Dispute over ‘sentimental’ liturgy at closing Mass of Eucharistic Congress
July 19, 2012
Organizers of the International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin in June have reacted strongly against criticism that the closing Mass of the event was “impossibly sentimental.”
Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, the executive secretary of the revamped International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), told an American audience that the liturgy in Dublin had “a sort of 80s feel to it.” He observed that liturgical changes during the pontificate of Benedict XVI have emphasized reverence, solemnity, and an appreciation for traditions, especially in liturgical music. But in Dublin, he said, “I would almost feel persuaded that this was a deliberately calculated attempt to broadcast a different message and to oppose the better liturgical spirit of recent times.”
Father Paddy Jones, the director of Ireland’s National Centre for Liturgy, rejected the criticism, saying that the applause heard during the Mass showed the popular appeal of the music. He said that Msgr. Wadsworth “may not know what these liturgies meant to the thousands who celebrated them.” Father Kevin Doran, the chief organizer of the Eucharistic Congress, charged that there was “a lot of loose language” in Msgr. Wadsworth’s comments were aimed more at the teachings of Vatican II than at the particular liturgy in Dublin.
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