Participatio actuosa

I have adopted a Latin expression – participatio actuosa – which, without taking the trouble to check, seems to be an expression used in the Vatican II constitution on the liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium. It concerns the roles of those present at the liturgy and their fundamental principles.

I would like to give a warm recommendation to read Derek Olsen’s new article The Congregation and The Ministers. It is a question of getting back to principles as perceived by Walter Frere. This seems particularly relevant in view of my reflections of interest in medieval liturgy in the Victorian era.

Feel free to comment here, or over on that site where the article was written.

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3 Responses to Participatio actuosa

  1. ed pacht says:

    The duet between Priest and Clerk that dominated Anglican worship for so long a time must have been a weary thing, not much better than the inaudible mumbled Latin Low Mass. Frere’s concept of corporateness, and of the variety of roles in Liturgy was certainly an excellent tonic against that in his time, and still has its relevance today. Christian worship is not a merely priestly affair done for the mere people by professionals. It is rather the foremost expression of the Body of Christ in action, coordinated under its divine Head and Saviour to honor the everlasting Father. Every body has parts and members that must work together if it is to live and operate.

    However, I tend to bristle at Frere’s preference for bigger extravaganzas and his disparaging of the village churches. Sure, the splendid ceremonies of great cathedrals and ‘flagship’ parishes are a glorious thing, but the principle is not one of how much elaboration can be achieved, but of how effectively the liturgy involves the people actually present. In a congregation of two (as of me and my priest in many weekday services) the duet IS full participation. If singing is not possible, reciting fills the bill. The point is to include the whole worshiping body in the fullest way possible under the circumstances, with the elaboration of a Solemn Mass as the pattern toward which the congregation is reaching. This attitude will enliven even a very small and plain service.

  2. Matthew the Penitent says:

    Fr. Anthony-

    Thank you for this new blog related to ‘Northern Catholicism’ , the PNCC and the NCC.

    I just finished reading an article on NCC blog about the agreement with a German Old Catholic Cistercian Order of Port Royal. Fascinating. The pictures at the Monastery’s website are a nice touch. Of course not knowing any languages beside Americanized English, I had to depend on Google Translator. It does fairly well mostly but does come up with some strangeness.

    I was unaware of any Old Catholic monastic or Religious communities in Europe although I knew that at one time there were, and perhaps still are a handful of Lutheran ones. In any event this is most pleasing to me as these are legitimate Old Catholic groups complete with validly, no question Apostolic succession.

    The monastic question was always a big issue with me about the PNCC.

    This movement now seems promising as a way to store authentic non-Roman, Catholic faith to the masses. If they can keep it out of the hands of the elitists!

    Any thoughts on this Father Anthony?

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