Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fr. Lang on Zenit: The Noble Simplicity of Liturgical Vestments

Late last night an excellent article appeared on Zenit which will certainly be of interest to many NLM readers for two reasons. One, it is written by Fr. Uwe Michael Lang of the Oratory who is a consultor of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, as well as an official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The second is for reason of the topic of the article: The Noble Simplicity of Liturgical Vestments.

In this article, Fr. Lang examines the topic of beauty in the sacred liturgy and further, what is noble simplicity when it relates to sacred vestments. This is a topic which arises ever more frequently today as we see interest in and revivals of traditional forms of vestment design and ornamentation, particularly amongst the younger generations. Some, particularly those of older generations, struggle with this.

Touching upon the recent homily of the Holy Father in the dedication of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Fr. Lang comments that "Divine beauty manifests itself in an altogether particular way in the sacred liturgy, also through material things of which man, made of soul and body, has need to come to spiritual realities: the building of worship, the furnishings, the vestments, the images, the music, the dignity of the ceremonies themselves."

He continues, commenting on Pope John Paul II's affirmation that "Christ himself wanted a fitting a decorous environment for the Last Supper, asking his disciples to prepare it in the house of a friend who had a "large upper room furnished" (Luke 22:12; cf. Mark 14:15). In face of Judas' protest that the anointing with precious oil was an unacceptable "waste," given the need of the poor, Jesus, without diminishing the obligation of concrete charity towards the needy, declared his great appreciation for the woman's action... John Paul II concludes that the Church, as the woman of Bethany, "does not fear to 'waste,' investing the best of her resources to express her adoring wonder in the face of the incommensurable gift of the Eucharist".

Read the entire article on Zenit.

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