feb 282012
 

I fjerde del av min gjengivelse av kardinal Ratzingers foredrag om liturgien i 1998, sier han at det heller er ulike matter å feire messen på og forstå Kirken på – heller enn to ulike riter – som er problemet:

The alarm of which we have spoken is so great, I think, because one is contrasting two forms of celebration with two different spiritual outlooks. One is contrasting two different ways of perceiving the Church and Christian existence. The reasons for this are several. Firstly, one judges the two liturgical forms by their exterior elements and arrives at the conclusion that there are two fundamentally different outlooks. That the new liturgy be celebrated in the vernacular, facing the congregation and that there be great leeway for creativity and the active exercise of roles by the laity, is considered essential by the average Christian. On the other hand, it is deemed essential that the old liturgy be in Latin, the priest face the altar, that the rite be strictly controlled and that the faithful follow the Mass by praying privately without having an active role. From this view appearances and not what the liturgy itself considers important, are essential for a liturgy. One must realize that the faithful understand the liturgy from visible concrete forms and that they are spiritually impregnated by them and that the faithful do not penetrate easily the depths of the liturgy.

The contradictions and oppositions which we have enumerated do not come from either the spirit or the letter of the Council documents. The Constitution on the Liturgy itself does not mention at all celebration facing the altar or the congregation. On the matter of language, it says that Latin must be conserved while at the same time giving the vernacular a larger role, “especially in the readings, the directives and in some prayers and chants” (SC 36:2). As to lay participation, the Council insists firstly and generally, that the liturgy is essentially the business of the entire Body of Christ, Head and members, and so it belongs to the entire Body of the Church “and it is consequently intended to be celebrated in community with the active participation of the faithful.” And the text makes clear that “in liturgical celebrations, everyone one, minister or faithful, in fulfilling his function, does only and fully what belongs to him by virtue of the matter and the liturgical norms” (SC 28). “To promote active participation, one will encourage the acclamations of the people, their responses, the chant of the psalms, antiphons, canticles and other actions and gestures and bodily positions. One will observe a holy silence in its time” (SC 30).

Here then are, the Council directives. They can give everyone matter for reflection. There is unfortunately a tendency, amongst some modern liturgists, to develop the ideas of the Council in one direction. One overturns the intentions of the Council, acting in this way. The role of the priest is reduced by some to the purely functional. The fact that the entire Body of Christ is the subject of the liturgy is often deformed to the point where the local community becomes the self-sufficient subject of the liturgy and it allots the various roles. There also exists a dangerous tendency to minimalise the sacrificial nature of the Mass and to make the mystery and the sacred disappear under the so-called imperative pretext of making oneself more easily understood. Finally, one notices the tendency to fragment the liturgy and the unilateral emphasizing of its communitarian character by giving the assembly the power to decide about the celebration.

Hele foredraget kan leses her.

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