Saturday, February 13, 2010

Arlene Oost-Zinner on the New Translation of Mass

I would highlight for your attention this piece by Arlene Oost-Zinner over at the New Liturgical Movement site. She's basically right on the money. The changes are not going to be radical at all. And so the 'preparations' for it, while well intentioned I'm sure, nonetheless seem a bit much. Maybe it's a subconscious, or even conscious attempt to compensate for the miserable job that was done four decades ago to prepare people for the Modern Rite.

Another thought. I am not saying this is completely analogous, but in a sense all these preparations which the USCCB as well as publishers and Catholic radio are providing remind me of what happened in the Missouri Synod before and after the implementation of the Lutheran Service Book liturgical materials. For when I think of all the field testing on the one hand, and then all the workshops and conferences on the other, I am led to this thought: how much of that is necessary in a situation where you are confident that what you have put together is truly an organic development of our liturgical tradition?

2 comments:

Phil said...

It certainly seems like the people who hold that particular Vatican II-type view of liturgy seem to think that the liturgy is a weird sort of playground where nothing is as it plainly looks or sounds. I saw this in the rather affected tone of a lot of the "Creative Worship" services that I had to sit through. For example, instead of the Gloria being the Gloria (a text established long ago), the Gloria is subsumed under a greater category with the ambiguous title of "Hymns of Praise" (what isn't?) and placed next to assorted responsorial things produced between 1965 and 1980.

Regarding organic development, I've come to wonder whether having more than one published liturgy (with options A, B, C(i) and C(ii)) is basically a refusal to come to a conclusion on what is and isn't a faithful development.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Phil:
Those who gave us the latest library of what Paul McCain loyally calls our "accepted worship resources" are, I think, not so much of one mind as much as they are of a variety of philosophies on this question. Some of them surely think all these options represent "faithful development." Some recognize that some options are less faithful than others. Some, I think, have no interest in being faithful to liturgical tradition. They just don't think it's that important. What's important is being relevant, missional, "emerging" from our sleepy past, waking the giant within us, or whatever Billy Graham supposedly said about us. Or was it Tony Robbins?

Overall though, yes, I would concur that despite the varied intentions of those involved, it amounts to treating the worship of the Church not so much in a churchly manner, but more like the way an editorial board would treat any piece of work that is due for updating, with all the political, legal, and corporate implications of such an enterprise.