Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Recovering the Greatness of the Roman Rite"

Peter Kwasniewski, "Recovering the Greatness of the Roman Rite" (Views from the Choir Loft, December 5, 2013):
Just yesterday we recalled the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. That anniversary brought back to mind a little conversation that occurred 8 years ago.

One day, after attending Divine Liturgy, my son said to me (it was only a couple of months after his sixth birthday): “The Greeks are the ones who started the divine liturgy, right? I mean, they were the first to do it so beautifully, with all that singing and stuff?”

His question pierced me to the heart, because it showed that he experienced the Byzantine liturgy as primordially beautiful and the Latin rite as a second-best. In the forms he had seen most often, either the Novus Ordo or the Tridentine Low Mass, it had a minimum of beauty of chant and ritual. Ex ore infantium: surely we could take a cue from a child, and reinstate some of the beauty and solemnity that was once also ours? ...

... “No, son, our Roman Mass is actually, at its heart, the most ancient of all the liturgical rites in the world, more ancient even than the Byzantine liturgy we just attended. But the East kept their tradition alive while we, for a time, have put ours away in a closet. We are trying to bring it out into the light again, and I’m sure the East won’t mind if we take some inspiration from them.”
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