Friday, August 27, 2010

George Rutler on the New Roman Missal

Father George Rutler and I are separated by outward communion, he being a Roman Catholic and I a Lutheran, and so we are separated also by certain inevitable (and some important) particularities of theology.  Nevertheless, my admiration for him is strong.  For his style, his thoughtfulness, his sense of history, his spirituality, and his unyielding stand against the tyranny of the modern and the bland.  His eloquence is matched by his humor, and they are actually surpassed by his liturgical integrity and his deep understanding that in the liturgy we do not step into a show in a theater, but we step out of the world, and Christ our Immanuel, the Pantocrator, simultaneously enters our life, our ears, mouth, and heart, and gives us the medicine of immortality; He heals, and in the Spirit He vivifies us anew.  Therefore I appreciate and recommend almost everything Rutler has to say on the matter.  For your edification, please read this piece over at First Things.  And as you do, bear in mind that when he says he is not a liturgist, but rather a pastor, that a "liturgist" in his world is one who is an expert on the liturgy, or what Lutherans often call a "liturgiologist."  Lutherans, on the other hand, often say that the celebrant of the liturgy is the "liturgist."  Oh, and to be sure, Rutler is in fact more of a liturgical expert, by whatever name, in the truest sense, than most of the experts combined.

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