Wednesday, November 07, 2007

DarwinCatholic on the New Lectionary

DarwinCatholic has posted a long response to an article in Latin Mass by Peter Kwasniewski. Although I am rather fond of the cycle of readings in the old Roman Breviary, I agree with Darwin that the new Mass Lectionary has some marked advantages over the old one. Some self-styled traditionalists disagree, on the grounds that (a) the new Lectionary does not properly integrate the readings into the liturgical setting in the way that the old Lectionary did by means of proper chants and (b) by revising the calendar and festal hierarchy in the way that they did, the fit is even worse.

The old Roman Breviary did a remarkable job of combining the temporal with the sacral cycles, though the rubrics ran to many incomprehensible pages and often required a tag-team of canon lawyers to sift through. The new structure is so simple even cave men such as I can follow it and have no difficulty determining which Psalms are to be said with which parts of the Office. But what if the question is: has the resulting simplicity brought about something that we would want to label a "successful reform" of the liturgy? Darwin does an admirable job of answering the argument of Kwasniewski, particularly with regard to the relationship between the temporal and sacral cycles.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Which of course, begs the question: what constitutes "success" in a liturgy? or in a liturgical form?

I have both the old Roman Breviary and the new one my shelf (and various others for that matter), but pray from the new one.