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Cultural vs. universal worship

Dale Parker | Friday, August 31, 2012

Fr. Corpora, your recent column “One Eucharist, many expressions” (Aug. 30) was an insightful look at just three of the liturgical traditions we have here at Notre Dame. This variety is beneficial in that, among all these traditions, there will surely be one or another that will fit the individual spirituality of most. Even still, I struggle with the drawbacks of this variety, which your article subtly hit upon: we have African Masses, Spanish Masses and ever-amorphous dorm Masses.
One of the best developments of the 20th century was the growing idea of a universal human family, free from distinctions of race. Is not encouraging Masses of certain groups of people reversing that? While it is a fairy tale notion to suggest we radically strip down cultural-linguistic barriers in our liturgies and have Masses only in Latin again, there admittedly was something neat in the idea that everyone could worship “una voce,” side by side, in a family in which there is “neither Greek nor Jew.” (3 Galatians 28)
Regression to Latin being distasteful to most, it would seem that we will have to reflect on more contemporary ways to stress our undivided brotherhood in Christ.
Dale Parker
Morrissey Manor
Aug. 30