Saturday, 22 November 2008

The sign of peace and the nature of the liturgy

Fr Z reports on the possibility of the sign of peace in the OF of the Roman Rite being transferred to before the Offertory. He comments thus:

Hmmm…With due respect, while I understand the biblical foundation for shifting the sign of peace before you bring your gifts to the altar (cf. Matthew 5:23-24), the sign of peace has been where it is in the Roman Rite for a very long time. It must also be noted that the invitation for the sign of peace in the Novus Ordo is optional. It doesn’t have to be done most of the time. It is not of absolute value. This move seems to make it something it has never been.Also, is this not merely an artificial imposition of a change on the structure of Mass?Actually… that was a rhetorical question.This is an artificial change, not an organic. Sure, the sign of peace is in a different place in the Ambrosian Missal. So what? This is the Roman Rite we are talking about. The upshot of this is that the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite, the TLM, now would seem to be even more, if this goes through, the exemplar of stability.

My thoughts? The liturgy is made for man, not man for the liturgy. If such a change will help emphasise the reverence due to the Real Presence, and if there is no doctrinal necessity for the peace being in it's current position, then I'm all far the change. :-)


Andrew said...

Welcome back... how are things?

madame evangelista said...

Augustine, I'm so pleased to see you post again!

I have no thoughts either way about where the sign of peace should be in the Mass. I would not find it offensive if it was moved to take place before the offertory.

Fr Michael Brown said...

I must disagree. Man is made for the liturgy not the liturgy for Man. This issue highlights the difference between conservatives and traditionalists. I`m with Fr Z on this one.

Augustine said...

The Liturgy of Heaven, perhaps Father, yet I can't help but feel that those things we have on earth are to console and guide us as we move (hopefully!) towards heaven. Of course the Mass can't be seen merely as a means to an end, and the Holy Mysteries do indeed have their own intrinsic value, yet ultimately it may be possible to distinguish between the accidents and substance of the Mass.

In substance it is the most sublime worship offered to God here on earth, "our meet and bounden duty", and for such worship and communion with God man is created.

Yet on the other hand, the outward form which the liturgy assumes is dictated by the man's desire to worship God; the Church has developed (and will hopefully continue to develop)rites of worship which are able to express the intense love we have for God and to better offer ourselves to him.

One can therefore say that the liturgy is made for man in as much as man has shaped the (outward form of the) liturgy as to better express the prayer of the Holy Spirit within us, a process in which one hopes the Spirit has been a motivating factor.

Augustine said...

Very well thanks Andrew, I've just not been posting a while because I've been soooo busy at school, A-levels et al.

la mamma said...

When you have a moment, Augustine, you'll find you've been tagged!