Thursday, August 06, 2009

Re-Enchanting the Liturgy: Sacred Heart, Chariton, Iowa

A reader (and parishioner of the parish in question) recently drew our attention to the parish of Sacred Heart in Chariton, Iowa, USA where, since last September when their new pastor arrived, they have been actively working within the context of the reform of the reform. From what the parishioner tells of matters, there is a concerted effort that the sacred ceremonies be carried out with dignity, beauty and in a spirit of continuity.

Not only have bells and incense been re-instituted as a regular part of the liturgy, Gregorian chant has as well for parts of the Ordinary of the Mass. Further, the choir of the parish has now been moved away from the front of the church, and back into the choir loft.

As regards the matter of liturgical orientation, ad orientem has been regularly introduced at one of the parish's weekday Masses, and otherwise the "Benedictine arrangement" is in evidence.

The modern Roman liturgy offered ad orientem

The "Benedictine arrangement"

Parish response to these changes have been very good and fruitful the NLM is told.

* * *

It is good to see that the matter of liturgical orientation and sacred music were given such an evidently high priority in this parish's project of re-enchanting the sacred liturgy.

I say this because these two elements are particularly important as regards the overall character and spirit of the liturgical rites and thus should indeed be given a priority.

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