Putting the "Sacred" in "Sacred Scripture"


#1

So, at Mass, I noticed that, during the reading of the Gospel, everyone stands. Two altar boys stand in front of the pulpit, with actual metal torches. And only the priest is allowed to read it. Hmm, must be really special, as though it were really the word of God.

Here's an interesting bit of trivia. Until Vatican II, there used to be "Minor orders", which were, in descending order of importance, acolyte (who performed tasks like carrying around torches, etc.), exorcist, lector and porter (doorkeeper). All these people had to undergo a rite of ordination (not Holy Orders, though). There was a vast gulf of separation between the Church an ordinary people.

You had to be ordained to open and close the door, as though something really sacred was inside.

You had to be ordained to read from the book. As though those words really were sacred, the Word of God, perhaps. But now there's a copy on my shelf.

In much the same way that only a woman's husband may approach her body (if you know what I mean), only an ordained person could even read the from the Bible. Why was this so?

Simple: reverence. The world is separated into sacred and profane. The movement a sacred object into the realm of the profane was known as profanation, or desecration: sacrilege.

St. Jerome may have said "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." True, but I do not think the illiterate Christians (and who could not say that most were, over the history of the Church) all went to hell. I am very sure that the exposure they received to it from the readings at Mass sufficed for the good of their souls. And, perhaps, we need to start approaching the Word of God with the reverence it deserves.

I'm starting to think that, whether or not the old myth about Latin-only Bibles is true, it doesn't really matter.


#2

what are you trying to say? Is this another lets bash Vatican II which was initiated by a Pope and approved by his successors? I am a lector and I find your post insulting. I study and read scripture with the desire to do so reverently and with meaning. Bringing up things that have changes 50 years ago is kinda ridiculous. If you think something isn't reverent in your parish, why don't you become the change you think you want. Why don't you become, sacristan, lector etc instead of implying that all i should do is sit in the pew and let so called "ordained" do everything because they are "ordained" and I'm not.


#3

[quote="aquohn, post:1, topic:324926"]

You had to be ordained to open and close the door, as though something really sacred was inside.

[/quote]

There is...

His name is Jesus.

But, you will not find Him until you are cured of your blindness - and only He can cure you.

Luke 11:9:
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."


#4

There was a vast gulf of separation between the Church an ordinary people.

I think the Church has finally seen, or maybe is reminding us more, that there is sacred in the ordinary. Jesus chose to be born fully human, live everyday life among us, and have a family life. The Bible doesn't go into much detail, but it's amazing to think of the trust God had in Mary and Joseph to take care of all of His needs and keep Him safe. Wow...the humility and distance God will go for His creatures!
Then there were the shepherds who came to see the newborn King and Savior. They wouldn't have been looking or smelling the greatest coming in from the fields.

Besides, in St. Luke's Gospel, at the crucifixion the curtain of the temple was torn in two when Jesus died so us ordinary people could have access. (Chapter 23:44-49)

And look at some of the Apostles, they were fishermen! And Paul, well, he was right there with everyone else that persecuted the Church, and a good chunk of the New Testament was written by him!

As far as that goes, think of the Old Testament folks too. Noah got drunk, naked, and passed out in his tent. Moses wasn't a great speaker, grew up a "heathen", and killed someone. King David committed adultery, then conspired and had the woman's husband killed.... and the Psalms -at least a lot of 'em- were written by him!

Plus, Jesus spoke in parables using things that the everyday person would know about, remember, and ponder.

So IMO, a vast gulf of separation is not what is needed in the Church.


#5

I feel I must point out that the movement of the Sacred into the realm of the profane is also known as Incarnation!

Christ the Lord surely entered into his Temple, but he also ate and drank with publicans, prostitutes and sinners in order to guide them out of the profane into the sacred.

I sympathize with your feelings, yet I also fear that it is possible to fill our eyes so much with the Holy that things we should see and do something about - we don't.

A thought.


#6

[quote="HillbillyHermit, post:4, topic:324926"]
I think the Church has finally seen, or maybe is reminding us more, that there is sacred in the ordinary. Jesus chose to be born fully human, live everyday life among us, and have a family life. The Bible doesn't go into much detail, but it's amazing to think of the trust God had in Mary and Joseph to take care of all of His needs and keep Him safe. Wow...the humility and distance God will go for His creatures!
Then there were the shepherds who came to see the newborn King and Savior. They wouldn't have been looking or smelling the greatest coming in from the fields.

Besides, in St. Luke's Gospel, at the crucifixion the curtain of the temple was torn in two when Jesus died so us ordinary people could have access. (Chapter 23:44-49)

And look at some of the Apostles, they were fishermen! And Paul, well, he was right there with everyone else that persecuted the Church, and a good chunk of the New Testament was written by him!

As far as that goes, think of the Old Testament folks too. Noah got drunk, naked, and passed out in his tent. Moses wasn't a great speaker, grew up a "heathen", and killed someone. King David committed adultery, then conspired and had the woman's husband killed.... and the Psalms -at least a lot of 'em- were written by him!

Plus, Jesus spoke in parables using things that the everyday person would know about, remember, and ponder.

So IMO, a vast gulf of separation is not what is needed in the Church.

[/quote]

You said it firstest and bestest while I was responding!


#7

[quote="aquohn, post:1, topic:324926"]
So, at Mass, I noticed that, during the reading of the Gospel, everyone stands. Two altar boys stand in front of the pulpit, with actual metal torches. And only the priest is allowed to read it. Hmm, must be really special, as though it were really the word of God.

[/quote]

The deacon is the ordinary minister of the Gospel in the Church.

Every priest is a deacon, and that is why there is not such thing as a Mass without a deacon. When a priest proclaims the Gospel, he is fulfilling the ministry he recieved when he was ordained as a deacon, not as a priest. Deacons have a threefold ministry - liturgy, word, service. The deacon is the ordinary minister of the Gospel.

Sacred Scripture is not sacred because of who reads from it or how we treat it. We treat it with reverence because it is sacred, not the other way around. It is sacred because it comes from God - his gift to man for the salvation of our souls. It was sacred before we treated it with reverence and remains sacred no matter how we treat it.

Nothing we do can "Put" sacredness into Sacred Scripture. Nothing we do can make Scripture sacred or add to it's sacredness.

Anyone who believes that Scripture is as sacred as it really is would read it every day, study it regularly and make it a major part of his life. I have done that. I hope all those who read my post have done so too, or will at least consider it.

-Tim-


#8

[quote="TimothyH, post:7, topic:324926"]
The deacon is the ordinary minister of the Gospel in the Church.

Every priest is a deacon, and that is why there is not such thing as a Mass without a deacon. When a priest proclaims the Gospel, he is fulfilling the ministry he recieved when he was ordained as a deacon, not as a priest. Deacons have a threefold ministry - liturgy, word, service. The deacon is the ordinary minister of the Gospel.

Sacred Scripture is not sacred because of who reads from it or how we treat it. We treat it with reverence because it is sacred, not the other way around. It is sacred because it comes from God - his gift to man for the salvation of our souls. It was sacred before we treated it with reverence and remains sacred no matter how we treat it.

Nothing we do can "Put" sacredness into Sacred Scripture. Nothing we do can make Scripture sacred or add to it's sacredness.

Anyone who believes that Scripture is as sacred as it really is would read it every day, study it regularly and make it a major part of his life. I have done that. I hope all those who read my post have done so too, or will at least consider it.

-Tim-

[/quote]

as always, you put it the best Tim!


#9

[quote="HillbillyHermit, post:4, topic:324926"]
I think the Church has finally seen, or maybe is reminding us more, that there is sacred in the ordinary. Jesus chose to be born fully human, live everyday life among us, and have a family life. The Bible doesn't go into much detail, but it's amazing to think of the trust God had in Mary and Joseph to take care of all of His needs and keep Him safe. Wow...the humility and distance God will go for His creatures!
Then there were the shepherds who came to see the newborn King and Savior. They wouldn't have been looking or smelling the greatest coming in from the fields.

Besides, in St. Luke's Gospel, at the crucifixion the curtain of the temple was torn in two when Jesus died so us ordinary people could have access. (Chapter 23:44-49)

And look at some of the Apostles, they were fishermen! And Paul, well, he was right there with everyone else that persecuted the Church, and a good chunk of the New Testament was written by him!

As far as that goes, think of the Old Testament folks too. Noah got drunk, naked, and passed out in his tent. Moses wasn't a great speaker, grew up a "heathen", and killed someone. King David committed adultery, then conspired and had the woman's husband killed.... and the Psalms -at least a lot of 'em- were written by him!

Plus, Jesus spoke in parables using things that the everyday person would know about, remember, and ponder.

So IMO, a vast gulf of separation is not what is needed in the Church.

[/quote]

Thanks, that was very well put and what Vatican II was very much about.


#10

What I'm trying to say is, the Word of God used to be treated a lot like the Word of God should be, and I think that is the more appropriate way to regard it. Maybe one of the points which I should have touched on more was how sola scriptura, by making the Word of God something to be approached with utmost reverence, even fear, into something that the humblest peasant could come near, seems to have committed a great desecration.

There is...

His name is Jesus.

But, you will not find Him until you are cured of your blindness - and only He can cure you.

I was being sarcastic. Of course the body of Christ is within. It is only within those walls that God Himself would descend upon the crude matter of bread and wine. In making the simple act of doorkeeping a matter for only the ordained, we are setting it aside from the ordinary world. Acknowledging it as sacred.


Overall, I agree that a fine balance needs to be struck between evangelism and reverence. We (the Church) are commanded to distribute that which is sacrosanct, the Body and Blood of Christ Himself. But at the same time we set it aside from our everyday lives of -]dogs and horses/-] (Wrong century! Erm...iPhones and cars?). Reverence acknowledges sanctity. Irreverence, on the other hand, is sacrilege. for nearly 2000 years the Logos, the Word [of God] was revered by being confined within the walls of holy spaces (churches), and distributed to the people through the Mass (both in the sense of "the Word became Flesh" * and in the Readings), so it was not nearly as common as Bibles are today. 500 years ago, a certain monk decided that this was the wrong way to treat God's Word. 50 years ago, it seems that we agreed. And I think the sexual "morality" of this day and age is a big hint as to how changing traditional standards of reverence has turned out.

For the record, my dream Pope during the elections would have pointed out that VII was pastoral and revoked it. Just a heads-up.*

#11

[quote="aquohn, post:10, topic:324926"]
What I'm trying to say is, the Word of God used to be treated a lot like the Word of God should be, and I think that is the more appropriate way to regard it. Maybe one of the points which I should have touched on more was how sola scriptura, by making the Word of God something to be approached with utmost reverence, even fear, into something that the humblest peasant could come near, seems to have committed a great desecration.

I was being sarcastic. Of course the body of Christ is within. It is only within those walls that God Himself would descend upon the crude matter of bread and wine. In making the simple act of doorkeeping a matter for only the ordained, we are setting it aside from the ordinary world. Acknowledging it as sacred.


Overall, I agree that a fine balance needs to be struck between evangelism and reverence. We (the Church) are commanded to distribute that which is sacrosanct, the Body and Blood of Christ Himself. But at the same time we set it aside from our everyday lives of -]dogs and horses/-] (Wrong century! Erm...iPhones and cars?). Reverence acknowledges sanctity. Irreverence, on the other hand, is sacrilege. for nearly 2000 years the Logos, the Word [of God] was revered by being confined within the walls of holy spaces (churches), and distributed to the people through the Mass (both in the sense of "the Word became Flesh" * and in the Readings), so it was not nearly as common as Bibles are today. 500 years ago, a certain monk decided that this was the wrong way to treat God's Word. 50 years ago, it seems that we agreed. And I think the sexual "morality" of this day and age is a big hint as to how changing traditional standards of reverence has turned out.

For the record, my dream Pope during the elections would have pointed out that VII was pastoral and revoked it. Just a heads-up.*

Since you think that Vatican II should be revoked there isn't anything else anyone is going to say to you that you will accept. You didn't give examples of what you think is being irreverent about the liturgy of the Word but again if you think you see problems, then why don't you become a lector and show everyone how you think it should be done. Its real easy to sit back in the pew and become critical of everything else and then whine away for something that happen 50 years ago and has been approved by the Church. it is also against CAF rules to bash approved Church counsels and changes. Sadly the cry of "protestantism" really applies to those that don't accept Vatican II because they think they know better than the Church and are not submitting to Church authority. That's is how protestantism started, Martin Luther, John Calvin and the rest knew more and better than the Church. said the Church is wrong and the rest is a split up of Christianity.

[/quote]

#12

My objection is not to the Liturgy of the Word. In fact, I'm raising the Liturgy of the Word as an example of proper reverence for the Word of God.

What I'm trying to say is, sola scriptura, in making the Word of God widely available, seems to fail to properly revere it.

WRT VII, I'm not bashing any dogma. I'm saying that some practices were ill-advised and would best be revoked, and doing so would stem the tide of modernism that is undoubtedly corrupting the Church.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

Pope Paul VI:

In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.

But this is largely a tangential point. The focus here is on revering Sacred Scripture, rather than discussing VII per se.


#13

I still don't get why you think that Sacred Scripture isn't revered. Sure, there are probably people who don't show any regard for God's Word, but that's unfortunately gonna happen until the Second Coming. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making light of it. If I were a betting man, I'd say it happened even before the printing press. The Church, the guardian of the Bible and keeper of THE Faith, was persecuted for the message long before it was written down and copied.

Maybe one of the points which I should have touched on more was how sola scriptura, by making the Word of God something to be approached with utmost reverence, even fear, into something that the humblest peasant could come near, seems to have committed a great desecration.

Sola scriptura is not Catholic, so I don't see what that has to do with Catholicism, the Mass, and reverence for the Bible outside of Mass. :confused:

And besides, what's wrong with humble peasants having access to the Word of God? It almost sounds like the only ones you think should be allowed access to the Holy Bible are those who are "clean" enough or smart enough. In either case, no one would, from Pope down to "peasant".

Lepers had access to the Word of God Incarnate. Along with all sorts of sinners.


#14

[quote="aquohn, post:12, topic:324926"]
My objection is not to the Liturgy of the Word. In fact, I'm raising the Liturgy of the Word as an example of proper reverence for the Word of God.

What I'm trying to say is, sola scriptura, in making the Word of God widely available, seems to fail to properly revere it.

WRT VII, I'm not bashing any dogma. I'm saying that some practices were ill-advised and would best be revoked, and doing so would stem the tide of modernism that is undoubtedly corrupting the Church.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

Pope Paul VI:

But this is largely a tangential point. The focus here is on revering Sacred Scripture, rather than discussing VII per se.

[/quote]

The Catholic Church has always taught that Catholics should read and know the Bible, I am not sure what that has to do with sola scripture which is a Protestant idea and reverence of scripture. You are not clear and made connections to ideas that are not there.
You also brought up Vatican II as well and again what does that have to do with whatever lack of reverence you think you are seeing how this lack you think you see is connected to Vatican II, sola scriptura. Sola scriptura is a way of interpreting the Bible which removes it from interpretation from Sacred tradition and authority of the Catholic Church.
In specific detail, what is an example of lack of reverence of scripture in your mind?


#15

This is not supposed to be about the Mass or anything; it's just a set of largely disorganised thoughts. Sorry if this isn't clear, it's not entirely clear to myself either. Sure, everyone was supposed to hear the Word of God, but I think it would have been better if most people only heard it in church, to have a clear demarcation between the sacred and the profane. And this, I suppose, is an area in which the Protestants have erred in their Bible-thumping.

I didn't really want to discuss VII. The whole thing about the minor orders was just...well, I get the feeling the Bible was a lot more clearly in the sphere of sacred things rather than everyday things back then.

I think, fundamentally, what I was trying say is best summed up by the sentence I ended my post with: "I'm starting to think that, whether or not the old myth about Latin-only Bibles is true, it doesn't really matter."


#16

[quote="aquohn, post:15, topic:324926"]
...it's just a set of largely disorganised thoughts. Sorry if this isn't clear, it's not entirely clear to myself either.

[/quote]

That's a relief! I was just about to ask for a map. :p


#17

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