Sunday, September 05, 2010

Actual Participation

This clip from this film has been going the rounds, it just reminds me of my own craving for a Missa Solemnis, I need my regular fix.

It shows with remarkable clarity the nature of "actual participation". The lady has a past which we see in the second part of the clip which leads her to work as an entertainer in a rather "loose" establishment, this is the 1940's, the sophisicated reader or watcher should understand the implications for themselves.

Her tears, her desire to stay and weep, her subsequent confession to the young officer are the result of her encounter with the Holy.

I am sure it was this type of scene that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council meant by the phrase "participatio actuosa et personalis". Ultimately it is the action of God, working through the rites on the soul.

The writings of Waugh and Greene seem littered with this type of thing, is its absence today due to the writers or to the rites?


Left-Footer said...

Certainly to the rites, which are now, too often, so full of tacky complacency and ersatz joy that it is hard, for me at least, to feel anything but embarrassmen and sinful rage at what has been taken from us.

As to writers, Piers Paul Reid has his moments.

Hestor said...

The writings of Waugh and Greene seem littered with this type of thing, is its absence today due to the writers or to the rites?

You've answered the question yourself Father...

And not a hint of "Shine Jesus Shine" anywhere! Bliss!

Volpius Leonius said...

The problem is that today the faith in so many places seems so inauthentic and fake, it is lived out in such a way that it seems to observers that even we don't really believe it or take it seriously.

Only the faith in its entirely practised as a perfect whole is authentic, and only this authentic faith ha the power to reach down into the depths of the soul.

Outward displays of shallow and inauthentic joy that have been scripted beforehand and then are merely performed rather than felt are simply seen for the poor, half rate stage acts they are and are felt only superficially and then are quickly forgotten.

London Catholic Latin Lover said...

Except that this a fabricated film which portrays an idealised catholicism which doen't portray church life in any reality. If you were waiting for a solemn mass in my own London parish back then you would have had to wait a whole year as High Mass was only celebrated on Trinity Sunday. In fact there was only Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) 3 other times of the year. Whereas now there is a solemn sung mass twice every sunday (one of which is mainly latin).

Fr Ray Blake said...

London Catholic,
Those moments are literature are actually very frequent, the deathbed repentence in Brideshead, the confession at the end of Brighton Rock etc., it is not always a Missa Solemnis.

Your own parish might have only had MS a few times a year, here a Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis was normal every Sunday acc to the records.

But the issue I raise is not frequency but fruitfulness!
and certainly not functionality or performance but Grace.

Coffee Catholic said...

How lovely it would be if we could have mass like this every Sunday! I was cheered up when I realized that I could understand a lot of what was being said/sung. That's a boost :-)

That was an interesting movie. Does Robert's mother know what happened? Scary!

Martin 5 said...

The Rites.

The hardest thing for me to carry, as a young Catholic man (28), is to look on at a Church whose priests and bishops, by and large, haven't a clue.

SPQRatae said...

I am a terrible Catholic (I cling to Padre Pio's observation that the Church is not a hotel for saints, but a hospital for sinners). And I frequently react how the woman in the clip reacts when I am at an extraordinary form of the Mass. This can be a bit embarrassing, but at least it keeps me on the straight(ish) and narrow(ish).
When I attend an ordinary form Mass, at least the way it is commonly celebrated, I feel nothing but embarrassment.