Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

"Best" practices for worship?

USCatholic never disappoints.

Note that the word "universal" never rears its Catholic head.
It’s important that people believe in what is happening, that people want to draw from the texts and truly want to connect with God, with creation, and with people in the community... “It should be very lively and active because everyone is engaged,” says Ruff; everyone should be participating in the dialogue and participating in song. “It should not be hokey or gimmicky or silly. It should be beautiful, classy, and elegant.”
Okay, no argument - although I think "lively" is a poor choice of words because of what most people will think it means.
“We tried so hard after Vatican II for active participation that we veered to gimmicks and silliness.” As a result, some Catholics went in the opposite direction and called for a return to the pre-Vatican II Mass. “That’s the wrong solution,” says Ruff. “We need to find out how to deepen the liturgy in a way that is more engaging.”
Why? Why is it "wrong"? Why can't it be part of the solution? The Church says it can.Also, it's dishonest to pretend that most of those who asked and continue to ask for the old Rite did so as a reaction to "gimmicks and silliness" rather than as a reaction, misplaced or not, to the new Rite.
Make beautiful music That’s what Father Michael White and his pastoral associate, Tom Corcoran, do at Church of the Nativity in Baltimore, Maryland. In their book Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter (Ave Maria Press), they describe the use of Gregorian chant in their otherwise “contemporary approach to the weekend experience.” Gregorian chant during the acclamations of the Eucharistic prayers, they say, “seems to very effectively summon our congregation into the very heart of the mystery we celebrate.”
Pretty sure what they are talking about is NOT "Gregorian" chant. But when you are studiously avoiding any hint that universality, such as one would find in the use of one liturgical language for all, has value, you might want that obfuscation
making music too central to the Mass can also cause a problem. Music must serve the liturgy, he says, not the other way around. In one case, Wagner had to move the choir from their place in the sanctuary to the side of the church because they had begun taking up too much of the focus.
Ya think? I wonder if the problem was not that music was "too central to the Mass." I wonder if it was that the music chosen WAS NOT THE MASS. I wonder if the music was peripheral or added on, in which case ANY focus on it is going to detract from the actual Mass. If what they meant  by "good gospel music" was the Propers and the Odinary, I apologize.
“Boring preaching is a real problem,”
Can't argue. I admit, I have been fortunate in my faith live, lots of dreadful homilists, but also lots of superb preachers, and many whose message was strong enough to compensate for lack of rhetorical gifts.
“If the homilies don’t connect, if the music is not engaging,” all is lost,
That is just sad. The problem, if I may suggest, is that the Truth of the Eucharist, and the centrality of the Eucharist has been masked by so many people for so many years that many catholic have grown up and grown old without recognizing the consolation of the Eucharist in the face of lousy preaching, inappropriate music, etc.
Does one size fit all age groups, interests, or backgrounds?...Should parishes offer specialized liturgies like a Mass for teens or a children’s Mass to best engage those segments of the parish? Zsupan-Jerome sees a real drawback in this approach, as she believes these types of liturgies detract from our unity as the one body of Christ...Having a specialized liturgy that is just for teens or those who like a certain style of music will in some sense hinder this all-inclusiveness. The very style of the liturgy cannot be overemphasized at the expense of its basic reality as the gathering of the body.”
Yes, very good!
“We make sure we have every group represented,” Villaverde says, “whether in song, reading, or some way that allows them to participate in a way that expresses their culture.”
No, very bad!

See, here's where if you recognized the catholicity of the actual "best worship practices" you could so so much more for unity.

"Let's let everyone, or rather, every group do something that is specific to them and their preferences when they get together a couple times a year," make unity a kind of tourism, a sight-seeing day-trip to Liturgical Epcot, peeking over the railing at The Other.

And that is what comes of ignoring the principle of Universality, and promoting a mindset that can only approach the idea of Latin as a return to the Olden Days.

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