Sunday, January 22, 2012

IS POPE BENEDICT "FOUNDING" A NEW FORM OF THE REFORMED MASS AND INSTITUTING IT OR IS HE "AFFECTING" THE FOUNDING OF A NEW FORM OF THE REFORMED MASS WHICH ANOTHER POPE WILL PROMULGATE SIMILAR TO WHAT VATICAN II AFFECTED AND PAUL VI PROMULGATED?

Private Masses at the same time at multiple altars (no concelebration of one Mass)
Mount Calvary Catholic Church (Anglican Usage) former Episcopal Church becoming completely Catholic today, but celebrating the Anglican Use Mass, please note the altar, is this a sign of things to come for the Latin Rite? Also, correct me if I am wrong, but the name "Mount Calvary" must be a first in this country for a Catholic parish as one normally associates this name with Protestant Churches rather than Catholic--does anyone know of any Latin Rite Church in the USA or Canada named "Mount Calvary"?
Anglican Use Catholic Mass today:
As far as I can tell by the comments on this blog, there are here two schools of thought. The first is a very liberal reading of Summorum Pontificum which should force every parish where there is a stable group of parishioners wanting it to have the EF Mass each Sunday at a regularly scheduled time and to even make one of the previous OF Masses an EF Mass. The desire for this stems from a complete dissatisfaction with the OF Mass even when, as it is here, it is celebrated by the books, with all the options available for it and with dignity and solemnity, i.e. all parts sung, incense used and classical vestment and rehearsed "ministers" i.e. altar servers, lectors and EM's.

The second school which I embrace is to understand the allowance of the EF Mass as "extraordinary" meaning there should be a stable group of people who desire it. The question is how often depending on the number who "desire" it regularly. The compromise I have come up with is to provide it weekly on Tuesday as a Low Mass and once a month on Sunday as a High Mass, but at an additional time rather than replacing one of the four Sunday OF Masses. I've also allowed it for certain Holy Days of Obligation and for special occasions, such as The Commemoration of All Souls with a "Concert Mass setting" as well as our Patronal Feast Day of Saint Joseph on March 19th using the concert Mass of Schubert's "Mass in G". I have honored the request for weddings in the EF tradition having celebrated two thus far and Requiems if requested having celebrated one and baptisms in the EF having celebrated two. In other words I am happy to honor requests for the EF form of the Sacraments for Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals.

But a part of the second school of thought is what I believe Pope Benedict intended, in part, by allowing local priests to be able to celebrate the EF on a liberal basis, the mutual enrichment of both forms of the Mass as a two way street. In other words, the EF should not only affect the manner in which the OF Mass is celebrated in a more solemn and choreographed way by "saying the black and doing the red" but the EF should be affected by the manner in which the OF Mass is celebrated when done so properly, i.e Scriptures in English and facing the people, the priest a bit more relaxed and not robotic or rigid in movements (more flexibility in other words).

We can see the Holy Father bringing some of the EF influence to the OF once again--kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue, flexibility in choosing vestments and daring to use the Roman style of vestments, insisting even outside of Rome that the preface and Eucharistic Prayer be prayed in Latin (that is new to this Pope and took place a couple of years into his papacy, at first he did pray the preface and Eucharistic prayer in the vernacular even in Rome). At Christmas he allowed the Responsorial Psalm to be sung in the Gradual Form of the EF Mass.

But keep in mind, he also prays the Mass in the vernacular for its other parts and even at St. Peter's when the event is more local, most of the Mass is in Italian. He uses all the Eucharistic Prayers, not just the Roman Canon, although these are prayed in Latin.

Since he has yet to celebrate publicly the EF Mass, we have no idea how he would bring OF sensibilities to it--time will tell if he will celebrate this Mass during his pontificate but not having done so thus far speaks volumes by its absence.

In other words the Holy Father while not "founding" a new form of the Mass is now "affecting" for a later pope to institute in a more formal way some of Pope Benedict's understanding of what a "reform of the reform" Liturgy should look like, feel and be celebrated and it is not a complete return to the EF Mass at all.

Time will tell. Just as we can't say that Jesus Christ founded the Church during His public ministry as we have it today (unless we do so from our faith perspective that He through the Pentecostal Holy Spirit, our Glorious and Risen Lord is always present guiding the Church in all ages through His Body, the Church which He "affected, establish, founded both implicitly and explicitly" during His public ministry)we can't say that Pope Benedict has founded a new Liturgy but he might well be affecting the founding of a new form of the OF Mass in the future.

20 comments:

pinanv525 said...

There may be a Catholic Church in Alabama named, "St. John's by the Gas Station...." I have always liked, "Sword of Joshua Catholic Church by the Trailer Park." It has a nice ecumenical ring to it...

Henry said...

As remarked in the Knoxville Latin Mass newsletter recently, Pope Benedict's Mass of the Epiphany--actually, the one with the Gradual and Roman vestments, all prayers in Latin (including proper, ordinary, and dialogue), as I recall--was both traditional and Latin (if not Tridentine).

I believe that our Holy Father is signaling a return for all to a traditional Mass, one which in its reverence, holiness, and efficacy will to most seem practically indistinguishable from what is now juridically called an EF Mass. If this apparent objective of his is realized, then whether there's a return to the EF Mass for all will be a quibble.

So wouldn't it be best for us all to quit harping on differences between the so-called OF and EF Masses, and simply insist that every Roman Mass (whatever its juridical designation) be recognizably the one Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you Henry, my sentiments exactly, but we have to be patient too.

Dan Z. said...

I grew up with the OF. A traditional and Latin "flavored" OF is the ultimate Mass to me, and I do wish many more priests and laity would embrace this. Sadly, my parish has an OF that looks as if it were produced and choreographed by the Disney Channel.

But the one thing that keeps drawing me to consider the idea that the EF is "superior" to the OF, or that the OF should be supressed, and we should go back to the EF (or maybe have the Anglican Use vernacular Mass become the new OF) is not the ruberics, or the sacredness of the "performance", but the WORDS. There are prayers in the EF that have been omitted or paraphrased in the OF, and I think that needs to be addressed, and corrected. So many times in the EF, there are prayers for the salvation of the soul. At communion, the priest blesses the communicant with the Host, and says "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen."

The Confiteor includes us asking many Apostles, Angles, and Saints by name to pray and intercede for us, which the OF reduces to a generic "all the Angels and Saints".

It is this consistant asking for mercy for the souls that ultimately becomes so much more comforting while the OF becomes more of a "performance". It can also be said, the very nature of the OF is to focus on community gathering together for a spiritual "dinner party", while the nature of the EF is to focus on recreating the Sacrifice on Calvery. Having said that, may I add that one of the things I do not like about the EF is how so much of it is spoken by the priest in a low voice, leaving the assembly to sit or kneel in total silence, trying to read along with pew missals.

Perhaps Pope Benedict, or his successor, will ultimately decide to "merge" the two forms (or three, if you count the Anglican Use) together into a universal common form. Perhaps it might just be a revision of the 1965 Missal adapted to the modern Liturgical calendar and 3 year cycle of readings. I would be very happy with that. But the ultimate concern is, will pastors and directors of music, such as mine, who turn the Mass into a Disney Channel style production... will they do the same with a new EF-dominated Missal? That would, in essence, bring us right back to the same spot with the same problems. Perhaps the answer is not a new Missal, but a BETTER QUALITY OF PRIESTS and MORE REVERENT AND TRADITIONAL MUSICAL DIRECTORS?

Dan Z. said...

I grew up with the OF. A traditional and Latin "flavored" OF is the ultimate Mass to me, and I do wish many more priests and laity would embrace this. Sadly, my parish has an OF that looks as if it were produced and choreographed by the Disney Channel.

But the one thing that keeps drawing me to consider the idea that the EF is "superior" to the OF, or that the OF should be supressed, and we should go back to the EF (or maybe have the Anglican Use vernacular Mass become the new OF) is not the ruberics, or the sacredness of the "performance", but the WORDS. There are prayers in the EF that have been omitted or paraphrased in the OF, and I think that needs to be addressed, and corrected. So many times in the EF, there are prayers for the salvation of the soul. At communion, the priest blesses the communicant with the Host, and says "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen."

The Confiteor includes us asking many Apostles, Angles, and Saints by name to pray and intercede for us, which the OF reduces to a generic "all the Angels and Saints".

It is this consistant asking for mercy for the souls that ultimately becomes so much more comforting while the OF becomes more of a "performance". It can also be said, the very nature of the OF is to focus on community gathering together for a spiritual "dinner party", while the nature of the EF is to focus on recreating the Sacrifice on Calvery. Having said that, may I add that one of the things I do not like about the EF is how so much of it is spoken by the priest in a low voice, leaving the assembly to sit or kneel in total silence, trying to read along with pew missals.

Perhaps Pope Benedict, or his successor, will ultimately decide to "merge" the two forms (or three, if you count the Anglican Use) together into a universal common form. Perhaps it might just be a revision of the 1965 Missal adapted to the modern Liturgical calendar and 3 year cycle of readings. I would be very happy with that. But the ultimate concern is, will pastors and directors of music, such as mine, who turn the Mass into a Disney Channel style production... will they do the same with a new EF-dominated Missal? That would, in essence, bring us right back to the same spot with the same problems. Perhaps the answer is not a new Missal, but a BETTER QUALITY OF PRIESTS and MORE REVERENT AND TRADITIONAL MUSICAL DIRECTORS?

Templar said...

I consider myself somewhere between the two schools listed.

I don't believe Pope Benedict really sees a two way street when it comes to the EF and OF influencing each other, simply because no one is seeking changes to the EF. Those who like the EF like it as it is, and those who dislike it simply avoid it, which is easy enough to do. The adherents of the EF however are exposed to the OF on a routine basis and avail themselves of the "opportunity" to push for fixes to the OF, which they view as, well, in need of fixing.

My own personal view is that the OF _would be_ the equal of the EF, if the V2 documents guiding the reform were adhered to strictly (you know, with obedience). I do not believe the Pauline Mass of 1970 does that, and therefore on it's best days, is less than it ought to be. I happen to think that Pope Benedict knows that as well, and is hamstrung against simply saying so for two reasons; 1) The barque of Peter is a super-tanker best turned 1 degree at a time lest she capsize; and 2) His own complicity with V2 makes it impossible to admit that something born of it can be admitted as being poor/bad/failed (pick your adjective) because he's simply too close to it. In my opinion, a subsequent Pope, with no direct ties to V2, will have a freer hand to try and bring the OF back in line with what V2 called for, and at that time the EF and OF will become 1 form of the same Rite.

I do think that having let the Genie out of the bottle by releasing the EF from it's illegal prison, Pope Benedict has forced the Church's hand, and gambled all that he can get the OF fixed. Failure results in a permanent rift in the Church.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday our parish had a Strategic Planning Project. We had a consultant from our Diocese explain how Peter Drucker had groups get together to share ideas and that we would need to get a good vision for what we wanted our Parish to become. After a few of his charts and diagrams, I asked if we were taking a page from the Congregationalists and were going to vote on the form of our Liturgy. That may have set the tone for the rest of the meeting. One of the fellows who was very gung-ho to have a rock mass, or at least a contemporary music mass, informed me that Mass was a community event and that prayer and reflection was private matter that should be done at home. So I asked him in front of everyone if he did not think the Mass was a worship event? It took a few tries to get him to admit that it was. He was very energetic and wanted to have a very Glory and Praise conversion of our liturgy as he had come to enjoy so much when he had attended the Methodist Church in Georgia. His wife is our music director and know all of the Haugen and Haas tunes by heart.

Here is what I discovered: Almost no one in the parish at large knows ANYTHING about the Mass except what they see conducted each week. Many did not know there were Missals of any edition readily available, nor what any of the GIRM had to say, as vague as it tends to be, about postures, music, etc. The only exception to that generalisation are the various ministers who are pressing their agendae. I had one relatively elderly lady come up to me afterwards and thank me for pointing out, e.g. that the Mass is catechesis that we should pay attention to each word and gesture and contemplate it. Tossing in a toe tapping tune is nice device to catch wandering minds, but should have theological accurate lyrics.

So I am back to my statement that the TLM is of minimum use to people who have no idea what the parts of the Mass are for, much less the meaning of the words. The lectors complain about having to read LEtters for St Paul because his sentences were so LONG.

I feel awful saying this because the Latin Mass has actually eased my physical self, my wife is reenergised, and my youngest hooligan is showing interest in the 'correct' way of doing things. But I am more convinced that ever that the EF, or TLM, is essentially an adult Mass. The OF is not lesser in any way, but the greater accessibility invites a broader range of people and attitudes. If it is, in fact, a meal then it is a really great pizza joint while the EF is the adult's table where certain behaviour is expected. I eat pizza, and I play 'Wayfaring Stranger' on the banjo. But I know when to knock it off, too.

rcg

Father Shelton said...

When I was ordained, I had a hidden love for the full Roman liturgical tradition, but since it was out of reach at the time, I resolved to offer the new form of Mass as closely as possible to the old, and to be satisfied with that. Sadly, one soon finds that without some tolerance from Church authorities, a "traditional" celebration of the new form is very difficult. Yes, there are liturgical laws protecting traditional liturgy, but in practice, Church law means whatever the local Ordinary says it means. To be fair, I think Church authorities simply don't understand what traditional-liturgy-loving Catholics want, nor do they understand the law in this regard, so I think it's more a matter of ignorance than of belligerence on the part of these authorities.
Therefore, I, for one, have put the whole issue of traditional celebration of the new form on the "back burner" until better times, and celebrate the older form as frequently as possible, though always privately (i.e. unpublicized).
As for scheduling, the sensitivities of the majority must surely take precedence over the minority, but even if it's at an awkward time of day, an EF Sunday Mass offered weekly will do more good than harm. In fact, until this becomes common, I don't see how the "reform of the reform", which Pope Benedict believes must grow organically and not be imposed from Rome, will ever take off.
My perspective seems to change from one year to the next, but this is what I'm thinking now.

Joseph Johnson said...

The last time I saw a Roman (fiddleback) chasuble being used in my home parish of St. Joseph, Waycross, Ga., was in the mid-to-late 1970's when our pastor, Fr. McCarthy, wore a violet one (which we still have, a 1950's relic, though a bit faded).

This leads me to what I know seems like a rather trivial question, but why have we not (all along) continued to see priests using this style outside of the context of the EF Mass? Is there something "taboo" about them that it takes a "daring" priest to wear them?

Len said...

In my own opinion, how I would like the OF to be revised, is to reinsert blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul into the Confiteor, and to eliminate "rites 2 and 3" from the Penitiential Rite (which should also have the people kneeling instead of standing), to keep the Mass versus populum, but for the Roman Canon/Eucharistic Prayer to be ad orientum, and for there to be only the Roman Canon and EP 2 and 3 (EP 4 and other EP options should be eliminated). Communion should be recieved on the tongue while kneeling, with priests and deacons giving the full blessing "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting", while Eucharistic ministers continue to only say "The Body (Blood) of Christ". The ruberics should definitively state that there is no hand holding or parroting of the priest during the "Our Father", that the people should have thier hands clasped in traditional prayer style. The "protestant" portion of the Our Father should be eliminated, and so should the handshake of peace. Overall, the ruberics for the priest should conform more to the TLM, and stop referring to the priest as the "presider" or "president".

These few things, I think, would make the OF better. But what do I know, I'm just a layman.

Father Shelton said...

Joseph Johnson,
I know of one Southern bishop who recently told his priests not to wear these, because they "cause confusion among the faithful".

Joseph Johnson said...

Father Shelton,
I truly appreciate your response. If more bishops have done what you described then this gives some insight as to why we haven't seen Roman chasubles in the OF in recent years.

My response to this is that it is a self-fulfilling directive. If Roman chasubles "cause confusion among the faithful" it is precisely because most Catholics, at least under a certain age or never exposed to say, the FSSP and the EF, have never seen one. The same could be said for the use of cassocks or amices, which are very much a part of the mental image of priests that I still carry in my own mind from my days as an altar boy in the 1970's.

If priests had been wearing them interchangeably with the Gothic style throughout the past forty or so years then there would be no "confusion" as people would still be used to them, as they were in my grandparents' time.

The directive looks like another deliberate effort to use obedience to change the culture in the Church. Thank God Pope Benedict XVI is resurrecting some of these once common elements in our Catholic culture and is putting them out there into use (rather then as museum pieces!) as a model for us recover our culture in the larger Church.

Thanks again Father!

Anonymous said...

Based on the exchange between Fr Shelton and JJohnson I can see why so few people even ask for the EF or seek a TLM parish. I don't think there is a conspiracy of obedience but it do think there is a belief among the parishioners that some things are not allowed that are simply because they are not done. Likewise there is an almost casual, or even callous, attitude toward the Liturgy among the laity displayed by people who want to 'bring it up to date'.

Part of my dismay with this is driven because in my day job I work with technical manuals and I see more respect paid to the instructions for starting a generator than to the Word of God. The young man who wants to revise the liturgy and introduce rock music is an engineer for a major automotive company. He is also on the Parish Councel. During our discussion he was being constantly interrupted by calls about. A very tiny flaw in the throttle body of an engine design. it could make the car stop unexpectedly or jam the throttle open. But he was toying with the Liturgy of the Catholic Church. It was disrespect borne of ignorance bordering on savagery. This is the fruit of the last fourth years.

rcg

Joseph Johnson said...

rcg,
You are exactly right--ignorance is the problem! Roman chasubles might "confuse" some people because they have never seen one. We shouldn't expose the ignorant to traditional or historical elements of Catholic liturgical heritage (which are unfamiliar to them through lack of recent use) lest we "confuse" them--rather, only continue to give them what they know and keep them ignorant and limited in their understanding of the Mass.

What is true on the lesser and more trivial point on Roman cahsubles is also true for the far more significant issue regarding the EF and its critical role in improving the OF. While I am sensitive to an earlier point made by Fr. Pablo concerning priest workload, I still strongly believe that, however and whenever possible, the EF should be learned by priests and should be offered in as many parishes as possible, whether it is requested by a stable group or not (Cardinal Castrillon has said the same). This may be as infrequent as once a quarter on a weekday in some places. It could replace a weekday OF Mass from time to time (which is allowed). The point is that both people and priests need to be exposed to it on a regular and ongoing basis. As they become used to it, it will have an effect on their mentality and spirituality as to the OF.

On a personal note, it is true that if the EF were offered at a convenient time on Sundays where I live I would be perfectly happy to attend it most of the time. I have done this before (when I lived elsewhere) and I know that I can be a better Catholic in that environment. However, I have to be realistic and work within the environment in which I live. In that vein, I bought a 1962 Missal and had a set of Mass cards framed and donated these items to my parish so that we would have the basic items needed for the EF at St. Joseph in Waycross. They have been used twice (2008 and 2009).

I still have hopes for the future and stand ready to assist any priest in setting up the altar and in serving Mass should this happen in our parish again. In the meantime, all I can do is pray and content myself with the improvements that have indeed occurred in the OF (music is still the biggest problem!).

I commented earlier that, based on Fr. Shelton's frank disclosure of a bishop's directive, it appeared that there was a deliberate effort to use obedience to change the culture in a diocese. Quite frankly, I favor a conscious counter-effort to restore what was (possibly deliberately) lost and incorporate it into the present OF culture. Increased exposure to the EF is what is needed to educate people as to what is lacking and is needed to improve the OF.

If they don't know about it ( and have never had an honest exposure to it) they won't request it. Keep them ignorant and take care not to "confuse" them and nothing will change! Today I winced as we sang two songs at Mass copyrighted in 1972--"Sing a New Song" was one. In 1972 I was 11. On February 1 I'll be 51. Must I live my whole life singing reminders of the "bad old days!" I pray for better . .

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Roman chasuble comes in different styles and is best suited for ad orientem since it is so truncated in the front. However, the Roman Chasuble normally seen in this country is skimpier than what Pope Benedict has used and even the one pictured above. These are very expensive too. I own only one that was give to me and from the back it looks very nice for Mass (as orientem) but facing the people it looks odd and bib-like. Most people don't realize that in this country the Gothic chasuble was more frequently used during pre-Vatican II times and that's my recollection from the 1950's and early 60's in the churches we attended.

Templar said...

I have no preference for vestments, only that whatever style they be worthy of Him, but I had a lightening bolt moment one day looking at the beautiful embroidery on the back of a vestment. *poof* Even the vestments scream Ad Orientem. I'm supposed to be viewing the back of the vestment, it's there to help me focus on the sacrificial nature of Mass. I mean, it just seems so obvious and flies in the face of what we really do every day. I see simple things like that which just "make sense" and I shake my head at how anyone can argue the point that versus populum is natural or preferred.

William Meyer said...

The post Vatican II rationales for change would be laughable, if the changes had not been so damaging.

As I child in Michigan, I don't recall that I ever saw other than a fiddleback. I'm not all that fussy about which style is to be used, but I do wish I didn't see so many that look cheap and dingy.

Henry said...

If the Mass vestments our priests have are not the most beautiful we can provide, what does this say about the the priority to us of our worship of God? Every Latin Mass community I've been a part of has sacrificed to this end. The kind of vestments shown in the first 2 or 3 links at http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/gallery/gallery.htm are not cheap. But their cumulative cost is probably a lot less than what the typical Catholic parish spends every few years on literally trashy misalette songbooks--ones that are trashed and replaced quarterly or annually.

Marc said...

Father Shelton, thank you for your frank input in your comments.

I agree with Fr. McDonald here that Roman vestments would cause some confusion amongst the laity when worn during a versus populum Mass. There is nothing inherently more traditional in the wearing of the fiddleback, as Fr. McDonald points out. Traditionalists are just used to seeing this as it seems every FSSP priest always wears the fiddleback!

BUT, isn't it more traditional for vestments to bear the "IHS", which is common to just about all fiddlebacks I've seen, but not very common on Gothic chasubles?

Maybe Fr. McDonald or Fr. Shelton could comment on the decline of "IHS" on vestments as it has been replaced with some pretty wild things (personally, I really dislike seeing any chasuble featuring wheat and grapes, but that's just me)...

By the way, Fr. McDonald, I really like your Blessed Mother fiddleback - I'm always excited when a Marian feast falls on the First Sunday or a Tuesday so you can use the fiddleback during the Latin Mass! It is a obviously a very ornate and expensive chasuble. But, many of your Gothic chasubles are very nice as well, particuarly the gold one you typically wear at the Easter Vigil as it seems very heavy and ornate.

Pater Ignotus said...

"In the 17th and particularly from the 18th century, authorised by no ecclesiastical authority, the form of the chasuble almost universally used was that pendant-like form which we call the “Roman” chasuble. There were only a few voices raised in objection to setting aside the tradition of the ample chasuble. And then, although it only occurred by degrees and over a period of time, that pendant form of chasuble, which to S. Charles represented such a break with tradition, became regarded as THE legitimate tradition.

Pause to reflect on this, when you read expressions such as “traditional Roman vestments” etc. We have the strange situation where the very dimensions of chasuble that Saint Charles strove to preserve, have been described by many latter-day “traditionalists” as “un-traditional”!

Many (most?) changes in the liturgy come not from saints, but from use. No one can say which saint first wore a maniple or hoisted the hem of a chasuble. These changes have been organic - they come from the people celebrating the liturgy. They are monks and archbishops, parish priests and priest-theologians, with a few saints scattered in for good measure.

I prefer to see the unadorned "ample" style because I think it more effectively communicates.