Over at Fr. Z’s blog, there’s a great photo album posted by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius Parish (Archdiocese of Chicago). The photographs contained in the album were taken as rose petals descended from the church’s ceiling upon the congregation below.
As Fr. Z explains the ritual, it developed for the Solemnity of Pentecost in the Pantheon (now a minor basilica called S. Maria ad martyres). Rose petals are dropped through the circular oculus opening at the top of the dome, which is the widest in all of Rome. The petals descend upon the congregation below, reminding its members of the descent of the Holy Spirit like tongues of flame.
In the picture below, study carefully the faces of the little girl and boy.
Now study carefully the surprise, delight, and glee on the faces of the children in the church’s main aisle.
It’s obvious this ritual has struck a sense of awe and wonder into these young people, opening their consciouness if not their souls to the mystery surrounding the birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday.
Over the past five-plus decades, how often has Rudolph Otto’s description of the “awe and wonder” (tremendum et facinans) that is experienced upon encountering the Holy been demonstrably visible on the faces and in the behavior of young congregants?
During those decades since the Second Vatican Council, have all of those guitar Masses, puppet Masses, and even those clown Masses struck young congregants with that sense of awe and wonder that’s evident in these photographs?
When it came to evangelizing young people through the Mass, the architect of the so-called “reformed” liturgy, Cardinal Annibale Bugnini, may have made the Mass more relevant by a worldly standard by appealing to the masses (pardon the pun).
But, he very well have thrown the baby away with the bathwater by a spiritual standard.
To read Fr. Z’s blog, click on the following link:
To view the photo album, click on the following link: