19 July 2012

Variations on Sursum Corda

Am I opposed to new compositions?  No.  I oppose "new" for the sake of it being "new".  I oppose "change" for the sake of "change".  

An example of what I cannot abide:

God is with you.
God's with you too.
Open your hearts to God.
Our hearts and minds are God's.
Give thanks to the Most High God. 
Give praise to God all the Earth.

Honestly, there are two worthy kernels in the above, but clad in its ultra-feminist avoidance of the word 'Lord' or the masculine pronoun it sounds more like something one would see on a bumper-sticker or a t-shirt than a sacred dialogue spoken at Holy Mass.  A 'tree liturgy' perhaps...

What could I accept?  Something Biblical, sound theological reasoning, a measure of Anglican or Eastern Orthodox provenance, and a wise sense of limiting its application.  My example below meets these criteria -- if not entirely successfully -- and was meant to be employed in place of Sursum Corda during Ascensiontide and upon the Festival of the Assumption:

The Lord is here.
     Our God is with us.
Lift your hearts to Heaven
     where Christ the Lord doth reign.
All flesh shall behold his Glory.
     All who seek shall adore his Face.

What could you accept in variation in the liturgical order?  Is there any legitimate way to provide variety and variation without resorting to "Or this", that dreadful rubric (or bluebric if we are speaking of the ASB 1980). Although we seem to prefer propositions phrased as Entweder/Oder, we often seem happiest when Both/And is the final result.

I recall that the Joint Liturgical Group had proposed an embolism as an alternative to 'Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.' which was "Christ is Victor. Christ is King. Christ is Lord of all." (I think I recall that correctly.) I thought it was super, but it never went anywhere in the liturgical revisions in the various churches, as far as I know.  Sometimes a clever idea dies in committee.  Sometimes it is used in trial form but forgotten.  And then some liturgical archaeologist comes along, remembers it, dusts it off, and the time proves right for it.  

Who knows what treasures await our discovery if we are all invited to participate in this sacred work of drawing together from the Anglican worship experience an official liturgical form for life within the Church of Rome.