Sunday, September 03, 2006

More on co-existence

Sorry for the quietitude today. Preparations are in the midst for the upcoming CIEL conference.

That being said, a reader wanted to share the following reflection by Fr. Zuhlsdorf for possible discussion here on the NLM:

"A true Catholic spirit, an authentic Catholic sense of the Church as a whole, brings a person to understand that when one part of the Church thrives and is happy and holy, then everyone in the Church benefits. It is much to the advantage to those who desire to attend Mass only with the 1962 Missale Romanum for the celebrations according to the 1970 Novus Ordo be reverent and faithful according to the rubrics and (if they really must be in the vernacular) good texts. Similarly, people who attend the Novus Ordo and have zero interest in the older form of Mass, far from being stingy and resentful ought to be happy that others have the opportunity to participate in the more traditional form of Mass. How can it not be good if people are participating at reverent and faithfully celebrated Masses, according to their respective books? How is that not good for everyone?

My experience in Camden convinced me of the benefits that each form of Mass, properly expressed, has for the other. The priest in charge of the Mater Ecclesiae community in the Diocese of Camden, Fr. Robert Pasley, had been a guest of the famous Msgr. Richard J. Schuler at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul, where the Novus Ordo is celebrated with unparalleled splendor and reverence, especially in regard to sacred music. Father learned from what Msgr. Schuler accomplished at St. Agnes and, when it he was called upon to serve at Mater Ecclesiae, he put into practice what he learned from the experience of a Novus Ordo parish that was, so to speak, firing on all its Roman cylinders. Similarly, I know young priests doing wonderful work in parishes where only the Novus Ordo is used. They didn’t grow up with the older form of Mass. They aren’t burdened with aging hippie baggage or less than perfect memories. Through their healthy curiosity about the older form of Mass and desire to learn to celebrate it, they come to know how better to celebrate the newer Mass. In a sense, they root their understanding of all forms of Mass in an appreciation of the Roman Rite.

The traditional Mass community all over the world has been subtly but powerfully influenced by the positive fruits of the Novus Ordo, even where it has been celebrated imperfectly or even badly. I think that Holy Mass in its older, traditional form is being offered more beautifully these days than it was in the old days, precisely because of the intervening “dark” years of liturgical chaos. Even in the times of real abuse of the rubrics and there were also many useful things to be learned. In my opinion the Novus Ordo has a much brighter future because of more opportunities for celebrations of the older so-called “Tridentine” form.

Having celebrations of Holy Mass with the older form and the new form (in Latin or in the vernacular) can and should be seen as a Win-Win situation for everyone involved, so long as everyone involved is doing their very best and making their best effort to participate as Holy Church asks, that is, with “full, conscious, and active” participation and in the state of grace. How can that be anything but good for everyone?"

The whole piece may be read here.

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