Monday, 10 August 2020

The future of blogs...

Someone wrote to me yesterday saying that they missed my liturgy writing and asked if I was ever going to return to it. It was a nice thing to have said and it's encouraging amidst dark times to know that I may have had a positive influence on somebody's life, however long ago. The trouble is I think I've moved on. I wrote "Liturgiae Causa" at a time of immature, spasmodic enthusiasm and false hopes. Apropos, it truly saddens me when I look around at old haunts in the "blogosphere," the blogs that haven't yet gone silent, such as the New Liturgical Movement (which I used to read daily in 2006), and I see mediocre academics much older than me entertaining stupid notions which I rejected years ago. Gregory DiPippo writes some interesting stuff but he's a prisoner of Traddieland and I wish he would escape. Then there're practitioners of the Sarum Rite, with which I have immense sympathy, most of them Anglicans, with which I have no sympathy whatever. The whole thing just strikes me as theatrical performance, which is an interesting forum for an audience of practically none. This is not to denigrate people or to claim that good liturgy is by nature esoteric. But it is to say that whatever liturgical revival these Western (and to an extent Uniate) people dream of is an immature enthusiasm and false hope. I suppose it's like the ritualist controversies in the Church of England. Who emerged triumphant? The wrong side! And it's the same today, only this time it's worse because the conditions have changed and the men are lesser. There are no more John Wickham-Legg's or Percy Dearmer's; but there are plenty of ideologues for whom tradition is the suspicious by-product of some other pursuit. It's a complete wilderness; an integrity and authenticity bypass. You start with the Rite, not the Pope!

Just over a year ago I set up an Instagram account @lucernare. I did this for a number of reasons but mostly because I think that the future of blogging is dim. I also work full-time and the last thing I want to do when I get home is to write articles about liturgy. It's an old obsession which passed. I now associate my erstwhile love of liturgy with pain and disappointment. I am also a member of ROCOR. There exist WRO priests in ROCOR (indeed I know one) but they are barely tolerated by the Bishops and we do our utmost to wean them off this fringe obsession, far from the mind of the Church. My faith is now fully Byzantine. I think I'll try to do something liturgical here, if there's a demand for it, but I can't promise much. Otherwise, if you wish to keep following me by all means do so on Instagram.

I chose the photo of the Imperial Martyrs because I love them and because their piety, as good Orthodox, was liturgical. I have adopted St Alexei the long-suffering as my patron and I believe that St Alexandra should be the patron saint of converts. May they pray to God for us!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your reflections. I do drop in from time to time. My hobby horses have also changed over the years. I disagree with the stereotype you make of Anglicans concerned for the revival of the Use of Sarum, even in a marginal and non-parochial context. It has brought me to the question of culture, without which the Church cannot relate to its present and future faithful. 19th century Romanticism is often scoffed at, but the Russians also have Dostoievsky, Khomiakov, Berdyaev and others whose thought and originality went beyond their fidelity to their Church. Perhaps this wealth of thought and spirit helped the Church through the Revolution. As for the future of the blog, I write a little less frequently, but my statistics are quite constant. It's up to you but you have a fine style of writing. You should keep it up.