On one hand, I probably have no business still doing this. My original thought was to write, well, original stuff more or less daily, mostly commenting on liturgy as a counterweight to what I believed was an outsized online component promoting a poor imitation of good tradition.
I had not imagined it would evolve into essentially a catechetical blog with very less occasional personal commentary. Most traditionalist Catholics–most Catholics, period–are disinterested in the theology of liturgy. It’s mostly about personal preferences and subjective opinions.
Granted, I have those too. But I have to face the reality of my intellectual training in grad school. There are church things I liked in my young adult years that have no founding in either good liturgy or good theology. I also recognize the grudges I nurse. I make neither bones nor denial there.
I tend to be a pragmatist. What works for the Reign of God is good. What distracts should be discarded.
So, what’s next?
I have Pope Francis’ letter to bishops that accompanied his recent motu proprio. An official translation is here. I suppose if a letter like that gets publicized, it’s really for all of us. So I’ll look at its 13 paragraphs starting sometime soon. Look for the header “TC Letter.” For all the complaints I’ve seen from TLM advocates, it doesn’t really seem like they read either the motu proprio or this letter. Nor, it seems, their own bishop’s response, many of which have also been made public.
The so-called confusion I don’t get. The document is criticized as “vague” or “poorly written” or such. I think those are just veiled complaints that a pope–any pope–didn’t write, “The TLM is good. I hope you take over the Church by the 22nd century.” That’s pretty understandable, and also not the pipe dream we got.
I see the new Rite of Baptism needs some attention here. The ritual book was left to me by my predecessor, and there are some gems in the praenotanda as well as some updates in the ritual itself. I noticed those hymns and acclamations in the appendix have been given translation updates, notably the “songs from ancient liturgies,” which we discussed here well over a decade ago.
To be honest, these series are probably more about and for me than any of you. I think a music director, and especially a liturgist, needs to keep continually updated not only on new editions of the rites, but also regular reviews of rubrics and the praenotanda. We need it to keep from going off the rails. I’ve noticed a lot of clergy, deacons and priests, have picked up habits from other clergy that don’t quite fit the bill if they are serious about doing the red and saying the black. I have friends who would be shocked at my corrections, but just about everybody has a blind spot somewhere. I try to be gentle in person–the more important notion is the good celebration of liturgy and a presider who is confident and engaging. (Still, the Confiteor at Mass calls for one strike of the breast. Not three. Why? Not only because the Missal says so, but because we are confessing generally. Not three. (This one, that one, and the worst one.))
Except for people looking for wedding and funeral readings, there are very few of you left who tune in regularly. But in case someone is peeping in today, if you have a suggested topic for a post or a series, I’m happy to explore.