Friday, October 20, 2006

A Master of Ceremonies

For our enrichment, here is a quote from Archbishop Piero Marini (taken from "Celebrazioni liturgiche pontificie, radio e tv" published in "La Civiltà Cattolica" 1999, III, pp. 168-180) describing the work he himself is very well-known for: a post-conciliar Master of Ceremonies.

"In the old liturgy, in use before the Second Vatican Council, the role of the master of ceremonies consisted in applying a series of rigid norms which could not be changed. Today one cannot organize a celebration without first having thought: who is celebrating, what is being celebrated, where is it being celebrated. The celebration is the point toward which converge diverse and reciprocally coordinated elements under the guide of that spirit of adaptation that is the soul of post-conciliar reform.

Thus it's a matter of foreseeing and planning the celebration with a view toward the result one wants to obtain. For example, one cannot think of a liturgical action without taking account of the space in which it will take place, the hymns that will be performed. Everything that is thought out and predisposed in view of a celebration can be considered real and proper direction. One finds oneself acting, in a certain way, upon a stage. Liturgy is also a show."