Fr Tim Finnigan of "The Hermaneutic of Continuity" may be experiencing some difficulties in his parish because of the way that he is promoting the Liturgy, but those difficulties are a sign that a new appreciation of the Liturgy is beginning to happen. And that the hinge of this new "conversation" about the Liturgy has been the way in which Fr Tim has implemented the "Motu Proprio" in his parish.
Fr Tim has now made available, through his blog, an excellent essay on the Liturgy which he has written and in which he offers a very clear historical understanding of the way in which the Liturgy of the Mass has developed, together with some important comments on current practices in the Liturgy.
This essay and Fr Tim's pastoral leadership in his parish is cutting new territory for the Church in the UK. In most parishes there is a status quo which insists that the Liturgy be celebrated in the most banal way possible and in which there is no recognition of the calls from the Church for a renewed Liturgy or a renewed appreciation of the Liturgy. So, the two important Liturgical documents of our age "Redemptionis Sacramentum" and "Sacramentum Caritatis" are virtually unknown. For many Catholics the experience of the Mass is still that of "Colours of Day" and rotas of lay people fulfilling loads of jobs on the sanctuary. If you add to this stymied situation that of the number of people who come up to communion without any idea of what they are doing, and a whole raft of practices which are seemingly now set in stone, but which are actually abuses, for instance, lay people preaching or helping themselves to the sacred species at communion, then we are talking about a totally disfunctional situation regarding the Liturgy.
Yes, indeed, Fr Tim has made a real breakthrough and, in his territory at least, has opened up the situation in favour of a genuine process of renewal and appreciation of the Liturgy which the Church is calling for. He is at the forefront of leading the Church in the UK out of the Liturgical stymer and disfuntionality that it is in, and into the reform of the reform. And the heart of the reform of the reform is a appreciation of what the Liturgy is. This means not only seeking to celebrate the new Mass in a renewed way, but also celebrating the Mass of 1962. And it also means returning to study "Sacrosanctum Concilium" and the history of the development of the Liturgy - to follow the fatherly directions which B16 has given us in "Sacramentum Caritatis" and throughout his pontificate.
If there is any upset in Fr Tim's parish, this will not have been intended, and I do hope that any upset can be easily addressed in favour of being led to appreciate in a renewed way the greatness of the Liturgy. I also hope that Fr Tim's leadership here will influence many in the UK to break out of a self-imposed liturgical ghetto and to also embrace the reform of the reform.