I was alerted to Richard Clark’s piece on Corpus Christi Watershed on “Continuity and Vulnerability …” It might not be the most popular bit published there. The author does make the suggestion that liturgical rites have a continuity from 1570 to the present.
I found the notion that liturgy has a vulnerability to be an interesting premise. The reformed liturgy is vulnerable “largely due to decades of comfortable custom.” It’s a fascinating reason and not the one I would have chosen. It might suggest the 1570/1962 Missal is even more vulnerable due to centuries of custom.
Richard chooses a tussle or two unwisely, I think:
For example, the fourth option of the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) has become the first and standard option: to replace antiphon propers with hymns and songs.
Alas, the long practice of excluding the assembly from the propers is itself a fourth choice, which the GIRM places behind dialogues with cantor or choir, or the assembly singing the antiphon and all the verses.
One of the deepest vulnerabilities in the Roman Rite is a lack of curious scholarship. Many of us don’t read and reread the praenotanda of the rites. And while we might have favorite passages in the GIRM, we don’t bother so much with the Ordo Missae and its instructions. Scholars among us often fail to read widely outside of our own circle of comfort. We have honored our own mentors, of course. They gave us the big lift into ministry and service. But many of us don’t bother with the opponents of our formators in liturgy.
I confess I read CCW on occasion and lurk here and there on traditional-leaning sites. I have a book or two of theirs and I’ve poked into their journals. But the vulnerability there is notable. Some TLM advocates just don’t have the depth and breadth of scholarship to tackle the flaws in their own worldview. Even Richard misreads the intent of the Council and its follow-up documents a bit. The long practice on many sites is to ban uncomfortable viewpoints. On social media this weekend, I’ll note that in response to a few criticisms of the linked piece, one Big Name in TLM circles just posted a few memes in reply.
The greatest vulnerability are our own blind spots. I know it’s been true of me in liturgy, music, relationships, faith, and life.