Thursday, May 27, 2010

My people don't work

The notion that the word liturgy means 'work of the people' seems to be popular among a certain type of liturgical progressive not so intent on returning the Mass to the people as on putting his own personal stamp on it. The larger problem with the formulation is that it is not strictly true. While the word leitos for people or public and ergo for “to do” form its Greek roots, the word liturgy was not cobbled together from its roots by early Christians, but taken whole in the word leitourgia from Greek culture. In that context, the word meant “public work” actually of an elevated or rich person, for (not by) the public. What the progressive seem to have in mind is more a new coinage, demourgia—ringing uncomfortably close to the Gnostic concept of the demiurge. Considered seriously, we must humbly admit that the liturgy is not the work of the people, but the work of Christ given through his Spouse the Holy Catholic Church for the benefit of the people. This consideration should be enough to quell any temptation we have to engage in any such tinkering with the Mass as for example (as I have heard recently) altering the words of the Agnus Dei.

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I'd be a blackguard and a cad, if I weren't so ineffectual. The less said "About Me", the better.