Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is "Cultural Modification" In The Liturgy Necessary?

I've never really understood a lot of the arguments in favor of radical liturgical changes for the purpose of evangelization. We see these kinds of things all the time, especially with stuff like liturgical dance. Is the Mass not enough simply as the Mass? An essentially unaltered TLM was sufficient to evangelize most of the world. I doubt the natives in South America would have been clamoring for some Aztec elements to be introduced into the Christian worship there. There are tragic instances like the Chinese Rites controversy, but that might have more to do with Pope Clement being somewhat undiplomatic in dealing with it than anything else.

As Exhibit A in this inquiry, I present the following from the New Liturgical Movement

I am always rather interested in showing images of the usus antiquior from outside the context of the usual North American and European venues; not because of any lack of interest in seeing these things from those venues, but instead out of a keen interest in showing the life of the usus antiquior in as broad as possible a spectrum. It was by way of Accion Liturgica that I came across the following images from the ICRSS showing the installation of a new parish priest in their parish of Notre Dame de Lourdes in Libreville, Gabon by Mgr. Basile Mvé Engone.

How wonderful!

I'm sure there are whackjobs aplenty who will decry this as some sort of Western cultural gentrification since there are probably not any native Latin speakers in the congregation. The fact that it's beautiful will be completely lost of such tooth-gnashers. Luckily, the folks actually at the Mass don't seem to mind all that much. There are more pictures at the link. Have a look.

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