Friday, December 02, 2011

Silent Night

Soon we'll be singing that old favorite "Silent Night", a hymn to remind us of that anticipation of awaiting our Savior's humble entrance into our world. Yet, we come to church and await Him in a manner bereft of silence.

We so need to recover what is meant by "active participation" (actuosa participatio). What is it? It didn't spring immaculate and virginally from Vatican II, but already had a long history in the liturgical renewal.

"In order that the faithful may more actively participate in the sacred liturgy, let them be once again made to sing Gregorian Chant as a congregation." Pius X, motu proprio Tra Le Solicitudini

How did Vatican II expect "active participation" to be brought about? "Therefore, pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it by means of the necessary instruction in all their pastoral work." Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 14

Surprise, surprise! The Fathers of Vatican II told the pastors that they should teach us Gregorian Chant so we could sing the mass as a congregation. I'm still waiting...

The quotes are from a wonderful article: The Mass of Vatican II | Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

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