mai 312011

Martin Mosebach skrev i januar i år et interessant stykke om hva som ble borte i messen syndsbekjennelse i 1970; at man ikke lenger bøyer seg, at prest og menighet ikke lenger bekjenner til hverandre, helgenene har nesten helt forsvunnet ut (nevnt 10 ganger før, mot én gang nå), den sakramentale absolusjonen (for venielle synger) er borte.

At man ikke skal bøye seg når man bekjenner sine synder virker nokså meningsløst, men det står jo ikke noe om hvordan hode eller kropp skal holdes, så jeg bøyer meg alltid (men bare halvparten så dypt som i den gamle messen). I min oppvekst i Den norske kirke var jo også nettopp her presten knelte foran alteret – det var en knelepute foran alteret bare for syndsbekjennelsen.

Les videre hva Mosebach skriver:

The reform of the liturgy did away with four characteristics of the old Confiteor prayer:
1 The profound bow in which he prayer was spoken;
2 The structure of the prayer as a dialogue between the priest and the congregation;
3 The invocation of various saints by name; and, finally,
4 The sacramental of absolution.

The profound bow is the oldest part of the prayer. In the early days of Christianity every mass began with the prostration. A person threw himself on the ground in order to approach oriental kings. The early Christians for this reason chose this most reverent form of showing devotion and subjection when they had to enter the presence of the God-man and His sacrifice. At first nothing was said. In the 8th century the custom arose of saying at this point during the prostration (which had gradually evolved into a deep bow) the confession of sins as it had been prescribed from the beginning for the start of the sacrificial rite of the New Testament.

The dialogue form of the Confiteor derives from the divine office of the monks. It was always exchanged between two neighbors in the choir stalls; one monk confessed his sins to the other – the other monk begged God’s mercy for him. In the pontifical solemn mass of the old rite this tradition is preserved; here the Confiteor is recited by two canons. This form sprang from the insight that most sins against God are at the same time sins against one’s neighbor too, that repentance must lead to reconciliation and that every man must rely on the prayer of others. In order to really acknowledge one’s guilt a listener is necessary. In order that, after the confession, the intercessory prayer of the listener may effectively develop the confessing party is obliged to keep silence. A further element of meaning was added as the relation between neighbors on a bench became a relationship between priest and congregation. …

The formula “indulgentiam” which follows the confession of sins and the petitions for forgiveness is an early formula for absolution. The sign of the cross which the priest makes while speaking this prayer has taken the place of imposition of hands. … In any case it is clear that the Church regarded the “indulgentiam” as a sacramental that absolves from venial sins. …

Deretter skriver Mosebach en hel del om helgennavnene som ble borte i syndsbekjennelsen – les hele stykket her.

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