I will not be starting an original series on the liturgy here. When it comes to discussions on liturgy, many people - both adherents and dissenters alike - are rather adamant about hearing from the "horse's mouth". Even simple statements like "This is just common sense" somehow won't do.
Various aspects of the Sacred Liturgy have been hot topics of discussion among Catholics who are devoted to the liturgy as the source and summit of the Church's life. The liturgy has also been a topic upon which frequent disagreements (un)rest.
Whilst there are explicit magisterial pronouncements on the liturgy and also areas in which the Sacred Magisterium often seems silent, there are certainly other writings which reflect the mind of the Church on this issue of music and liturgy. Perhaps that best reflection on this is to be found in the writings of the present Pope, the Holy Father Benedict XVI, even from the time he was Cardinal Ratzinger.
The next few postings, therefore, will contain paragraphs from his writings on various aspects of the liturgy. If the Magisterium seems silent on certain aspects of our liturgical practices, surely the writings of the Pope himself would be reflective of the mind of the Church.
After quoting each paragraph, where deemed appropriate, I will also give brief commentaries on what I think the thoughts penned by the Pope mean for us today. Of course, again, these thoughts are always debatable - even if I claimed them to be indisputable, many would still argue for hermeneutical freedom anyway. It is never so much what is written, but rather, how what is written is to be interpreted that frequently becomes the subject of disagreement.
I hope this series will be helpful for those of you who have no time or access to the various writings of the Holy Father on the liturgy of the Holy Catholic Church.
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