Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cardinal Arinze's Mass Etiquette 101

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments -- who was recently accused of "attack[ing] the Mass" by the excommunicated head of the Lefebvrist movement -- gave a talk in London last week....

During a talk in Westminster Cathedral April 1, Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze called on priests to restore tabernacles to central positions in churches and for Catholics to rediscover the tradition of reverent genuflection in the presence of the Eucharist.

He also called for an end to adding details to and subtracting them from the approved rites of the Mass and for an end to soft background music during Mass and other times when people were trying to pray in church.

"This is doubtless well intentioned, but it is a mistake," said the cardinal. "People enter churches to pray, not to be entertained."

The cardinal told about 400 audience members that Mass was the "supreme act of adoration, praise and thanksgiving which humanity can offer God." ....

"A do-it-yourself mentality, an attitude of 'nobody will tell me what to do,' or a defiant sting of 'if you do not like my Mass you can go to another parish' is not only against sound theology and ecclesiology, but also offends against common sense," he said. "Unfortunately, sometimes common sense is not very common, when we see a priest ignoring liturgical rules and installing creativity -- in his case idiosyncrasy -- as the guide to the celebration of the Mass."
OK, nice talk, very sound... but what of the overlay stole?