Thursday, February 3, 2011

SWLC Day 1.

Okay, hello again!

Today has been very interesting. 

I skipped "morning prayer" because I thought it would be an occasion of sin for me, especially after last night's experience. I was told that it was probably a wise move.

Anyway, the first plenary session of the day was by Dr. David Fagerberg, a professor from the University of Notre Dame. The topic was "Being Formed into a Liturgical People by an Abiding Lex Orandi". I was blown away at the contrast between last night and today! This talk was PHENOMENAL, and I  ended up taking a ton of notes. I also had the opportunity to speak with the presenter afterward.

The most interesting thing is that Dr. Fagerberg was a Lutheran pastor, and, during his work on his doctorate, he ended up converting. Most of his talk was from the perspective of protestant theologians, which was probably smart considering the audience. I thought it was interesting how, once the ideas of worship and liturgy are boiled down to the essentials, even though from a different source, how compatible they are with magisterial teaching on the subject, and also the teachings of Benedict XVI.

Considering the majority of the audience, I thought that his approach was exactly what was needed-- whether they realize it or not, the principles outlined are along the lines of a hermeneutic of continuity with that which came before. But don't tell them that... perhaps we'll just see if it subconsciously affects how they understand the Mass.

I felt like what I heard last night and what I heard this morning were from two polar opposite perspectives-- one focussed on the ability to adapt to the times and be creative, the other spoke to the fact that liturgy is not created, but given, and that we are stewards of it. I felt bad for a lot of the people in attendance. So many are lay people who don't understand the theological implications, but are simply hoping to get concrete stuff on how to implement the Missal.

Right, well, the other major session was done by His Excellency, Bishop Kicanus. His talk was good, but more focussed on the challenge of culture and the Church, and how we reach that culture and make the changes of the liturgy accessible to those who won't understand why the changes.

Tonight we had Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeline. I thought that, for all of the hype about the choir, for the most part it was rather dull and uninspiring. The music was more performance oriented, and didn't bring me in to the Mystery by any means. The Mass had more in a foreign language than in english, including at least 8 languages for the intercessions. Apparently, this is not how Masses normally are at the Cathedral... anyway, it seems that affirmative action needs to swing back the other direction-- there were no men used for any of the readings or intercessions. I was thoroughly unimpressed that a Deacon didn't do the intercessions. I guess men aren't good at being dramatic enough in presentation. Sexist.

Right, well, it's been good to talk with folks about things, and the vendors are pretty good, so I can't say it's been a waste of time-- and the other bits have been humorous enough that it keeps things interesting.

I'm off to bed. I'll save my closing remarks until after I get back home. God bless!

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