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Putting technology to use for the ancient form

Fr. Tim Finigan of Hermeneutical fame has recently posted a set of slides for a presentation he gave on the Traditional Mass using Scribd. As much as the slides are not to be missed, notice how transparently new technology meshes with ancient practice and helps to enable even greater numbers of people to experience the wonders of the Mass anew. I must in particular recommend slides 23-29 for how beautifully they lay out the opportunities for active participation in the Traditional Mass. I can’t go without swiping one quote in particular, from slide 27 (emphasis mine):

From the Gospel to the Credo, consider the preaching of our Saviour; protest that you wish to live and die in the faith and obedience of his holy word and in union with the holy Catholic Church.

He could have chosen any of a plethora of words there, but protest is so loaded with meaning it cannot go without mention. It is, if you will, at the crux of active participation. We do not participate actively (or, in truth, actually as some would argue the translation) by merely watching or muttering a prayer from rote. Think about the word protest for a minute – what comes to mind (aside from the silly things)? People actively, passionately pleading for a cause and willing to go to any lengths to make their case heard. Is that not indeed precisely what is at the heart of our prayers to the Mass?

The story of the old lady and the unjust judge cannot help but be recalled here – our prayer is to be like that old lady. It is a very Catholic thing to point out that we are not called to passively watch salvation history play itself out but that instead God has deigned to involve each and every one of us in it in an active and contributory role every day. If that sounds like too much, protest that you need help and you’ll notice we’ve come full circle.

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