28 June 2007

Moretben-inspired Musings

The animadversion of Fr Z (whom God preserve) of my friend Moretben's article about the Trad Archipelago has given Moretben plenty to reply to. Those of us who toil in the fifth circle will be pleased that the watchman waked.

However much Moretben is at home in the Undercroft - however much I am at home in the Muniment Room - we have to recognise that cataclysmic events occur, and that they cannot be undone. Our homes gradually become fortresses against the ruin which infests the world outside. We cannot recreate the past. The past will never happen again.

The world of the 1950s, or, more exactly, that bit of the pre-World War II world which survived the horror of 1939-1945, is a memory of something good and wholesome, and, like all memories, something which belongs to the past. The Whit Walks (a Mancunian writes) were wonderful, and will never happen again.

But we can shape the future, and this is the kernel of what I have gained from Moretben's post. Put simply: pray the Mass; let good priests say the Mass and pray while they say it; pray for good priests to say the Mass properly. Pray.

I sense the distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary Rites of Mass not as normal versus unusual, but as mundane versus celestial. HH the P has rightly concentrated on the absolute core of our faith - the Mass and the associated Ars Celebrandi - and has rightly realised that the peripheral will sort itself out.

Should women cover their heads at Mass? I don't know, but I know that women should go to Masses rightly celebrated, and they will work out for themselves what their head covering should be. When I and a group of my staff met the Queen, there was no dicussion about what we would wear: we knew, instinctively.

If our priests begin to bring our King to us in a seemly fashion, we will behave in a seemly way. The seemliness will not be that of our parents', or grandparents', generation. But it will still be seemly.

The past has passed, and what follows will not be better; but the past can't be recreated, so let's try to aspire to something as good.

1 comment:

JARay said...

I do recognise that tendency to become fixated about things which are past and should be left in the past. We should indeed get on with things as they are happening in the here and now.