Saturday, December 10
A Sri Lankan has been picked to help lead the Congregation for Divine Worship, and Rocco is right: that's a big deal.
I'm not shocked, but I am interested. Ratzinger listened to every bishop in the world at some point in time, and they all remark how well he did it. Everyone knows that non-Western bishops (particularly in India) have wanted to inculturate the Mass more thoroughly, and I think everyone knew they had a point: the West deserves a Mass with captures it's history (like our common Roman inheritance), and likewise other civilizations (Indian, Chinese, "Africa" if you can lump that into a single entity) deserve a Mass which captures their cultural inheritence. It's silly to have Latin as the normative language for Mass in China, because they have nothing to do with a Roman inheritence; rather, like the eastern half of the Roman Empire, they deserve their own liturgy.
Now, for good reasons I've been cool towards the actual implimentation of inculturation, because usually people think that means stuff like Mariachi bands. Inculturation shouldn't be a random selection of quasi-kitch elements of secular life, but rather the thought-out expression of the Eucharistic Mystery through symbols which, in a given culture, strive to symbolize what the Mass is. Royal imagery, solemn civil ceremony, architectural traditions with sacred roots (like the Roman Basilica, in our case) should be the source of inculturation.
This is a far cry from banalizing the Mass with elements from daily culture (however exotic). And, because Benedict loves the Latin inheritance so much, there is no need to worry that "inculturation" will be a means for liturgists to undermine our own Western tradition, where it resonates with the underlying culture (i.e., "The West").
I'll be excited to see what they produce, if in fact this is the reasoning behind the selection.