Watch this video only posted yesterday, June 15th and then read my comments below it and make your own! At the end of the video Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB speaks of the possibility of certain “restorations” in future revisions of Pope Paul VI's Mass. Given his position in Rome, is he reflecting the thinking of the Holy Father and the Congregation for Divine Worship? Is he hinting or revealing, in a rather dramatic way,what he knows is in the works for the reform of the reformed Mass? And does he prove that I am clairvoyant about these things? This Benedictine thinks like me; I like this OSB! :)
Click twice on this video to go to full screen:
My comments: Father Jeremy Driscoll, OSB makes his comments on this very well produced video under the following five subtitles:
1) A Loss of the Sacred
2) Mass Facing the People
3) Sacrifice or Supper
4) Active Participation
5) Criticism and the Reform
Celebrating the legitimate option of the Tridentine Mass (as we do at St. Joseph Church in Macon) gives priests and communities an opportunity in our current day to critique the reform of this Mass which now is the Ordinary Form, and also the ability to critique the 1962 missal afresh. Fr. Driscoll hits the nail on the head, but now we don’t need him telling us, for now we, the community, can see for ourselves if the reform accomplished what was intended as highlighted by others, ”…the voices of the Bishops from all across the world, as expressed in the vota, and their comments on the schema that became SC, asking for a liturgy that could speak to the people, that could draw them even more into the celebration of the mysteries of the faith.”
Fr. Driscoll highlights much of Cardinal Ratzinger’s critique of the reform having been turned into an “enclosed circle, too horizontal” that active participation has been turned into a babble of words and activities, that some of what was good in the unreformed Mass should not have been tossed out and that the implementers of the reformed Mass attempt to do too much to please superficial emotional needs rather than the deepest spiritual needs of communities.
Who would have thought ten years ago that someone of his liturgical background would make a strong case for ad orientem without denigrating completely facing the people. Also, the Latin/vernacular mix seems to be back on the table.
Finally, the video itself shows two images as Fr. Driscoll states that certain things might be recovered from the Tridentine Mass apart from ad orientem, although Fr. Driscoll doesn’t name them, but what is shown are the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and the Offertory Prayers.
Finally, my own perspective, which I humbly submit once again, is simply offer the Tridentine Order of Mass (preferably the 1965 missal’s version and rubrics) as an option for the current reformed missal in Latin or the vernacular. Nothing else would need to change in terms of lectionary and calendar. Of course with this option, I suspect only the Roman Canon would be used or simply keep the reform of additional canons and prayed audibly as an option. The current order would also remain as a normative option. Now isn’t that simple? Of course, for those who celebrate it, the 1962 Missal would still be the Extraordinary Form.
There are two things that I have recovered here at St. Joseph Church:
1. The chanting of the Introit and the Offertory and Communion Antiphons which were recovered about three years ago now, but we still sing a Processional Hymn and additional anthems or hymns at the Offertory and Communion.
2. On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord, I implemented the option of communicants choosing to kneel to receive Holy Communion. During the summer months at our 4:30 PM anticipated Mass on Saturday and our 7:45 AM and 5:00 PM Sunday Masses, due to the large number of Extraordinary Ministers away on vacation, I've implemented "intinction" as an option which means we only need two to three Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion rather than eight or nine. Communicants still have the option to receive on the hand either standing or kneeling even when intinction is provided, they simply place their hands in the throne fashion which indicates to the minister of Holy Communion to give them an "unintincted" Host.
What Father Driscoll says about the Liturgy as God's "impressing" upon the assembly God's spiritual formation of them by His grace and actions in the Liturgy rather than the assembly expressing who they are at a particular cultural moment in their lives is very important to make distinctions. I wonder what kneeling or standing for Holy Communion impresses upon those who receive this way and those who witness it?
This video below is a bit too strident and negative about the reforms compared to how Fr. Driscoll describes them above. But in terms of how modern liturgists and enclosed communities manipulated the reform of the Mass, which Pope Paul VI never envisioned or encouraged, creates this sort of reaction which has sympathy in not just few places. Modern liturgists are responsible for this sort of push back against the Mass of Paul VI, but Paul VI's Mass can be celebrated reverently and the 1962 missal could be celebrated the way that some of these abberations are celebrated, nothing would stop a rebellious community from doing this to the 1962 missal, so don't forget that: