Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Christos Anesti

Christ the Pantocrator

What Notion of Sacrifice?

Compare with:
The Usefulness of Leviticus: Sacrifice for Catholics by Peter Kwasniewski

Debt (and Satisfaction)

Iconography of Byzantine Lead Seals

WCC Article on Its New Chaplain

Questions on Authority in Liturgy

From "Reflections on authority in liturgy today" by Dom Alcuin Reid:

Earlier I asserted that there was a disturbing issue in respect of Pope Pius XII’s exegesis of the premise lex orandi, lex credendi in Mediator Dei whereby he asserts that it is the rule of belief which determines the rule of prayer, and not the other way around. When this was published in 1947 the dangers inherent in this reversal may not have been all that apparent. Sadly, they have become all to clear in the ensuing decades.

For if the Sacred Liturgy (its rites, prayers, chants, and associated arts, etc.) are a “a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition,” this organism, as handed on in tradition, is itself an essential source for experiencing the Faith and for knowing and reflecting upon what we believe: the Sacred Liturgy is itself theologia prima.5 However, if what we believe determines the rule of prayer, the liturgy can (or ought to) be refashioned according to changes in theology so as to reflect the latter. It is no longer a primary source of theology, but its mirror.

Again, this may not have seemed so dangerous a thing to say in 1947, but by 1967 when what Catholics believed seemed at best to be in flux and at worst in utter turmoil, its potential to underpin a concomitant liturgical revolution was clear. Indeed by 1977 this principle’s potential had been exploited at the official level with a new set of liturgical books reflecting a new theology. At a local level, with very little exercise of liturgical discipline by competent authority, there were extremes: Catholic liturgy was widely regarded as a subjective matter for the local community to “plan,” using even the modern liturgical books with all their options as mere resources rather than receiving them as containing the liturgy given by the Church to be celebrated faithfully. What was believed determined how we prayed: the divergent paucity of the former informed the radical diversity of the latter. There were notable exceptions, of course, but this problem was widespread in both parishes, seminaries and religious communities and, as we know, it manifested itself no more clearly than in the realm of liturgical music.

1. What if a tradition is not being prayed, as was the case for those faithful who did not understand Latin? Monastics and clerics might understand it, but should the normative value of the liturgy rest solely on their participation? How can the sensus fidei/fidelium be exercised properly if the lay people do not understand it? How can there be legitimate development of the liturgy in such an ecclesial environment?

2. What is the source of legitimate development and how is it recognized? (Who has the authority to create or authorize new texts, but the bishops?) Is episcopal approval sufficient, or do the new texts need to be properly received by the Christian faithful as well?

For monastic communities in which all members understand Latin the reception of new liturgical texts composed by members within those communities may not be problematic. Is it enough that they are then adopted by secular priests or bishops for them to be legitimated?

3. Theologia prima - in light of (1) and (2) do we need to re-evaluate the usefulness of the axiom "Lex orandi, lex credendi" or whether it is correct or how it should be understood? How can one pray without not first believing? How can the liturgical texts be put on the same level as Sacred Scripture or oral Tradition? This might be true of the primitive Christian liturgical texts, but is it also true of those texts that replaced them or were added to them?

I am aware that Latin traditionalists are critical even of Mediator Dei but at the moment I cannot see how their concerns are justified because of the above.

4. For me there is also the recurring question of what "sacrifice" means, and how this word has been employed within texts of the Roman rite. Has it been used properly?