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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Understanding Our Role in Assisting at Holy Mass

As I continue with my conversations with others regarding the theology behind the liturgical action, I was privy to this and I added my own response.

Father said,
 However, Vatican II sensibilities in terms of the unity of the priest and the congregation are to be applied to it and actual participation as understood in the Ordinary Form, meaning the congregation takes it's parts which would have been normally associated with the altar servers and/or choir.
Another person in the conversation said,
Really, Father, if you are to be the Church's clairvoyant liturgist, you move on and get past your progressive Novus Ordo seminary indoctrination, and quit trying incessantly to micromanage the way the people participate in the liturgy. It's their own business, not yours (however hard this is for an ingrained clericalist to accept).
To which I repsonded,

This is an important concept which cannot be overlooked.  The priest has a role to fulfill in the celebration of Holy Mass. The faithful have a role to fulfill in the celebration of Holy Mass.  They are joined insofar as they are both present, but they are separate in action.

The priest acts in a certain way with his ministers as he offers the sacrifice on behalf of the faithful and the faithful act in a certain way while assisting/hearing Holy Mass.  Those actions are mutually exclusive.

There is a theological reason for a communion rail as well as a practical one.  Just as there was a curtain and doorways into the Holy of Holies, the Communion rail and it's doors are a separation of action.  The priest offers and his ministers support the Holy Mass, through their outward (and inward, hence the conjoining of the sanctuary and the nave) action.  The faithful worship and adore the fruit of that action.

The role of the faithful is not to be burdened with the activa, but rather to embrace the actuosa, internally and personally and allow the activa to flow naturally.  That is why the priest has his ministers.  Their burden is the activa, but then again, they should be trained to handle that burden, spiritually, so as to properly meld the activa and actuosa.  To be a minister at the altar is a charism, not a right.

This is yet another issue with the faulty liturgical theology which emerged after the Council.  Prior to this, it was understood, innately.

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