Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lesson from Austria: The Papal liturgies

Sandrom Magister has a detailed analysis of the liturgies during the Papal visit to Austria, focusing on the celebration with youth, the Mass at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna (with a complete Mass by Haydn -- appropriately, the "Mariazeller Messe" -- accompanied by Greogorian Chant) and the remarks made at the monastery of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross). Magister sees here a powerful witness and model for the celebration of the Roman Rite. And there's this wonderful quote from the Pope:
"In the beauty of the liturgy, [...] wherever we join in singing, praising, exalting and worshipping God, a little bit of heaven will become present on earth. Truly it would not be presumptuous to say that, in a liturgy completely centred on God, we can see, in its rituals and chant, an image of eternity. [...] In all our efforts on behalf of the liturgy, the determining factor must always be our looking to God. We stand before God – he speaks to us and we speak to him. Whenever in our thinking we are only concerned about making the liturgy attractive, interesting and beautiful, the battle is already lost. Either it is Opus Dei, with God as its specific subject, or it is not. In the light of this, I ask you to celebrate the sacred liturgy with your gaze fixed on God within the communion of saints, the living Church of every time and place, so that it will truly be an expression of the sublime beauty of the God who has called men and women to be his friends."
He also notes that the master of papal ceremonies, Fr. Piero Marini, is to be replaced by Fr. Guido Marini of Genoa, who is "close to his predecessor in name, but to pope Ratzinger in substance."

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