The Advent Wreath -- It drives me batty, from a liturgical point of view that we're inserting a completely Protestant idea into the Mass. The advent wreath is Lutheran. Insofar as this is the case, there is no place for it a Catholic sanctuary, let alone creating some sort of solemn blessing and lighting, as is wont to do in many different Catholic places. I cannot abide anything Protestant in a Catholic setting.
I suppose that if one wants to have this in their home,
c'est la vie. But, as it is, I am opposed to putting up the Christmas
tree before Christmas Eve. A Christmas Tree should be up for the
Christmas season, not Advent and 1 week of Christmas....it is illogical
Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE fan of
Christmas, I think that it is the best time of the year. I love getting
together with my family and friends, but I also love Advent. It
creates a great sense of want, which is what it is supposed to do.
the Advent Wreath....how about we just keep track of the weeks and mark
Gaudete Sunday with Rose!!!!!! That is a wonderful expression of joy
in a time of Penance.
If the Advent Wreath is considered to be part of the "broader sense" as liturgy, then Bugnini and his
fellows have accomplished their goals. The liturgy is the liturgy
precisely because it is established formulas, prayers, rites and
rubrics. The liturgy is a definable position governed by laws which the
Church put forth. Not something by which the Protestant idea can be inserted into the Catholic Mass.
If it is desirable that one would like to define all of the
Protestant things described as being para-liturgical that's one
thing, but to include something which is not Catholic into the liturgy,
then that is what makes it illicit.
I do object to Protestant
the origins of this being used in a Catholic setting, because in today's world, we are not allowed to make Protestant
things Catholic. We must acknowledge them as Protestant and simply say
they are that used in a Catholic setting. Whereas, in times gone by,
the idea of Christmas trees, wreaths, etc...were given a Catholic
connotation over time and the non-Catholic or non-Christian view was completely eliminated. As a matter of fact, making those
changes were a way to evangelize non-Christians into becoming
Christian. How is using the Advent Wreath a way to catechize the
Lutheran into reverting into being Catholic and where is the concrete
application of that, from an authoritative Catholic point of view? It won't be done, so what's left is to compare apples and oranges and do this in the name of ecumenism.
That simply isn't the case, it is a false sense of ecumenism as defined traditionally in the Church.
If the Advent Wreath is used to draw people into the liturgical year,
then we are using a Protestant idea as a draw, without the catechesis
from the Church that was used in years gone by, as with the Christmas
tree or other greenery. The Advent Wreath was not and is not used as a
catechetical point, but rather it is used as a decoration with a
religious connotation. And it is that connotation I take issue with,
whether it be at home, in a store or in our churches, because that is
not authentically Catholic.
This is not a hypothetical "can be
done" issue, because we all know that it will not be done in today's
arena of Christian political correctness, which dominates the
catechetical life of Holy Mother Church. Had the Advent Wreath taken on
a connotation which is inherently Catholic or could be used to provide
solid catechetical proofs for the Church, then I would sing a different
song. If the Church can provide sound Catholic catechesis which draws upon the
Advent wreath from some source text of the Church, I am open to using
it. If it cannot/will not be done, then the point stands as a general principle for
Ultimately, the question becomes this, "Why should a Catholic family adopt a Protestant
idea?" I said that the family, based upon a mature decision could engage
in something like this, but in today's Catholic world the assumption is
that the family will not make a mature decision and that the catechesis
should be as innocuous and dumbed down as possible, if even used at
all. Often times, the use of a Protestant notion is simply put into
practice as being "ecumenical," which completely undermines the
traditional understanding of Religious Tolerance, which I have spoken of before.