I originally posted this on December 31, 2011. I think it has a great deal to do with what is happening at St. Mary Parish in Platteville, Wisconsin where Bishop Morlino is about to place the parish under "interdict." I had about 25 comments to my post which you can read by pressing the sentence below or read the post which I have copied below. (The one I reprinted below has updated pictures though!)
JUST HOW MUCH AUTHORITY DOES A PRIEST HAVE TO DABBLE WITH CHANGES IN THE LITURGY
This is an Ordinary Form Mass at Saint Joseph Church:
It was until about 1974 or possibly later that St. Joseph Church in Augusta, my home parish where I grew up, changed the manner in which we received Holy Communion. Up until that time, we knelt at the altar railing and received on the tongue. The neighboring parish was standing, some were receiving in the hand and they had a limited number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion--not out of need at that time, since the chalice was not given to the people and there were enough priests on the staff there, but out of theology. This was a lay ministry that had to be exercised.
Then over night the pastor told us that "Vatican II" said we should stand for Holy Communion, because we are adults and it is more "adult" to stand. Some of us were puzzled by that statement, but it was a rationale and many still use it today. It wasn't until the 1980's that my home parish allowed the common chalice, although I distinctly remember intinction around 1975 and I liked it--but that was short-lived because liturgical theologians were saying it was like "dunking donuts" and shouldn't be done, only drinking from the chalice was liturgically correct.
But the point to what I am saying is that no one in our congregation asked to stand, asked for intinction or asked for the common chalice. No one asked for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (which was the most controversial after Holy Communion in the hand). It was imposed and this cause some negative reactions--it was top down and what Vatican II mandated.
As I read some of the comments on my blog, it seems that many who comment like this top down imposition but only if it fits their "theology and theological disposition."
Even though for the Ordinary Form of the Mass, the General Instruction and the rubrics of the Mass clearly favor the vernacular, facing the people, standing for Holy Communion and Communion under both kinds, there are some who would like all that ignored. And there are some priests who are willing to oblige. They impose their own ideology upon their flock. They celebrate Mass ad orientem in the Ordinary Form, they use a great deal of Latin and they do not allow the choice of receiving from the chalice. They do not allow altar girls (although this is allowed in liturgical law) and they do not allow EMC's although this is clearly allowed in the norms and by every bishop in the USA when there is a need. And I want to clearly say that when a priest following the norms of the liturgy that are allowed and thus makes the chalice available that sufficient chalices must be available and sufficient Holy Communion stations must be available to "facilitate" this rite of the Church. So if there is only one priest and you have the chalice and need four stations for the Host and six chalices for the laity--that is a need, not a luxury or a contrived use of EMC's.
But let's put the shoe on the other foot. We know that bishops are slow to correct actual liturgical abuses by priests and congregations in the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
Let say that I want to celebrate the EF low Mass in ten minutes and I race through it. Shouldn't I be able to impose that on you?
Female lectors at the EF Mass anyone?
And if I want lay preachers at Mass, like U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss "preaching" at our Cherry Blossom Festival Mass on "Pink" Sunday (Laetare) shouldn't I be able to do that even if he is Episcopalian?
How would those who want to follow the rubrics of the EF Mass feel if there were a group coming to the EF Mass who wanted to make a public act of piety and stand for Holy Communion although the norm for this Mass is to kneel? And to recive in the hand? Should they be accommodated as we are suppose to accommodate those who in the OF form of the Mass refuse the norm to stand and kneel? Just wondering?
And if I want to parade around in pink with my parochial vicar, just who says I can't?