My English blogging priest friends have had a good innings today. (I hope I used that phrase correctly).
Fr. Blake reflects on what Holy Mass is, and what it is not. He touches on themes I have often hammered away at in writing and when I give talks to groups. As a matter of fact, I gave one last night to a group of 100+ men and touched on some of the very same points. Eerie similarity. GMTA, I suppose.
I’ll share some of Fr. Blake’s good work, with my emphases. He starts with a reference to 1 Peter 3:15, which you should all know by heart.
[Fr. Blake had] a conversation … with an old Irish man some years ago came back to me. He said he stopped getting up on Sunday mornings, “when I realised Mass was about our community, I didn’t think it worth getting up for that“, he was talking about the time of the liturgical changes and they had recently knocked down and rebuilt his parish church.
The Mass is not about us, it always has been about Jesus and giving us glimpse of heaven, “and so with Angels and Saints we sing…”, it is a vision of the triumph of the Lamb, it is about our ultimate re-orientation, the end of our earthly pilgrimage.
I wouldn’t enter into a discussion about which form of the Roman Rite speaks more clearly about the heavenly mysteries, the things we are called to hope in and for but the ars celebrandi should point to these mysteries, in either form. When the Mass merely celebrates us, “the community gathered”, when music is about community singing, or is trite and sentimental, when participation is more about action than interiority, when as Joseph Ratzinger says we “form a closed circle” or a “significant absence of silence”, then there are problems with the Eternal. The loss of hope in the Church does seem be related to how the liturgy is celebrated when it is done badly it destroys hope.
FR Z KUDOS to the distinguished parish priest of Brighton.
Among other things, Father offered a good argument for ad orientem worship, connected to hope.
Do take the time to read his whole piece (HERE).