Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fr. Tim Finigan on the Isle of Wight

Fr. Tim Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity has been busy with various engagements in Britain.

Most recently, he has been visiting the Isle of Wight, and in particular, St. Cecilia's Abbey. While on the Isle, he has been pursuing the celebration of the liturgy in both forms of the Roman Rite, as well as both Mass and the public celebration of the Divine Office.

The reason I wished to bring Fr. Finigan's travels here to your attention is that it gives another opportunity to show and to give comment on two liturgical pairings that I believe are fundamental today: pursuit of both the reform of the reform and usus antiquior, and pursuit of both the Mass and the public celebration of the Divine Office.

While not all may be in a position to effect this of course, the pursuit of the two forms of the Roman rite, offered in a spirit of continuity as per Fr. Finigan, is, I believe, a model for the liturgical reform which Benedict XVI is trying to effect. As well, the pursuit of the both the celebration of the Mass and the Divine Office is an important aspect of our approach toward a new liturgical movement -- and let us recall, of the Second Vatican Council which stated that "Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts." (para. 100, SC)

If -- in addition to formal, systematic programs of catechesis of course -- we can foster parishes and oratories where we see the modern Roman liturgy offered in a spirit of continuity, where the usus antiquior is a familiar aspect of parish (and priestly) life, and where the public, sung celebration of the Divine Office is likewise a more routine occurrence as per the instructions of Sacrosanctum Concilium, it seems to me we shall begin to see significant gains not only in the Benedictine liturgical reform and new liturgical movement, but even more generally within all aspects of Catholic life and practice itself.

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