Thursday, July 02, 2009

Norcia monks and the Extraordinary Form

You may have read elsewhere about the request of the Holy See to the young community of monks at Norcia in Italy, to celebrate the Roman rite in both forms. What caught my attention was this extract from the interview with Fr Cassian Folsom, the superior, regarding the nature of the two forms of the Roman rite:

The ordinary form stresses such elements as the participation of the faithful, the use of the vernacular, the ongoing development of the liturgy by the addition of new saints to the calendar, etc.: these are all very important. At the risk of oversimplifying, I would say that the ordinary form stresses rational understanding, speaking in prose, as it were. The extraordinary form provides rich food for the intellect also, but relies heavily on gesture, symbolism, intuition, silence, ritual action without words, speaking in poetry, you might say. Man knows both rationally and intuitively. He needs both prose and poetry. If the two usages, like two different cultures, can patiently live with each other over time, they can become friends.
More poetry please!
It will be interesting to see how the two forms will live side by side in the monastery. For more on the story of this foundation, here is the monastery`s website.


Happy Eater said...

Father, I don't think you put in the monasery website.
I'm interested because Norcia is near where I'm going on holiday this year. I will look out for the monastery.
Just as a matter of interest, I have read that Norcia has some excellent food shops.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Happy Eater, I hope you get a chance to visit the monastery. I have checked the link and it seems to work for me. Here is the website address: