Thursday, March 24, 2016

Anti-Clerical Liturgy

Choirs of laymen (and women) throughout the world proudly (if rarely) sing the Latin motets of our Catholic heritage, but the bishops and priests are practically unaware, don't care or won't dare! This is the height of liturgical contradiction. Let us call it by it's name: anti-clericalism!

This liturgical dearth is in direct contradiction with the millennial tradition of the Church, including the express dictates of the Second Vatican Council.

According to Vatican II (SC 99, 100, 101), clerics should, as a norm, chant the divine office in common, in Latin.

99. Since the divine office is the voice of the Church, that is of the whole mystical body publicly praising God, those clerics who are not obliged to office in choir, especially priests who live together or who assemble for any purpose, are urged to pray at least some part of the divine office in common.

All who pray the divine office, whether in choir or in common, should fulfill the task entrusted to them as perfectly as possible: this refers not only to the internal devotion of their minds but also to their external manner of celebration.

It is, moreover, fitting that the office, both in choir and in common, be sung when possible.

100. Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts. And the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.

101. 1. In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power of granting the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly. The vernacular version, however, must be one that is drawn up according to the provision of Art. 36.

A dead letter! Our seminaries and cathedrals have never even heard of the relevant liturgical books.

Cf. Archbishop Schneider on solving the liturgical crisis.
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