jan 302011

Jeg leser nå Michael Davies’ bok ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’. der han helt i starten av boka siterer hva en prest skriver i 1974. Det er veldig interessant å lese om hvordan presetne før 1970 lærte å feire messen, hvor forskjellig det er fra måten de fleste prester tenker på i dag (men kanskje det er bare oss prester som er interesserte i slike spørsmål):

I remember how, when, as a young priest, I was preparing to say my first Mass, I was drilled most strictly and told to drill myself in such a way that every word and gesture of mine at the altar of sacrifice would be exactly correct.

Everything – tone of voice, blessings, bows, genuflections, turn-rounds to the people, height and breadth at which one held extended arms–had to be as laid down in the rubrics, exactly correct. Why? Because, at the altar, one was performing the noblest action open to a human being; the sacrifice of God’s Son to God. It followed, both logically and theologically, that one had to bring to it every ounce of reverence of which a human being was capable.

And because human beings are made up of body and soul, it followed further that every word spoken, every bodily gesture undertaken, had to be tuned in with the utmost reverence to this supreme act of worship, the highest to which any man could ever aspire. Human nature being what it is, individual idiosyncrasies would come out to take from reverence, if priests were left to themselves in the matter of words and gestures at Mass.

It followed that idiosyncrasies had to be cut to a minimum. Hence, the rubrics, which bound all priests at Mass; depersonalizing them, so to say, in the interests of the reverence which men had to put forth when they offered sacrifice to God. How else could they acknowledge adequately in their hearts their total dependence on Him Who had made them from nothing, except that they manifested it in every bodily gesture that was theirs at Mass? If the mouth speaks out of the fullness of the heart, the converse is also true; the heart is filled with reverence if the mouth of the celebrating priest is trained to speak with a reverential tone and the body to express itself in a whole series of dignified gestures. I do not think I need press the point.

Man is not a desiccated calculating machine. He is a human being made up of body and soul. He worships with the whole of himself. Precisely for that reason the celebrating priest was never left to himself in the Old Mass. He was made to conform to a celebrating code; depersonalized in the interests of the dignity that had to surround the supreme sacrifice. It has always been that way wherever men have offered sacrifice, paid honor where honor is due. After all, one does not go to see the Queen in an old pair of jeans and tatty tennis shoes. I think the point is made. (Fr. Paul Crane, SJ. Christian Order. April 1974; 240-241)

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