Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cardinal Danneels on the Liturgy

Fr Z has done a bit of a critique of this article in the America Magazine by Cardinal Godfried Danneels "Liturgy 40 Years After the Council: High point or regression?" (free registration required), so I won't go into the details. The article shows some signs of not quite being within the guard-rails of a "hermeneutic of continuity", and there is rather too much tendancy to talk in terms of "symbolism", nevertheless, there are some amazingly insightful statements which I would like to highlight for us all to contemplate (Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and Protestant alike):
    • The liturgy is God’s work on us before it is our work on God. The celebrating community enters into it as into a pre-established, divine and spiritual architecture.
    • We are not creators of the liturgy; we are servants and guardians of its mysteries. We do not own them, nor did we author them.
    • If the liturgy is not simply a structuring of common human religiosity, but rather the epiphany of God in human history (from Abraham to Christ), then we cannot avoid the need for catechesis and initiation. Because it is both proclamation and the celebration of mysteries that have occurred in the history of Judaism and Christianity, liturgy demands schooling.
    • Our contemporaries often conceive of “understanding” as the ability to grasp at first hearing. Something is understandable if we can grasp it immediately. Such an approach is valid for the ordinary objects of our knowledge, which can only be grasped at a purely cognitive level. But where the depths of human and divine reality are concerned, this approach does not work. Love, death, joy, solidarity, knowledge of God can never be grasped at once or on first inspection. Profound realities only gradually yield their full significance.
    • [When] The liturgy is turned into an unstoppable succession of words [there is] no time for interiorization.
    • Liturgy is neither the time nor the place for catechesis... Nor should liturgy be used as a means for disseminating information, no matter how essential that information might be.
    • Liturgy belongs to the order of the “playful.” The uniqueness of “play” is that one plays for the sake of playing. Liturgy’s end is in itself.
    • Celebrate first, then understand.
    • the sense of smell is almost completely unused in the liturgy. It is not to our advantage that the use of incense has been pushed aside into the domain of superfluity and hindrance.
    • The life of the Christian is built on cultus and caritas. Liturgy does not coincide with life; rather, it has a dialectical relationship with life. Sunday is not Monday, nor vice versa. What we do throughout the week in a varied and diluted way we also do in the liturgy but in a more concentrated and purified fashion: we live for God and for others.

6 Comments:

At Sunday, August 26, 2007 9:11:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

The rest of the points might be more obvious or attainable had not the church acted against the first two in the Council.

Maybe this fundamental contradiction accounts for the conditions some of the commenters mentioned in the Cardinal's own jurisdiction. Pretty hard to treat something as not of the community's authorship when it is.

Nonetheless. glad to see Der Wanderer is still around. Used to read it all the time when I was trying to tell myself it's still the Catholic Church. I wonder if the National Catholic Register (not to be confused with Reporter!) made it.

 
At Tuesday, August 28, 2007 1:33:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

I wonder if the National Catholic Register (not to be confused with Reporter!) made it.

Yep, still faithful to the magisterium.

Here it is:

http://www.ncregister.com

 
At Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:09:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

[When] The liturgy is turned into an unstoppable succession of words [there is] no time for interiorization.

Yeah, sort of like the hour long Bible exegesis/aka "sermon" that goes on in so many evangelical churches. Eeek.

Liturgy is neither the time nor the place for catechesis... Nor should liturgy be used as a means for disseminating information, no matter how essential that information might be.

Exactly. The Liturgy is for the gathered Church and has been from the beginning.

I also like the comments regarding incense. The priests at may parish are using it more and more and I love every bit of it. It was that faint wisp of incense that I absorbed as a little girl attending Mass with my Catholic Dad that left me curious to know more about why the Catholic Church used it and why my Lutheran didn't.

 
At Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:59:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

I would also add that I find Cardinal Danneels' comments far more welcome than those of his Vatican II predecessor, Cardinal Leo Suenens.

 
At Tuesday, August 28, 2007 4:27:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

What?

Well, so much for the Mass of the Catechumens and Mass of the Faithful. Just us'ns gathered as the believing community, people of God, or whatever your devotion may suggest.

What?

Judas, Suenens was John XXIII's right hand man, without whom the Council would have fallen apart in its first session, and who effectively set the course for the rest of the Council!

What?

Bugnini relegated to an archived post. Jezz Louise, you can't go to bloody Mass without either getting early Bugnini in the 1962 "extraordinary" rite or mature Bugnini in the novus ordo "ordinary" rite!

What?

Long ago and far away, it was Leo Cardinal Suenens and Godfried (hey, another Godfrey!) Cardinal Danneels.

Post conciliar Catholicism is impossible without these men. There is no point in trying to abstract a watered down version of it as "authentic".

Oy. Ich bin am Ende hier auch.

 
At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:36:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Well, so much for the Mass of the Catechumens and Mass of the Faithful. Just us'ns gathered as the believing community, people of God, or whatever your devotion may suggest.

Oh please. I don't think the Orthodox even dismiss the Catechumens anymore.

As for the "believing community" that's exactly what the New Testament calls us -- a royal priesthood, a holy nation set apart by virtue of our baptism to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. That's entirely Biblical and something the Church sorely needed to recover from the early centuries.

Bugnini is gone and so is Suenens and I am well aware that they were the darlings of the "progressives". Bugnini's tinkering with the 1962 Rite was responsible for the group that splintered off from the SSPX to form the SSPV.

Danneels sometimes comes up with some gems of wisdom but he will never be Pope. I remember when he came to the Cleveland area to make a presentation at Jesuit John Carroll University. It was actually very inspiring.

Fortunately, the Catholic Church will continue to function even with your "watered down" disapproval, PE. And I'm glad to be a part of it.

 

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