Participatio Whateverotio


If I were blogging from square one today, and inclined to a de rigueur Latin title, I might consider a different name for this operation.

In all my internet liturgy discussion, I’m continually amazed at the liturgical revisionism going on in traditionalist circles. Especially when it comes to the principle of full, conscious, and active participation.

The post-conciliar hermeneutic of obstruction is in full swing on this front. In play is the whole notion of the lay involvement in the liturgy: what it should look like; how it should be led; the type of songs that should be sung and by whom; the role of the priest, and the like.

Many promoters of the reform2 agenda put up a nice obstacle course for you. Here’s a map of the track:

1. First, you have to find people who actually accept Vatican II. Because don’t you know there are people out there who think Roman Catholicism ended in 1962, if not in 1959 when Pope John called a Council. Sedentary vacationers.

2. Then you have to find people who have actually read Sacrosanctum Concilium, and might have been exposed to its repeated call for participation from the pews.

3. Then you have to get past the folks who have locked in on the adjective “actual,” while overlooking “full” and “conscious” and the actual description of how lay people should participate as SC outlines it in section 11: with proper dispositions, with minds and voices attuned, a cooperation with grace, with full awareness, with active engagement, and with spiritual enrichment.

4. And them sometimes, in the places where the people actually get liturgical reform and have embraced it, you have the re-staging of the liturgy for performer priests. If folks complain, they are labelled misinformed. Or worse.

I think a good close examination of Sacrosanctum Concilium is called for when we finish up Lumen Gentium. A nice open track, setting the usual hurdles aside.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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