Saturday, August 11, 2012
MY LITURIGCAL PRAISES, RANTS AND INSECURITIES!
FIRST MY PRAISES FOR THE NEW LITURGICAL MOVEMENT:
Yes, we are in a "New Liturgical Movement" that rivals anything that was fomenting in the 1950's! Many priests and laity are watching Pope Benedict's example when it comes to the celebration of the Mass and what he has modeled in the "new liturgical movement" is more widely practiced by rank and file parishes than anything that was done by experimentation by progressive liturgists in the 1950's. Let me just name a few things:
1. The Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons are now being chanted in many places, either replacing hymns chosen from hymnals or in addition to these. Chant is making its way back into the Liturgy either in English or Latin.
2. The Benedictine Altar Arrangement is finding its way into many parishes and some parishes are offering the Ordinary Form of the Mass ad orientem
3. The Extraordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated in many more places than anyone in the 1980's would have thought! For both priests and parishioners, the influence of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is making their participation in the Ordinary Form more solemn and thoughtful.
4. Churches that suffered from the iconoclasm of the 1970's either in renovations or new construction are being retrofitted in a more traditional manner.
5. Attention to detail when it comes to the Liturgy seems to be taking hold amongst many priests and parishes and an expectation for beauty rather than banality in church decorations and vestments as well as language and liturgical music.
NOW FOR MY RANTS AND INSECURITIES:
1. What the pope is modeling is great but nothing has been legislated. We need the Holy Father to legislate the altar arrangement he uses or a modification of it and we need for him to state explicitly that ad orientem is the preference and facing the people but with the Benedictine Altar arrangement is the option! If the next pope models the 1970's look, what then?
2. If kneeling for Holy Communion promotes adoration and respect for Christ received under sacramental signs, then the Holy Father should legislate it for the entire Latin Rite and remove any indults given for Holy Communion standing (except in case of necessity) and receiving in the hand! When a priest allows people to kneel or to stand (making the choice theirs and providing the means by which parishioners can kneel if they wish) this could be seen as divisive by others in the diocese and in high places, like the bishop. Priests should not be placed in this position when following what the Holy Father models!
3. We need to be told just exactly what it means and who does it in terms of the "mutual enrichment" of the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form. What does that mean explicitly? Who decides? Parishes? The bishop? the Pope?
This is minor, but we know that the current rubrics of the Ordinary Form have no rubrics for the use of the pall for the chalice during Mass. I have instituted the rubrics from the EF Mass in the OF Masses I celebrate. Is that kosher?
I recognize the pall issue is minor, but what about adding the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar" as a prelude to the Mass? Then as the Introit is sung, reverence the altar and go to the chair and begin the Mass as usual for an Ordinary Form Mass and use the "non-confiteor" penitential act option? Technically, adding the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar" as I describe would be a prelude and separate from the Mass, a kind of devotion, like praying the Holy Rosary prior to the beginning of Mass which is done in many places. What about that?
Or in the Extraordinary Form, why not read the lectionary of the Extraordinary Form or in a sung Mass, chant it in English? What's the big deal with that? In fact this is allowed in the Low Mass already and should certainly be extended to the Sung Mass. In fact, in the spirit of allowing for the English readings in the Low EF Mass, certainly the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons, not to mention the Last Gospel could all be read in English as all of these are Scripture! Why not have the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar in English?
My praises, rants and insecurities should be addressed by the authorities and liturgical police!