Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vespers Hymn and Rite of Acceptance

A couple of things on my mind today. Tonight at Vespers, we will sing an English adaptation of the hymn Lucis Creator Optime. This hymn was written by St. Gregory the Great back in the sixth century. Thinking about this reminds me of the great connection which we have to our ancestors.

It is remarkable to think that this evening, our little schola (if I can dare to call us this) will sing a hymn which was sung before the reforms in the wake of Vatican II. They will sing a hymn in use before the reforms following the Council of Trent. They will sing a hymn which was sung throughout the Middle Ages. They will sing a hymn composed during a time of great durress while the Western Empire was all but lost. They will sing a hymn from the liturgy which helped evangelize Europe.

I'm aware that a great number of hymns of the Office were "reformed" under Pope Urban VIII by altering the traditional text. While these revisions were generally removed in the post-conciliar reform following Vatican II, the original text was not always restored. While I am unsure the extent to which this particular hymn has been altered, I remain happy knowing that this text, however much it may have been revised, has retained a place of honor in our tradition.

Today, my parish's RCIA group underwent the Rite of Acceptance, wherein they have taken a greater commitment in being catechumens. Given what was stated earlier, it is wonderful to think of the great gift of expression of faith which is being given to them from the tradition. It is also exciting to think of how they will contribute to this tradition. It is interesting to see them amazed (and often overwhelmed) by the rich language of symbols and traditions into which they are being drawn. What will they give back to the God, their Church, their families?

Please pray for those who have undergone the Rite of Acceptance that God will lead them along their journey. I hope that we may join in our pilgrimage together, ultimately having the opporutnity to see our Lord face to face.

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