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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Ave Maria University's Liturgical Style

This is a guest editorial in the Naples News from the president of Ave Maria University. (I wish I could find the editorial or letter to the editor to which it replies.)
It has been the university’s explicit desire from the onset to have all forms of Catholic worship permitted by the church to be permitted at Ave Maria University. Thankfully, the bishop and our pastor allow Mass in Latin, the Tridentine Mass and Mass with praise and worship music (all in good taste and quality). If anything, the more traditional liturgies are dominant, since our university choirs (with the support of the university’s Sacred Music Department) exclusively sing Gregorian Chant and sublime classical hymns at liturgies. Those students and town residents who prefer more contemporary liturgical music have been given very little, far less than in most parishes.

Yes, it took several months to work out the terms for the utilization of the Oratory, a building owned and maintained by the university, to be put at the disposal of a diocesan parish. The inherent complexities of such an arrangement take time and patience to be resolved, and the long and careful discussions ought not to be interpreted as “defiance” of the bishop.

As for kneeling for communion, the American bishops, with the formal approval of Rome, have established that the norm for receiving Communion is standing, although no one can be refused Communion if they kneel. Anyone who comes to Mass at the Oratory can testify that no one is ever refused Communion kneeling. In fact our pastor has installed kneelers near the altar — as is his prerogative — and in practice, many of those receiving Communion do so kneeling. Those who stand for Communion, in faithful compliance with the bishop’s explicit directive, should not be labeled as “unorthodox” as de Stuart’s too-narrow standards seem to suggest.

Diversity and pluralism are hallmarks of Catholicism and are celebrated at Ave Maria.
There has certainly been a deal of conflict coming out of the place, and it didn't always seem to reflect well on Healy, but the president presents a good case for his liturgical vision here, I think. (And I am not a fan of "charismatic" liturgical stylings....)
I have no doubt that at least some of the liturgical music at Ave Maria comes near perfection, (with that faculty and staff.....)

This is of more than passing interest to me because.... well, after this miserable, began-too-early-running-too-long-how-can-I-pay-the-gas-bill winter how could a hedonist NOT be thinking of relocating to warmer climes, and wondering where might be a good place to alight?
(Yeah, come July I will be b****ing and moaning about the heat, instead of my current self-indulgent threnody)

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