Monday, 25 August 2008

Liturgy, inculturation and concelebration: Mgr Ranjith on the restoration!

New Liturgical Movement has posted a translation of some very important comments by H.E. Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, made in a newspaper interview on the Feast of the Assumption.

If we didn't already know we were in the midst of the restoration of proper liturgical norms, you couldn't get the message more clearly than some of this fighting stuff!

There is quite a lot on false notions of inculturation, the deformation of the liturgy after Vatican II, and the need for a change in course to address the empty churches that have resulted. He notes that Mass must have moments of silence, of inwardness and personal prayer. He suggests that concelebration should be reserved to special occasions.

Most importantly, though, he gives a spirited defense of the TLM as a tool for evangelisation:

" DT: From Asia one also hears voices which say that the debate on the Tridentine liturgy is typically European and has nothing to do with the concerns of the people in mission areas. How do you see this?

MR: Well, these are individual opinions that cannot be generalized for the Catholic Church. That the whole of Asia should reject the Tridentine Mass is inconceivable. One must also beware of generalisations such as "the old Mass does not fit for Asia".

It is precisely the extraordinary rite liturgy which reflects some Asian values in all their depth. Above all the aspect of Redemption and the vertical perspective of human life, the deeply personalised relationship between God and the priest and God and the community are more clearly expressed in the old liturgy than in the Novus ordo.

The Novus ordo by contrast stresses more the horizontal perspective.... Without Good Friday, the Last Supper has no meaning. The Cross is the marvelous sign of God's love, and only in relation to the Cross is true community at all possible. Here is the real starting point for the evangelisation of Asia."

Do go and read the whole thing.

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