The decline of the sense of the sacred in worship was not, as some reformers have argued, the inevitable effect of a secular age. If anything, advanced secular culture has shown itself more open to the sacred and the pseudo-sacred than at any time within memory. The spirit of pragmatic, technological rationality is in at least temporary disfavor, and the sacral worship of the Church was, paradoxically, more appealing and effective in the 1950s, when that spirit was more pervasive than it is now.Read the rest of the article ...
The decline of the sacred was, rather, something which was willed and planned: its demise was predicted by those who wished it to occur and who took steps to bring it about. To some extent also it occurred through inadvertence, by a process of liturgical change which gave little thought to long-term effects."
Monday, May 09, 2011
"The decline of the sacred was ... willed and planned"??
Helen Hull Hitchcock, who is editor and publisher of Adoremus Bulletin, has been running a series of columns in which are reprinted the chapters of a book written by her husband, Professor James Hitchcock, a decade after the Second Vatican Council. The latest installment is the eighth and final chapter of James Hitchcock's book, The Recovery of the Sacred(1974; rpt. Ignatius Press, 1995), which is also available in the online edition of the Adoremus Bulletin under the title of "The Recovery of the Sacred: Reforming the Reformed Liturgy." The chapter opens with the following two provocative paragraphs: