How to Fix the Liturgy?

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History shows us that in the midst of terrible times for the Church, God raises up Saints amoung us to lead his Church back on the straight and narrow. I think what we need are some new Bishops to revitalize our Priests. Bishops and Priests who are truly in line with Rome. The Church in America needs tough love…and we need some tough love Bishops.

God Bless,
 
Fund more Eastern Catholic Parishes…of course 👍 !

Go with God!
Edwin
 
“You” or “they” cannot “fix” the liturgy. Lex orendi, lex credendi. To paraphrase the meaning, “the liturgy reflects what is believed.” The Eucharist is disrespected because a majority of Catholics believe it to be symbolic only. They show it in their dress at Mass; they show it by the chit-chat in the sanctuary, etc. The abuses began when the focus of the Mass was changed from the Divine victim (God-centered) to congregational or communal celebration (man-centered). This, of course, is the Novus Ordo. Take the time to examine the changes in the Canon of the Mass to make it “more protestant” and hence, less objectional to the Protestant observers who helped formulate the liturgy. To summarize, truth exists beyond one’s self. When collectively a liturgy celebrates ourselves there is really no worship only self-aggrandisement.
 
I agree that never will all abuse cease. What I am wondering is whether or not improvement has been made in the last few decades. I am too new to the church to have the historical perspective many of you may have. Comments from older Catholics?
 
I want tougher bishops, but it won’t happen.

Cardinal George actually forsees open persecution of faithful Catholics in the next twenty-years or so. He sees two churches, one an American endorsed Church, and the other, an underground Roman Catholic Church (think caused by IRS, activist judges, and angry rainbow sashers, etc).

Anyway, I am of the opinion that would be good for the Church. It would raise up a whole new generation of Apologists, Doctors, Theologians, Martyrs and Evangelists who could revitalize the faith here and make is stronger. Maybe the pre-Constantinian minds of the Church, have carried us this far, now we need a new generation to pick up the slack. Just a thought, but even if we are forced underground, I think we would be the stronger for it. Tested by fire so to speak.
 
Here’s what I don’t understand. JPII has been Pope since 1978. But yet it’s only in the last couple of years that reform of liturgical abuse has gotten a lot of attention. What was he doing in the first 20 years of his papacy?
 
Melman:
Here’s what I don’t understand. JPII has been Pope since 1978. But yet it’s only in the last couple of years that reform of liturgical abuse has gotten a lot of attention. What was he doing in the first 20 years of his papacy?
I think there was a ‘grace period’ during which most Catholics waited for the instructions like Inaestimabile Donum to be implemented.
 
Great question!

Liturgical reform is long overdue. I think that the Pope realizes that orthodox bishops are key. It seems that all the recent appointments are very strong. I believe it is these bishops and young priests who along with an active laity (all of us) will bring about great change over the next 20 years. I believe we have reason to be hopeful because of the newer bishops. I have a friend in the seminary and it is full of young energetic orthodox men. It seems in the last few years I have met many young orthodox priests (and I live in a fairly liberal diocese).

I don’t think that a patriarch would be a good idea as that would create more of a public impression that the US is “separate” from Rome. We need to be closer to Rome than we are now.

There may very well be those who split from the Church as the reforms occur but hopefully more will participate in a newer more faithful Church.

Above all, I think we all need to be active. Let priests know that they ought to follow the liturgy completely. If they don’t respond, escalate. Above all, pray for your priests and bishops.
 
Given the choices, I had to pick “Continue with the present attempt at leading the Church in the USA to orthodox Catholicism.” Perhaps if there were some way for the Holy Father to get the bishops more involved without firing them, that would be ideal.

Really, fixing the liturgy is easy – follow the rubrics, and guide others to do the same. While some would still prefer the Tridentine, IMO, the Novus Ordo can be beautiful if the rubrics are followed and appropriate music is chosen.
 
Fund more Eastern Catholic parishes to compete with the Latin Rite

As a cradle Byzantine Catholic I wanted dearly to click on the choice that I’ve copied above in this post. I did not vote, however, because of the word “compete” that appears in the wording of this choice. Our mission, as Catholics, one and all, is to evangelize to those outside of the True Faith, NOT to proselytize from within our own ranks! We speak incessantly of unity - we cannot breach the unity we currently enjoy within our own Catholic Church, each of us under the pastoral care of our Holy Father John Paul II, and still expect others from outside of our circle to join us. “Competition” amongst ourselves is not the answer.

Now… having said all that…

As a Church, we are uniquely blessed in that we have so much diversity available to us with regard to how we worship, while at the same time we are still able to share and maintain our most basic beliefs and articles of faith. Yet, so few Catholics are even aware of this diversity, let alone take the steps necessary to at least experience Catholicism in any form other than Roman Catholicism. Please pardon me if I appear blunt here, but the fact is that many of the issues I see discussed in this form over and over are simply non-issues when viewed from the Eastern Catholic perspective. Perhaps the instances of dissatisfaction that many of our brethren are currently experiencing in their worship life would cease to exist if only they would take the time to investigate the fullness of Catholicism, in its many forms!

Please, PLEASE don’t misinterpret my intent here. I am NOT saying that the Eastern Catholic Churches are in any way, shape or form “better”… what I am saying, however, is that Catholicism celebrated from the Eastern perspective may, for many people, be a viable alternative to any feelings of confusion or non-fulfillment they may currently be experiencing in their religious life. They may truly find a “home” that satisfies their desire to find something on a spiritual level that “works” for them. And here’s the absolutely GREAT part…

…they need not leave the Catholic Church!!

The Sacraments of every single Eastern Catholic Church are every bit as valid, every bit as Catholic, as those of the Roman Catholic Church! All 23 Churches that come together to comprise our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church fall under the pastoral care of the same Holy Father, John Paul II. Any Roman Catholic individual is absolutely free to worship in any Eastern Catholic Church, and vice versa.

I find it very saddening to hear of Catholics who seek spiritual fulfillment from outside of the Catholic Church, when they’ve not even attempted to see if Catholicism in one of its other rich forms may have been the answer they were seeking. Sad part is, many of those folks may not have even been aware that Catholicism even existed in any form other than Roman Catholicism! Far better to keep our sheep within the fold than to allow them to stray, don’t you think?

Our Holy Father has said (if I may paraphrase), “It’s time for the Catholic Church to once again breathe with both lungs - that of the West and that of the East!”

I beg all of my Catholic brothers and sisters - before you allow dissatisfaction with current affairs in your worship life drive you from our Church, at least look at the options that Catholic worship in the Eastern Tradition may offer to you.

Thank you.

Slava Isusu Christu!

a pilgrim
 
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dcs:
I think there was a ‘grace period’ during which most Catholics waited for the instructions like Inaestimabile Donum to be implemented.
It’s a good thing I saw the “Post Conciliar Documents” show on EWTN last week. They were going over this one. It was written in 1980. How much of a “grace period” should have been allowed?

And I really don’t think “most Catholics” were reading papal documents back in 1980. For that matter, most aren’t reading them now. It’s only with the Internet in the last 5 years or so, that the really interested Catholic can get access to these things.

So again I ask: why did the 80’s and 90’s go by with no serious attempts at reining in “reforms”?
 
Slava na viki, a pilgrim! 👍

I didn’t pick a choice in the poll. The right answer isn’t there, IMHO.

No liturgy will ever be perfect in the sense of not being able to be subjected to the criticism of SOMEbody who has a fixation on some particular thing. Liturgies, their divine purpose notwithstanding, are human documents. We’ve not been given a liturgy in scripture, so that necessitates that liturgies will always be human documents. That characteristic inherently means they will be imperfect in some aspect.

“Fixing” liturgies gets really close to prioritizing form over substance. As another responder said, “Lex orandi, lex credendi.” A closer translation is that the word(s) we pray are (or represent) the words we believe. If the liturgy - be it in traditional language, in Latin, in modern language - says what the Church says liturgy is to say - particular the Eucharistic liturgy, then it IS fixed.

My preferences, nor yours, nor yours, etc are what is most important. It is natural to want what we like. Cest la vie.

Someone else has also expressed the idea that our respect, reverence, etc do not come from the externals of the words we say, but from within - from our souls and our attitudes. In that vein, I say the correct answer to “How do we fix the liturgy?” is real simple: We fix OURSELVES!!

Kyrie eleison.
 
a pilgrim said:
Fund more Eastern Catholic parishes to compete with the Latin Rite

As a cradle Byzantine Catholic I wanted dearly to click on the choice that I’ve copied above in this post. I did not vote, however, because of the word “compete” that appears in the wording of this choice. Our mission, as Catholics, one and all, is to evangelize to those outside of the True Faith, NOT to proselytize from within our own ranks! We speak incessantly of unity - we cannot breach the unity we currently enjoy within our own Catholic Church, each of us under the pastoral care of our Holy Father John Paul II, and still expect others from outside of our circle to join us. “Competition” amongst ourselves is not the answer.

Now… having said all that…

As a Church, we are uniquely blessed in that we have so much diversity available to us with regard to how we worship, while at the same time we are still able to share and maintain our most basic beliefs and articles of faith. Yet, so few Catholics are even aware of this diversity, let alone take the steps necessary to at least experience Catholicism in any form other than Roman Catholicism. Please pardon me if I appear blunt here, but the fact is that many of the issues I see discussed in this form over and over are simply non-issues when viewed from the Eastern Catholic perspective. Perhaps the instances of dissatisfaction that many of our brethren are currently experiencing in their worship life would cease to exist if only they would take the time to investigate the fullness of Catholicism, in its many forms!

Please, PLEASE don’t misinterpret my intent here. I am NOT saying that the Eastern Catholic Churches are in any way, shape or form “better”… what I am saying, however, is that Catholicism celebrated from the Eastern perspective may, for many people, be a viable alternative to any feelings of confusion or non-fulfillment they may currently be experiencing in their religious life. They may truly find a “home” that satisfies their desire to find something on a spiritual level that “works” for them. And here’s the absolutely GREAT part…

…they need not leave the Catholic Church!!

The Sacraments of every single Eastern Catholic Church are every bit as valid, every bit as Catholic, as those of the Roman Catholic Church! All 23 Churches that come together to comprise our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church fall under the pastoral care of the same Holy Father, John Paul II. Any Roman Catholic individual is absolutely free to worship in any Eastern Catholic Church, and vice versa.

I find it very saddening to hear of Catholics who seek spiritual fulfillment from outside of the Catholic Church, when they’ve not even attempted to see if Catholicism in one of its other rich forms may have been the answer they were seeking. Sad part is, many of those folks may not have even been aware that Catholicism even existed in any form other than Roman Catholicism! Far better to keep our sheep within the fold than to allow them to stray, don’t you think?

Our Holy Father has said (if I may paraphrase), “It’s time for the Catholic Church to once again breathe with both lungs - that of the West and that of the East!”

I beg all of my Catholic brothers and sisters - before you allow dissatisfaction with current affairs in your worship life drive you from our Church, at least look at the options that Catholic worship in the Eastern Tradition may offer to you.

Thank you.

Slava Isusu Christu!

a pilgrim

Fascinating post. When I employed the term “compete” I meant to do so in the most healthy of manners…

I think in many respects only one thing keeps the eastern half of the Church from exploding here in the USA – the size and “quality” of worship facilities. While that may sound overly simplistic, I think there is a great deal of truth to it.

Out here in the west, it seems like most eastern parishes are rather tiny, and many times struggling to make ends meet. If the easterners could somehow put the cart before the horse and acquire larger facilities (perhaps doomed Latin Rite parish facilities) I honestly think their membership would boom.

Yes, there would be the risk of attracting those who only attend because of nice buildings, but I don’t think it would be that big of an issue.

I’m curious if any of the parish buildings close by Archbishop O’Malley in Boston were acquired by any of the Eastern Catholic Churches?
 
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Servant1:
Slava na viki, a pilgrim! 👍

I didn’t pick a choice in the poll. The right answer isn’t there, IMHO.

No liturgy will ever be perfect in the sense of not being able to be subjected to the criticism of SOMEbody who has a fixation on some particular thing. Liturgies, their divine purpose notwithstanding, are human documents. We’ve not been given a liturgy in scripture, so that necessitates that liturgies will always be human documents. That characteristic inherently means they will be imperfect in some aspect.

“Fixing” liturgies gets really close to prioritizing form over substance. As another responder said, “Lex orandi, lex credendi.” A closer translation is that the word(s) we pray are (or represent) the words we believe. If the liturgy - be it in traditional language, in Latin, in modern language - says what the Church says liturgy is to say - particular the Eucharistic liturgy, then it IS fixed.

My preferences, nor yours, nor yours, etc are what is most important. It is natural to want what we like. Cest la vie.

Someone else has also expressed the idea that our respect, reverence, etc do not come from the externals of the words we say, but from within - from our souls and our attitudes. In that vein, I say the correct answer to “How do we fix the liturgy?” is real simple: We fix OURSELVES!!

Kyrie eleison.
Not true. It’s about following what the Church directs.
 
Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus promised us when gave Peter the keys of the Kingdom that Peter was the rock upon which He would build His Church and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it? So we have His assurance that the Church will survive in spite of liturgical abuses, corrupt priests, sex abuse scandal and on and on. I don’t know what the answer is but I am not worried about the Church falling into ruins because of liturgical abuse because Jesus promised us it would not. Yes, we should do all we can to protect the church but maybe to do that, we need to be worrying about ourselves and how we are living the Gospel and how we are treating others.
 
This may seem overly simplistic, but in my limited experience one of the biggest issues in liturgical reform is that many Catholics have never been properly educated in what our liturgy is supposed to look like and how it works . And in not having that general knowledge, the theology, traditions, and reason governing the rubrics are lost on many of the faithful.
 
Melman:
Here’s what I don’t understand. JPII has been Pope since 1978. But yet it’s only in the last couple of years that reform of liturgical abuse has gotten a lot of attention. What was he doing in the first 20 years of his papacy?
Trying to work in Cardinal Bernardin’s shadow. Old Joe had far more influence than JPII ever did. All the changes and real work has been done since he died, if you notice.
 
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Crusader:
I think in many respects only one thing keeps the eastern half of the Church from exploding here in the USA – the size and “quality” of worship facilities. While that may sound overly simplistic, I think there is a great deal of truth to it.
Crusader,

Yours is a very good point. Speaking from the Eastern Catholic perspective, however, I believe that the single largest hinderance to the growth of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America is ethnicity… or, at least, the perception of ethnicity.

The 22 Churches that make up the Eastern “lung” of the body of our Catholic Church were originally established on ethnic grounds. For example, I am Ruthenian in heritage so, naturally, I grew up in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church. The Ukranian kids on the other side of town quite naturally attended the Ukranian Byzantine Catholic Church, and so on. In fact, as a youth, I remember being able to look around my Church during a Sunday Divine Liturgy and seeing nothing but Ruthenians! Although no one was ever “officially” excluded from attending any of the various Eastern Catholic Churches, regardless of nationality, there certainly was a strong feeling as to who “belonged” and who “did not belong.”

Fast forward forty-some years and we still see this perception that the Eastern Catholic Churches are for those folks of Eastern ethnicity. Period. This perception, of course, is a tough nut to crack, but strides are being made. Certainly things like the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the English language have helped, but much, MUCH work remains in order to overcome the old ethnic perceptions that still hang over our Churches.

Please pray for us… oh, and while you’re at it, stop by and visit us, too! Help us break those perceptions!

a pilgrim
 
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br4rdop:
This may seem overly simplistic, but in my limited experience one of the biggest issues in liturgical reform is that many Catholics have never been properly educated in what our liturgy is supposed to look like and how it works . And in not having that general knowledge, the theology, traditions, and reason governing the rubrics are lost on many of the faithful.
Indeed, this is true. It is so difficult to find solid liturgical catechesis these days. It is even more difficult to find liturgical catechesis than it is to find moral catechesis, and it is also hard for the average person to identify the garbage among liturgical materials.

Add to this a loss of the sense of the sacred among the faithful and the loss of the perception of our faith as a profound reality. Also add the fact that we have had decades of non-enforcement of liturgical law. Naturally, people observe what’s going on around them and see violations of the rubrics as “no big deal” or even “beautiful.”

David
 
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