Monday, August 20, 2012
DOES THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS HAVE TOO MANY OPTIONS? AND THE OPTION OF THE EXTRAORIDNARY FORM COMPLICATES THINGS TOO, DOESN'T IT?
One of the things that many others and I like about the Ordinary Form of the Mass it that there are options. Some, though, say there are too many options.
I like the option of the numerous Eucharistic Prayers that are available as well as the prefaces. The Memorial Acclamation has three options. There are about three options for the Priest's greeting at the beginning of Mass, though I usually only use "The Lord be with You," because the other options are a variation of the Trinitarian formula and thus seem redundant to me if I've already begun the Mass, "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." I tend to like the options for the Penitential Act as well. And then there are the multiple choices for the Dismissal of the Mass.
The area of the liturgy that has the greatest number of options in terms of Scripture, prayers, prefaces and music is that of Nuptial liturgies and Funeral liturgies. In fact since the Second Vatican Council, priests are encourage to allow couples preparing for marriage to choose from the rich variety that is available for the Nuptial Liturgy. The same is true for those who are bereaved. They can choose prayers, readings and music from an approved list.
In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, there are no choices for the Liturgy whatsoever, there is one option for Weddings and Funerals. This in a sense is the Extraordinary Form's "noble simplicity." Of course when things are in Latin exclusively, it is better to have no choices so that the missal the laity have can be followed without the laity having to figure out what choices have been made, especially at it regards the preface and Roman Canon.
But in the English Mass where people can hear what is going on and don't really need to follow in a Missal as with the Extraordinary Form, multiple choices do not present the same conundrum for the person in the pew in terms of knowing what is happening.
What do you think of all the options and if you were getting married or burying a loved one, would you like some say in what is chosen for the Nuptial and Funeral liturgies?