Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Re-enchantment of the Liturgy: a mutual venture

Today I received a copy of the Latin Liturgy Association newsletter which included the agenda for their upcoming national convention.

While I posted this here earlier in the week, today was the first opportunity I had to really look at the line up of speakers and liturgies.

I was particularly pleased to see a range of speakers that included both the reform of the reform crowd (Helen Hull Hitchcock of Adoremus for example) and also the Tridentine crowd (Msgr. Schmitz of the Institute of Christ the King for example). This was also reflected in the liturgical schedule which includes a Saturday morning mass in the modern rite in Latin, and a Pontifical High Mass in the Tridentine Rite, offered by Archbishop Raymond Burke at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.

This project of bringing together those seeking to re-enchant the modern Roman liturgy on the one hand, and those who seek to widen the availability and fullness of liturgical life available in the classical Roman liturgy on the other, is a very great sign of hope and progress.

I recently did a review of Abbe Claude Barthe's book, Beyond Vatican II. Amongst the various insights of that book, one of them was precisely that these two movements need to begin working together in more and more substantial ways, each understanding the value of the other's project and the fact that ultimately there is a common goal: the restoration of fitting Catholic worship. Indeed, there are various particular differences, but differences mustn't always be a cause for division. Some differences form part of a legitimate diversity; a tapestry if you will.

This is why when I go to a CIEL colloquium and see the likes of an FSSP priest sitting alongside his brother reform of the reform priest, I am encouraged. Here too is a realization that the work of groups like CIEL are of equal value and interest to both movements.

Likewise, I am encouraged when I go to a place like the Toronto Oratory and witness the beginnings of the reform of the reform there, additionally alongside their Sunday Missa Cantata in the classical Roman rite.

Some of us feel called to closely work within both projects. And while all may not be so called, we all, I propose, need to at very least grow into a sense of fraternity and communion, realizing we are together working to re-enchant the liturgy of the Roman church.

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