Thursday, June 3, 2010

When norms are optional?

There is a very interesting post on the A Minor Friar blog on the all too common malady of the norms for the liturgy being ignored and optional elements becoming, in effect, the norms.

Brother Charles writes:

.... the use of illicit matter for Mass is praised as 'greater attention to symbol.' The use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion while clerics are readily available is praised as 'inclusive.' Elements which are normative on certain days, like the Gloria or the Creed, are omitted according to personal taste. ...*snip*...

On the other hand, while it's o.k. and even praised to ignore norms, it's not o.k. to question certain options. In some cases, one may not even raise a question about how certain options seem to have hardened into unassailable norms; e.g. the offering of Mass versus populum or in translation, or of replacing the actual texts of the Mass with songs and metrical hymns. These options for the celebration of Mass have become such de facto norms that a lot of people, including priests, don't remember that they are options and might not even believe you when you tell them. ...
 The whole post is worth a read - you can find it here.