The Universal Call to Holiness: The Eucharistic Liturgy and the Unity of Sanctity and Sacrifice — Gaudium et Spes 22

By Larry Chapp “The profession ‘There is only one God’ is, precisely because it has itself no political aims, a program of decisive political importance: through the absoluteness that it lends the individual from his God, and through the relativization to which it relegates all political communities in comparison with the unity of the God […]

The Universal Call to Holiness: The Eucharistic Liturgy and the Unity of Sanctity and Sacrifice — Gaudium et Spes 22

Dives into why Vatican II reformed the Liturgy so the Universal Call to Holiness would become more apparent in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

Quotes from inside “But it is also true that for many Catholics the liturgy had become a passive experience, something the priest did up on the altar, in silence, and in a language that was not the mother tongue of those gathered.  Mass had become a place of quiet contemplation, of private devotions, and not a place of communal worship in any outward way.  It was indeed a grand spectacle when done well, and we would do well to retrieve many aspects of the solemn trappings of that liturgy.  But a ‘spectacle’ in and of itself, is not a liturgy, and the Council sought to remedy such tendencies. 

The demand that Latin be the only language of the liturgy is a Eurocentric conceit that now makes the Church look like a medieval museum piece rather than the living, worldwide, communion of the Body of Christ.  I know, I know… if the Liturgy is in a single language it adds unity to the Church and thereby creates a “universal language” that also (supposedly) reinforces the catholicity of the Church.  But one has to wonder as to what kind of “unity” a universal language creates, keeping in mind that uniformity is not the same thing as unity and that the true unity of the Church comes from Christ and his Eucharistic presence and not in this or that language of the liturgy. 

Furthermore, and not to put too fine a point on it, the claim that the loss of Latin is a “dilution” of the Mass flies in the face of the empirical fact that the Church has always had a multiplicity of rites, many of which have never used Latin and which have mysteriously thrived despite that fact. Indeed, rites such as the Byzantine Catholic liturgy are every bit the equal of the old Latin Mass in their solemnity and sacral dignity.  I am not arguing that the suppression of the old Latin liturgy was a good thing or that we cannot learn from it as we seek to reform the Novus Ordo.  But I am saying that the universal use of Latin is in no way a requirement for good liturgy. 

Published by PromoteVaticanII

Protecting, Providing for and Promoting the message of Vatican II

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