Monday, May 14, 2012


Yes, Virginia, this is an Ordinary Form Mass and recently celebrated!

From the United Kingdom's Tablet:

Liturgy head calls for ‘more reverence'
14 May 2012

A leading liturgist has made the case for priests to celebrate Mass facing east and for communicants to kneel when they receive communion.

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth, executive director of ICEL (the International Commission on English in the Liturgy), said that reviving both practices would assist in the "widespread cultivation of a dignified and reverent liturgy".

Speaking at St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton, on 1 May, he listed criticisms of the liturgical reform following the Second Vatican Council claiming that the "casual disregard in the manner, distribution and appropriate reception of Holy Communion" had resulted in a lessening in the sense of its importance.

Mgr Wadsworth, a former Latin teacher, also encouraged a "recovery of the Latin tradition of the Roman Rite".

My comment: Well, Duh! Am I clairvoyant or not? The fact that the Holy Father does it and this liturgist suggests it tells us how far we have come. This would have been unheard of even 8 years ago. Is a mandate coming, I am not clairvoyant, but I would bet on it if I were a betting man which I am not!


Mark said...

Where is the mandate? I guarantee this will not happen in any significant number of parishes without one.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A mandate or at least something like Sumorum Pontificum would greatly assist pastors in implementing these two things. The bishop is the primary liturgist of the diocese. Some bishops don't encourage these things but they allow them and make it known that they allow it but would encourage proper catechesis and maybe a trial balloon at one Mass. Then only parish that I know of that does it consistently (I'm not sure about kneeling for Holy Communion) is St. Mary's in Greenville, SC.

Joseph Johnson said...

Once there is a mandate of some sort, the big task will be to catechise (re-educate) the majority of laity who still think that these two things are "pre-Vatican II practices" and that Vatican II mandated versus populum Masses and Communion in the hand while standing (which it does not).
Once again, the recent experience in Wisconsin tells us that there is still a lot of catechesis needed!

formeratl said...

St. Mary's in Greenville did not have room to install an altar rail when the church was renovated. However, a significant number of communicants do kneel on the floor when receiving and all of the altar servers receive kneeling. In addition, Fr. Newman sets up a prie dieu for First Communion each year and all first communicants receive by intinction on the tongue while kneeling.

Interestingly enough, Prince of Peace parish which is in the Greenville suburb, Taylors, has all Masses celebrated ad orientem and all receive at the altar rail. Of course, the pastor cannot force anyone to kneel to receive but the vast majority do. Prince of Peace also celebrates the EF every Sunday at noon and has a daily EF Mass in addition to the OF.

We are truly blessed in Greenville!!

ytc said...

Joseph, frankly I think the Pope has realized in his infinite Papal wisdom that it is simply a better approach for this current middle-aged clerical and lay population to die, these last of the children of Vatican II. It's almost comical, and then secondly morbid, but I truly believe this is his main approach.


I hope St Mary's finds a solution so that an altar rail may be installed.

And I did not realize that all Masses at Prince of Peace are ad orientem! How truly wonderful! Father Smith is a fantastic priest and I want to call him to thank him for all he's done in what feels like such a liturgically apathetic diocese as ours. I live in Sumter, which is served by nice priests (Redemptorists), but the liturgy frankly is truly amateurish and lamentable. How I wish I lived closer to Greenville to immerse myself in such fantastic parishes.

John Nolan said...

What was the reaction of the English and Welsh bishops to the Holy Father's preference for Communion kneeling and on the tongue? They rushed to get a recognitio that the 'liturgical Norm' for reception was to be standing and in the hand, for insertion into the GIRM, something that was not deemed necessary in the 35 years since the practice was authorized. At the same time a directive was issued forbidding the re-erection of altar rails where they had been removed.

In the same year (2011) their Lordships decided to commemorate the first anniversary of the Pope's state visit by reinstating Friday abstinence, which had been gaily abandoned in the 1960s.

Earlier that year they issued a pastoral letter on the liturgy in advance of the new translation which appeared to endorse Benedict's ROTR and was pretty astonishing considering its provenance. Yet they know full well that the standard of liturgy and music in the vast majority of English parishes is utterly abysmal, and show not the slightest inclination to do anything about it at diocesan level.

Joseph Johnson said...

Can you tell us more about the attitude or position of the bishop whose jurisdiction includes Greenville and how the good things which are going on there came to be?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I might be wrong, but I think St. Mary's might have gone ad orientem during the time there was no bishop in Charleston (maybe that's the way to get things done? :)
But I have no idea what the current bishop prefers. Evidently he allows.

ytc said...

Joseph Johnson, I am in the Diocese of Charleston, and please do not get the feeling that St. Marys and Prince of Peace are the norm. They are not, unfortunately.

And I don't even know much about my own bishop.

Henry said...

The OF Mass is celebrated in more than a few handfuls of parishes across the U.S., in addition to famous churches like St. John Cantius (Chicago), Our Savior (New York), Assumption (Detroit), and St. Agnes (St. Paul)--which never turned away from Our Lord after Vatican II--and in addition to oratories and shrines like Mother Angelica's in Alabama.

Henry said...

In the older form of the ordination, the priest is ordained to serve not merely as an assistant to the bishop, but as a mediator in persona Christi between God and man, and in two distinct and explicit rites was given the separate powers to (1) offer sacrifice for sins and (2) to forgive sins. It's my impression that before Vatican II a bishop might have micromanaged his priests in some ways, but would not have thought to interpose himself between priest and God at the altar. I wonder whether the concept of bishop as "chief liturgist" of the diocese has not contributed greatly to the disintegration of the liturgy in recent decades. Surely, it is now an impediment to the reform of the reform--in that many faithful young "priests of the restoration" feel impeded by lack of episcopal encouragement to follow papal advice and example.

ytc said...

I would also like to point out that His Eminence, Cardinal Burke of the Roman Rota will be celebrating a ROTR OF Mass at the Brompton Oratory later this month, complete with CAPPA MAGNA!

HEm regularly celebrates the EF but wants to make a statement about the OF with this upcoming Mass.

Henry said...

@ 9:46 am . . . is celebrated ad orientem in more . . .

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

For some reason the CAPPA really makes many Catholics, particularly commenters at a blog I read, apoplectic, another good side effect of it.

ytc said...

Because liberal Catholics like ex-priest, 1970s-ex-nun-marrying Eugene Cullen Kennedy of the Fishwrap HATE silk and lace!! ESPECIALLY YARDS AND YARDS of WATERED SILK and ESPECIALLY if the cappa has the WINTER ERMINE HOOD!! Liberal Catholics hate Catholic triumphalism and I think this is because they plainly hate Catholicism.

The cappa magna isn't even a liturgical vestment, but is a glorified accessory for choir dress, which the bishop or cardinal simply processes and recesses in.

And do you know why the cappa really blood-curdlingly, coffee-spittingly, hemorrhoid-inducingly INFURIATES liberal Catholics like those on PrayTell?? Because it is only used in liturgies which are necessarily and surely 100% beautiful, faithful, and only by cardinals and bishops who are brave enough to not put up with liberal Catholicism and emphatically say so from the throne or ambo (erm, eh, excuse me, "altar of God's Word").

So dress the prelates in silken garments with 15 foot trains!

Pater Ignotus said...

The "triumphalism" represented by the cappa magna is secular. It is a garment copied from worldly princes and used to impress worldly princes. It is a symbol of worldly power that the Church's "princes" once had but which is now, thank goodness, gone.

I don't think people are really "infuriated" by the use of the cappa. I'm not. I just find it an example of silliness.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But why pick on the cappa, when all the bishop regalia today in the post Vatican II Church, liturgical and otherwise comes from that same princely source?

Henry said...

I would suggest that the cappa magna illustrates that the original source of a symbol is not always pertinent to its contemporary interpretation.

At the present time, the cappa magna of the bishop is surely seen by most as a symbol of a largely lost triumphalism in the Church. And, in most cases, whether they approve or disapprove of the cappa magna is determined by whether they do or not think the Church should recapture an aspect of this triumphalism.

rcg said...

Why do we venerate an instrument of torture? It's pretty macabre and a symbol of oppression left on a hill for the subjugated people to see and tremble. Yet it has been cleansed and elevated. What else to emperors and kings have we can subsume for the glory of Goodness? If I am going to have an earthly prince and out fit him with the finest then he would be one who, wearing that finery for all to see, kneels with us in humble supplication to the King of the Universe. For that brief moment in time, he is not one of us, but our shepherd who stands identifiable for us to follow. This is our shepherd, who stands in for Christ, our God, for all to see.

Or we could have him wear an ensemble designed by Peter Max.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry and RCG, good points all! In terms of triumphalism, we have so avoided any hint of it in carrying out what many wrongly perceived to be the desires of the Council in terms of how the Mass today is celebrated, that triumphalism became a dirty word and anything associated with it. We might as well chuck the Resurrection and dread the Second Coming too! Such triumphalism has no place in the liturgy, but the ordinary and mundane does, so let's celebrate "blah."

Joseph Johnson said...

Check out the recent Catholic News Service interview with Bishop Fellay, Superior of the SSPX, on Rorate Caeli Blog!

ytc said...

I'd love if the Church recaptured secular triumphalism. Those are the times in which the Church's cultural markers like art, architecture and music flourish and consequently, when the faith seems to be doing the best.

Our Pope is a temporal sovereign. His power is greatly reduced as it was stolen, but he is still a king. Of course no such things belong in the liturgy--and mind you, the cappa, tiara, etc were never used in the liturgy--but to do away with them in the name of some stupid garbage psychobabble theology is just dumb. It says, "What we did back then is wrong." Which is what happened after Vatican II.

Outward symbols might not mean much to a clergy who understand the deeper things of the faith itself and who might overlook outward signs, but they mean a lot and make a strong message towards lay people and the secular world.

So in one sense, in principle, outward signs might not be crucial to the faith itself. But in practice, because of the human condition, they are absolutely critical to the identity and in turn the survival of the faith. No one wants to be part of a religion that has no perceived outward identity. Sign value is very important.

And we can't just randomly press the restart button every 1000 years or so. To the outward world, that discredits the Church because it says image isn't important, when to the secular world image is everything. Image is not crucial to the faith but it is crucial to the secular world's UNDERSTANDING of the faith. There MUST be a 100% consistency in the traditional Catholic image, otherwise, the secular world smells some something stinky...

ytc said...

I posit that if the Church is doing what it is supposed to be doing, then the Church will naturally gain a sense of triumphalism.

This sort of thing goes into anthropology and human nature. The Church is a pretty big deal. And so over time, as its power and influence increases, its outward image becomes more triumphalistic and almost royal in a sense. This is necessarily the case.

It might be preferable if we all walked around in rags and beat up sandals, if for no reason except for penance. But it is impossible to spread the faith and exert influence over the world, and thus convert people, if we do so. We need a respectable and triumphalistic image, and this image grows naturally, IF we do what we are supposed to be doing.

Many people often say, "But these garments and outward symbols are just part of the Church's location in Europe and are just symbols of its association with royalty." And I say, so what?

If Peter went to China instead of Rome, the SAME thing would have happened, but with a more Asian rather than European flavor. Prelates would be wearing shih tzu fur and modified kimonos instead of ermine and cassocks, but my point is that it is basically the same principle that drives this. If the Church is doing what it is supposed to do, a natural by-product will be a very triumphalistic and royal image.

ytc said...

And I think an obvious proof of this is how our current Pontiff dresses. Do you think he has re-royalized his image because he's pompous and a twat?

No! He dresses the way he dresses and exudes the image he exudes because he knows the value of signs and a consistent image over time! This sort of thing is CRUCIAL to our identity as Catholics and thus our faith.

Again, while on a principled level image doesn't matter, a consistent triumphalistic image is CRUCIAL in practice. And it naturally flows from the Church doing what it is supposed to be doing.

Sorry for the triple comment! Fin.

John Nolan said...

The first time I ever saw a cappa magna was at the Oratory centenary Mass in 1984 which was celebrated by Fr Michael Napier and at which Cardinal Basil Hume presided. The cappa was worn by the then Apostolic pro-Nuncio, Archbishop Bruno Heim, who was in choir and during the Canon knelt at a prie-dieu in the middle of the sanctuary. The Mass setting was Beethoven in C (with orchestra) and the front rows were occupied by the ambassadors of the Catholic countries of Europe in full diplomatic fig. And this was Novus Ordo!

You will never get Ignotus or the boneheads at PrayTell (which automatically deletes my comments, which I take as a compliment) to see that at a Pontifical High Mass the bishop is divested of the cappa, thus symbolically putting aside his worldly pomp, and then is vested as a subdeacon, deacon and priest. But anything smacking of symbolism, tradition, mystery or awe is anathema to the 'liberals'. What sad little lives they must lead!