Kneeling, silence–and beauty
Walter Esler, a week or ten days back, spoke of the lack of beauty in the liturgy. I’ve heard the complaint before, and often enough to make me think that there are many Catholics who don’t associate the liturgy with beauty, or beauty with the liturgy. Think, for example, of the lists of favorite hymns that have come out in recent weeks–where post-conciliar songs and ditties predominate in the top-ten. (A priest recently told me of preparing a couple for a wedding, and one of the party said he’d like a “classic” hymn, like “On Eagle’s Wings” or “Be Not Afraid” ! )
Someone has compared most of the post-conciliar music to finger-painting–fine for children, but not exactly works of art.
How much does making the Mass an expression and an experience of beauty enter into the minds of those planning the liturgy? of those who are carrying it out?
It actually is possible to celebrate the “New Mass” (now old, so old it’s the only Mass a generation or two knows! ) with beauty. How often does that happen?