Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In Tribute to the Founder and Editor of the New Liturgical Movement Blog

With fans in Rome.

The first time yours truly met the great Shawn Tribe was in the dark shadows outside the fabled Duomo of Milan.  It was a summer evening.  I think I had a straw in my mouth as myself and my roommate exited from McDonald's.  I was  immediately taken by his warm smile and kind demeanor.  I remember feeling relieved that he was so kind and pleasant in conversation.

This month we honor him as he takes a break from his immensely popular blog which he founded in 2005.

It was Schiller who once wrote that, "Mankind has lost its dignity, but art has recovered it in significant stones."   I sometimes think of this "art" in terms of good liturgy.  Oh how we have recovered our lost human dignity through the proper stones of divine worship!

Shawn Tribe has directed us through his gentle blog to the classical templates of sacred liturgy.  These same templates affirm what is sempiternal in the midst of change.  He has instructed the faithful in the classical grammar of liturgy, which in many ways is a system of composition, a way of building organically, so that detail follows detail and part answers part.

That there are universal and intuitively understood principles which are exemplified in the divine worship of the Church he has made abundantly clear.  And this is important.  The sacred liturgy, as the Church has given it to us, in the proper sense gives us a set of aesthetic constants to which human nature is attuned.  Good liturgy lifts us to another plane of consciousness.  The lesson of modernist liturgical urbanism is that ugliness kills.  Beauty is important and we need to ask for its return.  Thank you for leading the way, Shawn. 

Dear brother in Christ, you have done a great service and you are a loyal son of the Church.  I could write ad infinitum in your praise.  Thank you for the contribution you have made, as a distinguished lay scholar.  And I thank you for your friendship and kind words of support over the years.  Your labors will continue and the harvest will be plentiful to the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.

You have written and spoken well of the liturgy of the Church!