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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Not Rosary, But SYLLABLE Counting!

Whaddya think of THAT, Holy Father?
So I'm reading along on a blog, (yes, yet again fretting about the lectionary and its paucity of needed repetition, and what exactly will I be doing tomorrow at RelEd, when, lucky dog that I am, I am going to be able to re-use the Abraham/Isaac sketch so that MAYBE they'll remember it, add a bit with 3 Apostles post-Transfiguration sounding like Steve Martin's dumb "what was that?" guy, and if one of my good ten year old orator's is in attendance, finish up with Paul's "what's anyone else gonna be able to do about it if I put myself on God's side?" exhortation) and I come across, (note use of historical present,)  a thread about the relative amounts of scripture in EF and OF.
The syllable counting was a  joke, sort of, but was actually done.
The blog in question is not one I read anymore, so I don't recognize "voices" the way I do on Chant Cafe, or such, but I found myself reading one combox denizen and thinking, wow, well put, and, more important, good insights, and wouldn'tcha know?

Mons. Wadsworth.

Because Fr Ruff says, " the unreformed rite has as much or more Scripture if you tally the big chunks repeated over and over every Sunday (such as the Last Gospel), but the reformed rite has much more Scripture being introduced week by week," which is just the problem, in my book.

I feel as if, instead of seeing how much of it we could get through if we spread it out over 156 weeks instead of 52, the guys in charge should have asked William Goldman to do what he did with Morgenstern's masterpiece, fabricate an Only The Good Parts version of the Bible, (yes, I know it's a literary conceit, not something he really did.)
Three four readings, YES! (the psalm, count the psalm or canticle!)
Hearing the Prodigal Son once every three years, NO! (yes, I know that in the year that it is read it may be read twice, but if your parish always does Year A because of RCIA it won't have been, so even if your family never misses a Sunday, and start schlepping you to Mass 2 weeks after your birth, by the time your first confession rolls around it is possible you have heard it proclaimed only twice, and that on one of those occasions you were 2 years old.)

About the continuous weekday Ordinary Time readings I am of two minds, so I will weigh in on neither side of that, but I have no ambivalence about the need for more repetition on Sundays and Major Feasts.
Maybe range rather than quantity is a better modality for comparison or comment. Clearly the OF adopts a wider range of Scriptural texts in an obvious fulfilment of what was mandated in Sacrosanctum concilium, yet its presentation of Scripture is often based on quite different principles from those which underpin the EF.
An example of this would be the almost universal preference for the lectio continua of the ferial lectionary when a memoria is kept, in preference to the selection of readings from the commons. In the EF, this is not a possibility and the range of Scriptural texts associated with the celebration of saints is narrower and yet one might argue that the identification of certain scriptural texts with the celebration of certain mysteries is very ancient and might even be considered part of a primitive liturgical kerygma.
If this is the case, then the narrower range does not necessarily mean a lessening of the importance of the use of Scripture in the liturgy but rather the presentation of a different paradigm. The combination of Sacrosanctum concilium and Verbum Dei brings a revolution in our understanding of the way in which Scripture is integral to our celebration and understanding of the liturgical mystery. My personal sense of this, as someone who regularly celebrates in both forms, is that we have a long way to go in beginning to experience many of the aspects of this important element of the liturgy as described in these two fundamental decrees of the Council.

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