Thursday, February 16, 2006

on the Liturgy

There are very many enlightening posts from Brother Lawrence Lew, O.P. at Threshold of Hope here and here.

I think we have to find the right questions to ask. No, It is not "Does (insert instrument) here help us to experience God at the Mass?". The questions, I feel are

1.What does the Church teach about the Liturgy?
2.What does the Church want in the Liturgy? (Note. Its not what we want.)
3.How do we go about serving the Church based on 1 and 2?

Very simple. If I want to remember only one thing from Brother Lawrence's remarks, it will be

The only real purpose of the Liturgy is the glorification of God and the sanctification of His people

That's all.

You can also see that the discussion got a bit messy at one point. Conducting a proper discussion is actually a skill that comes with practice. An online discussion lacks the element of body language, facial expressions and tone, and so words have to be chosen very very carefully.

Since we come into contact with the Liturgy every Sunday, it is hard to avoid discussions about it. Many points of implementation in the Liturgy. eg. choice of hymns, language, rite etc etc have very wide-reaching implications, especially if the three questions above are not answered correctly.

Of course, we must not be preoccupied about these issues and forget about our calling to Holiness and Love, which a correspondent (more than one, actually) mentioned to me about. (See Pope Benedict's remarks also). In view of this, it is a challenge to remain calm after a Mass where the hymns are ambiguous and disrupt your prayer, and the words get changed all over the place. But we must try. (of course try to avoid that particular Mass timing also)

I think there comes a point when we have to find ways of answering question 3 above and carrying them out - instead of engaging in polemics that lead us to nowhere. You can call it channeling the frustration to somewhere else, I guess.


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