Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jesuit On The Proper Worship Of The One True God

Easter Vigil 2007
George Cardinal Pell’s comments on the new English-language liturgical translations of the Missal, the coordination of which he is in charge. On hearing these newly translated words, we may finally realize how vapid the present ones we use are. But we are people of habit. Some people won’t like it.
A “conservative” will henceforward be someone who does not want to change the present translations, whereas a “liberal” will be one who likes the new ones. 
Pell was asked about the direction the priest should face during Mass. He would favor the priest and congregation facing the East, all together facing toward the Lord, the proper focus of attention. Why? “Because it makes it patently clear that the priest is not the center of the show, that this is an act of worship of the one true God, and the people are joining with the priest for that” (Adoremus Bulletin, April 2009, from the London Catholic Herald, March 20). “The priest is not the center of the show” — that is a great line. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger made this same point in his "Spirit of the Liturgy: “A common turning toward the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential.... 
Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. A drum-major marches with his back to the band because he is leading them all to something in front of them. All go in the same direction. An orchestra director has his “backs to the people” so that both he and the audience can see and hear something beyond and in front of them. 
Cardinal Pell adds something that I had not seen stressed before. If we insist, as many will, on the priest looking at the congregation and they at him, a crucifix should always be placed between the priest and the congregation. It recalls to both what is going on here. Neither priest nor congregation is the center of attention. The temptation of the priest at Mass is to be an actor. Not a few excel at it. Ratzinger says, however, that, at the altar, the “priest must decrease, the Lord increase”, referring to John the Baptist. 
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. James Schall, S.J. his article is entitled, What Do We Mean When We Say "In Persona Christi"? At Mass we are full of the Lord, not full of ourselves 

1 comment:

TonyD said...

That was a good article. It's nice to see emphasis on God, rather than the priests.