Sunday, July 29, 2007

"The Eucharist makes the Church"

When we look at the great Cathedrals in Europe, they were built to give glory to God. The highest expression of glorifying God is through the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass. In a very real sense, then, the Cathedrals of Europe were built to house the Latin Mass, and Gregorian Chant. Today, they are all too often tourist attractions and living history museums, which perhaps is the only thing keeping them open, funded and maintained. Mass attendance in Europe hovers at around eight percent of the population even in such purportedly "Catholic" countries as France. Instead of maintaining tradition, and nurturing the ancient, beautiful Sacrifice of the Tridentine Mass (which itself was a mere codification of the mass dating back to the time of St. Gregory the Great), which would certainly increase mass attendance, many Bishops want to trivialize even the great Cathedrals. I was in Notre Dame Cathedral a few months ago. There was a giant projection screen over the altar, draped in such a way as to make it look like a giant sail. On it were projected words. The overall effect was one of banality, and trying to be "cool", "hip", even "avant garde." When will some Bishops get a clue? People want to be transported out of the banal, media-saturated world when they go to mass, not back into it.

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