After experiencing "creative" liturgy this morning I just thought I'd offer a quick reflection. I would boil it down this way: if people try to imbue relevance into liturgy where they think it's lacking or bring clowns to mass as a sideshow they betray a myopic view of the Church's liturgy.

We don't own the liturgy. We can't claim credit for the grace it effects, nor is our job to make it relevant. The question has always been whether what we do is relevant to the liturgy. Strange how things get reversed.

How this happened I can't completely explain. Perhaps it started with an insatiable need to express creativity. Of course, this is not a bad thing, in and of itself, but creativity can lead to bad, nay, ugly results when misapplied. Creativity applies when presenting truth, not in determining it.

So this means that I take the truths of the Church as they are (the revelation of Jesus Christ). I don't pretend to create them ANEW. I don't play with creative interpretations that eschew what Christ made clear. Creativity has its place in how I decide to present truths--new angles, analogies, connections--but what I create is a novel presentation, not a novel truth.

There ARE times when novel presetation does go awry. For example, when valuing fidelity to the Church's highest prayer, the holy mass. If a priest decides to embellish or go extemporaneous during the Eucharistic prayer, he's taking ownership for something that doesn't belong to him. The Eucharistic prayer belongs to the Church. If changes need to be made, the Church at large will decide, not Fr. X at parish Y. Deviating from this is an affront to the Catholicity (universality) of the Church. We are Catholic precisely because we believe and do the same basic things the same basic way.

I invite you to pray with me that the few priests who get too creative will learn to use creativity in its proper context. In the meantime , let's pray for patience.

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