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På fem år har samtalen om den tradisjonelle messen noen steder (men jeg har ikke merket så mye av det i Norge) blitt veldig mye bedre; det er ikke lenger slik at folk bare slenger slagord etter hverandre, man har begynt å samtale rasjonelt om styrker og svakheter ved de ulike måten å feire messen på. Bloggen PrayTell er et sted der slike samtaler skjer, og her skriver en av redaktørene:

What was most striking to me … was the difference in the kind of cognitive engagement that this form of liturgy requires (and the standard EF is not really different from the Dominican Rite in this regard). The relatively seamless transitions from Introit (or Officium, as it is called by the Dominicans) to Kyrie to Gloria to Collect to Epistle to Gradual to Gospel sort of wash over you and even if you join in singing the Ordinary and following the translated texts the effect is quite different from the Ordinary Form. The reformed liturgy, typically in the vernacular and with continuous interaction between celebrant and assembly, virtually demands a high level of cognitive engagement. It is as if you are persistently being told, “pay attention! stay focused!” It’s a little bit like being in school, where in order to get the most out of it you need to make sure your mind never wanders and you take notes. When my mind does wander, as it inevitably does, I always feel a bit guilty, worried that I’ve missed something important or let down the team.

The older form of liturgy is more like sitting on a beach watching the tide come in. Your mind can wander and return to check in every once in a while on the liturgy’s progress. You are welcome to wade in, but there is less of a sense that what is going on depends upon you. Even when you’re singing and know what the words you are singing mean, their impact is filtered, and even blunted, by the alienness of the language. As I said, it all sort of washes over you. It is, at least for me, more restful and I am less anxious about paying attention. The mind is engaged, but perhaps more in the limbic system than the prefrontal cortex.

Which sort of cognitive engagement should we prefer? …

Debatten etter dette innlegget er også usedvanlig sivilisert og lærerik, bl.a. skrives det i en kommentar:

The silence of the EF Mass is different than the silences that should be observed in the OF such as before the penitential act, after the readings, the homily and Holy Communion. For many years after I was first ordained, I had older people, most of whom went kicking and screaming into Vatican II and the revised Mass (most of whom are dead now) tell me that they missed the silence of the Tridentine Mass. I would always say, but we have silence in the revised Mass and at the places I indicate above. But they would say that it was different back then, but I couldn’t remember what was different until I started celebrating the EF Mass five years ago and indeed they were right, the silences of the EF Mass are quite different, for the silences come from the quiet prayers of the priest and the contemplation this creates in a properly formed and catechized congregation, especially during the Roman Canon but also at other times, it is the contemplation of official prayers of the Church being prayed in a silent way that captures the spiritual imagination and faith of the participants in a way that the current silences just for the sake of silence do not. And there are priestly movements with this grand silence.

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