The National Catholic Review
For those interested in one more take on the reinstatement of the Latin liturgy, Commonweal has posted the first of four articles in their upcoming issue about the change. The title says it all--"A Step Backward". Author Rita Ferrone points out some striking problems, such as the exclusion of women from liturgical roles in the Tridentine rite and an underlying rejection of the paschal mystery: "The traditionalists Benedict wants to conciliate do not simply reject the Mass of Paul VI-they reject the conciliar theology it embodies. The Society of St. Pius X published a defense of their position in 2001, The Problem of the Liturgical Reform, which showed that their opposition to the liturgical reforms of the council is profoundly theological. They argue, for example, that the idea of the paschal mystery is out of keeping with the true meaning of the Mass....One would have to look hard to find a concept more universally accepted since the council, yet the traditionalists reject it. In their view, the Mass is only about the expiation of sin. The Resurrection has nothing to do with it. Their glad welcome of the pope’s motu proprio should give every Catholic pause." Yikes. Those interested in Latin and the liturgy--though not the Latin liturgy per se--might also want to check out the article "To our Creator and Keeper" (registration required) in The Tablet. Daniel McCarthy, monk and grad student of liturgy at Sant’Anselmo, does history and translation of the original Latin form of this past Sunday’s opening prayer. While my own worn copy of Wheelock’s Latin is carefully positioned like a diploma on my bookshelf, if I’m being honest I can’t say I currently have the Latin to appreciate (and check) McCarthy’s work. But those with some skill may find it engaging. And as of Monday, the current issue was accessible to anyone, whether they’re subscribers or not. Lastly, Commonweal’s blog currently has a great little piece from Lawrence Cunningham about "Laughter in Church": "In one of his meditations given on Bavarian radio before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger made passing reference to the custom known as the "risus paschalis" or "Easter laughter." This curious custom, traceable to the fifteenth century, had the parish priest telling funny stories during his Easter homily typically involving Christ fooling Satan while breaking down the doors of the underworld (that trope of Christ outwitting Satan had a patristic ancestry). Ratzinger saw this custom as a way of encouraging joy and laughter in the congregation at Easter. In some places the afternoon on Easter Sunday was devoted to the telling of stories. Evidently, like so many good things, the practice got a bit out of hand, so Benedict’s predecessor, Clement X, condemned the practice in the eighteenth century. I pass on this piece of Catholic trivia for its own sake and will resist musing about how such a custom can be comported with the stern strictures against ’hilaritas’ so often found in ancient ascetic and monastic literature." Laughter in church--what a concept! Actually, I don’t know about you, but reading Cunningham what I really wanted to know is, what did it look like when things "got out of hand"? A Catholic Def Comedy Jam? Or what? Jim McDermott, SJ

Comments

Anonymous | 8/6/2007 - 2:37pm
The liturgical "reform" that followed Vatican II was a breach in the lineage of the Roman rite, which unlike the Byzantine rite always focused on Calvary. If you want a Mass that is more to your liking, consider making the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysosotom the official rite of the Church. LOL