17 December 2009
They Seek Beauty in Catholic Liturgy
The Anglican-rapprochement initiative issued by the Holy See is having an effect, and the flow of former Anglicans will likely continue to increase. Of course, as a primary matter, a person must convert his system of beliefs-- he must accept the Catholic faith.
But the other side of the coin--keeping the basic Anglican liturgical form-- begs the following question:
Why is keeping the Anglican form of liturgy necessary or desirable when the Catholic Church already has readily-available English language Masses? Why wouldn't former Anglicans simply attend the Novus Ordo in the vernacular?
To ask this question is to answer it. While it is not my intention to conduct a full analysis of the rubrics and theology of the Anglican use versus the Novus Ordo, simply observing the two readily leads one to the conclusion (assuming both have valid consecration as would be the case for Anglican use Catholic Masses) that reverence and beauty are found in greater quantity in the former. The beauty of the liturgy stirs the soul and lifts it to God.
This beauty and truth (speaking of accidents only--in substance they are the same) is most completely found in the Traditional Mass. The classical rite is celebrated exclusively in Latin. But the general rule that beauty in liturgy is not solely based on language is one draw to the Anglican use by English speaking converts.
In the Missouri area, it seems there is a group of Anglican use Catholics forming in Springfield. Information and videos at this link.
It is vital that the Church ensure that all her forms of the Mass are celebrated with greatest possible reverence and beauty. In this way, all of the faithful, regardless of preference of form, will believe as they pray and pray as they believe. Liturgical beauty is the a safeguard of truth and promoter of faith.