Friday, September 22, 2006

Merit to Both Rites

Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Oregon, recently attended and preached at the Tridentine Rite, and has these reflections.

In many ways, at the end of the day, after experiencing these two liturgical rites, I thanked God for giving me the privilege of presiding at the Eucharist in both rites, but especially in the latter one which became prevalent after Vatican II. As I have shared with you before, my favorite responsibility is celebrating the sacred liturgy in parishes across the archdiocese with the full, conscious and active participation of all present.

Back in 1998, Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, addressed the question of the different rites in this way: “The orthodox forms of the rite are living realities, born out of the dialogue of love between the Church and her Lord. They are expressions of the life of the church, in which are distilled the faith, the prayer and the very life of whole generations, and which make incarnate in specific forms both the action of God and the response of man.”

I sincerely believe that the liturgical initiatives that have been carried out by our pastors and people in these past 40 years are worthy efforts to enhance this dialogue of love between us and our God. Unfortunately, some individuals have carried the expectation for freedom and creativity too far and created their own rites which reflect neither the spirit nor the letter of the conciliar texts....

A number of people thanked me for making the Tridentine rite available in this archdiocese and asked that it become even more available here in western Oregon. That request unsettles me but I shall not dismiss it without prayer and reflection.

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