- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: Preview Press (July 25, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983893306
- ISBN-13: 978-0983893301
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lex Orandi Paperback – July 25, 2015
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This book gives a concise, easy-to-understand description of the manner in which all 7 Sacraments have been altered, giving specific side-by-side comparisons of the Old Rites and the new. The author demonstrates that with the changing of the words and procedures, the lessons taught by the rites are changed as well. Even the renaming of Sacraments (for example, the Sacrament of Penance converted to that of Reconciliation) the author argues, demonstrates a new attitude and a new philosophy--"penance means voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong.....while the word reconciliation suggests that somehow God shares some of the responsibility for our sins." (p. 39)
According to the author, "Changes in the texts . . . change the meaning." This has profound ramifications for the Sacrament of Matrimony. In the Old Rite, marriage is based on a contract: "God established the institution of marriage for the continuation of the human race." (p. 137) In the New Rite, the focus is now upon mutual consent and love, words that carry a multitude of definitions which can be ambiguous. Even more important to the current societal conversation is the author's explanation of what has been removed from the Old Rite: "By removing the primary reason for the sacrament--procreation, Novus Ordo Marriage opens the door to same-sex marriage. . . With a few word changes that are allowable by improvisation and by careful selection from the many options, one could use Novus Ordo Rite of Marriage to officiate a same-sex wedding. " (p. 137).
This is exceptionally interesting considering the controversy that has already kicked up with regard to the October Synod on the Family. Surely such a discussion would be well-served by Mr. Graham's analysis of the Old Rite of Marriage in contrast to the new.
These are interesting times in the Catholic Church, to be sure. The Sacraments, part of the law of praying (lex orandi), are a "most powerful teacher about the Faith" or the law of believing (lex credendi). The author gives compelling arguments to show that the new sacraments are indeed teaching new beliefs, and that "Choosing a rite is choosing what to believe." What rite should you choose? Read the book and figure it out.
Mr. Graham, in this 199 page book, covers all 7 sacraments and compares side-by-side the words of the rubrics of each sacrament and how they were changed starting from 1968 and through 1983, following the Second Vatican Council. He tries to find out whether changes made to the traditional Catholic rubrics (lex orandi) reflected changes in what people were expected to believe about the Sacraments (lex credendi) or whether the words were just a translation of the liturgical Latin language of the Roman Catholic Church into the vernacular language of each country (I'll give you a hint - they were not just a translation). As the author walks us through each Sacrament, he gives us advanced notice of what to look for and then shows us the words side-by-side. While I knew that there were changes and options in the new order of the Mass, I never realized that no Sacrament was left untouched. One conclusion was that the old rubrics were unified everywhere and said the same thing about each sacrament in language that amplified the constant teaching of the Catholic Church; whereas the new rubrics have so many optional choices (e.g., 1.3 million combinations possible for baptism and 1.7 million possible combinations for the Mass) that they can be considered consistent with many different beliefs about the Sacrament. The author identifies several underlying new themes in the new rubrics of the Sacraments - and makes you realize that the words of the new rubrics can help explain the new attitudes and beliefs seen today in the post-conciliar Church. Fascinating!