Saturday, January 03, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: Pope Benedict XVI Called for a New Liturgical Movement

As I wrote in the title to this blog, I have seen it written that
Pope Benedict XVI, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, called for a new liturgical movement. This quote from his preface to the 1992 French translation of Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Monsignor Klaus Gamber. is the only instance I've found in which Cardinal Ratzinger used the term, and he was quoting a young priest. But his points in the preface are well taken, among which are the following:

"[W]e have a liturgy which has degenerated so that it has become a show which, with momentary success for the group of liturgical fabricators, strives to render religion interesting in the wake of the frivolities of fashion and seductive moral maxims. Consequently, the trend is the increasingly marked retreat of those who do not look to the liturgy for a spiritual show-master but for the encounter with the living God in whose presence all the 'doing' becomes insignificant since only this encounter is able to guarantee us access to the true richness of being."

In other words, the post-Vatican II liturgy degenerated into a show with wannabe liturgical innovators trying to make the Mass interesting but reducing it instead to a kind of amateur hour. People who come to Mass for an encounter with God find all the frantic "doing" by all the participants to be missing the point of the "celebration," which is to worship God, remember what He has done for us, His people, and receive the Body and Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The New Liturgical Movement blog promotes the Mass said in Latin, along with Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, beautiful Church exteriors and interiors and rich sacred vestments. And it shows photos of where these are found throughout the world.

For more about the current Pope's writings about the liturgy, see this page at the Institute of Christ the King website.

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