Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Reform of Catholic Worship

There has been a conference in Rome on the Liturgy at which our Ordinary delivered an address, and at which he was presented with a pectoral cross for his work for the Church. The following video encourages us to improve the Novus Ordo liturgy to make it more mystical and therefore also more appropriate for evangelisation.

As Fr Ed says on his blog, commenting on the words of Prof Tracey Rowland, that beauty is extremely important not only for ourselves (it guards againsts worship becoming boring) but also because it speaks a language of the heart to those who do not yet believe. Experience of beautiful and mystical worship has an effect that transcends human words and thoughts.

She said, “To evangelise post-modern people [the Christian narrative] has to appear to be something starkly different from the secular culture they imbibe which is a culture parasitic upon the Christian tradition but completely decadent.” This is something we have to really face up to in the Church. The assumption held by so many at the moment is that 'we need to be like the culture we live in' in order to attract. But the opposite appears to be the case. Where there is growth, whether in religious orders or new ecclesial movements, it is where people do not fear to live the Faith counter-culturally. 

Sri Lankan Cardinal, Malcolm Ranjith, spoke to Catholic News Service about the need for mystery in worship:

One of the things we need to overcome is our personal tastes in worship. Whether we like folk music, rock, classical, jazz or blues, the Church's worship is not the place for it. Copying musical forms from the world and importing them to Christian worship may seem a strategy to 'bring people in' but it does not work. The Church never does this sort of music as well as the world does it! So it always sounds wrong. Whereas the Church has its own music which is totally different to all the different forms found in the world. It sounds different. It works differently. And it is solidly based in the faith of the Church for centuries and centuries. It is also the form of music recommended most heartily by the Second Vatican Council (Sacrosanctum Concilium) - Gregorian Chant. This is not an issue about taste, it is about worshipping in the way the Church recommends - which means it is the way the Holy Spirit guides us. It is also counter-cultural and has the capacity to attract and protect the mystery of worship.

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)