Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Is the Extraordinary Rite Charismatic?

Well, to start off I know I have some catching up to do regarding last week’s discussion.  Frankly, I have not caught up on my sleep from the retreat this past weekend.  That being said, I found a very interesting article on the New Liturgical Movement blog entitled, Is the Extraordinary Form Inherently Charismatic? by Jeffery Tucker.

I have included it for your perusal.  Love to hear your thoughts. Very interesting.

I’ve been very challenged and impressed by this beautiful essay by Msgr. Charles Pope. His ministry in Washington, D.C., is to two communities: an African-American parish that worships in a gospel tradition, complete with extended and exuberant musical improvisations, and also an extraordinary form community that adheres very closing to the music books of the Church.

Msgr. Pope argues that the two communities, which do not always understand each other, have more in common than they know. I have some doubts about some aspects of his presentation — I’ve argued elsewhere against renderings of polyphony that overly emphasize dance-like rhythm structures — but he in fact does shed great light on some aspects of chant that are not often considered. I think you will find this presentation exhilarating and fresh. It will certainly make you think.

Here is an audio version.

5 Responses to Is the Extraordinary Rite Charismatic?

  1. Joe Adams says:

    Not buying his analogy of Gregorian Chant as a form of ecstatic prayer which, thus, must be Charismatic. I think he is using the word a bit too generally. And clapping during polyphony? You would have been burned at the stake if you did that, back then. I think the dear father is inflecting sensibilities upon history. A very common mistake. Jungman never said that the pointing to the Sacrament was a Charismatic element. Why? Because the priest had his back to the people. I think at the heart of the whole thing is the misuse of terminology without proper definition. And the definition that I have issues with is that of the word, “Charistmatic”, especially in relation to the word, “Catholic”.

  2. Joe Adams says:

    Yeah…I slept on what I had to say, and I still don’t buy the argument(s). Why? Because Charismatic, ultimately, means one who is aware of and expresses their gifts as given in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. While Jesus would be the Charismatic par excellence and His sacrifice re-presented for us in the Sacrifice on the Altar, this is not what is being conveyed by the priest in his arguments for saying their is an intrinsic connection.

  3. Joe Adams says:

    His sacrifice re-presented for us in the Sacrifice of the Altar would be the ultimate expression of the gifts*

    Sorry about that, must have lost my train of thought and kept going.

  4. I think that it is possible that the Latin mass might have a charismatic element for the priest celebrant. Perhaps even for the choir, if one buys into his idea that the cantor might be entering into an ecstatic union through his chanting. I do not, however, see anything which is remotely fostering of charismatic awareness in the congregation. There seems to be nothing in the structure, form or practice in the Tridintine mass which would be likely to foster an ‘activation’ or awareness of the charismatic gifts in the congregation. This is not to say I do not believe that a member of the congregation might receive such gifts at mass — just that I see it as an unlikely and unintended consequence rather than as a purposeful element of the form of worship. Of course, as you well know, I am no theologian, so I freely admit that I might be misunderstanding a deeper meaning or sense of what is intended by the term charismatic.

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