Friday, March 15, 2013

Stay Calm Pope Francis Has Not Halted The Reform of the Reform Of the Liturgy ( New Liturgical Movement )

A Evangelical at Houston Baptist University wrote a nice article a few years ago called  The Threefold Witness of the Church - The Catholic Peter, the Orthodox John, and the Protestant Paul.

As to Catholics he said in part :

Throughout her long and bumpy history, the Roman Catholic Church has been the church that has most fully engaged the world around her. While Orthodoxy withdraws and Protestantism divides, The Catholic Church wrestles and grapples and gets her hands dirty. She makes mistakes (lots of them) but presses on nevertheless—ever struggling and yet ever maintaining her integrity and identity. Like Peter, she grows and learns without ever quite losing that rashness and impulsiveness that defines her. When God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (“he who wrestles with God”), he surely meant it as both a compliment and a criticism. The Israelites born out of Jacob’s loins proved (like Peter and the Catholic Church) to be wrestlers with God: now embracing his Word and with it setting the world on fire; now resisting that same Word and running after the world. When at her best, the Catholic Church (like Peter at Pentecost) stands boldly before the crowd proclaiming the message that is a stumbling block to the world. At her worst, she elicits the very rebuke that Jesus gave to Peter: “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Yet still, ever and always, she persists and remains herself— a rock thrown in the river to trouble the waters .

I have to say as a convert to Catholicism I think he pegs it. This  wrestling with God by implication means a lot of wrestling with each other Catholics  a good bit especially in the Latin Rite part of the Catholic Church.

The election of Pope Francis has though in large part been greeted with much positive excitement by it seems the many that faction that wrestle with  each other in Catholicism.

There has been one part of the Catholic world where there has been SOME reservations and perhaps fear by a few . That is those whose are in a more traditionalist liturgy camp and those who are in the " Reform of the Reform " liturgy camp in which I myself am a member. Again this is all very Western ( Latin Rite ) stuff to a certain extent .

There is no doubt that many of us were in an Liturgical reform of the reform of the Liturgy Disney World during the Benedict Pontificate. Benedict was not the only voice of the reform of the reform as to liturgy  .but  was liturgical wise someone that put a lot of it in practice on a grand stage.

A FEW  LOUD " Traditionalist" voice have raised concerns that the Pope Francis  Pontificate means a return to the bad ole days. Much of this is rooted in fear over real hurts where they were often shut of the Church in past decades.

I say a few because for the most part I am seeing very positive thoughts and words from most in these camps about the future Pope Francis.In fact many such as we see here are giving some needed fraternal correction to some voices of doom.

That being said very sane and good article written by Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement is out today that I hope calms some fears. See the link below

Some Liturgical Thoughts for the NLM Following the Election of Pope Francis
I think  that article is largely correct.
It's important to note that  John Paul II , Benedict , and now Pope Francis all come out of the school of Dynamic Orthodoxy. A movement that allows for more expressions of the Faith that it is not generally given credit for sadly.  
It needs to be recalled that among some Traditionalists Catholic movements like the  The Neocatechumenal  Way would give them a constant cases of the hives.There were and are no doubt certain concerns about the The Way even some shared by Pope Benedict. But on the whole Pope Benedict has been viewed as a Friend to the " THE WAY " . See Statement by Initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way on Pope Benedict's Retirement .  One can no doubt add other Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. Much to the chagrin of some Pope Benedict did not shut down the Life Teen Masses for instance.

As Twibe states in part :

...Benedict, while the "father of the new liturgical movement" (in my estimation at any rate), is not the new liturgical movement; as such the new liturgical movement does not die with the end of his papacy. No, the new liturgical movement is not based on a person or personality; the new liturgical movement set in motion by him is just that: it is a movement and one based on liturgical first principles. That movement continues to exist now and, as it always has been, is mainly operative at the grassroots level amongst laymen and women, amongst seminarians and amongst the clergy -- especially the younger clergy. While I wouldn't care to deny that it is certainly helpful when the pope is himself bearing the standard of this new liturgical movement, it is not a make or break point at the end of the day -- and for that reason, as interesting as it will be to see how the papal liturgies unfold over the next years, more crucial will be what is happening on the ground at the parish level for it is ultimately there where the new liturgical movement is based at this stage of its life; there and in the writings and researches put forward by the liturgical conferences we have spoken about, the books and periodicals that are put out, etc. As it was in the 20th century Liturgical Movement, so too again now.

In this regard I can only offer my encouragement that you forge on with the movement that was seeded and fathered by Pope Benedict XVI but which was always destined to have to outlive his own particular papacy, not to mention many others. Take courage in that reality and realize that we could never expect this to be simply handed to us from on high (a source of frustration for some even under the last pontificate). Tools were given as we still have those tools; now we need to utilize them and from them draw out further gains and progress. All of the tools and gains we have seen, from the new English translation of the modern Roman missal, to Summorum Pontificum and the Ordinariate, to all of the grassroots resources that have sprung up to help people learn to sing the propers again and so on, none of these things have ceased to exist; nor have they become redundant. Far from it. Our task is clear: like a gardener we must now tend to the garden, watering and fertilizing those those seeds and tending to the green shoots. Let's focus on the tasks at hand
I am in total agreement. Its my belief ( a well placed hope perhaps ) that people that wish to continue the " reform of the reform " of the liturgy " have little to fear from a Pope Francis Pontificate. 
In fact its seems with the directions that Francis seems to want to go it does not seem likely he wants to open up the  exhausting " Liturgy wars " again  Both the reforms of both Pope John Paul the II and especially Benedict has calmed this battle quite a good bit. It would be too much of a distraction I believe to where Francis wants this Papacy to go. The reform of the reform in to such things as Sacred architecture, Sacred music, sacred Art  and sacred Liturgy still has a positive future at the grassroots where the real work has always been done.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FreeRangeK said...

You need to set your comments to "Approval by Admin".

I think Pope Francis will have bigger fish to fry. B16 ushered in a new translation and ability to celebrate the Mass once again in Latin. I see no reason for Pope Francis to meddle in that.

His own personal style and commitment to simplicity will probably be evident though.

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