07 July 2014
Liturgical Renewal Will Stand or Fall on Whether or Not It is Rooted in the Traditional Mass as an Immense Good in Itself
On this Seventh Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, a very nice post at New Liturgical Movement by Peter Kwasniewski. More reform-of-the-reform than I am inclined to be, but a worthy article just the same. An excerpt:
For Catholics loyal to the Church’s Tradition, this motu proprio meant the end of a sort of Thirty Years’ War of outrageously mismatched armies. It was a surprising triumph for the faithful who had insisted that the ancient liturgy, the Mass of the Saints, has and will always have an important place in the Church’s life, and who begged to be able to worship God as so many generations had done before. Pope Benedict XVI established equal canonical rights for the OF and the EF. He did not say they were altogether equal in every way; he noted that the OF is more prevalent, while the EF “must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage.” Nevertheless, for the immediate peace of the Church, what matters most is that, canonically speaking, they are equal. After Pope Benedict, the EF can never be seen as the ugly duckling, the unwanted stepchild, the nutty aunt of the family, or a radioactive material to be encased in lead. It is part of the living heritage of every Roman Catholic priest, every Roman Catholic believer.
In the United States alone, the growth of the TLM is impressive indeed: from about 20 Sunday Masses in 1988, to 220 in 2006, to over 500 today. The religious communities that either serve the faithful in active ministry or utilize the old liturgical books in their contemplative life have prospered and grown, with a vastly disproportionate number of vocations for their size. There is no vocations crisis within this traditional realm—only in the larger Church whose leaders are still all too often wandering in the desert of modernism, wondering what happened to the once-filled churches and seminaries, and thinking that “more of the same” has got to be the solution. In reality, it’s time for “something completely different”—something altogether different from the postconciliar modus operandi. Something so different ... it is, thankfully, the same as the Roman Church has always had for all her centuries, with the natural growth and flux of an organic reality.
The New Evangelization will stand or fall on the strength of authentic liturgical renewal, and this renewal will stand or fall depending on whether or not it is rooted in the traditional Latin Mass as an immense good in itself and as a constant point of reference for the Ordinary Form.