Thursday, October 11, 2012


BOMBSHELL UPDATE! I finally got around to watching the Liturgy of the Word and you guessed it, a major restoration that I have not seen at a papal Mass, The Old Testament Lesson, the Responsorial Psalm and the Epistle were read/sung from the Epistle side of the altar but at a separate smaller lectern and the Gospel was read at the Gospel side of the Altar at a larger ambo! What does it mean? Is this yet another reform of the reform? Stay tuned.



Marc said...

Father, did you see the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship will be offering the Tridentine Mass at St. Peter's on November 3?

Many believed the Holy Father would offer this Mass, apparently, but this is still a pretty big deal.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would say that this is rather important even though it isn't the Holy Father celebrating it. The question remains, and I can't answer it, but just what is the nature of the EF Mass for the Pope and what is required in accoutrements that our current Holy Father is unwilling to eliminate or bring back and thus is unwilling to celebrate a Papal Mass according to the papal Masses of 1962? Would it suffice if he simply offered a low Mass and thus a simplified EF Papal Mass? I don't know, but I do know that the EF Mass for papal liturgies are out there and I still contend that the reform of the Mass in terms of noble simplicity was directed toward the Pontifical Solemn Sung Mass and ridding it of the accoutrements of the court and the monarchy. I really don't think the Holy Father wants any part of that today.

Marc said...

It's my understanding that the Papal Mass cannot be celebrated in the Usus Antiquor because many of the "personnel" needed are no longer offices in the Church. Perhaps the Holy Father will preside at a TLM...

I honestly don't see his doing so as quite important as you do. After all, he has issued the very important documents already. But, I know your perspective is different as a priest because his offering the Mass gives more credence to your doing so.

At any rate, I have found your sister parish over here in Alabama (my new home during the week). Benedictine altar arrangement, including candles on the altar, and the priests actually say the daily Mass while standing at the altar (only sitting during the readings and for the meditation after Communion). They actually say the Divine Praises and the St. Michael prayer after Mass also.

Father, you are not alone in implementing the Reform of the Reform. But they are somewhat behind because there is no TLM in this archdiocese (yet!).

Katharine B. said...

I expected to see the Holy Father at the altar doing the readings... Well, I'm more excited that the Missa De Angelis was used!

ytc said...



I've gone over this thousands of times on different blogs. The personnel required for Solemn Papal Mass can be replaced. The Papal Court no longer exists, but the Papal Household--which is actually BIGGER!--does, and any position in the Mass whose position in the Curia no longer exists, well, replace him! It's as simple as that.

If the Cardinal Deacon was usually the Prefect of ABC Dicastery and ABC Dicastery no longer exists, well, there are plenty of cardinals to choose from in the Vatican to replace him! It really is no big deal. And so on.

As far as the various guards are concerned, replace them with more Swiss Guards or Gendarmes.

I'm a genius.

John Nolan said...

First of all, it has to be remembered that public Papal Masses were rare before Vatican II and they did reflect the panoply of the Papal Court, a lot of which was swept away by Paul VI (although there is no reason why any of it could not be reinstated).

There will be such a Mass - though not in my lifetime - and the fact that diocesan bishops (including my own) are happy to offer Pontifical High Mass with all the accoutrements, including cappa magna, is indicative of a growing trend.

David L Alexander said...

"I've gone over this thousands of times on different blogs. The personnel required for Solemn Papal Mass can be replaced ... I'm a genius."

No, you're one of the mice who suggests putting a bell around the cat's neck, but doesn't have to volunteer to do it.

What you're suggesting could take a few years, and when you consider that it was all the Pope could do to get them to stop saying Sunday Mass at St Peter's in Italian, and that most of the people who last did a Papal Solemn Mass in the old form are dead (and believe someone who does this regularly, reading ceremonial books is a lot easier than making them happen), it is not surprising that such a liturgy has not occurred up to now.

Remember also that the Holy Father is 85 years old. The only guy in the universe who can be a celebrant for such a Mass would have a hard enough time learning sufficient details proper to only this type of Traditional Mass if he were younger.

If you don't believe me, try being the MC to a priest of that age at a parish Mass. Then get back to me.

David L Alexander said...

"I expected to see the Holy Father at the altar doing the readings..."

You should not. Concerning the "ordinary form" of the Roman Mass, and this present development notwithstanding ...

• It was the intention of Vatican II's Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, that the "liturgy of the word" should be given new emphasis, and that in an addition to an expansion of readings made available, that they be proclaimed from a single "table of the word," as it says. A single lectern (ambo, to use the ancient term, and the one in the GIRM) is the proper location for all readings.

• Regarding the readings themselves, it is the stated preference in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, that the readings before the Gospel be done by a competent layman, preferably one installed in the Ministry of Lector, or in his absence, a competent non-installed layman, or where particular law permits, a competent laywoman.

• By the same token, the reading of the Gospel is most properly done by the deacon, or in his absence, a concelebrating priest, or the celebrant himself. It is never proclaimed at the Mass by a member of the laity.

As to why these developments occurred, an explanation from the source would be more helpful than mere speculation. As the Holy Father holds supreme executive, legislative, and judicial power over the Church, he is free to dispense himself in matters of liturgical discipline, although prudence dictates that he do so judiciously. That "custom is the best interpreter of the law" would be the guide to any revival of certain ceremonial details. (An example is the use of candles in the so-called "Benedictine arrangement.")

Katharine B. said...

Yeah, well, whether it's legal or not it's still a shame (in my opinion) to see laymen doing the readings when there were so many priests, bishops and even the Holy Father himself there who I would have rather heard it from!
It really seems to be a protestant innovation... why not let the guy with holy orders read? To me it would be more powerful, and make more sense seeing as how the epistles etc. themselves were not written by laymen!

David L Alexander said...

"Yeah, well, whether it's legal or not it's still a shame (in my opinion) to see laymen doing the readings ..."

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

In the traditional observance, the privilege of proclaiming the readings before the Gospel was actually conferred on a cleric of minor orders, namely the minor order of Lector. This was rarely done if at all in a parish setting, as the regular presence of seminarians with the Order would not be available, which is why it would not occur even to most traditional Catholics, not only that this would be proper, but that its propriety has a long history. Even in the Solemn Mass, the Epistle was correctly proclaimed by the Subdeacon, who, while of a major order in the Latin church, had not yet received Holy Orders.