growing up in the Modern Liturgical Movement, by Fr. Christopher Smith, STL

I am pleased to offer the following guest column by Fr. Christopher Smith, STL, parochial vicar of St. Mary's in Greenville, SC, and the priest of whose video I spoke of recently. (Incidentally, if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of this DVD, Fr. Smith has suggested interested parties might contact the parish by phone at 864.271.8422 and ask for the Director of Religious Education in order to obtain more info on the possibility of acquiring the DVD. I'd highly recommend it.) This piece written by Fr. Smith, titled Growing up in the Liturgical (Modern) Liturgical Movement is an autobiographical piece, and one which gives some interesting insight into the liturgical scene of Rome and Europe.

Here is an excerpt:

"My interest in the classical Roman rite led to a fateful decision to get in a car with seven guys and ride up to the Seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for my first Easter Triduum in the Old Rite. All at once I was exposed to the riches of the Roman liturgy all at its zenith: the tonus Wigratzbadiensis for the Genesis reading at the Vigil, the Mozarabic Lamentations for Tenebrae, watching before the tabernacle in the seminary chapel reading Francois Mauriac’s Holy Thursday, and Solemn High Mass on Easter Sunday. We kept going back, and word of our experiences got around so that, four years later, I led over seventy kids to the seminary then in the hands of the Society of St John. My enthrallment with the traditional Roman liturgy was complete.

"It was during my time at Christendom, hanging around with so many priests and religious and other young men and women in discernment, that I began to mature the idea of a vocation to the priesthood, but I had no idea what to do. I had become enflamed with the ideals of the classical liturgical movement, I had spent much if my time among Catholics attached to the Latin and Eastern rites, so much so that I felt just more at home among the Melkites and the Russians than I did when I went home to Greenville. I had a great interest in the Canons Regular of Premontre, or Norbertines, and my interest in liturgy was paralleled only by that of monastic and canonical spirituality and theology. Fr Skeris suggested that I contact Fr Frank Phillips, who was pastor of St John Cantius in Chicago."

Please read the whole article here: Growing up in the Modern Liturgical Movement

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