Monday, February 16, 2015
Music for Mass, Part 2
At The New Liturgical Movement blog, Part 2 of Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s article “Music for the Eucharistic Sacrifice” has been posted (read Part 1 at the NLM blog). We mentioned Part 1 in an early post on this blog.
In Part 2, some interesting points are made; Dr. Kwasniewski quotes from Pius XII’s Mediator Dei and adds a few comments of his own. Below are some excerpts; the entire article is well worth reading.
The first quote in the article is this:
188. Three characteristics of which Our predecessor Pius X spoke should adorn all liturgical services: sacredness, which abhors any profane influence; nobility, which true and genuine arts should serve and foster; and universality, which, while safeguarding local and legitimate custom, reveals the catholic unity of the Church.
Dr. Kwasniewski comments:
We must admit it: when reading these words of Pius XII, it is as if we are looking at another world, not just another decade or era. When is the last time you have met someone who is concerned to “abhor any profane influence”? Catholics today so readily compromise their faith, morals, and worship by prostituting themselves to the latest fashion that it seems they are rather more eager to embrace the profane in all of its vanity than to reject it for the poison it is. Far from abhorring the profane, they court it, embrace it, and submit to it, making what ought to be a badge of shame into the boast of a new identity and mission. Indeed, a popular (though largely tendentious) interpretation of Vatican II has presented it as the moment when the Church finally welcomed the world into her bosom and discarded, once and for all, the ascetical divide between sacred and secular: there was to be no such thing as sacred liturgy, because all the world is our new liturgy, all of it is blessed by God, and the Church has only to listen, learn, and adapt herself to man in order to bring Christ to him.
Another quote from Mediator Dei states:
80. It is, therefore, desirable, Venerable Brethren, that all the faithful should be aware that to participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice is their chief duty and supreme dignity, and that not in an inert and negligent fashion, giving way to distractions and day-dreaming, but with such earnestness and concentration that they may be united as closely as possible with the High Priest, according to the Apostle, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). And together with Him and through Him let them make their oblation, and in union with Him let them offer up themselves.
And here is a portion of Dr. Kwasniewski’s commentary on that paragraph:
Magnificent words! The “chief duty and supreme dignity” of the Christian is “to participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.” It is not social work; it is not evangelization or catechesis or education; it is not political activism; it is not breaking down barriers of prejudice; it is not the defense of human rights. Our dignity consists above all in worshiping the true God at His holy altar—and making of ourselves an oblation that is pleasing to Him by attaching ourselves devoutly to the supreme offering of Jesus Christ the High Priest. If this is not what we are thinking and intending to do during Mass, we have missed the entire point of the liturgy. We are doing violence to it, abusing it, making it serve our own ends rather than serving its inherent end.
Be sure to read the full article here.