The liturgical renaissance in foresight and (early) practice

Many Catholics who were better and longer formed in the Faith than your blogmaster was in 1970 (when he was receiving his first Holy Communion at age seven) probably had a sense that the Church was on the cusp of a generation of liturgical turmoil, even if they didn’t have a sense of how very badly worship would be distorted at certain times and places.

In that year Dr. Eric de Saventhem, first president of the International Federation Una Voce, expressed a vision for the future that was by no means as grim as others’ might have been:

A renaissance will come: asceticism and adoration as the mainspring of direct total dedication to Christ will return. Confraternities of priests, vowed to celibacy and to an intense life of prayer and meditation will be formed. Religious will regroup themselves into houses of strict observance. A new form of Liturgical Movement will come into being, led by young priests and attracting mainly young people, in protest against the flat, prosaic, philistine or delirious liturgies which will soon overgrow and finally smother even the recently revised rites.

New Liturgical Movement contains a longer excerpt from Dr. de Saventhem’s lecture from which the above was quoted.

If you agree that the renaissance is well under way, you may yet wonder whether the renewed sprouting of traditional liturgy is attracting worshipers to the pews — or driving them away. Many readers of Fr. Z’s Blog have recently been sharing their diverse and occasionally surprising experiences as either a new or established attendee at the revivified TLM.

Fr. Heilman on respect for the Eucharist, and lack thereof

A guest post on New Liturgical Movement (scroll down after you click the link) by Fr. Richard Heilman of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, provides rich — if, at times, troubling — insight into current practices of administration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Particularly disturbing is Fr. Heilman’s summation of the questionable means by which the practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand was established in the United States.  His accounts of how the Eucharist is abused through this practice should give pause to every faithful Catholic — as well as, one prays, to those who in increasing numbers have lost faith in the Real Presence.

Fr. Kocik on reform of the reform

A recent observation by Fr. Thomas Kocik, author of Reforming the Reform? A Liturgical Debate (Ignatius Press, 2003):

[T]aking the rites promulgated by Paul VI [i.e., Novus Ordo, etc.] as the point of departure for arriving at a single, organically reformed version of the ancient Roman rite . . . would be like trying to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.