Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reinventing the liturgical wheel?

I still subscribe to The Adoremus Bulletin, an organ of the Adoremus Society for the Renwal of the Sacred Liturgy. Ever since moving our church membership to St. Josaphat Church in Detroit, just a month after Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, however, I must say that my subjective perception of the issues agitating the interest of the readers, writers, and editors of Adoremus has undergone a significant shift. Concerns about liturgical abuses centering on music, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, whether to receive standing or kneeling, in the hand or on the tongue, etc., have simply ceased to be problems. All of these sorts of problems have simply evaporated, along with the feeling that I was entering a politicized battlefield every time I went to Mass, with this or that faction trying to make a point, say, by substituting "God" for "Him" in the congregational responses ("Let us give God thanks and praise").

Accordingly, I feel a certain incumbancy to keep myself interested in the liturgical wellbeing of Catholics in rank-and-file Novus Ordo parishes still laboring under the Ordinary (and yet unsettled) Form of the Latin Rite. My present concerns are more likely to center on what is often lacking in Usus Antiquior parishes, because they still tend not to be community parishes but to have congregations comprised of long-distance Sunday commuters. What they often still lack is a developed program of catechesis for all ages and a parish environment in which families can easily put down roots. This is changing slowly, but the effects of years of isolation and effective liturgical prohibition are still noticeably visible.

Would it be unkind to suggest that our friends over at Adoremus seem, at times, to be laboring at the herculean task of reinventing the liturgical wheel?

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