Summer Breezes of Liturgy

bishop tonelWhile Cardinal Arinze promotes Euro-kneelers, Asia’s Catholics are looking for substance that will help connect the liturgy with life as they live it. The 13th Asian Liturgical Forum stated, “(T)he Church should continue to revise, reinvent, and create liturgical feasts that meet the actual needs of the faithful.”

Philippine Bishop Julius Tonel of Ipil:

Why not have feasts for call center and IT workers, as we did with the farmers? The Church has always tried to keep up with the needs of its people and the changes in society.

All of this effort to inculturate and develop meaningful liturgy would be a waste if we cannot put what we discuss into a catechesis our people will understand.

Other challenges with the Roman Rite in the tropics (if not the Southern Hemisphere): Easter and other liturgical year observances rely on European metaphors–not just cultural ones, but geographical ones. I can foresee more of a problem if Catholics settled on Mars. What happens when Spring comes every twenty-two months? Meanwhile, what to do when it’s always summer?

What the Church does to handle liturgical inculturation this century will set the tone for the next millennia. I can’t escape the sense that much of the Vatican is in full-scale retreat to the 19th century. Talk about a dictatorship of relativism focused on Western-European monarchy, in which everything is lensed through agriculture, serfdom, and celebrity glitz of centuries past.

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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 Summer Breezes of Liturgy

  1. Liam says:

    The question is how truly reliant is liturgical (as opposed to devotional) content on such geographically limited metaphors? The more incidental and convenient the reliance, the less need there will be to seriously consider changing them.

  2. Todd says:

    My view would be that there’s less a need to change metaphors as there is to add to them in a substantive way.

  3. David D. says:

    “Why not have feasts for call center and IT workers, as we did with the farmers?’

    Perhaps SS Claire of Assisi and Isidore of Seville will do the trick? A quick glance at a list of patron saints quickly demonstrates that the Church has been anything but stingy in placing emerging occupations under the patronage of the saints.

    A strange question from the Bishop of Ipil since the area around Ipil is extremely poor and largely agrarian with little industrial and commercial activity. The emerging services industry is primarily located in Metro Manila. It would seem that a post-industrial economy such as ours is more in need of new intercessors.

    “Other challenges with the Roman Rite in the tropics (if not the Southern Hemisphere): Easter and other liturgical year observances rely on European metaphors–not just cultural ones, but geographical ones.”

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house in a small provincial Filipino town. Don’t worry, Christmas and the other major feasts translate very well. The myriad local customs and observances developed long before anyone uttered the word inculturation.

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