Monday, May 13, 2002

The Liturgists

Sean Gallagher at Nota Bene and Fr. Shawn O'Neal at Onealism have noted several blogs on "poor parish liturgies."

I have been among the liturgical snobs of late. Yesterday, during Church, when I was quietly chuckling at the insistent effort of my 5-year old to hold my hand during the Lord's prayer, a bit of Screwtape flashed into my mind.

We have quite removed from [humans'] minds what that pestilent fellow Paul used to teach about food and other unessentials--namely, that the human without scruples should always give in to the human with scruples. You would think they could not fail to see the application. You would expect to find the "low" churchman genuflecting and crossing himself lest the weak conscience of his "high" brother should be moved to irreverence, and the "high" one refraining from these exercises lest he should betray his "low" brother into idolatry. And so it would have been but for our ceaseless labor. Without that, the variety of usage within the Church of England might have become a positive hotbed of charity and humility.

It will make my wife very happy to know that I will try to make the Church of Rome a "hotbed of charity." When something that I don't like is happening (as opposed to something clearly wrong or heretical) I will simply grin and bear it, to the best of my meager ability.


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