Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On celebrating the traditional rite

~Much of the blogosphere has been abuzz over Fr. Michael Kerper,S.J.'s article on his celebrating his first EF. Fr. Z posted his thoughts and invited priests to comment. Please read the discussion thread as it is enlightening to see the fruits of Summorum Pontificum....and it's a joy to see the flowering of Pope Benedict's master vision of re-establishing a Catholic identity via a hermeneutic of continuity.
Fr. Z says:

First, many opponents of the older Mass claim that its spirituality is contrary to, or at least out of keeping with, the spirituality of Vatican II.

Second, in Holy Mass (and elsewhere), because of the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest is alter Christus. When he says Mass, he is both acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi) as Priest and Victim.

Third, sacramental reality is not less real than tangible reality we perceive with our senses. The sacred mysteries of Holy Mass make present the very events they portray: the Last Supper, the Sacrifice of Calvary. By our baptism we participate in these sacred mysteries.

Fourth, one of the most important elements of a proper ars celebrandi described by His Holiness in Sacramentum caritatis is that the priest must be "transparent" (my word). It is an abuse to impose your personality unduly on the liturgy. By staying out of the way of the true Actor in Mass, Christ the High Priest, the priest is a greater bearer of the person of Christ in a special way in the liturgy. That is an act of charity: sacrificial love, sacrifice of self for the good of others. That is service.

One of the things that I was very struck by was the writer’s comment that during the Canon (which makes Calvary present) the priest felt loneliness.
Read the discussion thread.

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