22 October 2006

Who is Tradition?

Taken from NLM (emphasis my own)

Tradition is embodied in a person, or at the very least, is the gift of a person, Jesus Christ. Tradition is not the homey, everyday sharing of a visit to grandma's but a radical encounter with the crucified and risen Lord. It is directional, like the nave of a church, rather than the closed circle of which this last fifty years is so fond. In the end, the question of antiquity--or modernity--is only so useful insofar as it brings us closer to the heavenly ideal. Hence the knotty problems of antiquarianism and organic development dealt with so judiciously by Pius XII in Mediator Dei. Certainly age is worthy of reverence for its own sake, but it is also a factor of its practicality--we Catholics have been trying to figure out this problem for the past two millenia; we're bound to have gotten some good ideas in the process somewhere along the line. Likewise, occasionally a bit of pruning is in order, liturgically or architecturally.

A Critique of Modern Church Designs
... [Following] a tradition of sorts... - but one which has at its heart, not the encounter of Christ on Christ's own terms, but one which is more a closed encounter within the community: "Think of your home, where stories are told, memorabilia is displayed, meals are shared,"... Whether or not a church should be home-like - or, whether it should be the House of God or the House of God's People, or both--this internal logic is problematic...

... not the familial, familiar grandeur of the ideal parish church but the creation of what was literally a non-church, ... a space to define its meaning and sacrality from the meeting of the community present within its walls. When not in use, the space would be quite literally devoid of purpose. ... a reliance on a centralized plan, a use of movable chairs rather than pews, and a tendency to ignore or minimize the reserved Eucharist for a variety of somewhat conflicting reasons.

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