Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cardinal Burke on the EF Mass

In this video from Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke discusses the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It’s worth the 4 minutes it will take you to watch it; I’ve posted my own transcription of the Cardinal’s words below.

The Call of Beauty

It has a beauty to it that is beyond discussion, at least to reasonable people. It conveys in a strong way that it is Christ Himself who is making the sacrifice for us on Calvary. There’s a strong sense in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass of the transcendent, in other words, that Heaven is meeting earth in these treasured of the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

I find in my own celebration of the Extraordinary Form in public Masses, that many of the faithful who are participating have never knew the Mass before, and they’re simply attracted to it for its beauty.

In the past sometimes, people said, well, it’s just these old-timers who are holding on to an outdated form of the Mass, and they won’t give it up, and they need to get with the times, and so forth.

This clearly is not the case. There are a number of elderly people, too, older people, even like myself, who are attracted to the Mass. And by that I don’t mean to say that I reject the Ordinary Form of the Mass, not at all, or the missal of Pope Paul VI. But as Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out to us, why does accepting the Ordinary Form of the Mass mean that you have to reject the Mass from which it developed?

Riches of the Old Mass

There was an immediate tie-in with the synagogue, with the prayers at the foot of the altar. These were the psalms recited by the high priest as he would enter into the sanctuary. And of course, our faith is the fulfillment of the faith of the people of God from the time of the Old Covenant.

The prayers at the offertory are very rich in the 1962 Roman Missal. Those have been very much stripped down and actually changed in character in the missal of Pope Paul VI.

There was also a strong sense of our sinfulness and of the redemptive nature of the Holy Mass. Influenced, I believe by the times in which the reform was made, a lot of the language having to do with asking God’s forgiveness and so forth was removed.

Restoring Organic Unity

The reform that was done, the reform of the rites, went beyond and in some senses perhaps not completely coherently, with what the Council Fathers had set forth. We need to go back and to…not negate everything that happened, and it’s not that everything that happened at the Council was bad and wrong. But we need to correct the abuses that entered in and so forth. I have the hope that some of those elements, for instance, that were taken away will be reincorporated again, so it will be more evident, the organic unity of the two forms of the same rite.

Overcoming Resistance

There’s no question that there remains in certain places a resistance to do what the Holy Father has asked, and that’s sad. It’s sometimes even an expression of disagreement with the Holy Father’s discipline, and even the expression that this is harmful to the Church.

But I think in general that is more and more overcome.

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