Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Theoretically good news; Theoretically highly complicated

Don't get me wrong. I really like the idea of broader permission to celebrate other rites of the Church's liturgy. However, I do have some hesitation about this idea.

First, I am not sure that merely multiplication of rites is healthy for liturgical life. Like it or not, liturgy is rooted in ritual, and ritual is rooted in repetition. If a parish may offer multiple rites within its doors, is it not setting the stage for confusion?

Second, it seems to me that the multiplication of rites can set the stage for "Burger King Liturgical Practice," namely "Go get it your way." Worship at its heart is a question about rendering to God what is His proper due. Therefore, it is possible that having a two rites active in the parish could lead to having duelling rites in the parish. As the fruit of the Liturgy is the realization of the unity of the Body of Christ, it seems potentially counterproductive.

Third, there is that training side. Like it or not, it would be yet another moment where we (read the priest) would have to teach two rites and to form two ritual atmospheres. Before someone saying that they should have the same atmosphere, I would ask, "If the atmospheres of both rites are the same, why duplicate the rites celebrated?"

Granted, if the Holy Father gives access to the rite, I will probably try to find a way for the diocese to teach us who are interested how to celebrate it. I also have a buddy in Wichita whom I can tap. We will see if it materializes...

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