Refresher on the Holy Week Rites

Last year, I published Holy Week Rites, showing that criticism of post World War II reforms in the Roman rite is more mainstream than some imagine. There are no fewer than forty-one comments on this posting.

We have discussed question of timetables for the Triduum and the perceived pastoral benefits of tampering with the rites according to more or less arbitrary criteria. There is an emotional / spiritual approach to liturgy, that of the laity, and the intellectual approach of “specialists”. I would like to see a balance, and above all a conversation that is intelligible and respectful of persons.

Again, the older I grow, the more I believe in diversity and simply removing the shackles. There may be horrible abuses, as there are now in some places, but the liturgy would self-regulate – as nature does when the harm man does to it is removed. I am inclined myself to “read the black and do the red” – but not in a frightened and neurotic way, just in a sense of filial obedience to the liturgical tradition in all simplicity. We in the ACC (using the Anglican Missal) use the old Holy Week rites, albeit in a spirit of pastoral sensitivity, as I have read in very kind e-mails from my Metropolitan Archbishop in America.

Keep up with the reading and reflecting. A Roman Catholic monk wrote to me asking me, whilst being kind and courteous, why we bother about liturgical forms that are not available. I answered that they may not be on the menu in his Church, but they are in mine and some others. Point taken.

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