This is how to make a liturgical puritan see red!
When the good sisters were asked by a lesser document of Vatican II to update their institutes and when the Vatican itself in the post Vatican II era encouraged much of the change that the Vatican and many others would like to see undone today, the premise was that these institutes should go back to their founder's original intent and original documents and update accordingly. For better or worse, that is supposedly what was done, although I don't know how eliminating the habit altogether and living individually in apartments and just like any other woman except being a bachelor was what these foundresses or founders actually envisioned for the institutes they founded. Maybe these institutes should once again revisit their original founders plan and remain focused on the apostolates they embraced, such as education, nursing and helping the poor and doing that collectively from strong community life and wearing a visible sign of their consecration a habit.
But that is not the intent of this post. The intent of this post is for us to go back and reread Sacrosanctum Concilium without the adrenalin rush of changing everything that the commission that Pope Paul VI set up to "renew" the ancient Mass by recklessly abandoning the liturgical traditions of the Church and opening Pandora's Box for all kinds of silly experimentation and so-called inculturation and a "Protestant look, sound and feel" to our Liturgy to seduce or worse yet, trick Protestants into becoming Catholics by a liturgy that looks like something off of Martin Luther's playbook.
Let's face it, the Sacrosanctum Concilium was a very conservative document that was very liberally interpreted by Pope Paul VI and his commission to revise the Mass. It simply called for some updating, some vernacular and some noble simplicity. My contention is that the noble simplicity did not refer to the ordinary parish's low Mass or Sung High Mass, but to the "Solemn High Mass and the bishop's Pontifical Solemn High Mass and Papal liturgies. These were very complex and have some rather quirky things that are visually questionable, such as a hoard of priests and deacons sitting on the floor in front of the bishop's throne as he sits--that's just down right weird looking and casual looking to the modern eye.
So rather than go back entirely to the 1962 missal, we should celebrate the 2012 missal (2002 in Latin)with 1962 flair and rubrics. And this is what Cardinal Burke recently did at the London Oratory (John Nolan's parish) and what their Ordinary Form Liturgy looks like every Sunday evidently--this is true liturgical Renewal and doesn't turn everything upside down in terms of liturgical progress in the last 45 years.
This is how an Ordinary Form Mass should look, recovering that which is good from our 1962 Missal without going back to it altogether and thus being faithful to Sacrosanctum Concilium!
Press here for more pictures of Cardinal Burke celebrating the Ordinary Form Mass as it can and should be celebrated, recovering much of our glorious liturgical past with it but remaining faithful to Sacrosanctum Concilium!
We need to also recapture ember days and many other elements of the 1962 calendar which would be totally easy to do, not the least of which should be the recovery of the Octave of Pentecost!
Ember Days during Pentecost (From Rorate Caeli)
One of the most curious things concerning the traditional liturgical calendar, at least to this writer, is the placement of the summer Ember Days during the octave of Pentecost. Today is Ember Wednesday, a first class liturgy. But, if one follows the discipline of the Church in place during the 1962 calendar, it is also a day of fasting and partial abstinence (one full meal with meat and two small meatless meals).
The Ember Days this week -- Ember Wednesday, Ember Friday and Ember Saturday -- have a unique feature compared to the other nine Ember Days. All Masses this week are with red vestments. The Alleluia is said/sung. The Pentecost sequence is said/sung. It is still Pentecost. But three Ember Days are within the octave.
An interesting piece of trivia is that there was a time in the Church's history where this curious mix of feast and fast was severed. The Ember Days were observed as Masses during the octave of Pentecost like the 1962 calendar. But their corresponding fast and abstinence disciplines were delayed a few weeks. That ended when Pope Gregory VII in the 11th century treated the summer Ember Days like the other three seasons, with fasts on all three days, partial abstinence on Ember Wednesday and Ember Saturday and, of course, complete abstinence on Ember Friday.
This is all a moot point with the novus ordo, as Paul VI virtually eliminated the Ember Days and almost all fasting and abstinence in the 1960s.
But it remains a very interesting week for those who follow the traditional calendar and voluntarily follow the disciplines in place during the 1962 calendar, including Ember Day fasting and abstinence. A week of festive Pentecost Masses, yet with three days of penance during the octave, the way it was under pain of mortal sin from the late 11th century through the late 20th century.
Having said that, the purpose of the Ember Days outweighs everything else: priests. This week, during the Ember Days, we pray for many more.