Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wrapping up Paul VI's Intro of the New Mass

In conclusion:

Finally, if we look at the matter properly we shall see that the fundamental outline of the Mass is still the traditional one, not only theologically but also spiritually. Indeed, if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out.

This is simply not true. Reminds me of a conversation I had with an Orthodox priest. He was commenting on how if you compare the structure of the Divine Liturgy to that of the TLM, you'll find that they are close to identical. The Pauline Mass was almost scandalous to him. He went so far as to say that there would never be a healing of the East-West schism until the Latin Rite did something to remedy the "evisceration" of our liturgy. The point is that more than a few people would dispute that the Pauline Mass retains the "outline" of the TLM.

But two indispensable requirements above all will make that richness clear: a profound participation by every single one present, and an outpouring of spirit in community charity. These requirements will help to make the Mass more than ever a school of spiritual depth and a peaceful but demanding school of Christian sociology. The soul's relationship with Christ and with the brethren thus attains new and vital intensity. Christ, the victim and the priest, renews and offers up his redeeming sacrifice through the ministry of the Church in the symbolic rite of his last supper. He leaves us his body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine, for our personal and spiritual nourishment, for our fusion in the unity of his redeeming love and his immortal life.

All true. And quite moving as well. The rest is basically some rules on implementing the new missal. I had never read this speech before, and I am thankful again that Amy Welborn brought it to everyone's attention. It is a radical thing to see the thought processes brought out this way. Almost everything Pope Paul said seemed soaked with anxiety and reluctance. I'll admit that my first read made me think he was just really naive and clueless. Upon closer examination, I am convinced that I was way off-base. There is just a tinge of optimism, but the whole thing sounds like "I hope to God that we are able to pull this thing off." Very interesting stuff.

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