Sunday, April 29, 2012

Catholic News Service Article: "New generation, old rite: the enduring appeal of Catholic tradition"

The article and video bring out these major points:

  • Classical liturgical music has an "uplifting, energizing effect, it really moves people to prayer," he says. "Both Gregorian chant and polyphony highlight the texts of the liturgy. When you're listening to them, you meditate on the words and internalize their meaning."
  • A large segment of Father Kramer's flock is people born decades after the Tridentine Mass ceased to be the norm. He says they are frequently drawn by the older liturgy's emphasis on the sacrificial dimension, which makes it "more obvious that Christ is pouring out his blood for the forgiveness of sins."
  • Younger people also are "more sophisticated than they used to be, and they're looking for something at a higher level," Father Kramer says. "And I think that is connected with finding the great tradition and richness of the last 2,000 years."
  • The Tridentine Mass is a link to the church's vast treasures of art, architecture, literature and music. "These are all things that we need to rediscover," Father Kramer says. "No other institution has anything like it."
  • More specifically, he says, the liturgy offers an education in the faith itself.  "The Latin of the old Mass helps the priest and the laity understand a lot more about the theology of the church right back to the third century, because a lot of the terminology is in Latin," Father Kramer says. "These are terms that are coming from the ancient world and that in the intervening centuries have accrued other (meanings) and have been enriched as they've gone along."
  • Familiarity with the traditional liturgy can thus help the vast majority of Catholics who attend the ordinary form understand it better, Father Kramer says; and such exposure might also help priests who celebrate the newer liturgy to focus on its essential meaning.
  • "In the old Mass the idea was that the personality of the priest should disappear and that the Mass would have an objective value," he says. "The new Mass could learn something from that principle ... that it's not about the priest, it's about Christ the priest and the priest acting in his stead."
  • "The church can't have a council that contradicts previous councils. That just can't happen in Catholicism. One mustn't come to the documents with a hostility but rather with a mind that wants to see them as they relate to the general tradition."

No comments: