Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Full and active participation, 1954-style

Every now and then I pick up the shirt-pocket-size My Sunday Missal by Fr. Stedman, ca. 1954, that I grew up with, and re-read some part at random. Here's something that might interest anyone who thinks the pre-Vatican II church expected the faithful just to sit dumbly in their pews. Of even more interest is the way that that contemporary shibboleth, "full and active participation", was thought of back then.

How to "participate actively"

You "will be filled with this [true Christian] spirit only in proportion" as you "actively participate" in the Mass, says Pope Pius X. How do you actively participate? As a lay person you actively participate: first, by offering the Divine Victim to the Eternal Father in union with the priest, your official representative; second, by offering yourself to the Eternal Father in union with the Divine Victim. To be a co-offerer with the priest, you must have a sacrificial will, so as to make this twofold oblation of Christ and yourself. ... the Mass is not the private prayer of the priest at the altar, but the collective prayer of all present both in the pews as well as at the altar.

No tambourine, no bass guitar, no hand-holding, no clapping, no liturgical dance. Just quiet, total interior union with the sacrifice of the Mass.

Good thing we dumped all that claptrap in the sixties, huh?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anger management

Back in February, I alluded to a conversation I had with a St. Ann Choir member after a Mass at St. Thomas, and promised to blog about it. Time to make good on that.

The conversation came after most of the choir had figured out that I was The Dover Beachcomber who had been blogging so enthusiastically about the choir's work at STA. The comment that struck me was something like "I was surprised it was you, because I didn't know there was so much anger in you." Or something close to that. They weren't criticizing, just noting. Anyway, the key thing was that the anger that underlay some of my posts had made an impression.

Going back over my blogging history, I had to admit that this person was right. I certainly have sounded angry at times, occasionally very angry. And that got me to thinking about why that was so.

My wife supplied a suggestion that I think is right on the money. She said that she had read that anger isn't a primary emotion, i.e., it's not what happens first. Before anger, there is usually a sense of hurt, and anger is a response to the hurt.

Thinking about that, I realized that my sense of personal hurt over what has happened to the Catholic Church in my lifetime is indeed enormous. At the very moment its old solidity and confidence might have saved the whole world -- and me -- much grief and sin, those things vanished into a welter of self-doubt, blandness, and timidity. And that change didn't just happen; it was pushed, and continues to be pushed even today, by Catholics who chose their own judgment, and the judgment of secular society, over the teaching authority of the Church, and over what Chesterton calls "the democracy of the dead" (i.e., the accumulated wisdom of the men and women who came before us).

That, I realize, is where the hurt comes from. I could do a better job of resisting the reaction of anger, I suppose. But on the other hand, perhaps sometimes it has its uses.

One more thing...

If some are wondering why I chose to include the "Catholic Left" specifically in the title of that post below containing the Andrew Klavan video, it's because I've heard "Oh, that's not in keeping with the spirit of Vatican II" one time too many. One time too many to ignore the unspoken tag line: "And so, shut up."

Andrew Klavan explains the [Catholic] Left

H/T Little Miss Attila via American Digest