Dr. Taylor Marshall: The Mass is Not Bible Study
January 15, 2013, at 5:12 PM
By Matthew Archbold |
Dr. Taylor Marshall, the newly appointed Chancellor of Fisher More College, recently responded to a question on his blog concerning whether Scripture readings at the Latin Mass cover only 17% or so of the New Testament, whereas, the Novus Ordo readings cover about 90% of the New Testament.
Marshall wrote in response that the Mass is not a Bible study:
Yes, more Bible verses are read in the new (Novus Ordo) lectionary than with the old lectionary. Most assume that since the new lectionary has more Bible verses, it is therefore better. I used to agree with this and use it as an advantage point for the New Mass.
I hope you don’t find me curmudgeonly, but I no longer find the “more Bible is a better Mass” to be a satisfying argument.
For example, do Catholics in 2012 know the Bible better than Catholics in 1912? I’d argue that the Catholics of 1912 knew the Bible better – even with their smaller lectionary of readings.
One must ask, what is the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? The readings should highlight something for the day – especially if it is a special feast or saints day.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass contains Scripture, but it is not essentially a Bible study, and the Church has never held that the Mass was the context by which we worked through the entire Bible.
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