Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Establishing a Tradition

Way back, when I really was young, instead of just thinking I am, I recall there being conversations about "traditional" practices. Roughly these conversations went along the lines of "It is traditional here for everyone to stand for the Eucharistic Prayer"; and the joking observation used to be that "traditional means we have done it once before" since the word "traditional" was being used to justify a practice that was decidedly new to many of those being persuaded to take part in it.

It therefore provided a mixture of hilarity and nostalgia to read the following in a Vatican Radio account of Pope Francis' Mass on Monday morning in the Casa Santa Marta:
During Holy Week, we should stop to think about how much "patience" God has for each one of us. This was Pope Francis’s advice Monday morning for the men and women who work at the Vatican. As has become tradition since his election, the Holy Father led Mass for Monday of Holy Week, in the small chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, where he is staying until renovation work is completed on the papal apartments.
I believe this rather literally represents the attachment of the descriptor "tradition" to a once before event!

Not that I have any criticism of Pope Francis' willingness to celebrate Mass in this way for those who work in and around the Vatican. It has an attractive openness about it and provides a context in which his preaching style comes into its own. It also provides an interesting example that other bishops/archbishops/cardinals might follow in their own particular parts of the Lord's vineyard. I would hope that similar opportunity will continue to occur when Pope Francis moves into a more permanent accomodation.


andrew rex said...

...except, it's not clear whether pope francis will be moving to more permenant accomodation. Latest reports are that he is enjoying the 'experience of exploring ways of continuing to live in community'!

Joe said...

.... as I realised, Andrew, after writing and posting this.