Sunday, December 05, 2010

Actuosa Participatio

One of the most discussed liturgical principles is that of Actuosa Participatio - translated commonly as 'Active Participation' but which is more accurately translated as 'Actual Participation'. Vatican II called for actual participation at Mass but so did Popes and writers decades before the Council. I will never forget my shock at seeing the very first words of my father's 1943 Missal written in bold letters: Pray The Mass. I also noticed that I had to pray a lot harder at the traditional latin Mass than I did at the normal parish Mass. There are still some who wrongly believe Catholics at the traditional latin Mass are somehow not actually participating because there is more silence at this Mass. The fact is people actually participate when they listen attentively, pray the prayers and say the responses at Mass, whichever form of Mass they are attending. Michael P. Foley wrote about "Getting Active Participation Right" at InsideCatholic and ends with this insight:

The bottom line, then, is that we should stop counting articulated syllables and ritual gesticulations and instead acknowledge that a true and actual participation in the august mysteries of the Eucharistic cult, regardless of the form of the rite, has more to do with a soul in devotion than a body in motion."

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