Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Splendour of Worship


Pope St John XXIII celebrating Mass..
if it was good enough for him...

Good article articulating some excellent points on the splendour of the liturgy by Peter Kwasniewski on the New Liturgical Movement, emphasising something so often lost in our modern worship - that it is God's doing, not ours. Hence when the liturgy is impoverished and de-ritualised, ("simplified" - as some would have it) all that happens is that many extraneous innovations are added in by individuals. Hence we end up with a liturgy with many accretions - just not ones mandated by the Church. Imported from other denominations, other religions and the secular world. It may be in time these things could become "sacralised" but this is the work of centuries - and the criticism levelled by those who reject so vociferously the "ornament" of past centuries, which has already gained a ritual and sacral meaning and been hallowed by use and honed by legislation.
"While it is sometimes possible that a saintly priest or bishop would choose to rid himself of anything valuable in order to give the money to the poor, in our own times it is much more common to encounter what might be called “ostentatious bad taste” or “hypocritical poverty,” when a priest or bishop who claims to be renouncing pomp and circumstance for the sake of the Gospel is really drawing attention to himself as a paragon of social justice, whose ugly garments or clumsy chalices in fact still cost a great deal of money — money that could have been spent on something truly beautiful, which spiritually enriches all who behold it, including the poor. We could put it this way: a priest or bishop who does not see himself as essentially a symbol of another and therefore as able to accept and promote liturgical beauty for the sake of that other will, perforce, see himself as —himself, in front of the people, on display. At this point, two roads are open to him: to be ostentatiously wealthy for the sake of worldly glory, or to be ostentatiously poor and virtuous. In either case, it’s all about him, and the result is thoroughly dis-edifying. In contrast, when a man of God really acts and speaks as a man of God, one who totally belongs to Christ the Eternal High Priest, it is extremely edifying to see him robed in splendour, uplifted in honour. When Our Lord said: “Whatsoever you do to the least, you do unto Me” (cf. Mt 25:40), He was certainly not excluding the truth that whatsoever you do to the greatest, you do to Him as well."

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