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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mass or Rock Dance Aerobics?

Let's see. What was objectionable about the WYD liturgy? Here are a few:
  •  profane music more appropriate to a rock concert and in violation of the rubrics on music, 
  •  Dancing more appropriate to an aerobics class than the liturgy, 
  •  Drums and other rock instruments specifically prohibited by sacred documents on music,
  •  Solo singing reminiscent of a cabaret act,
  •  Plastic cups for distributing the Body of Christ???
 I found viewing the video particularly sad because last night at adoration I was reading Romano Guardini's book, Preparing Yourself for Mass. The first meditation is on STILLNESS
which was completely lacking at the WYD Mass. Even given the Latin culture, the complete lack of a sense of the sacred was jarring. Would anyone have been surprised to see the young people moshing during this raucous event? They certainly appeared to be doing the pogo. Where was any of the stillness that Guardini describes? He calls it "very grave, very important, and unfortunately sorely neglected." Wow! He sure got that right. He emphasizes stillness, not just as lack of noise, speech, or movement, but an entering in to a profound attentiveness before God. That stillness turns a loose group of individuals into a congregation, which means literally, "to collect into a flock." This doesn't happen amidst noise and chaos. Guardini describes how it comes about:
Congregation is formed only when those individuals are present not only corporally but also spiritually, when they have contacted one another in prayer and step together into the spiritual "space" around them; strictly speaking, when they have first widened and heightened that space by prayer. Then true congregation comes into being.... All this takes place only in stillness; out of stillness grows the real sanctuary. 
I once participated in a silent rescue at an abortion mill on a cold, rainy Good Friday in March. It was the most spiritual experience of any rescue I ever attended. The silence and stillness of the rescuers standing in prayerful repose in the rain spoke more loudly than any chanting or singing could have. We truly were that day a congregation of love standing in silence like the little voiceless ones we were defending. And that is what Gurardini calls a prerequisite of the liturgy:
We cannot take stillness too seriously. Not for nothing do these reflections on the Liturgy open with it. If someone were to ask me what the liturgical life begins with, I should answer: with learning stillness. Without it, everything remains.superficial, vain.... [Stillness is] the prerequisite of the liturgical holy act. 
Watch the video again and imagine the impact of those young people on their knees in complete silent stillness worshiping God instead of engaging in a rock concert. What a message that would have sent to the world!


DisturbedMary said...

When I found myself landing on EWTN during a WYD liturgy, I couldn't wait to switch the channel. Way too multicultural and celebratory -- on the fringe of being should I say it, sacriligious. Clapping and dancing and jumping and cheering, Oh my.

DisturbedMary said...

Reminds me of "Hair." Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in, the sun shine in.

Thank you for reminding us of this embarrassment. I don't recall Spain being quite so irreverant.