Card. Canizares Llovera: liturgical education, reintroduction to Christianity

From NLM we get the translation of an interview in German with the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, His Eminence Antonio Card. Canizares LLovera for the 3rd anniversary of the emancipation proclamation Summorum Pontificum.

You can read the whole thing over there, but here are a few points I found particularly interesting.

Card. Canizares says that since the publication of Summorum Pontificum the climate has "remained essentially the same" but that a "movement is underway".

He says that in seminaries where the Extraordinary Form is also taught, the "liturgical education for all will always have to be aligned with Sacrosanctum Concilium."

When asked "What elements of the extraordinary form might also be integrated into the ordinary form of the rite?", he responded, "The sense for the mystery and of the sacred, and above all the sense for what God’s reign means."  He added, "Today liturgy often appears as something that man has a right to and in which he acts. This reflects the secularisation of our society, while other aspects fade behind it. This has led to the reform of the Second Vatican Council not unfolding its wealth and greatness as hoped."

Then….

Q: What do you recommend to the priests? Where should they start?

Card. Canizares: The priests should again prepare for Mass as provided in the extraordinary form. The same goes for the penitential rite and the awareness that we are essentially not worthy of celebration, but put our trust in the mercy and the forgiveness of God and thus approach God’s presence in the celebration. A treasure that we must not forget is the offertory as it is described in the prayer texts [sc. of the extraordinary form]. That expresses a deep attitude. We should internalise it.

If this is going to happen, if priests are going to do this, it stands to reason that they have to know what to do.  They, therefore, must learn the older form of Mass, so as to inform their preparation for the newer form of Mass. 

Does this implicitly lead to the conclusion that the older form is more of a "norm" than perhaps carefully weighed statements of Vatican officials usually state?

He answers a question about the illicit ordinations of the SSPX (which was a hot topic in Germany for a bit) and goes to World Youth Day in Madrid (Card. Canizares is Spanish) and young people participating in the older form of Mass.

Card. Canizares: The young people must be educated in the spirit of the liturgy. It would be a mistake to commit them to one or the other form in a polemical way. They need to be introduced to adoration and the spirit of the mystery. Praise and thanksgiving should be taught to them – and the whole which has made up the liturgical celebration of the Church throughout the ages. Today the young people are lacking above all in liturgical education – regardless of the form which they defend particularly. This is the great challenge for the near future, also for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Today we need a new liturgical movement, as there was in the 19th and 20th Century. [Which is what Papa Ratzinger called for in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy.] And this is not about one or the other form, but the liturgy as such.

This seems to me to say that young people need to be exposed to both uses of the Roman Rite.  If a sense of the sacred and mystery need to be reintroduced to the Novus Ordo through the influence of the older, traditional form – for priests – then it stands to reason that the same applies to lay people of all ages.

Going on….

Q: And how can this new liturgical movement become a reality?

Card. Canizares: We need a new introduction to Christianity. [Does this sound like the new line about a "new evangelization"?  It is also reminiscent of the title of one of Joseph Ratzinger's famous books.] Also for children and young people. An introduction to the liturgy does not only mean to know something about the celebration, although of course that is indispensable both theologically and doctrinally. Young people and children should participate in liturgies celebrated with great dignity, which are entirely permeated by the mystery of God in which the individual knows himself to be included. Active participation does not mean to do something, but to enter into the worship and the silence, into listening and also the prayer of petition and all that which really constitutes the liturgy. As long as that does not happen, there will be no liturgical renewal. We have to turn around one hundred eighty degrees. Youth ministry should be a place where the encounter with the living Christ in the Church takes place . Where Jesus Christ appears as someone of yesterday, neither liturgical education nor active participation is possible. As long as the awareness of the living Christ does not awake again, nothing will come of the much-needed renewal.

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15 Responses to Card. Canizares Llovera: liturgical education, reintroduction to Christianity

  1. lmgilbert says:

    “Young people and children should participate in liturgies celebrated with great dignity, which are entirely permeated by the mystery of God in which the individual knows himself to be included.”

    Judging from the once a week school Masses that I have seen in two parishes, this is not happening.

    In one, there were very high musical standards set for a type of music that had no business at Mass, complete with snare drum, bongoes, guitar and bass, and incredibly accomplished eighth grade vocalists. All that was missing were spotlights.

    In the other a happy clappy ragged kind of music, with very ill-prepared readers, and with father keeping the kids there for a full hour with an interminable sermon filled with platitudes.

    If the children are going to be readers at Mass, then one way to convince them of the supreme importance of the liturgy is to take a LOT of time preparing them to do it very well.

    For children, an hour is an eternity. Keeping them that long in midweek is a surefire way to convey that Mass is boring.

  2. HighMass says:

    Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful…….

    His Eminence is Speaking the TRUTH! Of course we all know His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is ALSO. The Holy Spirit is working in the Church, but we ALL need to keep praying for the reform of the reform or the renewel.

    GOD BLESS and continue to quide His Church

  3. Mike says:

    Our Sunday 10:00 am Mass two weeks ago had the “Youth Choir”–two talented female vocalists, and…ahhhhhghhh….”Gather us In” and “Rain Down” during Communion.

    Shoot me now.

    The next Sunday, my sons and I went to an EF Mass.

    There’s a long way to go, folks.

    BTW, I live in Maryland, which by some standards is supposed to be great.

  4. Horatius says:

    Thanks for the post, Father. Is there a means to see to it that the seminarians are being trained in the EF? I know of one seminary where nothing is being done to that end. I am sure there are many, many such places. I have spoken to some seminarians and some discerning for the priesthood. One dismissed the EF out of hand, another divides Catholics into Traditionalists and everybody else, counting himself in the latter category. For that matter, I know a young priest who has no motive, it seems, for learning the EF; he does not dismiss it, but he awaits word on ‘how the Bishops will interpret the motu proprio.’ None of inspires much confidence.

    Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.

  5. james says:

    “Today liturgy often appears as something that man has a right to and in which he
    acts. This reflects the secularisation of our society…”

    And the Church. Many in the world AND of it. Priests… Nuns… Bishops…
    Cardinals… a return to the Latin Mass, the Mass before Vatican 2… and the
    end of the New Mass… must happen.

    Can you imagine His Eminence Antonio Card. Canizares Llovera as our next Pope?

    +JMJ+

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    Just for balance . . .

    Our youth choir sang a Richard Proulx arrangement of Psalm 103 for SAA and handbells (husband and I managed the handbells which is how I know what they sang). It’s plainchant for the verses and three parts, essentially Anglican chant, for the refrain. They also sang something else by an English composer, Vaughn Williams I think, I don’t recall what but it was quite traditional and restrained.

    The Saturday evening Mass is supposedly the “youth Mass” with the awful ‘contemporary’ music, but the only folks you see there are the superannuated hippies and the folks who are headed out of town. The entire band are in their 40s or even older. My husband (who is pushing 60) occasionally fills in for their guitarist, he’s an old rocker and can actually play. Like Floyd in “Muppet Treasure Island”, he says, “Oh, hey, man. Just play the gig. Never get involved in politics. …” I make merciless fun of him. Fortunately he’s only had to fill in a couple of times. The director is a friend of ours, I am really at a loss as to what he sees in that music. He’s got a music degree from LSU and he should know better.

  7. asperges says:

    Today the young people are lacking above all in liturgical education – regardless of the form which they defend particularly.

    I would question seriously that the lucky, and relatively few, young people who can go to the old rite lack liturgical education. They are being brought up in an entirely different spirit from the new.

    But whichever way you look at it, it is a dreadful indictment of the new liturgy, even after 40 years, as inadequate and in great and urgent need of repair.

    I envy those who feel at home in both forms. It is true that at its best (rare) the new rite can seem beautiful, but only when it closely resembles the old (eg the London Oratory and similar places). That doesn’t say much for the new rite per se, more for it adaptation. In its usual, bare, parish form, it remains far from ideal.

  8. Bornacatholic says:

    When the Hierarchy will not admit it erred tragically in changing the Mass, we must confess that we are witnessing what will be a failed attempt at a Liturgical Synthesis which tries to resolve the galactic chasm existing between that which is a Sacred action resulting from a process of organic development (Thesis) and that which was a revolutionary product (antithesis).

    Speaking just for my own self, and having grown weary of Popes apologising for the actions of long-dead Christians, I desire to see The Hierarchy confess its errors about the revolution they caused to occur inside the Catholic Church and to repudiate the revolution in all of its many forms but especially as regards the single most sacred and important act occurring on Earth at any time of day – the Mass.

    Admit the error, ditch the new rite by making it the extraordinary form and restore the EF as Normative.

    As St Nike says, “Just do it”

    Another 5,000 books, conferences etc will not do. And we all know it.

  9. jbas says:

    I keep hoping this Congregation, or even the Holy Father, will expand or clarify the right of individual priests to pray the Canon in the new form ad orientem or in Latin. At present, it appears a Parish Priest may choose to do so, as may other priests if they have permission or in private celebrations. It seems to me any deep reform of the new Form depends upon this reorientation. Another option not allowed at all in the new Form would be the reintroduction of the silent canon. At any rate, I think many priests can only go so far in the interest of reform until Rome speaks more clearly and forcefully about the rubrics concerning the Eucharist Prayer.

  10. Henry says:

    Bornacatholic: “having grown weary of Popes apologising for the actions of long-dead Christians, I desire to see The Hierarchy confess its errors about the revolution they caused to occur inside the Catholic Church”

    Amen. Isn’t it basic doctrine that admission of guilt and purpose of amendment must precede redemption?

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    I am glad to see a glimmer of recognition in Rome of how low things have sunk out here. For the longest time in the last couple of decades, things were going to hell in a handbasket at roller-coaster speed and there didn’t seem to be any acknowledgment or sign of comprehension coming from Rome.

    Yes, things are bad. Many people know nearly nothing of history or the faith and they come to church to feel good and “participate” in the same way they participate in other things. They’ve been encouraged in this, after all, by the church herself. And they’ve been encouraged to dispense with anything deeper because it’s old-fashioned, archaic (same thing as traditional in many peoples’ minds), and old-fashioned, don’t you know. They say God doesn’t work that way, nice toothless little old man or silly little milquetoast brother that he is, according to this view.

    For the last couple of decades, we have been on a cultural high globally. People have come to believe that they don’t need religion as it really is. This is the curse of wealth and power. But when that wealth and power falters, it will be vitally important that the Church in all her truth is there. Otherwise there will be carnage of every kind. It’s about time this occurred to someone.

  12. Tom in NY says:

    “Youth ministry should be a place where the encounter with the living Christ in the Church takes place.” Thank you, Eminence.
    All people are “leaning out for love” (Cohen in “Suzannne”). Youth are learning for themselves, for the first time how to develop relationships and to love.One of the best aspects of my girlfriend is that she is mine, not my parents’. If I study literature, the search for love and the stress of transformation are usually important topics.
    How should I develop the relationship of all time? Temporibus antiquis there were CYO, sodalities and social projects at school and church, as well as homiletics. The last Holy Father, as well as B XVI, could inspire youthful idealism. Yes, I want to build my relationships and touch the Divine.
    How will churchmen help our youth?
    Melius candelam accendere quam tenebras queri.
    Salutationes omnibus..

  13. catholicmidwest says:

    Should, should, should. Interesting. People should do a lot of things. What is the thing that gets them to do the things instead of having things they should do?

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    And don’t tell me it’s LUV. It might be love, bot I know it’s not LUV.

    But love involves work. And love involves selfless decisions, what will seem like endless ones in nearly every case. Does the church expect young people to forge all that one by one while she sits by and does what she does? (That would be a mixture of the things you’d expect, albeit sometimes done half-heartedly, but also meetings, bureaucracy, 9-5 behavior, golf from whence come jokes for the sermon, etc etc.)

    And how are these people who “should” do things supposed to know all this?

  15. lacrossecath says:

    This seems to me to say that young people need to be exposed to both uses of the Roman Rite.

    So is this to say that they are saying the TLM is lacking in some regards? Or certain aspects perhaps? I have heard that there are some attitudes like militantly holding that the Low Mass is the best form(when we know the Mass is meant to be sung) or that singing should not be done by congregation but only by a choir. Are some of these type of liturgical thoughts that Card. Canizares is trying to focus on? I guess what I’m asking is what should have changed if anything from the TLM? What authentic development should have occurred following V II?