Skip to comments.New Forms of Incense in LA Cathedral
Posted on 09/03/2002 5:05:37 PM PDT by petrusv2
Whatever one may think of Cardinal Mahony's new LA Cathedral---recall even Charles Ryder in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited was moaning the "deplorable" liturgical art work in Lady Marchmain's pre-Vatican II ornate chapel after his conversion ---one cannot help but notice that it is nuns here (above), recognizable nuns in modest habits, who are lifting huge newstyle censers which complement the transcendental sense of open space which surrounds the new altar which itself is surrounded by space for the People of God, all focused in on the altar of the Eucharist.
I have been amused to watch various extremists suggest the nuns look more like "wicca priestesses" than Catholic nuns. That is simply preposterous, even if I might prefer the old way of incensing the altar.
At any rate, the Church has always absorbed or assimilated aspects of ancient non-Catholic (read: pagan) worship into its liturgical celebration. Thus there can be no a priori objection to its assimilation of new style art today within dogmatically established parameters. One must understand the difference between the substance in the Mass and its accidents if one is to understand how His Holiness JPII could send congratulations to Cardinal Mahony on the opening of this temple in itself.
The New Advent on-line Catholic Encyclopedia notes the ancient origins of incense, common to both Christians and, much earlier, pagans.
"The use of incense was very common. It was employed for profane purposes as an antidote to the lassitude caused by very great heat, as perfumes are now used. Mention of its introduction into pagan worship is made by classical writers (cf. Ovid, "Metamorph.", VI, 14, Virgil, "AEneid", I, 146). Herodotus testifies to its use among the Assyrians and Babylonians, while on Egyptian monumental tablets kings are represented swinging censers. Into the Jewish ritual it entered very extensively, being used especially in connexion with the eucharistic offerings of oil, fruits, and wine, or the unbloody sacrifices (Leviticus, vi, 15). By the command of God Moses built an altar of incense (cf. Ex.. xxx), on which the sweetest spices and gums were burned, and to a special branch of the Levitical tribe was entrusted the office of daily renewal (I Par., ix, 29).
When, exactly, incense was introduced into the religious services of the Church it is not easy to say. During the first four centuries there is no evidence for its use "
Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. Consider that in Psalm 150 the LORD even invites praise with "dancing, string and lute...with the clash of resounding cymbals". One may or may not prefer it---one may even despise it!---- but to argue it is some blasphemy, outside the bounds of orthodoxy per se would be news to the God of the Covenant---Jesus Christ---and is to show a dismal acquaintance with revelation. It is the Eucharist which makes the cathedral, not vice versa.
We are much more concerned as we wrote in our Letters / Musings section on the way the poor seemed to have been excluded from so much in the opening week's festivities of the Cathedral. We are also concerned with the state of catechesis in the LA Archdiocese. But that is another matter. We must make distinctions, otherwise we are just "fool"-ing around.
petrusv2: "Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. "Nope.
Dedication Mass for New Cathedral on EWTN?
Question from Matthew Dana on 08-28-2002:
How come the dedication Mass for the new Our Lady of the Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles is not going to be broadcast on EWTN?
This is the first cathedral to be opened in 26 years within the USA. It is the cathedral of BY FAR the largest archdiocese in the USA. It's also likely the most expensive ever built in the USA with the possible exception of the National Shrine in DC.
I think it would have been most edifying and appropriate for EWTN to broadcast this momentus moment throughout the world. What happened?
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 08-31-2002:
We've not been asked.
I noticed that in your superlatives "the most beautiful" was missing. It seems to be missing from most articles on the subject. In fact, a recent article in the LA Times called it ugly. I would have used a superlative myself.
I wonder why?
I noticed that in your superlatives "the most beautiful" was missing.
Donovan is a sharp guy and he gets the message across subtlety. It's too bad Hand doesn't follow his lead. In becoming advocates for the actions of these people, he appears to be and is acting as an enabler. Not a wise move when these people are lefties.
btw: thanks for those directions on the other thread regarding kneelers at the Cathedral.
I like Donovan. He's a sharp guy who knows more about how Mass should be said and how priests should behave than the vast majority of those who have been ordained.
Ultima "Nope. The essential elements are present at a Black Mass--but it is still an abomination. Non-essentials matter."
<>LOL still at it, huh? Comparing this to a Black Mass....You have compared the normative mass to a black mass previously. Is there any Liturgy of the Mass, after the close of the 16th Century, that you consider not a Black Mass?<>
Since when has these things achieved Doctrinal Status?
<>Beats me :) Apparently everything that doessn't duplicate the Mass of the 16th Century, including architecture, vestments, music, type of incense even, I guess, is some abominable heresy and signifies the death knell of Catholicism and all is lost. What faith :)
Pope Pius V created a New Rite after The Council of Trent and it was the right Mass for that age. Pope Paul V created a New Rite ( a revision of the old rite, actually) after the Vatican Two Council and it is the right Mass for this age but some, knowing far more and far better than the Divinely-constituted authority, will have none of it.
THEY, I guess, are the only ones competent to judge and if only they had the authority they justly deserve, all would be right with the world :) <>
This statement is erroneous. Paul VI merely approved a new liturgy created by a committee.
Further, your gratuitous slam "...only [the protesters] know best.." is not really worthy of you.
The Mass as approved by Paul VI would be virtually unrecognizable to most Catholics--it is rarely, if ever, celebrated with the rubrics.
In addition, the Council's specific instructions regarding the 'new Mass' were ignored in practice (although not necessarily in form) by the implementors of the 'novus.'
There are some who would have nothing to do with the novus even if it were celebrated letter-perfect, in Latin, with the smells/bells, and a small army of altar boys. THEY WILL NOT SERVE!!
THere are others, myself included, who would really like to bring the surrounding culture to a level compatible with the Mass's gravity.
Sorry I couldn't resist. Looks like they be cookin' in the cathedral.
Norwalk resident Margarita Gonzalez, 68, took a bus, the Green Line train and then the Blue Line to get to the new downtown landmark. The trip from her home to the statue of Mary at the cathedral lasted an hour and 40 minutes. Kneeling before the statue, Gonzalez prayed and dabbed her tears with a tissue. "They say it cost $200 million, and that it was a waste of money," she said. "But really it's all for God. What's $200 million for God?" Many of Tuesday's visitors were as excited and awestruck as the business, civic and political leaders at Monday's dedication liturgy.
One after another, worshipers went up to the statue, crossed themselves and began to touch it, many with tears in their eyes. They rubbed the bronze feet of the suffering savior; they rubbed the flayed and abraded skin. They lingered.
One man carried a plastic grocery bag as he kissed the ring of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles. An old woman approached the cardinal and wept as he blessed her.
For full article, click here and you can read if you are registered
One poster said it made him want to return to the church after having been gone for 20 years.
There was a picture of the pipe organ and a writeup in our local paper.
We will have this abberation with us for awhile yet. But, imo, we have turned the corner
Popoe Paul said it was a revision. I don't have the text promulgating the revision of the Rite before me right now. But, I think he did say it was a revision
Hand reads Free Republic, and read your post, narses.
He's nailing YOU, as an extremist.
Congratulations, Narses! You are now the subject of an encyclical by Pope Stephen the Hand! Wow! How does it feel to be a muse?!