Wednesday, January 18, 2012
THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS MUST BE APPRECIATED AS THE NORMAL, ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS
No matter how much one is attached to the EF Mass, the OF Mass is the norm, the EF is, well, extraordinary. How do parishes and their pastors guarantee that the OF Mass unites the parish and is loved in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the Liturgical directive?
I'm a practical person and I despise people inserting their "feelings" into what should be allowed, or their personal likes and dislikes. The Roman Missal both of 1962 and 2010 do not lend themselves to feelings but give practical norms, instructions and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass.
Some dislike Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, yet these are allowed and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal clearly allows Communion under both kinds in the 2010 missal, although this is not the case with the 1962 missal. So one would have to take their personal preference concerning this off the table in both forms of the Mass and appreciate both forms for the criteria that is present.
The Holy Father and the bishops in union with him are the pastors of the Catholic Church and they model the way the liturgy should or may be celebrated including all the legitimate options. I can count on on hand, maybe one finger a bishop that celebrates the OF Mass ad orientem and allows his priests this option as a matter of fact. The vast majority of bishops, including the Holy Father, celebrate Mass facing the people and only rarely ad orientem.
One might like ad orientem more, but there is no basis to mandate this when the practice today is to face the people and this is legitimately approved by the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him.
In terms of the new translation of the English Mass, I know of no bishop, not even the pope, who will celebrate the previous translation. To request the old when the new is now the norm would be foolish. But maybe another pope one day will allow the older English for a stable group attached to it and say that it was "never in principle abrogated." Who knows?
But all of this is to say that we follow legitimate authority in celebrating the Mass and should be very careful not to denigrate either form of the Mass although we might have personal tastes and prefrences.