Saturday, December 30, 2006

Liturgical Abuse.... What's the Point?

Have you ever gotten frustrated about liturgical abuse and thought: What's the point? Why can't so-and-so or such-and-such just be done right? Well, believe it or not, those who do liturgical abuses usually do have reasons (though not necessarily good reasons). By the way, much of what I will be posting about liturgical stuff will be coming from Jimmy Akin's book "Mass Confusion". I suggest that you purchase this book if you are interested in promoting the Sacredness of the Liturgy. Anyway, so what reason is there for liturgical abuse? It mostly boils down to the priest (or whoever) not knowing the reasons for doing things the right way. The Church for example does not ask us to pour the wine before it is consecrated into the chalices for no reason. One reason would be to protect the dignity of the Precious Blood to prevent it from spilling and being irreverenced. But for everything in the Liturgy there is a reason it is done- from the beginning of Mass until the end. So, many times a priest who is not informed on why something is supposed to be done a certain way will change it to his way that he understands. A common example may be that the priest during consecration will break the host during the words: "before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:" However, the priest is not supposed to break the host until the Agnus Dei (The Lamb of God). There is a theological reason for this though, and the Church has not said this for the sake of making more rules. When we study the mass, we can start to understand why things are done. When addressing a liturgical problem at your parish, remember to include why it is wrong. The Catechism talks about the Holy Mass starting at #1348. When trying to stop a liturgical abuse, try to find out what the reason is on their side first, and then show why the Church has said to do it the right way. I have not yet found a situation in which the liturgical abuse had the better reason.

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