Mass, St Mary's Norwalk.jpgHow does one form a deacon, priest and bishop to celebrate the ars celebrandi of the sacred Liturgy? Being side-by-side these sacred ministers I am often scandalized by the lack of composure and gravitas in the praying of the Mass and other liturgical rites. Several priests and bishops I know are such poor celebrants of the Mass that I would argue that Mass celebrated so poorly does in fact lead others away from the Church’s worship. And let’s not even speak of the many deacons who have no clue and poor presence in the sanctuary! Two cardinals I’ve seen celebrate the Mass in their cathedrals have the habit of running down the isle and up the stairs into the sanctuary with evident exterior indication of what is about to happen. Another needs a seat belt in the cathedra. Is it too much to ask for beautiful gesture, beautiful music, beautiful words, beautiful art and architecture in the sacred Liturgy? Beauty and prayer also warms interpersonal relations!


Father John Zuhlsdorf (Fr. Z) over at the blog What the does the Prayer Really Say?  has it right: save the Liturgy, save the world.


I think Archbishop Joseph Raya will have the last word on this topic today: “It
is absurd to hurry: this shows a lack of understanding and respect and may be
an occasion of scandal” (
Byzantine Daily Worship, Alleluia Press: 1969).
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