okt 302009
 

Fr Timothy Finigan (som skriver bloggen The Hermeneutic of Continuity) har nylig vært i Estland og der bl.a. holdt et interessant foredrag om Fr Adrian Fortescue (1874-1923), som er mest kjent for sin bok om liturgien, “The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite described”. Jeg har selv kjøpt denne boka, men må innrømme at jeg ikke har studert den så veldig grundig ennå. Hele foredrages kan lastes ned her (pdf), og Fr Finigan skriver bl.a.:

… Fr Fortescue … was a man of great erudition who held doctorates in a variety of subjects, was able to lecture in eleven languages, and was an acknowledged authority on liturgy, history and art. Much of his life was devoted to pastoral ministry in the parish of St Hugh of Lincoln in Letchworth where he built a Church, partly funded by the sales of his book “The Ceremonies” … …

Fr Fortescue skriver selv morsomt om arbeidet med denne boka:
“Try to imagine for one solid year of my life… I spent all day comparing Merati & Martinucci & Le Vavasseur, to find out where the thurifer ought to stand before the Magnificat, who takes off the bishop’s left glove, what sort of bow you should make at the Asperges. … Conceive a man, said to be made in the image of God, spending his time over that kind of thing. Even now that the burden is over it fills me with rage to think of those days. I could have learned a new language easily in the time. I could have gone every day to the cinema. I could have read the complete works of Maria Corelli. … … ”

The “Ceremonies” book shows an intimate acquaintance with the rubrics of the Roman Rite, but also a proper appreciation of the spirit of them. Fortescue was not a rubrical pedant and took a practical approach to the ceremonies. It is harder for Western Catholics to understand this in our own times when there is, in many places, an attitude to Liturgy in which each
ceremony is more or less invented since there are few rules for guidance, and the attitude persists that whatever rules are used, they must not be the traditional ones. Pope Benedict is, of course, labouring to overcome this attitude of regarding the post-Vatican II reforms as a radical break with the past. …

In his parish, Fortescue insisted on the worthy celebration of the Liturgy and spent a great deal of time training his servers for the various ceremonies during the year. As an accomplished musician himself, Fortescue had a warm relationship with his organist and choirmaster, Thomas Wilfred Willson. In accordance with the aspirations of the Liturgical Movement, given authority by Pope Pius X, Fortescue ensured that his congregation were, (as Vatican II was to insist many years later): “able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” …

Fr Adrian Fortescue could well be described as a man of Christian culture. He was fortunate to live at a time when a classical education gave the basis and groundwork necessary for such a momentous contribution to the life of the Church. … He teaches us what it is to be a cultured man. This is not simply a matter of education and certainly not reducible to “knowledge” but involves the ability to take a wider view than is possible for one who is too much immersed in the demands of professionalism or of over-specialism in the academic life. Fortescue was able to take that wider view over a whole range of subjects. Today, we look with hope to the hermeneutic of continuity by which Pope Benedict seeks to restore our links with our own tradition, to the ressourcement by which Catholic scholars endeavour to reconnect with our own roots, and to the revival of faith in many places devastated either by years of communist rule or by the more insidious
encroachments of an aggressive secularism. A man such as Fortescue teaches us the value of Christian culture in many fields. May his spirit live on in the lives of young Catholic scholars today!

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