More Fuel For The Fire

Pope Benedict’s chief liturgist, Msgr Guido Marini, made suggestions and reserved veto power over particulars, but acknowledges that most of what will go into the Holy Father’s five stateside liturgies were decided by locals.

We do know what elements would be vetoed, had the pope hired any number of Catholic bloggers. As it is, we know he could’ve vetoed the Twentieth Century’s favorite Mass, but didn’t. All that ethnic music could’ve been deep-sixed, too. But it wasn’t.

If I were younger, or if there had been less complaint in the blogosphere about papal liturgy music, I might have been more critical about the stuff. (You’ll notice I’ve withheld my opinion on choral settings replacing the assembly’s song.) But still, I don’t hold much favor with what either appears or was not vetoed. It’s a mega-Mass I’ll never have a part in celebrating or planning. Ditto for the pope.

Most of all, good liturgy is built brick by brick on the parish level. Attending to music, preaching, hospitality, and all the small details of doing all things well: that’s what will change the course of liturgical Catholicism. These big liturgical events? That’s for firing up the faithful. It’s a Mass inserted into a pep rally. And I say that not from a sense of dismissing the pope’s visit as trivial. Far from it. If the pope leaves American shores and Catholics as a result get a jump-start on liturgy, evangelization, spirituality, or any of the important virtues, then we can say “mission accomplished.”

And I can applaud that.

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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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3 Responses to More Fuel For The Fire

  1. tony n says:

    They should change the name of MoC to the “Mass of Pope Benedict” in honor of the occasion :-)

  2. Gavin says:

    I’m not looking forward to another week of that “The DC Mass is an outrage” BS. Maybe I should just stay off the CMAA forums for a while, I’ve already nearly given up NLM.

  3. Charles in CenCA says:

    Well, Gavin, my sentiments resonate with both you and Todd. As a member of CMAA (tho’ maybe not regarded as “in good standing ;-) I very much respect the over-arching goal to edify the worship of the faithful to God Almighty with beauty and continuity, and in a manner that is at least informed and mindful of its native elements. However, one doesn’t have to work hard to discover that, practically speaking, when it’s time to “put the dog out” for the “concert/pep rally within a Mass” a lot of philosophical principles are conveniently let out the door as well. Yes, Virginia, there is duplicity in Santa’s workshop.
    I’m with Todd: all politics are local.
    But be cautious, Todd, with your analogies; if you state you believe that building liturgy locally “brick by brick” is the way to go, someone’s already pegged you as that freemason Bugnini II!
    Not enough humor in RC blogs, as I see it.

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