Liturgy. What to remember from these shared moments?

Your December 28 article “The liturgy, a French passion” seemed particularly relevant to me. (…) On the merits, I completely agree with what you say, to admit that the practices instituted by the Council of Trent no longer corresponded at all to the expectations of the XXand century. And your article is certainly right when it associates among certain traditionalists the nostalgia for these Renaissance customs with that of the myth of a monarchy, symbolic of those times. An attitude that, I agree, some may consider irrational, even irresponsible.
On the other hand, you admit, with reason, that there were excesses on the part of people who claimed the Council, certainly wrongly, but who claimed it loud and clear and deceived many. Moreover
The cross quite often willingly made himself its spokesperson. In the field of the liturgy, but also in other fields for that matter.
However, you forget to specify that often these ardent post-conciliar people of the end of the 20thand century behaved in a way quite similar to that of the Sixty-eighters and the Maoists who spurred them on. The context of the time is probably at the origin of this similarity of behavior. But this analogy is not a simple abstraction! Because their behavior includes destruction of material works, whatever their artistic value. The churches of Paris, for example, only escaped the looting thanks to the intervention of the public authorities. This was not always the case at the bottom of the provinces. I must admit, however, that this was not just the work of a few youngsters! One can be immature at any age, even if one is a cleric!
This current, which was marginal, prided itself on being in the majority and tried to introduce its views into public opinion and to impose them by making people believe that they proceeded inexorably from the Council, especially with regard to liturgy. . To the violence against things was added an intellectual violence, particularly with regard to the liturgy. Intellectual violence certainly, but violence all the same. (…)

Christian Detreille

The “new Missal” offers a great opportunity to open our eyes to the liturgical act, and perhaps to move our gazes. (…) The more I listen and the more I participate in and watch the celebration of Sunday Mass (and following the televised Mass, in these times of pandemic, allows to diversify the experience of places and communities), a nagging question for me lives: what can we understand, what to remember from these shared moments? We often perceive joy, we feel the beauty of certain texts, we see colors, clothes, candles. There is also the beautiful and rare smell of incense, sung Latin, repeated expressions, and heterogeneous objects, stained glass windows, crosses and statues of all styles.
How can a person without a fairly complete, fairly precise Christian culture of words and stories, receive the messages that the liturgy carries?
I would formulate my question as follows: can the liturgy be a time to enter into the Christian adventure or is it reserved for initiates? Can there be accompaniment to become a member of the celebrating community? Can we imagine places, times and events that allow us to welcome, accompany, listen to questions, calls, requests from those who have not had access to Christian culture?
Could there be a strategy to meet, in complete freedom of conscience, men and women to give (or rediscover) meaning to Sunday liturgies? (…)

Yves Ardourel

I allow myself to write to you about the new organization of the celebration of the Eucharist. I am chaplain in a school of the diocesan group of See Together (blind) and superior of a community of elderly fathers. We ask ourselves a lot of questions about the proposals made to us. How did the drafting group take into account the wish to have a “Church going out”? The young people I meet do not always understand the meaning of prayers. I would take “Lamb” as an example. They do not see the meaning without speaking of the term consubstantial, certainly true at the theological level but, for many people, this term is difficult to understand. For the blind, how to remember the formulas. Braille texts have not been provided. It would be nice if the Bishops’ Conference supported full or abbreviated braille text. But this remains a difficulty for all people who cannot read. For the deaf that I am in contact with, nothing has been done to help people who read sign language. For the deaf and blind, we think it would be good to keep the current wording. This would help them to better participate in the Eucharist. I find that during the presentation of the new Missal, there were no remarks that would make the Good News better known in our secularized world where the Christian world is a minority.

Father Roger Lordong


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