Thursday, May 9, 2013
IS THE NEW LITURGICAL MOVEMENT DEAD IN THE WATER OR WILL POPE FRANCIS SURPRISE US?
From all appearances, it doesn't seem that the Liturgy is something that Pope Francis wants to make the center piece of his papacy in terms of further reforms. He wants to reform Catholics, bishops, priests, religious and laity and is calling them to be Catholic outside of the liturgy, where they spend most of their time. He wants to establish once again a firm Catholic identity rooted in the Deposit of Faith of the Catholic Church where everyone is obedient to the Magisterium, the living Magisterium, both ordinary and extraordinary.
He wants to reform the bureaucracy of the Vatican which surely needs it. But he isn't going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I also have this hunch that he continues to refer to himself as the "Bishop of Rome" to model for other bishops in union with him what bishops should be doing, which is to teach (which he does wonderful job especially his daily homilies and other addresses) to govern or rule, which this Pope again in two short months shows his great strength in this area, and to sanctify, which means for this pope not only celebrating the official liturgies of the Church is a sober and dignified way, but also encouraging devotionals, popular piety which so many "intellectuals who know nothing" have tried to kill in the Church since Vatican II. He may well lead us to a "reform of the reform" leading to the proper recovery of popular piety in the lives of all Catholics both private and communal.
But what about the reform of the reform of the Mass and the odd situation that we now have with two forms of the one Roman Rite? Those who commented on this who were closely associated with Pope Benedict saw this odd situation as a temporary one where the two forms of the one Roman Rite would exert influence upon each other as priests and laity experienced both that would then organically lead to a new Missal that would once again be the one Roman Rite, incorporating the best of both current forms into one. That is my dream as many of you know.
So will Pope Francis allow the Congregation for Divine Worship to continue to lead us to a third missal and once again one form of the Roman Rite in continuity with past missals? I'm not clairvoyant or am I? I really don't know, but I wonder if the Holy Father would be open to continuing such a project?
As I've stated before, I believe the current Ordinary Form Missal is just fine and I love the revised Lectionary since day one when it was introduced. So I don't foresee us going back to the exclusive use of the EF Missal, although I've said over and over that it could become Year D, an extra year.
So my vision for a single version of the one Roman Rite is keeping the current missal and its prayers, prefaces, Eucharistic prayers and revisions to Holy Week and simply modifying the Roman Calendar to be more like the Anglican Ordinariate Calendar which is only a minor revision of the Ordinary Form's Calendar but somewhat similar to the EF--that would be quite easy.
1. Revamp the order of the Introductory Rites to re-establish a simplified Penitential (purification) Rite at the Foot of the Altar, which would include the Introit in the same position as in the EF followed by the Kyrie, Gloria, Greeting and Collect.
2. The Liturgy of the Word as in the OF Mass but with the clear option of the Gradual in place of the Responsorial Psalm, but only as an option.
3. I would recommend an official Litany instead of the Universal Prayer following the Credo which is short with maybe options for Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time.
4. I rather like the revised Offertory Prayers, but would not be adverse to something that is more like the EF's offertory.
5. I think the Ordinary Form's Mass as is from the Prayer over the Offerings through the Prayer after Holy Communion is splendid and should not be re-complicated as it is in the EF Mass with dual communions for priest and laity. However, I would not mind a return to the three fold, "Lord, I am not worthy..."
6. I think that the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons should be mandatory and not optional as these are today.
7. And my old mantra, Communion kneeling and with the preferred option of intinction replacing the common chalice as it already the case in Europe and other parts of the world, even for concelebrants and deacons of the Mass.
Finally, may I suggest that the following be mandated to be said or sung in Latin: The Greek Kyrie, followed by the Gloria, Credo,
Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei--that this be mandatory throughout the world, using the exisiting Gregorian chants available.
This doesn't mean that other parts couldn't be in Latin, but that the basic Latin that all Catholics throughout world know would be the Latin Chants I list as would have been the case in the Extraordinary Form.