Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Liturgy

While the majority of the worlds Catholics celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite, that is the Mass of Pope Paul VI, the so called Novus Ordo, there are actually a number of liturgical rites and variant practices that a Catholic can attend to meet their requirement for assisting at a Mass on Sunday or other Holy Days of Obligation.
There are any of the Divine Liturgies celebrated by the Eastern Churches in union with Rome. There are the liturgies of the Latin Church; the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Carthusian and Benedictine Rites. There are the variations of the Latin rite. Masses said using the Zaire Use or Anglican Use of the Roman Liturgy. There is even the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite.
One of the amazing aspects of the Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite is that it can be said strictly by the allowed rubics and still vary greatly depending upon the episcopal conference area and wishes of the presiding priest.
Note I'm not talking about so-called clown Masses or other liturgical abuses, but Masses said which adhere to the GIRM and other guiding documents and to the authorized translations of the Roman Missal. Note that some of the allowed options are held by some people as to not be preferable options, but they are indeed allowed by Rome and so are licit practice.
So while some would hold that a Mass where congregational songs, accompanied by a modern band, ahould not be allowed, such a practice is allowed. Attending such a Mass, said in English, with the priest facing versus populum is probably more common than the Mass at the other end of the spectrum. That is, a Mass in the Ordinary Form, said in Latin, accopanied by Gregorian Chant, with the preist clebrating ad orientem.
Both Masses are valid and it is up to the faithful to decide which more accurately fufills their need to give worship to God.

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