Thursday, October 16, 2008
Fr. William: Champion of the New Liturgical Movement
Fr. William Fitzgerald is a priest after my own heart. In the rhetoric surrounding the debate between the Novus Ordo Missae vs. the Missal of Pius V (termed by Fr. William the "Classical Roman Rite," causing Nicole to think of harpies!) we too often get caught up in the minutiae, the details surrounding each form of the mass, and more importantly, our own personal attachment to one or another of the forms. Not so Fr. William. In his talk last night entitled "The Mass: How Extraordinary?!" Father gave us a clear and simple objective: think as the Holy Father does about the liturgy. He pointed out that the extreme of a narrow focus is those Catholics who demand, "what they want, when they want," with regard to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice. He contended that we should be comfortable with Mass in either form, ordinary or extraordinary. At the same time, he pointed out that the Church's vision for the ordinary form is much different from what we often see in parishes today. Moreover, he explained that the Holy Father specifically used the word "extraordinary" with regard to the older form to indicate that the celebration of this form will be the exception and not the rule. Fr. William's fascinating, dense reflections gained credence from his personal history, one of strong attachment to the liturgy and of extensive education in matters liturgical. His wide knowledge showed itself in his compact history of the Mass in the Western Church. While recognizing the excellence of the Tridentine Mass, he sees Pope Benedict XVI's plan as ultimately one of reform, not of trying to situate the Church of today in a past time. By taking such a "middle road," as well as by using a matter-of-fact tone free for the most part from personal criticisms of either side, he showed us a great example of how to think with the Church and love our liturgical tradition.
Posted by healthily sanguine at 7:39 AM