Not A Moment to Delay
Idling is a terrible thing! Apart from my Google Reader list, which I try and trim down regularly so as not to waste time, however, I do occasionally seek things out of curiosity. Audio is challenging for me: it must really be good to hold my attention. I still prefer the printed word or its blogged equivalent.
Those of you who follow my reflections on the debate as to where our “liturgical” salvation lies this side of heaven, whether in the reform of the reform or in a full restoration as the only means of picking up the threads and promoting a certain evolution or ongoing reform of the Sacred Liturgy, as willed by the Second Vatican Council, will know that I lean toward the reform of the reform.
The piece cited below entitled “The Battle for the Ancient Mass” has not really swayed me on that account, but it has confirmed me in the urgent need of a reform of the status quo, let us say, for the sake of the children. The arbitrary, the capricious, the undignified must be banished from our churches such that small children, young children and young people might know these spaces for what they must be, namely as God’s House. Father Goodwin quotes the present Holy Father’s judgment that much of contemporary liturgy represents rupture, a banal, on the spot product. I am not so bold in my own pleas for faithfulness to rubrics and the cultivation of a certain gravitas in the way the priest approaches the Sacred Mysteries. While some might consider my adherence to ad Orientem worship as radical, I think if they were to try it for a longer period of time they would become as convinced as I am that this is how liturgy is meant to be.
Recent attempts on my part to involve others in reflection on sacred music have been fended off with appeals to the genius of any given people and the rightness of striving for a healthy measure of inculturation as a way to the people’s heart. Sadly, what my interlocutors spell as inculturation reads for me as little more than improvisation. I am reminded of a mother superior who roundly condemned the “offertory dance procession” of some local girls we had experienced as “too jiggly”, while acclaiming the rendition by her own postulants from Africa as genuine. I saw no difference except that the local girls preferred outfits with spandex and madras as opposed to the Africans’ full tunics. Both were “jiggly” to me and bringing up the Book of the Gospels in the fruit basket from the market on some gal’s head could hardly defend itself from Fr. Goodwin’s judgment “banal, on the spot product”, or to quote myself: “Say inculturation if you will, I am still reading improvisation.”
As I say, I’m not a “restoration man” as such or as yet, but I fully understand what Fr. Goodwin is saying “for the sake of the children”. Save him for a quiet moment and decide for yourself whether we dare lose another moment to the arbitrary!
By FSSP on May 26, 2010
Father Calvin Goodwin, FSSP, discusses the history and struggles associated with the Traditional Latin Mass in this hour long talk.