Divisive Liturgy # 2

Bishop Drainey of Middlesborough celebrates Mass at Lourdes 

Image courtesy of Catholic and Loving It! A lot of purple. Was it Lent or something?

'Now, the priest - the "presider", as they now prefer to call him - becomes the real point of reference for the whole liturgy. Everything depends on him. We have to see him, to respond to him, to be involved in what he is doing. His creativity sustains the whole thing. Not surprisingly, people try to reduce this newly created role by assigning all kinds of liturgical functions to different individuals and entrusting the "creative" planning of the liturgy to groups of people who like to, and are supposed to, "make their own contribution". Less and less is God in the picture. More and more important is what is done by human beings who meet here and do not like to subject themselves to a "pre-determined pattern". The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself.'
 ~ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy, p.80 (2000, Ignatius Press)


That book is well worth reading and re-reading

Comments

Patricius said…
Surely this is "The Farmer's in his Den" or "Ring a ring of Roses"?
Richard Collins said…
Never, ever go to a Mass in Lourdes unless you are satisfied it is a genuine, fur lined, ocean going, 100 dollar EF Mass.
All others are, absolutely terrible and have no relation to a Catholic liturgy.
Marie said…
"Less and less is God in the picture"?

I see God in the picture.
I see a child in the foreground, hands clasped in prayer, a Down's Syndrome child perhaps, utterly rapt, absorbed in the atmosphere, totally sincere.
I see young people involved in a way rare in my church.
I see Bernadette.
Marie

Yes, I know what you mean, but I still do not think that is the point of the liturgy. The liturgy points towards the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.
Louis said…
'The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself.'


Have have you noticed, when the Pope celebrates Mass at St Peter's basilica he literally sits at the very centre of the building, where the main axes intersect. The concelebrants and congregation are arranged in a circle around him. When the Pope sings the collect and post communion he is facing true east, but almost everybody else is looking at the Benedictine liturgical east, that is, the altar cross, which is directly behind the Pope. As you know, in the EF the celebrant bows to the altar cross before singing the collects and the priest and congregation stand united in the direction of prayer. The papal chair needs to be moved ASAP from its central position, wouldn't you say?
Louis said…
Postscript: This is not a problem when the Pope celebrates Mass in St Peter's Square. Like everyone else, he faces the altar cross, as he himself recommends. But indoors? For reasons of visibility, and in continuity with the past, the Pope could preach from a falstool placed in front of the altar, but to preside from the centre of the building, with the back to what he advocates as the focus of prayer, just gives out the wrong signals. It's worse than what Cardinal Vingt-Trois does at Notre Dame - at least he turns to face the cross, along with everyone else, for the kyrie.