Monday, December 10, 2012

A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR THE REFORM OF THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS IN AN EXTRAORDINARY FORM SORT OF WAY BUT STILL RESPECTING VATICAN II AND SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM

UPDATED 12/12, I'VE TWEAKED THE INTRODUCTORY RITE AND COMMUNION RITE AND PLACED THE KISS OF PEACE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE UNIVERSAL PRAYERS AND PRIOR TO THE OFFERTORY COLLECTION!



I firmly believe that we cannot and will not undo the last 50 years of the post-Vatican II experience. God will use it as He wills.

So, SC stated that we should keep Latin but have some vernacular, that there should be noble simplicity and that there should be actual participation which in part means that the laity take their vocal parts in some sections of the Mass once the domain of choirs, scholas and altar servers.

One to the things that I like about the Ordinary Form of the Mass and Vatican II is that we see all the baptized as a priestly people, meaning that we all worship God, although the Sacramental Priesthood has a function that is not accorded to the general priesthood of all the baptized. That distinction must be kept separate and dignified. But with that said, we should see the laity joining with the ordained priest who is a sacramental sign of Jesus Christ the Bridegroom of the Church and the High Priest. So the laity should take their parts and role as seriously and pro-actively as the ordained priest does. They should not be just passive spectators of what goes on beyond the altar railing if there is one in your church.

So, this is my revision of the Mass in the Ordinary Form.

I'm keeping the 2012 English version of the Roman Missal and only modifying the calendar as the Anglican Ordinariate has already done. So everything that is in the 2012 Roman Missal remains. The only change I would make is that the Introit be developed as in the Extraordinary Form with refrain, verse and Glory be (no Gloria be for Requiems). The Offertory Antiphon is reinserted in the Missal.

The major change is to the Order of the Mass. It reverts to the 1965 Order of Mass which is a slight modification of the 1962 missal.

I keep all the Eucharistic prayers and the only modification I make for any of them which are still to be spoken or chanted aloud is that there is a double genuflection after the consecration of both the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood. Also, I call for the profound bow on the altar for the consecrations.

I keep the Ordinary Form's Offertory prayers over the bread and wine, but reinsert some of the 1965 prayers at this point including the prayer to the Holy Trinity.

Of course the Mass is celebrated Ad Orientem. This version remains in English:

I. The procession either simple or solemn to the altar may be accompanied by instrumental music or a hymn. Both the Asperges or the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are to be described as the "Penitential Prelude to the Mass."

II. THE ASPERGES

(The "Asperges" or sprinkling of holy water takes place before the principal Mass on Sundays and replaces the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar.)

Antiphon: Sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be purified; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Ps. 50, 3) Have mercy upon me, O God, in Your goodness. V. Glory be, etc. - Sprinkle me, etc.

(During Passion Time, the "Glory Be" is omitted. During Paschaltime, substitute the following antiphon:)

Antiphon: I saw water coming forth from the temple, from the right side, alleluia: and all those were saved to whom that water came, and they shall say: alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 117, 1) Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. V. Glory be, etc. - I saw, etc.

P: Show us, O Lord, Your mercy. (P.T. Alleluia.)

C: And grant us Your salvation. (P.T. Alleluia.)

P: O Lord, hear my prayer.

C: And let my cry come to You.

P: The Lord be with you.

S: And with your spirit.

P: Let us pray.

Hear us, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God; and graciously send Your Holy Angel from heaven to watch over, to cherish, to protect, to abide with, and to defend all who dwell in this house. Through Christ our Lord.

S: Amen.

(Following the Asperges, the priest changes to chasuble, the introit is sung and the priest approaches the altar as he would after the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, although omitted when the Asperges is sung)

II. If the Asperges is omitted, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar spoken aloud in either a sung or spoken Masses after the procession and any music that accompanies the procession.

P: In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I will go to the altar of God.

Congregation: To God Who gives joy to my youth.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

C: Who made heaven and earth.

(My comment: I have both the priest and congregation saying the confiteor together rather than separately, but I have a double "absolution" as I think it is important for the congregation to offer the priest an absolution which the EF Mass has and is truly cool!)

Priest and Congregation together:

I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do, (and striking their breast, they say:) though my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

P: May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting.

C: Amen

C: May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life every lasting.

P: Amen.

P: May the Almighty and Merciful Lord grant us pardon, + absolution, and remission of our sins.

C: Amen.

P: O God, You will give us life again.

C: And Your people will rejoice in You.

P: Show us, O Lord, Your kindness.

C: And grant us Your salvation.

P: O Lord, hear my prayer.

C: And let my cry come to You.

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

P: Let us pray.

(Going up to the altar, he prays silently:)

Take away from us our sins, O Lord, we beseech You, that we may enter with pure minds into the Holy of Holies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Kissing the altar, he prays silently:)

We beseech You, O Lord, by the merits of Your Saints whose relics lie here, and of all the Saints: deign in your mercy to pardon me all my sins. Amen.

The Mass begins after the Penitential Prelude in either or its forms:

INTROIT

(In the sung Mass, the Introit begins as soon as the priest approaches the altar during his silent prayers, reverences it and incenses it. In spoken Masses, the Introit is spoken by all as soon as the priest kisses the altar and then goes to the Epistle side for it. The entire Mass is prayed at the altar as in the EF Mass, with the Epistle and Gospel side designations. After the Introit, either sung or spoken the priest goes to the center of the altar for the Kyrie, either sung or spoken.)

KYRIE (nine-fold)

GLORIA

COLLECT

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

Through Christ our Lord.

C: Amen

LITURGY OF THE WORD AS IS IN THE ORDINARY FORM

(Prior to the Gospel the Priest says for himself or to the deacon quietly:)

Cleanse my heart and my lips, O Almighty God, Who cleansed the lips of the Prophet Isaiah with a burning coal. In Your gracious mercy deign so to purify me that I may worthily proclaim Your holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Lord, grant Your blessing. The Lord be in my heart and on my lips, that I may worthily and fittingly proclaim His holy Gospel. Amen.

CREDO

UNIVERSAL PRAYER

THE KISS OF PEACE

P: The peace of the Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

Deacon or Priest: In a holy and dignified way, let us offer each other the kiss of peace.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST:

Offertory Procession of offerings

Preparation Prayers

P: (Over the Bread: Blessed are you...(as currently in the OF Mass)

C: Blessed be God forever. (If prayer is said aloud, otherwise the priest prays his parts quietly).

Blessing and pouring of water said quietly by priest:

O God, Who established the nature of man in wondrous dignity, and still more admirably restored it, grant that through the mystery of this water and wine, we may be partakers of His Divinity, Who has condescended to become partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

P: (Over the wine: Bless are you...)

C: Blessed be God forever.

Washing of Hands, said quietly by the priest:

I wash my hands in innocence, and I go around Your altar, O Lord, giving voice to my thanks, and recounting all Your wondrous deeds. O Lord, I love the house in which You dwell, the tenting-place of Your glory. Gather not my soul with those of sinners, nor with men of blood my life. On their hands are crimes, and their right hands are full of bribes. But I walk in integrity; redeem me, and have pity on me. My foot stands on level ground; in the assemblies I will bless You, O Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer to the Holy Trinity, prayed quietly by priest:

Accept, Most Holy Trinity, this offering which we are making to You in remembrance of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, our Lord; and in honor of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of these, and of all the Saints; that it may add to their honor and aid our salvation; and may they deign to intercede in heaven for us who honor their memory here on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

ORATE FRATRES

Prayer over the Offerings

Preface Dialogue and Preface

Sanctus

Eucharist Prayer (any contained currently in the Ordinary Form Missal. The only rubrical change is that there are double genuflections at both consecrations and that the priest genuflects each time the pall is removed from the consecrated Precious Blood, with specific rubrics for the pall).

Mystery of Faith

Great Amen

RITE OF HOLY COMMUNION

The Lord's Prayer (all)

Our Father, Who art in heaven, * hallowed be Thy name; * Thy kingdom come; * Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. * Give us this day our daily bread; * and forgive us our trespasses * as we forgive those who trespass against us; * and lead us not into temptation, * but deliver us from evil.

P: Deliver us, we beg You, O Lord, from every evil, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of the Blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, of Andrew, and all the Saints, in Your mercy grant peace in our days, that by Your compassionate aid we may be ever free from sin and sheltered from all turmoil. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

C: Amen.

P: May the peace of the Lord be always with you.

C: And with your spirit.

(The priest puts a small particle into the chalice, saying:)

May this mingling and consecration of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ help us who receive it to life everlasting. Amen.

Agnus Dei (all)

PRIEST'S PRAYERS BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION RECITED DURING THE AGNUS DEI WHEN SUNG

KNEEL

(Then inclining toward the altar, priest says silently:)

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you,” regard not my sins but the faith of Your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your Will: Who live and reign, God, forever and ever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who, by the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, have by Your death given life to the world, deliver me by this Your Most Sacred Body and Blood from all my sins and from every evil. Make me always cling to Your commandments, and never permit me to be separated from You. Who with the same God the Father and the Holy Spirit, live and reign, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let not the partaking of Your Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I, though unworthy, presume to receive, turn to my judgment and condemnation; but through Your goodness, may it become a safeguard and an effective remedy, both of soul and body. You Who live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

THE COMMUNION RITE MORE CLOSELY ALIGNED TO THE CURRENT ORDINARY FORM'S

(Holding up a Sacred Host OVER THE CHALICE AND FACING THE CONGREGATION, the priest says:)

P: Behold the Lamb of God, * behold Him Who takes away the sins of the world, Blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb.

P&C: (three times): Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. * Speak but the word and my soul will be healed.

(The priest turns back to the altar to receive Holy Communion himself first:)

Priest: I will take the Bread of heaven, and call upon the name of the Lord.

May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.

(The priest reverently consumes the Sacred Host.)

What return shall I make to the Lord for all He has given me? I will take the Chalice of salvation, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. Praising I will call upon the Lord and I shall be saved from my enemies.

May the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.

(The priest reverently consumes the Precious Blood.)

Communion antiphon and Hymns begin as soon as the priest turns back to the altar to receive.

(The Communicants receive at the altar railing kneeling and by way of intinction:)

P/EMC: The Body of Christ and Blood of Christ.

Communicant: Amen.

(The priest purifies chalice with wine, saying:)

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what is given to us in time, be our healing for eternity.

(He purifies his fingers with wine and water, saying:)

May Your Body, O Lord, which I have eaten, and Your Blood which I have drunk, cleave to my very soul, and grant that no trace of sin be found in me, whom these pure and holy mysteries have renewed. You who live and reign, forever and ever. Amen.

THE PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

STAND

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

P: Let us pray.

…forever and ever.

C: Amen.

THE BLESSING

KNEEL

(The priest remaining at the Epistle side of the altar, following the Post-Communion Prayer, turns to the congregation for the blessing, either solemn or simple.)

P: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen.

The priest turns back to the altar, goes to its center and prays silently the placeat:

May the tribute of my worship be pleasing to You, Most Holy Trinity, and grant that the sacrifice which I, all unworthy, have offered in the presence of Your Majesty, may be acceptable to You, and through Your mercy obtain forgiveness for me and all for whom I have offered it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(After the Placeat, the priest kisses the altar, turns to the congregation at the center of the altar:)

THE DISMISSAL

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

Deacon (or Priest): Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life.

C: Thanks be to God.

Recessional Hymn









59 comments:

Andy Milam said...

So, I'm confused about something, Father. You say, "So, SC stated that we should keep Latin but have some vernacular..."

But then you turn around and say, "I'm keeping the 2012 English version of the Roman Missal and only modifying the calendar as the Anglican Ordinariate has already done. So everything that is in the 2012 Roman Missal remains. The only change I would make is that the Introit be developed as in the Extraordinary Form with refrain, verse and Glory be (no Gloria be for Requiems). The Offertory Antiphon is reinserted in the Missal."

This tells me, Father, that you're really not all that interested in keeping the Latin. Oh sure, you'll throw it a bone in a hymn or so (not really though, right), but by and large, you're not REALLY in favor of doing what Sacrosanctum Concilium REALLY wanted.

If you were, you'd agree that the Mass should stay in the Latin, with the exception of the Readings and that the vernacular should REALLY extend to the other liturgical actions. THAT is what Sacrosanctum Concilium REALLY said.

The rest of this post is cursory and unnecessary until that VERY IMPORTANT point is addressed.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think the restoration of Latin in the current Ordinary Form, without any of the revisions that I suggest, would be what Pope Benedict is doing at Masses outside of the Vatican. I think that when everything else is in the vernacular, he insists that the Preface dialogue and preface along with the Eucharistic Prayer be in Latin.
My personal preference would be only the quiet prayers of the priest and anything that is unchanging, for example the greetings, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei.
In my reform, I maintain all the Eucharistic prayers, so I would prefer these in the vernacular.

I like the vernacular, but do think that we need to find a way to mandate Latin for something, but what that something is remains to be seen.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. McDonald;

Why can't the Mass all be in Latin (save the readings), as Sacrosanctum Concilium wished?

Isn't that the true reform? And if we are going to start with a reform of the reform, why is there a need for the vernacular (save the readings) at all?

If we are to believe that the Mass is to be worshipped, then there is no need for the language of the people to be invoked. Why must we do away with our sacred language in favor of a profane language?

If the object is to promote universality and noble simplicity, wouldn't the simplest thing be to do away with the babel (hundreds of vernacular languages) and return to the Latin? It is both a simple language and a universal language which knows no boundary.

It would certainly seem that if you were serious about your "reform of the reform" in your hypothetical, then Latin would be the only logical end, regarding language.

When speaking about posture, I do believe we are on the same page mostly.

Pater Ignotus said...

SC does not "wish" that the mass remain entirely in Latin.

"36. (1) The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites. (2) But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants. Regulations governing this will be given separately in subsequent chapters.

(3) These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 22:2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used. Its decrees have to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. Where circumstances warrant it, it is to consult with bishops of neighbouring regions which have the same language.

(4) Translations from the Latin for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority already mentioned."

Joseph Johnson said...

Like Andy, I also believe that SC intended a mostly or all Latin reformed Mass with the limits of the (then, as in 1962)use of the vernacular expanded to the readings and maybe (but not necessarily) any changing parts. For regular Mass-goers, there would be no need to mark the places in your Latin/vernacular hand missal to follow (and participate in) the Mass as you would know the unchanging Mass parts (the Ordinary) by repetition. The rest would be as it usually is now--in the vernacular. Therefore, no need to follow in a missal unless you just wanted to see the words.

There you have it: Latin and Gregorian chant are retained (so we could always chant a Greek Kyrie, and Latin Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, and Agnus Dei) and the vernacular is expanded to where it makes the most sense (in the teaching parts--readings and homily) as well as, for convenience (if desired) in the changing prayers and petitions.

As to the Canons (Eucharistic prayers) Latin makes sense as they are also unchanging (as to each one used) and they are directed (as is all prayer) to God (of course, ad orientem). I see no reason for them to be prayed aloud. The quiet (low voice) Canon of the Extraordinary Form is one of its strengths in promoting sacred silence and reverence. The read aloud vernacular versus populum Eucharistic prayers of the Ordinary Form are one its greatest banalities.

'Just my two cents' worth . . .

Joseph Johnson said...

There you go, use of the vernacular: "especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants." This is pretty close to what I have suggested for the Mass. Otherwise, the use of Latin "is to be preserved in the Latin Rites."

I know it may be a long, slow process in getting back to this more balanced interpretation (that is why a good accurate English translation still has utility and merit, even if, like me, one really wants to see more Latin used). It is part of a transition (just like the Crucifix on the altar in a versus populum Mass) paving the way back to an implementation of SC that is more graduated and in continuity with what we had before VII rather than the rupturous experience that we actually had.

Step by step, "brick by brick," with prayer, study and perseverance, we can recover from the very skewed interpretation and implementation of SC that we have endured for over 40 years. Just the mere fact that it was risky (especially for clergy) to even make such "retrograde" and "traditionalist" proposals, as recently as even a decade ago, plainly shows just how skewed and closed minded the thinking has been (and still is, some circles)on these issues.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

Thank you for posting that. It supports my position 100%. If you look at what you C&P, you'll see that the use of the vernacular was never intended for use in the Mass (save the readings).

"But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants. Regulations governing this will be given separately in subsequent chapters."

You'll see in those subsequent chapters speak to the other Sacraments, the Office, and para-liturgical activity. The only real mention is regarding the readings and rubrics. But NOWHERE does some mean all, but that's just what we got, now wasn't it?

I notice though that you neglect to mention, good Father, Art. 54, which speaks directly to my point. And was does it command of the faithful? "Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."

How's your parish coming with that command from the Council, dear Father?

Also, the "more radical" use of the vernacular applies to mission territories...since when is Italy or England or even the USA mission territory? However, by a study of the words, it certainly seems that this is not to be normative, but rather catechetical, eventually leading back to the use of lingua latine.

Again speaking to my point (thank you for supporting that again, Father), Art. 63 speaks to the use of the vernacular, but curiously, there is no mention of the Mass.

And then there is Art. 79. I think that it speaks for itself.

Regarding the Office, I think that Art. 101 is very clear, don't you Father? How is your Latin for the Office? Just checking. Est quod individua licentia perducto?

ytc said...

And let it not be forgotten that SC says the Office is supposed to be recited by clerics in Latin. There doesn't seem to be much of an option there.

:)

Joseph Johnson said...

Thanks Andy,
You did a much better job of explaining a correct understanding of Pater Ignotus' post citations than I!

Through experience, I've come to the conclusion that it will be very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to rectify the problem of bad music in the liturgy without a return to Latin Ordinary parts and a preference for propers over hymns. This takes the polemics out of musical choices (just use the official musical books, ie. Graduale and Liber) and forget the hymn debates. I'm not saying that good English chant isn't possible---it's just that even that is a compromise when compared to the Latin.

Experience has also taught me that it is well nigh impossible (without a clerical mandate) to get a local church choir to begin using chant in place of missalette hymns--they look sideways at you when you suggest such a change. After several years of singing in our local choir and trying to slowly move us toward such changes, I recently resigned because a couple of members used their influence to squelch the use of a traditional Latin Gloria for midnight Christmas Mass this year (we had done this successfully a couple of years ago with the same personel). One Latin ordinary part once a year--is this asking so very much? Given this recent setback I hope you can understand why I am so frustrated, skeptical and more openly critical of the skewed emphasis on the vernacular than ever before.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - I don't speak Latin and read it poorly. So if you want to communicate your thoughts and ideas, your concepts and beliefs, English should be your language of choice.

Having said that, I am glad, truly, that you have what seems to be a fine working knowledge of Latin. I was equally glad that my brother in law Anselm, a former Trappist monk, and my Uncle Eugene, a Marist (FMS) brother for 67 years, could play SCRABBLE in Latin. I am, again, equally glad, that Uncle Eugene was as fluent in French, which he taught in high schools for those 67 years.

However, Uncle Eugene had the good sense not to try to speak French to us as we gathered around the dinner table. He wanted us to understand him, so he used a language (English) that we all spoke.

SC 36 gives "competent authorities" the right to choose how much Latin is retained for use in the rites. That choice is, according to SC, to be "approved by the Holy See."

The missals and prayer books I use all have the Holy See's approval, so they are in line with the "commands" (sic) of SC.

The "commands" (sic) of SC 101 are clear in allowing the translation of the office into the vernacular, so you have no argument that can be based on the "commands" of SC. They are being implemented properly. Not to you personal liking, but properly.

"Should" is not "must." The Council Fathers were at least as clairvoyant as Good Father McDonald (who knows less Latin than I) when they gave us SC AND its implementation legislation.

Anonymous 5 said...

I'm sure that Pater will castigate me for talking about SC as if it were a legal document (even though I'm not, except insofar as I use reason to understand it). But a plain reading of the quoted passages shows that Latin is--and is to remain--the rule, and the vernacular is to be the exception. How do I come to this conclusion? Look at the first sentence of 36. It's a general statement, a rule, about what language to use as a norm. All of the following sentences state the circumstances under which exceptions to this rule may apply.

If we look at what actually happened, the exception clearly swallowed the rule. This means that the "competent ecclesiastical authority," in cooperation with the Apostolic See, failed to follow the plain reading as well as the intent of these passages. Indeed, you might very well say that they failed to follow the Spirit of VII, if by "spirit" we mean "intent." In plain, non-lawyerly English (get the entendre? English?) they drove a truck through a loophole.

Technically I suppose they have this power, if for no other reason than the fact that there is no higher authority to which we may appeal their decisions. Technically I suppose they could, de facto, suppress Latin entirely except for a single word in Latin in one single Mass once a year, and then omit that word even while declaring it to be constructively in use, thus technically obeying SC. But nobody in his right mind would claim that that sort of practice would be in keeping with what SC either said or (more importantly) meant.

The fact is that while we didn't get to the extreme of my hypothetical, Latin is in practice very clearly the exception in the Latin Rite, and a rare one. It certainly isn't the rule. That's the reverse of what SC mandated.

Pater, as for your most recent post as to your uncle speaking English in order to be understood, that is all very well and good, but it does not address the issues under discussion re the text of SC 36. It is thus what we lawyers call "nonresponsive." (Oops, I did it again!) :-)

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald

The single most important reform is ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Then the restoration of the PATFOTA - not necessarily in the Roman form - I would prefer a short Confiteor as in the Dominican Rite said separately to the long one said jointly. This would mean scrapping the NO penitential rite altogether. We don't need any more options.

In a said Mass I would quite like the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas said aloud, to remind people of what the Offertory is really about.

Latin needs to be reintroduced gradually at the principal Sunday Mass, starting with the people's Ordinary. The aim would be to have a complete sung Latin Mass. I have seen this done, step by step, with the OF, and the congregation gradually increased. At the same time it has to be accepted that the vernacular is here to stay, and if people want a vernacular Mass, with or without hymns/music, they need to be catered for. Even in the old days there was always the Low Mass/Sung Mass option.

Dan z said...

Father, I like this proposal, One modification I would make: Have the Roman Canon and EP3 as options for Sundays and Holy Days, EP2 only an option on weekdays, and eliminate all other EPs. Also, add "in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do" to the Confiteor. So, Father, when are you going to contact the Vatican about promulgating this revised Ordinary Form? Seriously, contact them.

Andy Milam said...

Pater Ignotus,

It sure seems like you embrace the "spirit" more than the letter. However, we are to find the spirit in the letter.

As far as commanding us to know, that is a choice of wording, but it is an accurate wording.

If steps are to be taken that the faithful know their Latin responses, why don't they? Unlike your back-and-forth with Gene, this question is in your scope of expertise. You are a pastor and you are responsible for the proper formation and catechesis of your parish. So, if steps are to be taken, why hasn't this very important aspect been addressed in your parish yet?

As for my personal liking, no they are not to it, but I also disagree with you that they are proper. If the bishops do NOT act in accord with the mandates of the Council, then they are not acting in accordance with the Magisterium. Remember for the Magisterium to be authentic, the bishops must agree AND do what the Church intends. It certainly seems as if in this instance that is not the case. So, I disagree with your premise on "competency."

You're right, should is not must, but should is closer to must than some is to all. And herein lies one of the biggest problems with Vatican Council II. There is nothing definitive. Not in Sacrosanctum Concilium, not in Dei Verbum not in any document. This Council was pastoral and not doctrinal or dogmatic. NOTHING was defined or deliniated. All there is, especially with SC, is conjecture and speculation as to a set of ideas.

This was carried over into the liturgical action which was reformed. There is nothing definitive in the rubrics and the number of options makes the Mass not universal, but particular. And that is a big problem. The Mass is celebrated by the priest, true story, but the Mass doesn't belong to the priest.

What the reformers did after Vatican Council II was to set the Mass back 499 years. It put us back to a pre-Tridentine time where regional and particular Masses ruled the day. Oh sure, they were basically the same in structure, but there was nothing universal about them. The same is true today. Pope St. Pius V was prophetic and his actions (and the subsequent clarifications, not revisions) solidified the Church for 499 years. It made the Church strong through the Protestant Revolt and ensuing support of the heresy through the Enlightenment. But today, if we look critically at the happenings we are in a place of pre-Tridentine mentality. That needed to be corrected and I believe that this needs to be corrected as well.

So Father Kavanaugh, I disagree with your premise. I stand by my view. Should is closer to must. What we should do is almost the very same as what we must do. And I also disagree with the intention of the reformers and their subsequent intentions as being part of the Magisterium.

This does not, as I have said before, put into question validity of the Mass, it is valid. I do not question that. Paul VI promulgated it and it is so. But that gives us no promise of validity or fecundity. There is no potential for growth in the Novus Ordo, where as in the TLM, there is nothing but growth abounding.

Finally, this does not mean that I question the Magisterium. I accept that the Magisterium is authentic when the bishops act in union with the Holy Father and intend to do what the Church intends.

Regarding Latin, if I choose to use it, I will use it. That is my right as a free poster and free thinker. If you don't understand it, that is on you. You should. It is the language of your profession and you should have a working knowledge of it.

Henry Edwards said...

While the pastoral judgements and recommendations of any ecumenical council deserve the greatest respect, we can now gauge the success of the SC reform on the basis of fifty years of liturgical experience throughout the world.

Consequently, I personally see little point to analysis in minute detail of the intentions expressed in SC. Surely, what is relevant now is not what was said then in totally different pastoral circumstances--in anticipation of developments that have turned out much differently than the Council Fathers could have anticipated--but what is needed now in a much different Church and world environment.

The pendulum of history continues to swing, and it is arguable that for the liturgy it needs now a push in the opposite direction from what it appeared to need 50 years ago.

So why not concentrate on the present situation rather than on debatable issues in a past era that (liturgically, at least) is now quite distant?

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - the Bishops HAVE acted in accord with the "mandates" (sic) of the Council. The various regional or national conferences of bishops, authorized to do so by SC, chose to allow use of the vernacular in their various regions/nations. This is given as an option (or exception) by SC and the option has been chosen. Their choice was ratified by the Holy See according to the norms of SC.

You can't offer a person the option of (1) chocolate OR (2) vanilla ice cream and then chastize them for choosing vanilla. This is nonsense. (It is as nonsensical as taking me to task for using the term "actor" regarding those who act in the mass, but them heaping praise on Fr. Z who uses the same term in the same way.)

I have not, in any parish, taken steps to train anyone in Latin. There are two reasons. First, it is unnecessary. Second, I don't know Latin well enough to teach it. And telling people to memorize responses is not "teaching."

Andy - you directly question the Magisterium. You write "If the bishops do NOT act in accord with the mandates of the Council, then they are not acting in accordance with the Magisterium." You clearly believe that the bishops have not acted in accordance with the Council, so you are accusing them of error.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh;

It is point of debate now. You need to show me exactly how the bishops have acted in accord with the mandates of the Council. I have offered reasons as to why not. I would like your counterpoint in a cogent manner. Thanks.

You're right, you cannot offer someone chocolate or vanilla and chastize them for choosing vanilla, but that isn't what happened. We were offered chocolate or vanilla and were given strawberry and told to deal with it. You're right, it is nonsense. (btw, where did I "heap" praise on Fr. Z for using the term actor? I heaped praise on him for being a friend, not for using the term.)

Latin is unecessary? Why? Your view is completely at odds with the Magisterium. Regarding memorization, you are absolutely wrong. How do you think children learn their times tables? Or how do you think that children learn about "i before e, except after c?" Memorization leads to learning in a way which is very natural. And then there is assention of the will. One does not have to have a perfect understsanding in order to learn later. So, to know the Pater, Ave, Gloria Patri by rote memory is to know the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be.

Direct questioning of the bishops is not questioning the Magisterium. There is a difference.

As it is, there is a point of debate. Please respond.

Andy Milam said...

Henry;

"So why not concentrate on the present situation rather than on debatable issues in a past era that (liturgically, at least) is now quite distant?"

Because it is the debatable issues from a past era which are still forming the present situation. In order to properly understand, we must know and have proper understanding of what the premise is. Otherwise the conclusion can never be valid.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - SC 36.2 "But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants. Regulations governing this will be given separately in subsequent chapters." (We need to keep in mind the "subsequent" implementation directives, not all of which are found in the Vat 2 document compendium.)


The responsibility for determining the "advantage" of the use of the vernacular was given to "competent territorial ecclesiastical authority". (36.3) They exercised that authority, received the approval of the Holy See. Council directions followed.

Memorizing prayers in alien languages - Latin is alien to non-Latin speakers - is an exercise in brain function. Knowing a text in one's own language is an exercise of prayer.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh;

"Knowing a text in one's own language is an exercise of prayer."

Yet when I assist at Holy Mass in Poland or Turkey, or Israel (wait that doesn't work, I understand Hebrew), or Russia, then I'm not really assisting at Mass, because it's just an excercise in "brain function?" No Father, you are mistaken. (I've been to Mass in all of those places, FYI).

The use of Latin is as prayerful as using any vulgar or profane language.

Let's go over this one more time, because you're premise is still flawed, Father Kavanaugh.

Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1 says that Latin is to be preserved in the Latin Rite.

36.2 says that the use of the vernacular may be used in specific circumstances, the first being the readings and the rubrics; some of the prayers and chants according to regulations set forth in later chapters, but those prayers and chants are regarding other sacraments and the Office, as I have mentioned above, not to the Mass itself, which was dealt with immediately in the paragraph. Syntax and punctuation make a difference.

36.3 speaks to the implementation of these regulations. I have never had an issue with that, as long as they were competent decisions.

36.4 speaks to the translations for use in the liturgy (read: readings and rubrics). The other translations will be dealt with in subsequent chapters.

See Father, you're missing the premise. The premise is that there are TWO things being discussed in SC 36.2. There is the Mass and there is application into the other sacraments and liturgical actions (ie. the Office). It is not unheard of to speak about two related things in the same paragraph. The problem for you is that little phrase, "in the first place." See, that assumes there is a break in meaning. That first it deals with the Mass (ie. readings and rubrics) and then secondly to other aspects, prayers and chants which are dealt with later on.

Regardless of what you might think, they are dealt with later on and referred back to in those chapters. You may find them listed in my previous post. Yes, Father, they are all dealt with in the subsequent chapters.

The fact is that the Latin original and the English translation both make a distinction you're failing to make.

Joseph Johnson said...

Back to a more fundamental question:

I have long held the belief that the use of Latin in the Ordinary Form of the Mass is always allowed as a licit option for any celebrating priest (maybe with the exception of a concelebration where there should be a collaborative mode of celebration as to all priests involved). The choice to use all or part Latin in the OF is a discretionary option of the celebrating priest, as is the choice of which Eucharistic prayer to use or whether he will wear Gothic or Roman style vestments in the color of the day.

Latin is always an approved default option whereas the vernacular must go through the approval process (that the new translation just went through) before it is authorized for liturgical use. To my understanding, the approval of a vernacular version by "competent authorities" does not do away with the ever-present default option for all or part Latin in the Mass. If I am wrong in this understanding of things please correct me!

Anonymous 5 said...

Pater,

Your first reply to Andy following my post completely ignores my post and instead simply quotes the words of SC as a justification for the suppression of Latin, despite the fact that the first sentence of the passage in question expressly states that Latin is to be preserved. Your refusal to address my arguments weakens your own arguments that you put forward against Andy. Have you nothing to say to my post?

As for saying bishops have acted erroneously: a bishop sold Jesus for money, another one burned a French saint, and a whole bunch of them fostered the creation of the Church of England, among many other episodes. Just because the college of bishops may on occasion teach doctrine doesn't mean their actions in promulgating a particular liturgy rise to that level. Or if it does, I would like to see some authority to that effect.

Anonymous 2 said...

I have been following this discussion about the meaning of the pertinent sections in Sacrosanctum Concilium with considerable interest. It is surely correct to begin with the text itself. Leaving aside the question of the Divine Office and restricting the focus to the use of the vernacular in the Mass, the other sacraments, and the sacramentals, the relevant sections appear to be sections 36, 40, 54, and 63. Perhaps there are others that I have overlooked.

I think it is fair to say that, focusing on the text of the above sections alone, and now with a view to trying to determine what the Council envisages regarding the extent to which the vernacular can be substituted for Latin in the Mass, the text can be read in different ways, as Pater Ignotus, Andy, and Anon 5 demonstrate. However, what one should not do, it seems to me, is to focus on only some of the language while ignoring other relevant language in order to support one or another interpretation. It all has to be read together as it all supplies the total context for each part and thus each part has to be read in the light of the totality.

Here is a link to an English translation of the entire document so that we can all read the pertinent sections in their entirety:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

Notice, however, that this is one translation. I do not know what status it holds. I have at least one other, different translation in hard copy form. I do not have access to the original (which I assume is in Latin).

So, assuming that the text itself lacks a “plain meaning,” what do we do? What are the appropriate techniques for clarifying vague or ambiguous text in magisterial documents? Are there relevant preparatory documents or other evidences of intent (i.e., something akin to legislative history in the case of statutes or travaux preparatoires in the case of treaties)? Even if there are, is it legitimate to use them for the purpose of such clarification? To what extent does the subsequent practice in implementation by the Holy See have a legitimate bearing in providing such clarification, as Pater Ignotus intimates may be the case? Moreover, to what extent must the document be read in light of prior magisterial documents (“legislative history” broadly understood)? And to what extent are these various extrinsic sources themselves in need of interpretation and clarification?

I do not have answers to any of these questions, but I suspect the questions may be important ones. And because the proper interpretation of magisterial documents is, yet again, “above my pay grade,” I have to leave it to “those who know,” which for me means those who are trained in such matters. And this means, in turn, in the first instance those trained members of the hierarchy itself – within the Holy See, and among the Cardinals and Bishops. Is there really an alternative? Do we really think that we can resolve such matters definitively, let alone authoritatively, on this Blog?

That said, I do think there is considerable value in looking at text and understanding that sometimes it does not provide completely clear answers. Sometimes text is deliberately left unclear by those drafting it. At other times it is unclear due to the inherent limitations in language/translation itself.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about this, and perhaps Sacrosanctum Concilium makes it crystal clear when the vernacular can be used in place of Latin. However, the variant readings of Pater Ignotus, Andy, and Anon 5 would suggest otherwise. Anyway, you have the link, so perhaps you can do better with it than I can (by which I do not mean making arguments for one interpretation or the other – I can do that too – but resolving those arguments in a definitive manner).


Anonymous 2 said...

One additional thought – I wonder if this interminable debate about the use of the vernacular versus the use of Latin might not be missing the more important point: Whichever language is employed, isn’t the really critical point that we try to participate in the Mass as actively (i.e., as prayerfully) as we can? To be sure, exactly_how_we do this may vary according to whether the Mass is in Latin or in English, and indeed may vary from individual to individual, or even within the same individual on different occasions. Are there really any hard and fast rules about this? That said, presumably it would be good for all of us laity to cultivate, and to be encouraged by our priests to cultivate, an inwardly prayerful_disposition_during Mass as much as possible.

Andy Milam said...

A point of inquiry to Fr. McDonald.

What is the exact reasoning for a revised Mass? What about the TLM is deficient enough to warrant a reform, now that it has been restored?

We argue the revision of the Novus Ordo (and rightly so), but since the TLM has been restored, why does it warrant any revision?

In short, what is wrong with the TLM as the normative form?

Pater Ignotus said...

Anon 5 - "Preserving Latin" cannot be read without the following sections which state the reasons why Latin need not, in all cases and in all places, be preserved.

Latin was not "suppressed" any more than running boards on cars were "suppressed." Latin, like running boards, were found to be unnecessary and did not offer an "advantage" to those attending mass.

Andy - 36.2 specifically mentions the use of the vernacular in the mass, as well as in other sacraments and liturgical actions.

Using the vernacular is not seen as an "exception" but, in various circumstances, as advantageous.

Anon 2 - Prayer is the goal, indeed. One language is not, per se, superior to others in engendering or supporting prayer.

John Nolan said...

@Joseph Johnson

You are correct in your assumption. The priest may celebrate any Mass in Latin unless it is specifically scheduled to be in the vernacular. I believe that in the early days the USCCB wanted to close off the Latin option but was overruled by Rome.

John Carmel Heenan, Achbishop of Westminster from 1963 to 1975, maintained that if the Council fathers had thought they were voting for the Latin Mass to be replaced by an ad hoc vernacular liturgy, they would have rejected SC.

Anonymous 5 said...

A2,

Interesting posts. I do think, however, that if Pater wishes to be fair, he ought to give you both barrels for casting the discussion in a legal light, which you do to a greater degree than I. :-)

That said, I have never really thought about looking into the "legislative history" of the VII documents. No good reason, except that I suppose I would say instinctively that in the legislative history--assuming that some official history is available--it would be hard/dangerous to separate the human ideas from the Divinely-inspired ones. When it comes to the text, however, that presumably isn't a problem (although there is a related one regarding whether some portions of the text are magisterial or not).

I don't think I agree with your characterization of past magisterial documents as legislative history. I think they are far more authoritative, and perhaps (probably?) less ambiguous than genuine legislative history. They're more like entrenched constitutional clauses (entrenched in that they may not merely be repealed by amendment, let alone legislative action). This is the crux of the magisterial/pastoral argument: A new magisterial teaching may not repeal or supercede an old one, so if there's an apparent conflict and no doubt about the authority of the old one, the easy solution is to find the new one non-magisterial. In light of all the statements and apparent (real) discontinuity between VII and previous councils, this is the logical, understandable, easy (both politically and logically) thing to do, but most members of the current hierarchy appears to be very stiff-necked in refusing to consider that.

As for plain meaning, while I'll concede arguendo that in light of nearly a century of attacks on the idea that there may be one, I will also state that presumably the text means _something_. (If we aren't wiling to concede that prior authoritative texts have some ascertainable meaning, then they become authoritatively irrelevant, serving as nothing more than a blank canvas on which the interpreter may paint his own value judgments. The Crits may have something to say about this.)

Our problem here is that people are approaching the text in a highly adversarial manner. PI apparently believes that when SC says Latin shall be preserved, it _means_ that Latin may be suppressed. He apparently has a lot of company (though not on this blog). If the text does have a plain meaning, surely it isn't that.

To be continued . . .

Anonymous 5 said...

As to your deferring to people who are better-equipped to interpret the documents, as well as your plea to participate in the Mass prayerfully: In other circumstances they would be well-taken, and to a degree they are here. But the difference here isn't between two equally "good" Masses, but between a Mass that has stood the test of time and a new Mass whose form, while valid, is suspected/accused of having doctrinal problems and of propagating doctrinal misunderstandings. In short, we're not discussing the merits of chocolate versus vanilla but chocolate versus arsenic-laced vanilla. (Pater's argument,m I suppose, is that if the chocolate and vanilla are just as good as each other, then there's no need for anyone to make the chocolate available.)

I suppose if I attend a Clown Mass where a pro-choice nun preaches a homily that attacks the pope for refusing to allow women's ordination and an EME dresses as Satan for Halloween, but the mass is still valid, it might be good for my fortitude to do as you say, suck it up and prayerfully bear the trial. I have been to Masses that, while not quite as bad as this, came close. But why should I _not_ speak out against such things? If I believe that tridentine Mass to be _objectively_ superior to the NO (and Marc makes a darned good argument for that), and the NO's promulgation doesn't rise to the magisterial level, then shouldn't the NO be criticized, even while the critics prayerfully attend it?

The point of what many people here are arguing is that heretical modernist trends--the "smoke of satan"--have infiltrated the liturgy and the hierarchy, as they have done in some past generations, and that we are condoning a distortion of the Faith by refusing to speak out. Your deference to the hierarchy is misplaced given it's unprincipled statements regarding the real meaning of VII, and to argue that there _are_ hidden principles that we can't see is simply a type of clericalism.

I (and perhaps most of the Latin lovers here), are desperately trying to show obedience to the Magisterium. I'm not a Trad, and I'm not a sedevacantist, and I' have never attended an SSPX Mass. But I _am_ deeply troubled by statements and actions of the VII leadership that seem to my mind to a) contradict prior doctrinal teaching and b) both defy and sometimes condemn the application of basic notions of reason. I'm not pulling a Luther here. I believe that one day this will all be ironed out, and I also believe that it will result in many of my arguments being vindicated. But in the meantime, if I think that a bishop, a council, or even a pope is being disingenuous (and thus by definition ultra vires), I shall point that out. To do otherwise would be to embrace ultramontanism.

I submit all of the above to the Magisterium.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh;

"Andy - 36.2 specifically mentions the use of the vernacular in the mass, as well as in other sacraments and liturgical actions.

Using the vernacular is not seen as an "exception" but, in various circumstances, as advantageous."

At no time did I ever say that the vernacular didn't have a place in the Mass. Please don't mischaracterize what I said. I acknowledged where the use of the vernacular was applicable.

However, you still haven't addressed the issue. Where is it advantageous to use the profane in place of the sacred, with regard to a sacred action? And why?

Please do not ignore my statements in order to promote your view. I have not done that with you.

Also, please answer the questions which have been posed to you. There are several. I will not post, you are capable of going back and finding them. I have been very clear in answering yours and responding to your positions, I would expect the same courtesy. Thank you.

Andy Milam said...

As a point of clarification for the conversation at large. When I am posting, I am using the Vatican endorsed English translation found on their website as my C&P, but as I work through the documents, as I have done for years now, I use the Latin original, which also can be found on the Vatican website. It is the official document and therefore the most authoritative in the conversation.

There has been at least one other translation used in this thread, which is incomplete, unless it was intentionally omitted.

(HINT: Fr. Kavanaugh, this is precisely why it is important for a priest/theologian to have a working knowledge of Latin; so that he may be able to speak to the subject at hand in an authoritative manner, using the official and original source texts.)

Anonymous 2 said...

Anon 5:

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my comments. These are very interesting questions and I enjoy engaging with you about them.

I agree that the analogy to “legislative history” is inexact, as all analogies tend to be. On the one hand, magisterial documents do indeed seem to be at least quasi-legislative in their intent and effect. On the other hand, how any magisterial “legislative history” should be treated is undoubtedly somewhat different than the way we would treat the legislative history of a statute, and that is certainly true of the way we should treat prior magisterial documents, as you say (but even if they are similar in status to entrenched constitutional provisions, presumably they still require interpretation). Also, of course, as my questions acknowledged, perhaps it is entirely inappropriate to use any such “legislative history.” Perhaps indeed there is a Roman Catholic analogy to the Scalia-Breyer divide on this point. However, my ignorance regarding the answers to any of these questions is what leads me to my attitude of deference to those who do know.

I did not mean to criticize you for _trying_ to find clear answers to these controversial questions. Nor did I mean to do so in the past with regard to the question whether certain documents of Vatican II are compatible with prior magisterial documents. It is just that I suspect the answers are not as clear as you and others might like them to be. In this instance, for example, the answer does not seem clear to me. For me the text does not have a “plain meaning.” Instead, just looking at the text alone, arguments can be made on both sides regarding the extent to which the vernacular may replace Latin in the Mass. That is not to say that other sections of the document do not have a plain meaning. But it_is_to say that I do not think these sections do when read all together.

That said, as I mentioned at the end of my first comment, if you or someone else can demonstrate such a plain meaning by adequately disposing of alternative interpretations, it would be different. If, on the other hand, that cannot be done, then I see no alternative but to raise the questions I have, and to defer. I certainly hope that it is not a type of clericalism to raise those questions – at least no more than it is for you and others to question the interpretation placed upon the document by the hierarchy and to seek to demonstrate a contrary plain meaning.

(continued)

Anonymous 2 said...

On the merits, I love Latin too. However, I also love English. Indeed, I believe that powerful spiritual effects may be achieved through the proper use of the mother tongue, whether that be through the choice of the words employed or through their delivery (sung versus spoken, tempo, intonation and inflection, etc) and through the spirit in which they are heard and received, just as powerful spiritual effects may be achieved through the proper use of Latin. As I am sure you have gathered by now, I am in favor of pluralism in most things within the range of what is permissible (this qualifier is important because it distinguishes legitimate pluralism from illegitimate relativism).

The Clown Mass is, I submit, a straw man, much like Father McDonald’s postings of dreadful folk masses are straw men (I hope he will forgive me for saying so). One can always find a reductio ad absurdum. I am sure we could find a dreadful example of the TLM, with mangled Latin and confused rubrics and with very inattentive “spectators,” if we tried. But that would not impugn the legitimacy and appropriateness of the TLM. Similarly, Clown Masses or dreadful folk masses do not in themselves impugn the legitimacy and appropriateness of the OF in the vernacular (or even, arguably, reverent and well sung folk masses).

But above all else, I will be try to be guided by the magisterium in these matters, my own preferences notwithstanding. I do understand your concerns about the “smoke of Satan,” and to some extent I share them – to the extent, at least, of recognizing the possibility. However, I am not as certain about it as some seem to be. I trust to God to sort it all out in His own good time, and I trust to His mercy if I rely upon the guidance from our shepherds in the magisterium in the meantime.

Andy Milam said...

@ Anon2;

If you would permit me:

". In this instance, for example, the answer does not seem clear to me. For me the text does not have a “plain meaning.” Instead, just looking at the text alone, arguments can be made on both sides regarding the extent to which the vernacular may replace Latin in the Mass. That is not to say that other sections of the document do not have a plain meaning."

You are 100% correct. This is the major flaw in the documents of Vatican Council II. There is nothing defined. The legality goes out the door when there is nothing doctrinal or dogmatic to make it stick.

Also, the language used is intentionally vague. I do believe that Fr. Cekada deals with this in his work, "Work of Human Hands." The language which should be clear in nature is vague so that the reader can decipher what he wants. So, if he wants a liberal bent, he can take a liberal bent; if he wants a conservative bent, he can take a conservative bent. Sadly, though, the language is clear enough to know that -as I pointed out to Fr. Kavanaugh- should is closer to must than some is to all.

When we read the documents of Vatican Council II, it is helpful, only slightly so to read them in Latin. The language doesn't have quite as much subjectivism in it, but it is still pretty ambiguous.

You're assessment is clean. For my part, I cannot let this go, for one reason, the Church (as as rule) does not legislate from the negative, it legislates from the positive. So even in times of ambiguity, a conclusion can be drawn that (in this instance) Latin should have never been replaced, because the language when legislated from the positive can only mean that the norm was never to be the vernacular.

Anonymous 5 said...

A2,

I didn't take your post as criticism. No problem. I, too, enjoy our discussions.

I haven't been keeping up with interpretive theory recently as much as I used to (I find the field to filled with senseless verbosity these days for my taste), but I do still have some belief in a plain meaning, or, more accurately, gradations of plainness. I could argue that since we tend to define all words in terms of other words, we can easily get into a regression in which there is no such thing as a plain meaning of any word, much less a sentence or statute or magisterial document. I tend to be suspicious of that argument because in my experience it's served too often as a postmodern bow in the quiver of relativists who seek to destabilize things for the sake of the revolution (and who then, in a delicious irony, impose their own absolutes on the vanquished).

Further, I think "plain meaning" must be understood to be preceded by an implied "reasonable": otherwise you'll have all manner of people arguing that text of SC plainly mandates the serving of amaretto ice cream during the Confiteor or what not. In short, there must be some degree of objectivity as to plain meaning, and that objectivity must be based on reason.

On the other hand, it's probably equally hard to reach a crystal clear, "un-vague," unambiguous meaning that admits of no doubt. Maybe we should use reasonable doubt, preponderance, and clear and convincing in this context?

At any rate, I think any _reasonable_ plain meaning of the text of SC is that, even in light of allowed exceptions, Latin shouldn't be suppressed. But the application of that text in the English-speaking world clearly resulted in Latin's de facto suppression for more than thirty years. I think these things to be sufficiently plain, and within those broad parameters I'm willing to let people adopt whatever interpretation they choose. But if you accept my take on it, then the inevitable conclusion is that, at least prior to the motu proprio, and arguably afterwards, the American bishops were/are violating the mandate of SC.

As to the clown Mass straw man, I am sorry to have to say there's not much straw involved. I have either personally attended or seen videos of Masses in which every element I described was, in the aggregate, present. And I have had exactly the reaction I described when attending those Masses. One of them was so bad that to this day I regret not walking out in the middle of it (and yet I still suppose it to have been a valid Mass, so what of my Sunday obligation had I left?). And, for what it's worth, while there have been far, far fewer Tridentine Masses in my lifetime than NO ones, and I have witnessed far fewer, I have yet to see, or hear of, a single abuse of the sort you describe in any of these.

Marc said...

The stronger argument here is that the "Church" (whatever that may mean in this instance) is not bound by these portions of Sacrosanctum Concilium. After all, the Pope is the supreme lawgiver. And apparently he is the only one with the authority to promulgate a Missal. It seems he must, at least, approve a Missal in order for a Liturgy to be valid and licit.

The Pope promulgated the Novus Ordo Missal and now allows its celebration in the vernacular through the use of approved translations, having delegated his authority to particular groups of translators and national bishops conferences.

The Pope is not bound by an ecumenical council when issuing disciplinary directives or promulgating a Missal. Therefore, the very allowance of the current Missal in the vernacular by the Pope invalidates the need for discussion about the intent of the VII Council Fathers.

Moreover, it is not the province of individual priests to interpret SC or any Conciliar documents as that is the exclusive province of the Pope and his delegates as he is the living Magisterium and interpreter of Tradition.

So, you see, this is not a conciliar interpretation problem. It really is immaterial what the documents say. And that is the struggle of the Traditionalists - reconciling the clarity of Vatican I with the reality following Vatican II. Development of doctrine being what it is, surely the Pope can develop the liturgy in any manner he likes and force the people to whatever he likes (all the while not violating Tradition as he is the living Magisterium and its interpreter).

I'll go back to lurking now...

Anonymous 2 said...

One further thought and clarification on all this – Just because a text, that is any text, is itself unclear and lacks a plain meaning for the lay reader, that is for the untrained expert, does not necessarily mean that it cannot be made clear once accepted techniques of interpretation are used by experts – for example, the meaning of technical terms or “terms of art,” the use of “legislative history,” etc. As I indicated, I do not know what, if any, accepted techniques exist for the interpretation of unclear magisterial texts. There may be none -- perhaps it is never permissible to go beyond the actual text and ordinary meaning of the contested passage(s) – but perhaps there are. Does anyone know the answer to this?

Practically speaking, I imagine that a common approach would be to seek clarification from Rome.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - You ignored my use of "actor" in previous posts, accusing me of asserting that I believe that priests "act" as a stage or screen actor. You did this in order to "promote your view" so don't tell me NOT to do what you yourself do.

When your friend, at whose footpace you have served mass, uses the same term, he gets a pass.

I don't have a working knowledge of Latin, so you can go on and on saying that priests should have such, but it is meaningless in the present circumstances.

Latin is no more sacred that English or any other language used in sincere worship of God.


Anonymous 2 said...

That is a very helpful perspective and reminder, Marc. Thank you for coming out of lurking. =). If you are right about that – and I will assume that you are – it does provide a nice, clean solution to the problem under discussion. We can assume that whatever Liturgy the Pope approves directly or through his appointed delegates is valid and licit. Papal fiat concludes that issue.

However, perhaps I was really trying to get at a deeper point (albeit somewhat inartfully), both in this thread and in earlier threads addressing the “struggle of the Traditionalists” you reference – let’s call it the problem of “legitimacy” (for want of a better term).

Is there such a problem of “legitimacy”? All this talk about the “smoke of Satan” infiltrating the Church, including in matters of liturgy, might suggest that there is. So, even if the Pope does indeed have the ultimate authority to determine what is a valid and licit liturgy, his determinations in that regard would be less vulnerable to this sort of questioning, indeed grumbling, if they could be shown to be in accord with earlier expressions of Tradition. This is, of course, not just a matter of the proper interpretation of Vatican II but of earlier magisterial pronouncements as well. A related reason for asking about the proper interpretation of Vatican II itself has to do with papal claims to be implementing Vatican II.

My assumption has been that the Pope and the Bishops know what they are doing and are interpreting both Vatican II and earlier magisterial documents appropriately, and thus their interpretations possesses “legitimacy.” I hold this assumption, partly because I do not myself know what the appropriate techniques of interpretation are (hence my questions), partly because I want to trust the hierarchy, and partly because I am bound to do so to the extent of obsequium religiosum.

Does all that sound reasonable?




Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. Father’s later post on the Oxford Declaration, which I have just re-read, would appear to be quite pertinent to the issues under discussion. It would be interesting to read the book by Evelyn Waugh and Cardinal Heenan that is pictured in the post.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc said: "It seems he must, at least, approve a Missal in order for a Liturgy to be valid and licit."

This is not correct.

The celebration of mass by a validly ordained priest using a non-approved missal is certainly not LICIT, but it may very well be VALID. Validity is not necessarily impeded by the use of non-approved prayers, rubrics, etc.

Marc said: "Therefore, the very allowance of the current Missal in the vernacular by the Pope invalidates the need for discussion about the intent of the VII Council Fathers."

This, too, is not correct.

In the wake of every previous Council, discussions among laity, priests, theologians, and bishops have led to greater clarity, more effective implementation, and deeper understanding of the matters addressed in the actions of the Councils.

These discussions have also led to dissent, disagreement, schism, and other less-than-hoped-for results.

While popes or their delegates have the "final word" on the meaning of conciliar teaching, the discussions among those of us not so papal or papally delegated certainly are valid and, I would suggest, necessary in the life of the Church.



Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would have to agree with PI here. If I celebrated my concocted Mass, it would be valid but illicit. If I used the 1965 missal, which I really, really, really would love to see included with the 1962 missal, it would be valid but illicit.

In terms of discussions, yes, there is a great deal of leeway but when a local bishop or the pope calls an end to the discussion if it is leading no where or to a dead end or to a schism, then yes, the discussion should cease and desist. For example the ordination of women to the priesthood is one such topic that has had its discussion ended by the Holy Father. After all, he has absolutely no authority whatsoever to permit the ordination of women. Case closed.

Andy Milam said...

Fr. McDonald,

"If I used the 1965 missal, which I really, really, really would love to see included with the 1962 missal, it would be valid but illicit."

I think that is incorrect. There was never a typica editio of the 1965 Missal and it was abrogated with the promulgation of the 1970 Missal. As of today, there are two valid expressions of the Mass in the Latin Rite, the 1970 Missal (and subsequent revisions) and the 1962 Missal.

If you were to celebrate Holy Mass according to the 1965 Missal, knowing that it had been abrogated, then I do believe that intent would be called into question and therefore a validity issue would arise, regarding the confection of the Sacrament. In short, the priest's intention must be that of the Church. If the Church has two forms of the Mass available to use and a priest chooses another (which has been abrogated), he is not intending to do as the Church intends and validity is an issue.

So, the case isn't really as closed as it seems.

Marc said...

What a tortuous mess of legalism.

You have both now conceded the idea that the laity should be engaging in debate with the Pope (and other clerics) until he issues so sort of formal pronouncement on the particular interpretation of this (which he has arguably done in the very promulgation of the Missal and the translations of the Liturgy). In fact, you see this as a normal aftermath of a purportedly Ecumenical Council. Bear in mind that in prior instances where there was real lack of adhesion by the Church to a purported Council, it was necessarily not ecumenical.

Father McDonald has expressly chastised commenters, including myself, for expressing views about these issues because I am not "the Pope" and now we hear his is necessary for the life of the Church.

Neither of you make any sense and I get the feeling it's because you favor the chaos. After all, it creates a vacuum in which you are each free to express your personal liturgical tastes - one liberal, the other pseudo-traditional (aesthetically, anyway). All the while doing so in the same diocese only 10 miles from each other.

Do you see how this gives the laity the impression of a lack of meaningful communion and causes confusion about the nature of the Church?

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

" You ignored my use of "actor" in previous posts, accusing me of asserting that I believe that priests "act" as a stage or screen actor. You did this in order to "promote your view" so don't tell me NOT to do what you yourself do."

Sour apples? Sorry, I didn't ignore your use of "actor," I disagreed with it. Big difference. Let's have some intellectual honesty here. I've spoken at length on why I think that the term "actor" is inappropriate, the way that you use it.

"When your friend, at whose footpace you have served mass, uses the same term, he gets a pass."

I don't think that I've given Fr. Z a pass on that. I don't think that I've addressed his usage of it at all, because he is not here to discuss it.

"I don't have a working knowledge of Latin, so you can go on and on saying that priests should have such, but it is meaningless in the present circumstances."

It is not meaningless. Priests, including yourself, are some of the most educated men on the planet, holding advanced degrees. There is no reason why a priest could not go back to school and learn. If, as the liberals (I'm not saying you, please be clear) say that Catholics today are some of the most modern and educated in history, then it should be no problem for a priest to go back to school and learn Latin. I know I'm picking nits, but if a priest will get an additional degree or certification in "spiritual direction" then I think that asking him to study the language of the Church is not out of bounds.

"Latin is no more sacred that English or any other language used in sincere worship of God."

I think that you're probably one of the few who actually still hold on to this flawed idea. Latin is a sacred language in the same way that Arabic or Hebrew is a sacred language. I would point you to several talks given by Frs. Uwe Michael Lang and Nicholas Schoefield.

Finally, the Church has always viewed three languages as sacred, Greek, Hebrew and Latin. Those are the languages in the liturgical action and regardless of your sincere worship of God, well, what one does in private is his own business, but what one does publicly is bound by the Church. Let's not confuse the two.

There is a reason vernacular, profane and vulgar are all connected. And there is a reason that vulgar Latin was not used in the Church.

Now, can we please get to a point where you will address the questions and stop poisoning the well and stop with the red herrings.

The questions I've asked should not be too difficult for a priest to answer. And they do fall in your scope of expertise. Thank you, Father.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think that we are getting very close to case closed as the hermeneutic of rupture in interpreting Vatican II is going to be declared a heresy and of course this affects both the progressives that have pushed the rupture envelope to an extreme and to heretical heights but also SSPX if they don't accept the Council--so case will be closed soon on this discussion and how I long for it.

I don't accept Andy's claim that the 1965 missal would make the Mass invalid. It would be illicit, but not invalid as all that is needed for validity is present in the missal (after all it is the 1962 missal slightly modified with some vernacular.)
Keep in mind that until indults were given for the 1962 missal, it was thought to be abrogated too, but many still celebrated it even without approbation.

Andy Milam said...

The difference, Fr. McDonald, between the 1962 and 1965 Missals is simple. The 1962 Missal was/is an editio typica. The 1965 Missal was not. The 1965 Missal was, in fact, abrogated/suppressed by the 1970 Missal. The 1962 Missal was, by Pope Benedict's judgment never abrogated, due to the fact that for the entire history of the Novus Ordo, there has been an indult to use it.

Most simply put, there has not been an indult to say the 1965 Missal. The 1965 Missal is no longer a valid expression of the Catholic liturgical action.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I disagree, certainly you can say it is not a valid use Roman Missal, but you cannot say that the priest who uses this Missal is saying an invalid Mass, it is illicit not invalid and it could get the priest suspended for using it, but it is still valid. I think we need a canonist to chime in on this.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - "The way that I use it" (actor) is the same way that Fr. Z uses it. You assumed - wrongly - that I referred to actors on stages. Even when corrected, you persisted in mischaracterizing my position. That is "poisoning the well."

I don't think that priests are among the most educated men on the planet. Maybe that was once true, but no more.

You're not picking nits - you are engaging in dreaming about priests heading off to school to learn Latin. I recently visited a seminary classmate in Portsmouth, NH. When he worked as a seminarian in that city 30 years ago there were nine priests in the three parishes. Now, he is the only priest in town. There are lots of good reasons why priests aren't able to leave their parishes and spend time learning a langauge they don't need.

Also, there were numerous men who were rejected from seminary because, lacking facility with alien tongues, they could not learn Latin. (This wasn't just about mass Latin, but being able to study systematic theology and moral theology in Latin textbooks.) I can imagine those who, today, are not able to learn the language being told, "Father, your services are no longer needed, so the people of the 4 parishes in three counties in Iowa that you served (another sem classmate's situation) will be without a priest."

Latin is simply not needed for a parish priest. It is no more sacred that any other language used for the sincere worship of God.

Marc - You want what doesn't exist and what has never existed. You want a Church where the Pope makes a pronouncement that is utterly clear and unassailably cogent and instantly, without exception, the ENTIRE world bows down in submission.

This has never been the case, will never be the case, and should never be the case.

If these discussions bother your conscience, shake your faith, or cause you sleepless nights, then STOP coming hear and reading them.


Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

I am done with the actor scenario. It is clear that you and I differ and that there will be no resolution. You may think what you wish, I have no control of that, nor do I want it. I have made my case and I stand by it. You may think me wrong, but I am not. Syntax and application of words do have meaning and you are misusing the word. Let it go.

"I don't think that priests are among the most educated men on the planet. Maybe that was once true, but no more."

You are just wrong. Let's look at some stats, shall we? Good.

High school graduate -- 87.58%
Some college -- 56.86%
Associate's and/or Bachelor's degree -- 39.89%
Bachelor's degree -- 30.44%
Master's degree -- 7.95%
Doctorate or professional degree -- 3.00%

That is a pretty big jump from 87.6% to 8%. I would argue that holding a Master's does consider one a very educated person in today's world. Those numbers come from the US Census Bureau.

Priests are more educated and they do have the capacity to continue to learn.

"There are lots of good reasons why priests aren't able to leave their parishes and spend time learning a langauge they don't need."

The Church disagrees with you. Both coming from the Council and today. You REALLY need to look at Universae Ecclesiae 21. That is only one place. I would also have you look at Veterum Sapientia. What does Canon 249 say in the 1983 CIC? "Moreover they are to acquire a knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and of the documents of the Church. The study of the liturgical language proper to each rite should be considered necessary; a suitable knowledge of the languages of the Bible and of Tradition should be greatly encouraged."

This isn't just me dreaming, dear Father, this is me holding seminaries and priests to an expectation.

"It is no more sacred that any other language used for the sincere worship of God."

You already said that, but you yet give no support as to why. I suppose I could just keep saying the same things over and over without an explanation and hope that you just accept it too, but I don't, I give reasonings. Is it supposed to be a watershed moment for me where I all of a sudden say, "Whoa....Fr. Mike is right!!! Holy Cow...he only said it 3 times and now I get it?" Sorry, Fr. Kavanaugh, I don't operate that way when an individual (even if he be a priest) gives his opinion regarding Church matters with no coherent explanation.

So, are you ready to discuss the questions posed to you yet? I'm patiently waiting. Thank you.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - Your intentional misconstrual is of my words is your issue, not mine. And your failure to take to task your footpace friend for using the same word I use is all the evidence I need.

As to your education statistics. If 7.95% of the people in the united states have a masters degree that means there are 24,771,557 US citizens with Masters degrees. In the US there are 39,718 priests in the US. That means that there are 24,667,839 who are AS educated as we priests plus another 9,347,757 who are BETTER educated than we. (Now, having been to seminary, I can tell you that not a few who were awarded MA's of MDiv's were not among the brightest, but that's altogether subjective.)

So, where priests were once the bearers of substantially higher educational levels - we were often the only educated folks around - we are a small minority of the total of well-educated people in this country.

Of course there are sources that say priests should know Latin, Greek, Hebrew, among other languages. But of course, there are also sources that say "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" but we know how well THOSE expectations are being met...

You can hold your seminaries and priests to whatever unnecessary levels you want, but it doesn't change the reality.

Your patience is exemplary.

I'm waiting patiently for your explanation of why Fr Z gets a pass on saying Jesus is an "actor" in the mass and I get the pillory..... And how a one-priest town in NH or IA or anywhere else for that matter can send its priest off for a year or two to learn an unnecessary language... Or how Latin became a "sacred language"...

We are both patient people.

Andy Milam said...

Pater Ignotus,

Of those 39,718 priests, how many have an advanced degree? I would be willing to wager that this number is in the high 90th percentile.

Don't hang your hat on seminary experience, I have that as well and I can tell you, the majority of the men I studied with were very educated and very smart.

"Of course there are sources that say priests should know Latin, Greek, Hebrew, among other languages. But of course, there are also sources that say "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" but we know how well THOSE expectations are being met... "

You're kidding right? That is the most nonsensical thing I think that I've ever heard. I don't really even know how to coherently respond to that.

As for holding priests to unecessary levels, I don't think that I am. I don't think that holding priests to the same level the Church holds them to is unreasonable at all. BTW, the reason I know Latin so well, I was in seminary and made a concerted effort to learn it. Go figure.

For the 3rd time now, perhaps I wasn't clear enough before, I. HAVE. NOT. GIVEN. FATHER. ZUHLSDORF. A. PASS. I have not commented on his statement at all. Reason being, as I have stated before, (sigh...) he is not here to defend himself.

First off, you know as well as I, that it isn't the town sending the priest off, it is the bishop. And if Fr. Kavanaugh is sent off for studies, there is another to replace him. It happens all the time. I have several priest friends now who are off for advanced studies, please don't take me or anyone else here for a fool.

I do wonder though, why you won't answer the questions. They really shouldn't be that difficult for a human person with an advanced degree.

I will address Latin as a sacred language as soon as you answer my questions. It certainly seems obvious to the majority here, so I don't like to state the obvious, it eats up Fr. McDonald's bandwith and it is incredibly easy to find via google. The answers to the questions I ask you, are not so easy to find and I am looking for your take on them, so google doesn't work and the bandwith use is warranted.

Anonymous 5 said...

Marc said: "It seems he must, at least, approve a Missal in order for a Liturgy to be valid and licit."

Pater said, "This is not correct.
The celebration of mass by a validly ordained priest using a non-approved missal is certainly not LICIT, but it may very well be VALID."

Just to show Pater that I'm appealing to reason and not law, I'll now use grammar instead of a legal rule. Marc used the conjunctive. He stated that the pope must approve a missal in order for a liturgy to be valid AND licit. The conjunctive essentially implies a "both." Pater says that it is only one, namely, licit. Thus, Marc's statement _is_ correct. :-)

Now, if he'd said "valid OR licit," PI would be correct. :-)

Have we gotten reductionist and tortuous and legalistic and semantic enough yet?

I need a spiritual drink. :-)

Anonymous 2 said...

This is a very interesting thread. I am learning a lot. At the risk of using up more of Father’s bandwidth (?? – I understand nothing of such matters, Andy), I venture to offer, for convenience, two informative Wikipedia links: on sacred languages in general and on ecclesiastical Latin in particular:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_language

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_Latin

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - Where is this "other to replace him" that you speak of. Priests who are currently serving FOUR locations on a weekend would love to know where this critter is hiding!

Fr. Z doesn't have to defend anything. You allow him to speak of actors in the mass, yet I am accused of destroying the faith by doing so. Go figure...

I'm glad you made a concerted effort to learn Latin. I don't think there is much good reason for parish priests to leave their assignments, for which there are virtually no replacements, to learn a language for which there is very little (if any) need or use.

Not all rules HAVE to be followed, especially those that don't offer much practical advantage.

Andy Milam said...

Anon2;

The only reason I know about the bandwidth issues is that I have my own blog (shamless plug, just click on my name).

As for the articles, they are informative, I would point you to the source material. I am not a fan of using wikipedia (as a rule) because anyone can edit it.

As for the rest, Latin is a sacred language, regardless of a phantom argument against.

Ciao!

Anonymous 5 said...

PI said "Not all rules HAVE to be followed, especially those that don't offer much practical advantage."

Funny--when I recently said this same thing using slightly different language, PI accused me of improperly applying legal maxims in a theological context.

Makes a difference whose ox is gored, neh? :-)

Andy Milam said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

"Where is this "other to replace him" that you speak of. Priests who are currently serving FOUR locations on a weekend would love to know where this critter is hiding!"

First, with all due respect, a pries is not a critter. Second, they can be found. It happens all the time, you're just being obtuse. Priests are sent on for advanced studies from every diocese every year. Please don't play me for a fool. I do know better.

"I'm glad you made a concerted effort to learn Latin. I don't think there is much good reason for parish priests to leave their assignments, for which there are virtually no replacements, to learn a language for which there is very little (if any) need or use."

That is your opinion and one that is not in line with the Vatican. I'll make a mental note of that for future conversation.

"Not all rules HAVE to be followed, especially those that don't offer much practical advantage."

Unless of course, if they break the law, then yes, Father, they do need to be followed. Your opinion is contrary to both Liturgical and Canon Law. How do you reconcile that?

Gene said...

I see Kavanaugh is still hunting bears with sticks. He is clearly one of these lib/modernists who believes that if he just keeps perseverating about something people will eventually believe him...or, if he just makes untrue statements loud enough they will become true ones. I'm sure his few parishioners would follow him anywhere...but only out of curiosity. LOL!