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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Jewish praise of the Latin Mass

Barbara kay, Jewish writer for the National Post, makes a positive comment about the Latin Mass, and I think about liturgy, in broad terms. This gem stuck with me:


But the ancient language and music of the liturgy, which unite the individual with his fellows in the sanctuary's space, also unite the individual with the eternal idea of peoplehood -- those who came before and who will come after -- in time.

What I find especially solid about Catholic liturgy and the Catholic Faith as a whole is that it's not only about us. Being ancient isn't about the number of years behind us: it's about the totality of lives around us. The men and women who came before us are still here. They are the cloud of witnesses whose prayers in the presence of God in Heaven constantly cover us, because, truly, they are the Church with us. They are not bygones. That's catholic in the truly universal sense: from every place and every culture, and from every point in time. Ditching ancient liturgy simply because they supposedly bore us is getting it all wrong. We must connect our liturgy now with the liturgy of yesterday, because the liturgy of yesterday is not meant to be temporal. Liturgy to the eternal God should likewise be eternal. Whatever changes we make to the liturgy now must not repudiate the past, for the past must never leave us.

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