17 October 2009

EF Mass liberates The Laity!

There have been lots of comments from priests about how the celebration of the Extraordinary Form liberates them: they don't have to perform any more.

There has been much less about the liberation of the faithful: imagine being able to turn up for Mass knowing that you don't have to do anything. The priest says the Mass, the server says the responses, and I ... well, I attend Mass; I hear Mass; I pray the Mass; I participate in Mass; I'm at Mass.

I am entirely free. I could say the Rosary; I could follow the Mass gesture by gesture from my missal so as to be nearly word for word with the priest; I could decide to meditate on something; I could sit/stand/kneel and ask God to fill me with Himself. But it's my conscious choice: it's not imposed.

The point is that it's not about me: the liturgical action happens whether I'm there or not, and my attendance is a privilege, not a right; I'm lucky that the priest is there doing his bit: not the other way round.

It's about God.


leutgeb said...

Well said.

Mulier Fortis said...

I'll echo Leutgeb's comment: and as for your post, well, I couldn't have put it better myself!

Anonymous said...

In your short blog message "it's not about me" you use the personal pronoun "I" about thirteen times!

Ttony said...

@Anonymous: very good!

But if you think about it, that is the point. Once I am liberated from having specific things to do or say, my participation is about preparing myself for that awful moment when the priest turns round to say the Domine non sum dignus and shows me God Whom I am about to receive. I can't hide from that face to face contact by submerging myself into the crowd or by singing out of a hymn book. I'm there alone hearing a voice asking what I'm doing there and why, and, hopefully, I've spent the previous forty minutes coming up with an answer.

Anonymous said...

Look what you have just written:
"my participation is about preparing myself".
You appear to leave very little space for the Lord to work in you. Having been brought up with and love the Extraordinary Form, your approach is nevertheless not what I was taught so many years ago.
Do not take these observations as a negative criticism.

Dorothy B said...

Well said, Ttony.

Simon Platt said...

Good heavens "anonymous". Listen to yourself!