Sunday, 8 July 2007

The Rite Stuff

By all means let people have the Old Latin Mass if they want it (although that won’t heal the Lefebvrist schism, which is doctrinal). Indeed, I myself might well turn up from time to time, provided that it really was celebrated in such a way as to provide a permanent point of liturgical reference, i.e., in its classical form and as envisaged by Sacrosanctum Concilium, rather than after the manner of the “Fastest Masses in the West” characteristic of the every hour, on the hour Mass factories of the 1950s.

And here in England and Wales, we laity must now seek to persuade priests of the overwhelming pastoral need for such Masses on the Epiphany, Ascension Day and Corpus Christi, until such time as the bishops once again condescend to allow us to keep those feasts, not only on the same day, but according to the same rite, as our Patriarch, who also happens to be the Pope.

But can someone please explain to me why all the concentration is on the views of those self-appointed American Jewish organisations which also emerged out of the woodwork when The Passion of The Christ was released? Now as then, their views in practice, and Jewish views even as a first principle, are regarded as the last word. Why? What does it really have to do with them, anyway?

Yes, Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, which we hold to find their fulfilment in Him, and of which we make liturgical and other theological use because He taught us to do so. Yes, among other consequences, we therefore pray and work for the conversion of Jews to Christianity. And yes, the traditional Roman Liturgy for Good Friday includes just such a prayer. Which part of this did anyone not know? Perhaps the last, but they could have guessed even that based on the rest.