Showing posts from January, 2013

Liturgical ranting...

So here I am doing my research for my Liturgical Law papers and I come across this post from Fr. Tom Richstatter. It may seem like a bit of a non-academic rant, so to speak, but he makes some good points, in my humble opinion. As the Gospel says, "let those who have ears hear!".

Role of General Liturgical Principles:

These "General Liturgical Principles" are important to understand obedience to liturgical law.  Obedience to liturgical law requires knowledge of three things: 

1.  General Liturgical principles
2.  The norms or rubrics
3.  Pastoral Sensitivity

To obey liturgical law is to
1.  use pastoral sensitivity to
2.  assure that the norms
3.  achieve the end envisioned by the general liturgical principles.

The "General Liturgical Principles" are the "goal" statements, the purpose of the law, the "why's," the "what's the law for?" statements.  What are some of these?
Examples of General Liturgical Principles


Hitting the 'Jesus' year!

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday...rather sheepishly I have to admit as I was conscious that I was hitting a kind of milestone! Thank God for 33 years of adventure…more to come I pray. However, my friends and companions here at Deschatelets ensured that it was a really special day, beginning right from the vigil, as did many people from all over the world who took time out to call (and sing!), skype, text, facebook, email, write cards, find gifts, bake Nutella cookies, get cupcakes and a beautiful plant, organise a party...the list goes on! For this, I am so grateful and overwhelmed and in humble thanksgiving, I offer my prayer.
Despite my initial reluctance, I caved and began to think of it in another way. Having had attended a pro-life talk by Stephanie Gray on abortion and gendercide earlier yesterday evening, I was just grateful to be alive. My parents choose to give me the gift of life and this is worthy of celebration and to come together to strengthen the bonds of communion …


Conversion is not the smooth, easy-going process some people seem to think. It is wounding work, this breaking of the hearts, but without wounding there is no saving. I remember as a child watching my Dad pruning roses and plants. When he would cut the rose bushes, a white fluid would come out, almost as if the rose was ‘crying’ because of the cut. However where there is grafting there will always be a cutting, the graft must be let in with a wound; to stick it onto the outside or to tie it on with a string would be of no use. Heart must be set to heart and back to back or there will be no sap from root to branch. It is not a nice process, it hurts, it is messy, just like the birth of Jesus was a messy event.

The Bible is filled with figures who sinned, became repentant, and underwent conversion, such as Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene. Peter denied three times that he was an Apostle of Christ during the Lord's Passion; when the cock crowed, he went out and "wept bitterly&qu…

Books, beavertails and back to normality!

Someone recently commented that I don’t blog much about what I am actually studying. I suppose it is because I wonder if many people are actually interested in the weird and wonderful world that is Canon Law. On Monday, we return to our somewhat normal academic schedule. The Latin books and notes came off the bookshelf and were flicked through considering we are back to amo, amas, amat after the weekend!  However, over the past two weeks I have been indulging in one of my favourite things: Liturgical Law. Squeezing a three year licentiate into two years means that some of our courses can be slightly intense and since the beginning of January we have had specialized modules, that is, one subject, every day, morning and afternoon! It has been somewhat of a marathon but we covered such a variety of topics and documents over these days, all of them very interesting.
The first course was entitled ‘Liturgical Law outside the Code’ and the second ‘Special Problems in Canon Law: Liturgy and…

10 Commandments for the pilgrim way

As the New Year  continues, filled with new hope and new resolutions, here are 10 such commandments that might serve us well as we walk the long road:
1.Acknowledge your contingency, your helplessness. You are a creature, not the creator.You are not God, but a creature. Only God is ‘ipsum esse subsistens’, a self–sufficient being. Like all creatures, you’re dependent and interdependent. Life works when you acknowledge this, when you accept that you can’t give yourself life. All is gift. If you try to live the illusion of self–sufficiency and try to guarantee your own immortality, you mimic the sin of Adam and Eve, complete with all the futility of effort, the lording–it–over, and the alienation from nature that ensues. Proper living begins with the words: “I am not God!”
2.Pray prayers of helplessness, gratitude, and praise. Pray always! Also pray formally each day. By your baptism you’re a priest. Pray as priest: Hold the world up each day to God. Hold up both its wonders and its pai…

A parent's prayer

On the eve of the Baptism of the Lord, here is a prayer for parents:

“Celebrate with dignity and beauty”

Over the past week in our classes in Liturgical Law, we have also discussed the concept of art and regulating artistic forms in churches and architecture. I thought I would share with you a paper which I wrote about 4 years ago on the theology of art and beauty in the liturgy.
“Celebrate with dignity and beauty”- A theology of art and beauty in the liturgy
The whole notion of theological and liturgical aesthetics has gained momentum in contemporary theology, largely due to the work of such liturgical giants as Hans Ur von Balthasar, whose seven volume work Herrlichkeit (Glory of the Lord) heralded the opening of a new approach in twentieth-century thought.This new writing on beauty however, also reflected how little the liturgy of the Church is referred to and how feebly liturgical considerations enter into the fabric of the new theologies of the aesthetic. It seems we are all drawn to beauty in some way, but we are not all moved by it to contemplate and worship God. Pe…