Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sunday Sermon, January 7 -- The Importance of the Traditional Roman Litrugical Calendar (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

As the Church bids us proclaim the movable feasts of the coming year at the Epiphany, we consider the liturgical calendar and feasts of the Christmas season as they now are in the post Vatican II Mass and as they had been in the ancient tradition of the Church.

In the modern Mass, the 12 days of Christmas and the real meaning of Epiphany are obscured, even as the Christmas season is cut short. The enrichment of the life of the Church with the celebration of the Extraordinary Form (aka Traditional Latin Mass) can help us celebrate the Christmas season with greater joy, and reminds of the season of Epiphanytide.


Pope Benedict XVI often reminded us of the importance of the Traditional Latin Mass for the life of the Church. Indeed, he claims that the New Mass of the Second Vatican Council is, in some respects, a banal fabrication which must be reformed and renewed.

“One of the weaknesses of the postconciliar liturgical reform can doubtless be traced to the armchair strategy of academics, drawing up things on paper which, in fact, would presuppose years of organic growth. The most blatant example of this is the reform of the Calendar: those responsible simply did not realize how much the various annual feasts had influenced Christian people's relation to time […] they ignored a fundamental law of religious life.” Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Feast of Faith.


“The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990)