Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"The Missal of Trent"

 Rubrics not a problem here.

We continue to be astonished by the fresh perspectives on the Mass offered throughout Martin Mosebach's "The Heresy of Formlessness."  Here Mr. Mosebach offers a defense of rubrics:

"Many people regard the rubrics as the most distinctive - and most problematical - feature of the old Missal.  . . . . Rubricism stands for a liturgy where all subjectivism, all charismatic enthusiasm, all creative inventiveness has been condemned to silence. . . . Public prayer, not the prayer of the individual but of the Church's whole Mystical Body, possessed a binding quality that, in an atmosphere of emancipation from all pressure whatsoever, could be felt as a kind of dictatorship.  Now, however, after more than a century of the destruction of forms in art, literature, architecture, politics, and religion, too, people are generally beginning to realize that loss of form - almost always- implies loss of content. . . . Formerly, seminarians learned rubrics so well they could perform them in their sleep.  Just as pianists have to practice hard to acquire some technique that is initially a pure torture, but ultimately sounds like free improvisation, experienced celebrants used to move to and fro at the altar with consummate poise; the whole action poured forth as if from a single mold.  These celebrants were not hemmed in by armor-plated rubrics, as it were: they floated on them as if on clouds."

St. Thomas of Aquinas pray for us.

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