Saturday, May 01, 2010

In Zenit: Benedict on Music and Gagliardi on the Concluding Rites

Some interesting things in the latest edition of Zenit.

First, Pope Benedict XVI Praises the Value of Music. "The study of music has high value in the educational process of the person, inasmuch as it produces positive effects in the individual's development, fostering his harmonious human and spiritual growth," he said. "We know that the formative value of music, in its implications of expressive, creative, relational, social and cultural nature, is commonly recognized."

As well, Fr. Mauro Gagliardi, a consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, offers another piece for the Spirit of the Liturgy series, The Priest in the Concluding Rites of the Mass wherein he considers these in relation to both the usus antiquior and modern Roman liturgy. After his analysis, inclusive of the reforms made, he offers these considerations:

The revision of the Rites of Conclusion carried out in the Missal of Paul VI marks some elements of progress: a) The different modalities of blessing express more completely the message of Scripture and of the liturgical Tradition; b) The suppression of the last Gospel does not represent a grave harm, given the character of blessing that it had in the "Vetus Ordo"; c) The inversion of the greeting and the blessing manifests that only with the grace of God can we be faithful to the Lord each day.

On these points, we must not lament the changes made. One could reflect on the opportunity to reintroduce the "Placeat." However, one must recognize the theological and celebratory impoverishment due to the insertion, in the Novus Ordo, of the notices to the faithful as proper part, officially normalized, of the Rites of Conclusion. Although the most recent one underlines that these notices must be brief and that they must be given only if they are necessary, this does not take away from the fact that an element has been introduced officially that is foreign in itself to the liturgy, which later, in fact, has often become a real central element of the Rites of Conclusion of the Mass.

Therefore, while it is suggested to priests to reduce to the minimum, what is more, in so far as possible that this practice be eliminated all together, it must be hoped that in a future reform of the IGMR the present concession will be removed.

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