Monday, February 06, 2012

Author Amy Bonaccorso on the EF, OF and the Sacred Liturgy Generally

It is always gratifying (and more than just that, it is important) to see interest in the sacred liturgy spreading and as such, I was quite pleased to be contacted a few weeks back by Amy Bonaccorso, author of How to Get to ‘I Do’ – A Dating Guide for Catholic Women, who wished to speak about the sacred liturgy and about NLM's work in relation to it.

In her article, Do You Have Access to Both Forms of the Mass?, she speaks about the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and the two forms of the Roman liturgy. She also speaks of her contact with the Benedictines of Norcia, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, and the Canons Regular of St. Augustine:

I spoke with religious communities that are striving for renewal, in part by restoring the use of the extraordinary form of the Mass. The Holy See entrusted the Monks of Norcia in San Benedetto, Italy, the birthplace of St. Benedict, with the special apostolate of celebrating the Eucharist in both forms. Their Novice Master, Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, referred to the first aim of the Motu Proprio when he said, “Well, monks are those who care for the treasures of the Church. So it seemed most fitting.”

The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, an order in Chicago, Illinois, celebrated both Masses before the Motu Proprio. Their founder, Fr. Frank Phillips, said, “Years ago in the initial formation of our community, I happened to meet ‘Cardinal’ Ratzinger and briefly spoke to him about our charism and he said – not exact words – ‘finally a community that does both.’” This order desires to “Restore the Sacred” and seeks to nurture a continuing renewal of the Christian life as fed by the liturgy.

I visited the Canonry of St. Leopold in Long Island, New York to talk to them about these developments. They are a new foundation of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, a very old order in Europe. Their Prior, Fr. Daniel Nash, said, “We give everyone a little bit of everything. We want to open the treasury of the Church, so people get everything that is theirs….not just what has been on the common market for the past 40 years.” Fr. Elias Carr said that it should be “normal” for both Masses to be available, and believes that when the Pope’s words are really heard, this is the direction we’re being led in.

Equally important are the following observations:

...after all of the interviews I did to understand this new phenomenon, I noticed some resistance. Some religious orders view this shift as a calling for some to embrace, and not others. Some Catholic media people I’ve spoken with view too much emphasis on liturgy as misguided. Liturgical renewal, they say, won’t solve all of the problems in the Church, so the emphasis doesn’t quite make sense to them.

When you speak to a priest, it becomes clear why so much energy is spent on liturgical issues. Fr. Daniel said, “Well, what does it mean to be a priest? To help people, to serve God? That’s vague. It’s to say Mass – to celebrate the liturgy.”

The central importance of the sacred liturgy, the formal worship of God the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, is indeed something which can (strangely) meet resistance, and this despite all that the Church teaches us in this regard, and despite being "the privileged place for catechizing the people of God." (CCC 1074)

We need more and more apostles of the sacred liturgy.

Do go over and read her entire article: Do You Have Access to Both Forms of the Mass?

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