As you can begin to tell, today was a busy day at Sacra Liturgia.
The next paper was by Professor Peter Stephan of the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, who teaches architectural theory and art history. His paper was entitled The Vicissitudes of Liturgy and Architecture shown in the Example of Berlin’s Cathedral of St Hedwig. Not surprisingly Professor Stephan’s paper had a strong visual component which is impossible to reproduce here.
On the tube back from a lively supper after Cardinal Sarah’s important speech last night, it struck me that perhaps the conference had peaked already. Certainly in terms of an immediate and practical legacy, last night’s speech is unlikely to be bested.
However, the proceedings today were a salutary reminder that Cardinal Sarah’s vigorous and specific exhortation—for a return to the centuries-old tradition of priest and people sharing a common orientation to the east and to the Lord during the Liturgy of the Eucharist—is itself the fruit of recent scholarship and pastoral reflection on the reforms implemented in the wake of Vatican II and which claim the Council as their warrant and justification. It was just such scholarship and reflection that we were treated to today.
It was a late night and the eyes hang a little heavy this morning. But it is good to be here, to quote the apostle.
After yesterday’s landmark address by Cardinal Sarah it is hard to avoid a precipitate sense of having been present at something important. It is perhaps the sort of day that one might look back on and say “I was there when…”.
One striking thing about Cardinal Sarah’s address was the humility with which he spoke, even when he was speaking with passion. During the several rounds of applause be kept his head bowed, milking nothing from the applause, not even a shy smile. He was there for the message not the glory.
Now, for Dom Alcuin Reid’s paper to open the day. He is speaking on the debate on liturgical reform in the Council floor.
Sacra Liturgia 2016 has opened, and opened with a bang. After an impressive solemn vespers according to the breviary of 1961, with Bishop Dominique Rey as the celebrant, we decamped to Imperial College to hear the opening address from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Worship.
His Eminence’s speech was long, and in fact it went over time so a page or two were omitted, sections dealing with such things as liturgical music. What you have no doubt heard by now, such is the power of the Internet, is that what Cardinal Sarah did not omit was very exciting. Continue reading “Cardinal Sarah’s Clarion Call”→
After checking in at Corpus Christi Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, where Fr Alan Robinson is most graciously sheltering me this week, it was time to straighten the habit, gird the loins and brave the Piccadilly Line to Imperial College to register and prepare for the opening of the annual Sacra Liturgia conference. This is my first time and it promises to be a most stimulating and illuminating time.
The premier league of MCs and acolytes have also gathered in order to ensure the the conference liturgies are exemplary, and able to speak clearly in their ancient and sacred voice. This evening Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, will give the opening address. In light of his recent statements many of us are waiting with eagerness to hear what he has to say.
Without wanting to duplicate the extensive coverage that is promised from the Sacra Liturgia 2016 Facebook page, anything noteworthy will be recorded here in order to help in ever so small a way the liturgical apostolate. How easily we forget the apostolic and evangelistic fruits of the liturgy celebrated faithfully and well.
Dom Benedict from Silverstream had just joined me as we await solemn vespers with Bishop Rey.
Having been an active advocate of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, which will soon be five years old, it is cheering to see how well established it has become. It is not perfect, but its imperfections are far fewer than those of the translation it replaced, and at least errs on the side of assuming that the faithful are more intelligent, as opposed to the previous translation’s implicit assumption that we were all a little thick and needed things served up in small sentences and easy words. There are still the grey and disgruntled who clamour for its abolition, though even they, or most of them, do not seek the return of the previous translation, advocating instead the ill-fated 1998 translation. That translation was indeed a marked improvement on the previous, but it was marked by contemporary ideology. The virtue of a more literal translation is that passing ideology gets less room to play.
However, the new translation, being merely that—a translation—and not a new missal per se, keeps the structural, liturgical and theological defects of the post-conciliar Roman Missal. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Options”→
As the dust settles after last week’s UK referendum in which England and to a lesser extent Wales voted the UK out of the European Union, some things are becoming clearer.
The first is that the Leave campaign had no real blueprint for how Brexit would be effected. It is hard to imagine another context in which voting for an option so vaguely and inadequately outlined would even have been countenanced. It is as if most of the leaders of the Leave campaign only began to believe that they might win in the dying days of the campaign. Certainly we are hearing in the media that numbers of those who voted Leave did so thinking their vote would not count, and “Regrexit” has now been coined to cover those who repent of their vote to leave. Continue reading “Brexit: The Disconnect”→