Sunday, 20 November 2016

Thanks, Bugnini

This Friday's Mass is one of my favourite (?) examples of the supreme illiteracy of those who imposed their new liturgy on us.

The first reading is from the Apocalypse (10: 8-11): the leitmotif is: 'it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.'

Prompted by this, the chosen Psalm is Psalm 118, and the chosen refrain is: 'Your promise is sweet to my taste, O Lord.'

I defy anyone with any literary sensibility not to find himself adding, mentally: 'but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.'

A few things strike me: the first is, that is how literature and performative art work. A theme is established and developed, and the reader or listener is expected (and rightly) to make the links between what has gone before and what follows.

The second is, I do not believe that those who compiled the Lectionary wanted us to make that (almost inevitable) link. Surely they were not wanting us to internalise the notion that the Lord's promise will turn our stomachs.

So the third is, those who compiled the Lectionary simply did not understand (this aspect of) what they were doing.

But then, I am that rigid sort of chap whom the Holy Father excoriates; I strive to make sense of what the Church teaches, and have a preference for clarity and coherence over muddle and mess.


Ttony said...

Interestingly, Bugnini himself says (p 423) "The responsorial chant that follows the first reading is chosen in function of that reading and completes it." That means that those who compiled the Lectionary were guilty of getting it wrong and/or those who selected them were guilty of not caring enough to give the task to somebody competent to carry it out: hacían lío.

Jonathan Marshall said...

Ben, A very perceptive and interesting post. However, it is your final paragraph which gripped my attention more than the rest. I have to say that I totally agree with it. In spades. With brass knobs on. And with a cherry on top.

Left-footer said...

Ttony - "hacien lio" must be an example of pre-emptive obedience to a future Pope.

Jonathan Marshall - and a marascino cherry for me, please.