Milan shows the Holy Father extraordinary support! Stunningly over a Million Faithful gather for this mornings outdoor Mass in the Reformed or Modern Divine Liturgy! The Holy Father shows how to celebrate the Modern Mass too! The Holy Father does not shun the modern or the ancient in this liturgy but clearly shows forth the two natures of the one Divine Liturgy, divine and human!
Please note that I have shifted my pontificating renaming of the two formS of the ONE MASS to the following:
ANCIENT MASS (AM) and REVISED ANCIENT MASS (RAM).
The Holy Father has allowed for the liberal celebration of the Ancient Mass (AM) but he himself has not modeled it and in my most humble opinion, I don't think we will see him model it. The Divine Liturgy of the Latin Rite has always had two natures, divine and human. The Ancient Mass shows in a very powerful way the divine nature of Christ but with such rigid uniformity, formality and robotic rubrical actions, it neglects almost entirely the human nature of Christ and of the liturgy and those who participate in the divine liturgy.
On the other hand, the Revised Ancient Mass (RAM), wrongly implemented, seems to neglect the divinity of Christ and appears often as only a Human Liturgy what Pope Benedict has called the enclosed circle of the horizontal and human aspect of liturgy emphasized to the neglect and denigration of the Divine or vertical.
The Divine Liturgy Revised Ancient Mass (AM) is meant to show forth both the divine and human aspect of the one Divine Liturgy but never to the denigration of either. The same is true of Jesus Christ, The Second Divine Person of the Most Holy Trinity but who has two natures when "incarnate of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary" and "born in time, divine and human, but conceived, born and died without sin--like us in all things but sin!"
As I type this post I am watching and listening to the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Pope Benedict (live) at an air field outside of Milan, Italy. Once again he models for the universal Church the proper implementation of the revised rites of the Ancient Mass. This is what we should watch and implement in every parish throughout the world. The congregation is multi-cultural and the liturgy is being celebrated as follows:
1. The Propers, Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons using the traditional chant of the Ambrosian Rite in Latin (stunningly beautiful and slightly different than Gregorian Chant). But other anthems/chants are sung too, some more modern in nature!
2. The Sign of the Cross, Greeting and Collect are in Italian (from the throne); the Liturgy of the Word in various vernaculars, the Gospel in Italian. The Credo sung in a combination of Latin Chant, the Universal Prayers in a variety of languages by lay readers, but the deacon chanting the "Let us pray to the Lord" in Latin with its Latin response.
3. The Offertory Procession is very human, warm and friendly and a number of large families with young children approach the Holy Father for a brief exchange of pleasantries and a blessing--this is totally lacking in the Ancient Mass and is rightly recovered in the Reformed or Modern Mass as is the Universal Prayer with its more human touch and visuals.
4. The Prayer over the Offerings is in Italian but the Preface Dialogue, Preface and Eucharistic Prayer and acclamations are in Latin. The Holy Father models the praying of Eucharistic Prayer II, the shortest, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, which of course is on Sunday. He does not use exclusively the Roman Canon which is a powerful sign to those who are attached only to the Roman Canon.
5. The altar is facing the people but with the traditional set-up, what is now called the "Benedictine Altar Arrangement" but really is the Ancient Mass Arrangement!
6. The Pater Noster is in Latin Chant but its embolism and doxology is in Italian.
7. The invitation to Holy Communion and the "Lord I am not worthy" is in Italian.
8. Holy Communion from the Holy Father is by way of a kneeler in front of the pope with the communicants kneeling and receiving exclusively on the tongue. Well over one million faithful are at this Mass!!!!!!!
9. The Prayer after Holy Communion is at the throne and in Italian, but the Blessing and dismissal in Italian.
10. After the Prayer after Holy Communion but before the Blessing and Dismissal another bishop recognizes all who are present with thunderous applause each time, another example of the human aspect of the one Divine Liturgy but in the appropriate place for it! Finally the Holy Father is once again recognized to thunderous, raucous cheering and applause and extended for several moments, the Holy Father visibly moved and smiling! This is a truly moving tribute under the circumstances of today's Church. The Holy Father gives a wonderful thank you to everyone prior to the blessing in addition to more acknowledgements.
THIS DIVINE LITURGY WITH BOTH ITS DIVINE AND HUMAN NATURES IS WHAT VATICAN II ENVISIONED FOR THE ANCIENT MASS, MEANING FORMALITY BUT IN A LESS RIGID OR ROBOTIC FORM, UNDERSTATED, NOBLE SIMPLICITY GESTURES AS THE HOLY FATHER MODELS MAGNIFICENTLY, A MIX OF VERNACULAR AND LATIN, THE LATIN BINDING THE MULTI-ETHNIC AND LINGUAL NATURE OF THE CONGREGATION OF WELL OVER A MILLION FAITHFUL. THE ECCLESIOLOGY OF THE EMERGING POST-VATICAN II REFORM OF THE REFORM WITHIN CONTINUITY WITH THE 2000 YEAR TRADITION OF THE CHURCH IS EVIDENT TOO WITH LAY LECTORS AND LAITY PRAYING THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER AND BRINGING FORTH THE OFFERINGS.
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT FOLKS. THE HOLY FATHER IS MODELING THE LITURGY THAT SHOULD BE AND MAYBE ONE DAY WILL BE IN EVERY PARISH IN THE WORLD--AND IT IS THE REFORMED MASS OR THE MODERN MASS.
I BELIEVE THE LONDON ORATORY ALREADY HAS IT, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN.
THERE IS A POWERFUL SIGN TO THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL IN THE LATIN RITE HERE. THE ANCIENT MASS IS PRECISELY THAT THE PATRIMONY OF THE CHURCH AND HELD IN REVERENCE BUT NOW THE EXTRAORDINARY (OUT OF THE ORDINARY) FORM OF THE ONE DIVINE LITURGY THAT IN NO WAY IS HINDERED BY THE HIERARCHY OF THE CHURCH. HOWEVER, THE NORMAL, ORDINARY AND USUAL FORM OF THE LITURGY IS WHAT THE HOLY FATHER MODELS AND CELEBRATES EXCLUSIVELY IN THE PUBLIC FORUM IS THE REVISED ANCIENT MASS (RAM).