The way it was done today as in the other years the Holy Father has celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel. Oh! the glory of ad orientem:
Of course this Mass is celebrated at the historic Sistine Chapel altar and thus ad orientem. It is glorious to see this of course.
The commentator for the broadcast stated that the Holy Father would be praying Eucharistic Prayer III in Latin as "suggested" by the Second Vatican Council. "Suggested" is a weak term, I thought the Second Vatican Council mandated that Latin be the language of the Mass with the allowance of (suggestion?) some vernacular. But who wants to be a Second Vatican II Documents "fundamentalists?"
But this is the way papal Masses that are not meant for a worldwide audience are celebrated in Italy. He says or sings much of it in Italian, but beginning with the Preface Dialogue, Preface and Eucharistic Prayer, these are always in Latin.
Man! the babies are crying, but no one is flustered.
At the Our Father, the Holy Father used the introduction for it from the Rite of Baptism tying baptism into Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. I've not done that when I've had baptisms at Mass because I didn't know I should. It is good to see the Holy Father model the right way!
Then the Our Father was chanted in Italian with the Italian embolism and doxology chanted.
The Holy Father continues the Mass in Italian.
So, what does this mean in terms of the Holy Father modeling how to celebrate the Ordinary Form Mass (keep in mind he hasn't modeled the Extraordinary Form Mass, and at this point I don't think this Holy Father ever will).
As an aside the Holy Father is clearly moving more slowly these days and going up and down stairs he needs some assistance, but not much. But he still completely genuflects a heck of a lot easier than I do, my knees are killing me, so I can only do a partial decline! How sad!
My clairvoyance tells me that the anticipated official "reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass" will be what the Holy Father has been modeling during his pontificate and these are the following that will be codified and made liturgical law:
1. The Holy Father has made no adjustment to the Order of Mass and uses all the options of the Ordinary Form Roman Missal--so this will remain, including the options in the Introductory Rite of the Ordinary Form.
2. The manner of celebrating other sacraments during Mass will remain as in the rubrics of the Ordinary Form, including Baptism and Holy Matrimony and at the time after the homily, although for the Rite of Marriage I foresee something of that rite being done in place of the Penitential Act.
3. The Benedictine Altar arrangement will be written into the General Instruction and it will make clear that it must be used for Masses facing the congregation and that Ad Orientem is perfectly lawful at any and all Masses with the faithful.
4. The preservation of Latin for the entire Mass will certainly be allowed as it currently is, but will be mandated for the Preface Dialogue, Preface and Eucharistic Prayer and all the Eucharistic Prayers will remain.
5. Holy Communion will be distributed to communicants kneeling, including deacons and laity and this will be the norm. Standing will be the exception.
6. Gregorian Chant or Polyphony will be the norm for the sung parts of the Mass, with the sung Mass mandating the use of the propers, that is, the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons as well as the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. However this would not preclude the great works of artists for special occasions.
7. The use of other anthems as filler and of a variety of styles in harmony with the Church's sense of Sacred Music will be allowed.
8. The Gradual and/or Tract will be allowed as an option to replace the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation.
There is very little wrong with the Ordinary Form of the Mass when celebrated by the book, using Gregorian Chant or Sacred Music that is a derivative of it, and doing it completely including the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons, using the Benedictine Altar Arrangement and returning to ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and kneeling for Holy Communion.
No radical adjustment need to be made to it when done in this fashion. When I post our Church Music Association of America Solemn Sung Mass in the Ordinary Form, you will see what I mean. It too is a hybrid of Latin and English and very similar to the Holy Father's Baptism of the Lord Mass this morning.