Liturgy Controversy Doesn’t Affect Funerals

The New York Times ran an article in April about brewing controversies over the revised Catholic liturgy which begins use this Advent season.

I understand both sides of the arguments and respect the philosophies involved, but from a purely practical point of view, I don’t think this will interrupt your ability to find peace and support during a funeral mass.

I have yet to see the final draft for myself, and I’m sure some of the wording will sound a little unfamiliar, and some of the responsorials and other music we have come to associate most closely with the mass, will change. But none of this should take away from the meaning and beauty of the time spent in church, celebrating the mass and remembering a dear loved one before God.

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One Response to Liturgy Controversy Doesn’t Affect Funerals

  1. Larry says:

    After reviewing the new music requirements I find that for the most part, the changes to the texts are minor. For example: The only change to the ‘Holy Holy’ (‘Sanctus’) text is in the phrase “God of Power and Might” The new text reads “Lord, God Of Hosts” which fits nicely into the older musical settings.
    -Minor significance to the average parishioner-
    Some of the more obvious changes will be in the Eucharist Acclamation. They have eliminated the old prayer “Anamnesis” whose text is the familiar
    “Christ Has died – Christ Is raised – Christ will come again”.
    Now the texts are a choice of four. (Actually they are older prayers that have been re-introduced using a more literal translation of the original Latin scripts) My Opinion -Minor significance to the average parishioner-

    There are numerous changes to the Creed and the Gloria but from the average guy sitting in the pews point of view: -Minor significance-

    There is one very obvious difference in the new rite that would have stirred up Catholics 50 years ago and that is the use of the word “Consubstantiation”. That has been a major obstacle with Catholic and Anglican union. True Roman Catholics believe in the “Transubstantiation, the difference being the reference to the Eucharist.

    I remember climbing up the inside of the old pipe organ at the Episcopal, “Church of the Ascension. F.R.” with the pastor Rev. Jakes” and a roll of duct tape to fix up whatever part of the instrument was leaking.
    That’s when ‘Jaksie” as they used to call him explained the difference to me. “Consubstantiation” takes the “Con” part of the word meaning ‘with’ so the Anglicans (Episcopal in those days) believe that along with bread and wine is the body and blood of Christ. Not a symbol mind you but the actual body and blood. The Roman Catholics on the other hand believe that there is really no bread and wine. They think that it the physical “Body and Blood” of Christ that is present and our senses lie to us about thinking that it’s a piece of bread and a cup of wine.
    Again – for the average guy who wants to say a prayer and attend the mass,
    “Minor significance”

    Perhaps 50 years ago the knowledge of these concepts might have kept the wars brooding in Ireland (and around the world) but I don’t think it will have the same impact upon this generation without giving them a more traditional “Catholic” education. Interestingly enough, when one considers that the Anglican church “as one of my priest friends puts it:
    perhaps the original use of the word “Consubstantiation” was in the oldest version of the “Tridintine” mass. So what would that mean for Roman Catholics? Are we to believe in the “transubstantiation” or not?

    While the impact on the face of it may not seem all that significant to the average Catholic, the theological implications are enormous. It’s my guess that this will be the most sweeping change to the Catholic Church in 2000 years. I find that very interesting, don’t you? Is the Vatican hiding something?

    I doubt there will be any highly noticeable differences to the rubrics of the Funeral Mass right away but after a while the changes in our liturgy could very well effect church policies. That’s when your words will ring true.

    By the way, I’m celebrating 50 years of sitting on an a church organ bench this coming August. Out of those 50 I spent 3 years on an Anglican Bench. The rest of the years were pretty much Roman Catholic. It’s amazing what you can see from the loft!