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RE: [liturgy-l] Re: Concelebration

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  • Gregory Holmes Singleton
    Chris McConnell wrote:
    Message 1 of 167 , Apr 30, 2006
      Chris McConnell wrote:

      <<Ecumenical sensitivity aside, I should hope that we're
      free to criticize liturgical practices from any tradition,
      within the framework of the broader catholic liturgical

      Chris, I am not a list owner and am a Lutheran who has no
      brief to present on behalf of concelebration. Thus my
      perspective has nothing to do with list policy or any
      particular position on concelebration. It is just a
      response from one list member to another.

      I have no problem with your statement above, but I was glad
      to see James' post. One of the statements he quoted seemed
      to me an attempt at an axiomatic injunction with neither
      argument nor nuanced contextualization to mitigate the sense
      of fiat pronouncement. Your post, on the other hand, was
      presented in language that makes it clear that you are
      presenting a perspective that makes no claim to be a
      definitive or axiomatic statement.

      You state, " I just can't see how it makes sense --
      historically, theologically, or ritually, and the
      explanations I've been offered over the years seem
      inadequate to me." In so doing you invite further
      conversation from those who might offer historical,
      theological, or ritual explanations that might make sense to
      you. They also might not. The point is that there is
      nothing in your post that seems to slam the door shut on
      further conversation.

      James will speak for himself, but it does not seem to me
      that his post was addressed to remarks such as yours.

      Just my $ 0.02



      Gregory Holmes Singleton, Ph.D.
      Professor of History, Emeritus
      Resident Old Curmudgeon
      Northeastern Illinois University
    • Frank Senn
      Concelebration in the ancient church entailed the presbyters surrounding the bishop at a pontifical celebration.  It did not include the presbyters being a
      Message 167 of 167 , Mar 7, 2012
        Concelebration in the ancient church entailed the presbyters surrounding the bishop at a pontifical celebration.  It did not include the presbyters being a speech choir or dividing portions of the eucharistic prayer, as become common just after Vatican II.  Solemn high mass is simply the ancient form of celebration with deacon, subdeacon, and other ministers carrying out various ministerial roles.  Low mass meant a single priest with a server.  There could be concelebration at a solemn mass, as we see in some of the Ordines Romani.  But in antiquity that was not because presbyters took the diaconal roles.  It was became the presbyteral college attended the bishop at his celebration.

        Frank C. Senn

        --- On Wed, 3/7/12, dlewisaao@... <dlewisaao@...> wrote:

        From: dlewisaao@... <dlewisaao@...>
        Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Concelebration
        To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 11:25 AM


        My understanding is that the solemn high mass form came in response to abuses in concelebration in the earlier Church.  Priests were going to the more prestigious parishes to concelebrate there, neglecting their own less prestigious cures.  The solemn high mass personnel requirements were designed to keep this from happening.
        David Lewis
        In a message dated 3/7/2012 10:11:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, cowling.douglas@... writes:

        On 3/7/12 8:11 AM, "Sean Reed" <anglican@...> wrote:

        An interesting article about concelebration:

        "...concelebration, in the genuine tradition of the Church, whether eastern or western, is an extraordinary, solemn and public rite, normally presided over by the Bishop or his delegate, surrounded by his presbyterium and by the entire community of the faithful.But the daily concelebrations of priests only ... do not form part of the Latin liturgical tradition..."

        If the “genuine tradition” is the 1962 Missal alone, then you would have a case. But the more ancient custom of concelebration as a sign of the unity of the church is a much deeper tradition across east and west.  The old high mass with its many ministers (deacon, subdeacon, acolytes) is not just ceremonial elaboration, but a metaphor of the church in its many charisms celebrating as a community.

        The animus against concelebration boiled up at the Second Vatican Council where opponents advanced the numerical argument that the church lost sacramental graces when there was concelebration. Cardinal Spellman’s theologian famously said that, when 100 priests concelebrated, the church was short 99 masses.

        Concelebration is a powerful symbol of unity. I remember attending the capitular mass at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Benoit-du-Lac near Montreal. At the offertory, all the priests of the community (there must have been 30 of them) quietly came to the altar and stood in a semi-circle behind the altar. Their verbal participation and gestures were discreet and unobstrusive.  But the sense of commonality was palpable — richer and more generous than 60 years ago when they would have all gone invisibly into closets to mutter private masses.

        Sharing the spotlight is a salutary clerical discipline in addition to expressing a deeper sacramental ecclesiology.

        As a sidebar about clerical spotlights .. I have encounter opposition to concelebration among most Anglican priests, few of which would articulate an opinion on the multiplication of masses.  

        Doug Cowling
        Director of Music
        St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke

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