Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Extraordinary Form In Africa

Check out this entry from the Eponymous Flower. Basically, it's a take from a Benin bishop on the Extraordinary Form and its impact on the members of his diocese and elsewhere in Africa. Here's one snip:

The Roman Canon and the liturgical gestures in the Old Rite stand closer to African religiosity and African feeling -- and here is what the report said, further;

"It is my wish that one day every priest will be able to celebrate both forms" -- explained the Bishop within.

He named further examples for the enrichment of a New Mass.

Immediately in Advent and in the time of Fast the priest could celebrate everything for the Lord.

That draws the attention on the Mystery of the Cross. The celebrant and the choir should disappear before God.

Msg N'Koué explains that the Offertory Rite is not in the rubrics of the New Rite and not celebrated in the face of the faithful.

He wishes also more latin in the Mass and would like to avoid profane instruments and music.

In their place Gregorian Choirs should be singing.

The bishop has asked the priests to say the Roman Canon on Sundays and Feast days. It will facilitate inculcation more easily.

Kind of runs contrary to the typical line you hear about this, right? The story tends to be that the Mass has be "adapted" to fit various cultures, societies, or whatever. I've always found this to be a weird yarn. The Traditional Latin Mass was pretty much able to evangelize the world without a whole lot of modifications. I'm not sure that times are so different now.

I'm not saying that such adaptations are impossible. There were probably ways to work around the whole Chinese Rites deal, for example. On top of that, the varying rites currently existing within the Church are examples that this sort of thing can happen. However, this doesn't make it advisable or something to do without a firm root in organic development. Otherwise, we might wind up with a banal fabrication of a liturgy, and that would be a bad thing, right?

Worse, we could end up with something that is so steeped in the local color that it becomes more of a production of the people than an act of worship for the glory of God Almighty. This need for innovation in the name of culture is pretty much where we got disco liturgy from in the first place.

Keep it simple. The TLM: If it was good enough for centuries of saints, across multiple continents, and almost every culture in the world, it's good enough for the rest of us.

2 comments:

Mark of the Vineyard said...

Thanks for pointing this out. Are you aware that our Pope is also in favour of the celebration of local uses (Ambrosian, Bragan, Mozarabic,...) and encourages them?

The Una Voce group I beling to is actually bi-ritual: we are promoting both the EF and the Bragan Rite.

Throwback said...

I had heard that but never saw anything direct on the issue. That's good to know. It would be a shame for these to just die out. I hope to attend a Mozarabic and Ambrosian Rite liturgy before I die.