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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The pitfalls of "Creative Liturgy"


From an interview with Msgr. Nicola Bux published last month in the Italian blogosphere:

Then, not too surprisingly, he affirms: “The sense of sin has been weakened by the dilution of the sacrality of the liturgy. There is a close link between ethos and worship.” What do you mean? “That we today have lost values because we often do not give God a worthy worship at Mass. And many atheists ought also to live as if God exists.” (E molti anche atei dovrebbero vivere come se Dio esistesse) But let us return to the liturgical aspect: “People need the sense of the sacred in order to discover God. Sin is a negation of God, but if even when assisting Mass we live far from God, how is it then possible to avoid sin?” Then he specifies: “The liturgy is sacred, divine and glorious; it is vertical in the sense of tending towards the High, towards Beauty and Heaven. It is not something circular or horizontal, some kind of sports stadium, assembly or party. The idea of a fruitful and creative liturgy inevitably loses the sense of the sacred and therefore alienates us from God and draws us near to sin. The people, who are much more intelligent than one gives them credit for, perceive where the sacred is. It is not something abstract but a concrete thing. And it says so in the Gospel. "The woman wished to touch the cloak of Christ. In order to defeat sin, there is a need for certain, unequivocal and firm signs, not fluctuating, unstable ones.”

Therefore creative liturgy creates damage: “Many, especially after the Council, ceded to this unhealthy notion of creativity, but it was not the fault of the Council, as the Council never abrogated or cancelled the liturgy of all times (liturgia di sempre). A sloppy, manipulated and -- even worse – violated Mass is an obstacle to the sacred and alienates the people from the Church. To celebrate creative Masses is a profanation of the sense of the sacred, because it brings us away from God. The minister of the cult must never be an actor, often a mediocre one at that and a source of scandal, but should think that his principal duty is to serve God, never his own unbridled desire to play the protagonist. Only by recuperating or restoring a correct vertical liturgy, can we limit in part the effects of sin, thus rediscovering God.”

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