29 July 2009

Benedictine Liturgy

I'm sure there are much more eagle-eyed Vatican watchers than I am, who will probably correct me ...

... but I do notice two things which interest me. Benedict XVI seems to use Vespers more than I recall his immediate predecessors doing. When he goes on a pastoral visit, the event doesn't have to be a Eucharistic concelebration. It might be Vespers and sermon. I suppose this might be a conserving of the Holy Father's physical energies; I prefer to think it is a deliberate wish to draw attention to the fulness of the Church's liturgical riches and structures. (It also has an endearingly Anglican touch to it; if he employed the simple structure of Vespers, Sermon, Benediction, it would be the triumphalist Anglo-Catholicism of the 1930s redivivus.)

Secondly: he often draws attention to occluded or even suppressed feasts - this year, the Precious Blood and now most recently, S Annie, God's Grannie. Very preconciliar.

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