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.

43 comments:

Jon said...

Father,

The OF is not "just fine" for a whole host of reasons. I suggest you consider this: http://www.coreyzelinski.8m.com/1965_Mass/

Agitate for it as a compromise. It can be promoted as the TRUE Mass of the Council. Liberals can't object. The SSPX used it until 1982. It's thoroughly Catholic. Bishops of the world thought it THE Mass of the Council until the surprise of 1970. It can be celebrated exactly like the TLM, or it can be celebrated like the typical NO. Having it as the script however restores the lex credendi lost with the NO, and offers a complete way back to Catholic worship.

Dom Alucin Reid will be addressing it in his forthcoming book, which looks at the Post-VII Reform. The Novus Ordo was an over-reach for too many reasons to go to here. As and exclusive member of an FSSP parish for eight years, I think the Reform of the Reform as it applies to the Novus Ordo is a fool's errand. Lipstick on pigs and all that. The '65 however offers a way of true liturgical peace. Latch on to it. Praise it. Promote it.

Novus Ordo delenda est.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I just don't think that is is realistic in the least to think that the missal of 1970, now revised, will be completely thrown out. A 1965 Order of the Mass, with the revised current missal, is a possibility that some would entertain, but I'm trying to be realistic given the reality of the Church today and our new pope. I have a mint edition of the 1965 Roman Missal for use at the altar. I like it.

Tom Piatak said...

These are all excellent suggestions.

ytc said...

The three-year cycle of readings for every Mass is silly. It divorces feast days from their readings, which often have exactly nothing to do with each other.

For "Ordinary Time" Sundays, Ferias, etc., have at it with the three-year cycle. It makes sense.

But for feasts and Solemnities and saints days, there should not be a cycle.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

YTC, I proposing realistic expectations. It is totally unrealistic to think that the revised lectionary will be dumped to have once again the EF exclusively. As a Catholic who grew up with mostly literate Protestant friends who knew a whole lot more about Scripture than me and could quote it from memorized bible verses, I was thrilled when more scripture was given to us in a lavish way with the new lectionary and have always thought this was the best part of the reform of the Mass.

rcg said...

I do not think Pope Francis will interfere with the Liturgy at all, rather he will let us continue to explore it in the current state of 'division' so as not to shock the patient's system too much. I can see the use of the Cycles to help teach, I am less enthusiastic about retaining a variety of options for the Eucharistic Prayer. I think a better idea would be to return to the '62 as a baseline and, using your list of required Latin and Greek spoken parts, make allowances for the reading cycle as variations from the 'real' annual cycle of the '62. Of course retaining the various special intention Masses and readings.

JBS Was Here said...

Good questions. I really think there is need for the two Roman forms to exist side by side for a while, allowing time and space for the Holy Ghost to bring them together organically. The last thing the Roman Mass needs right now is for some committee, or even a pope alone, to force a reconciliation between the two. Let the Holy Ghost do it gently over several decades or centuries, or whenever He thinks we're ready.

Marc said...

Of course, it was likewise unthinkable that the venerable cycle of readings would be trashed and turned in to a three-year cycle bearing little relationship to the traditionally cycle. Furthermore, it was unthinkable that saints' feasts would be moved or eliminated from universal celebration because their miracles seemed repugnant to the modern mindset.

And yet, that is precisely what happened. So, why is it now unthinkable to consider a return?

And the idea that reading more Scripture during Mass is somehow bringing Catholics on par with Protestant Scripture memorization tactics is silly for many reasons. First of all, there's no real merit inherent in the Prots method of memorizing bits of Scripture. Second, the Mass isn't the place for Scripture exegesis. Third, the Scriptures traditionally serve the Liturgy, not the other way around. In fact, that is why they were collected in the first place. Fourth, perhaps we should stop buying in to the idea that Prots know more about Scripture than we do. That is clearly not true -- they may know the words, but have no idea the meaning (John, Chapter 6, I'm looking at you). The important thing is the doctrine conveyed, not the actual words. Access to heaven isn't based on a Scripture quoting contest.

The Moderate Jacobite said...

I may be attacking your words with some excessive parsing...but I notice that you call for various parts of the Ordinary to be sung to the established gregorian melodies. Do you intend to consign to the dustbin or concert hall the hundreds of polyphonic Mass settings composed ever since Guiamme de Machaut wrote Messe de Notre Dame?

I'm not suggesting that these are usual fare for Masses, I also accept that trying to fit a liturgical service around something like Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (where each movement is about 15 minutes) would not be entirely apt...but to forbid something which has been part of the Church's living tradition for more than 650 years seems excessive.

rcg said...

JBS, centuries??? Yikes. I won't be out of purgatory by then. Seriously, I bet if they simply allowed the EF to be prayed in vernacular and versus populum, people would adapt just fine as they did with the 'New' translation. What would mess up people would be the postures and having lay people participating from the pews. Lots of kneeling, too.

Marc said...

I don't know, rcg. If you go to some of the "regular" Catholic Churches, the people have been pretty far off the rails for so long, that even celebrating the Novus Ordo the way the book says would probably push them over the edge.

Of course, that indicates to me that these parishes aren't actually Catholic anyway...

CHE said...

Agreed, JBS. The OF surely has a long way to go--in development and maturation likely along the lines indicated by Fr. McDonald's suggestions--before any union of the two forms will be feasible.

As for the pope, apparently only a handful of popes (among 267) have played recorded roles in liturgical development. To have seen two such in one lifetime--Paul VI and Benedict XVI--is the historical exception rather than the rule.

And, surely, true organic development comes from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. Arguably, the proper papal role is to codify organic development, rather than to mandate it.

Anonymous in Archdiocese of Detroit said...

Liturgically we are in a holding pattern for the duration of Francis' pontificate. I will be bold enough to predict nothing will change liturgically until the next pope at the soonest.

And I hope the next pope will be a liturgical pope in the mold of Benedict XVI (Ranjith perhaps... Burke, a long shot granted... some point in the somewhat far future perhaps Guido Marini) who will begin the phasing out of the Novus Ordo/OF, and restoring the TLM/EF as the only Rite (perhaps a transitional period of the 1965 Order inserted into the current OF Roman Missal with the suppresion of the Bugnini Order would be the OF bridge to this).

ytc said...

"YTC, I proposing realistic expectations. It is totally unrealistic to think that the revised lectionary will be dumped to have once again the EF exclusively. As a Catholic who grew up with mostly literate Protestant friends who knew a whole lot more about Scripture than me and could quote it from memorized bible verses, I was thrilled when more scripture was given to us in a lavish way with the new lectionary and have always thought this was the best part of the reform of the Mass."

Meh, Protties aren't exactly the best Scripture scholars.

Anyway, I am more concerned with what is best practice. What is better, to have some randomly pasted together readings that have absolutely nothing to do with St. ___ Martyr, or a Biblical account of Martyrs, as the Epistle?

Going to a saint's Mass and hearing a nice Collect about the saint immediately followed by a random reading that has nothing to do with that saint is jarring and poor liturgy. It creates a dissociation of theme and it makes people less familiar with the saints.

To say nothing of the completely historically foreign (in East and West, Catholic and Orthodox) practice of letting non-clerics read! That's one practice I just don't understand in the slightest. What's the rationale? If it's "partisipashun" then why not laypeople also hold the host and chalice as Fr. prays the Offertory?

Joseph Johnson said...

The current Pope says a lot of very good and meaningful substantive things which need to be said. However, though I am still waiting to see what happens liturgically, I am not very encouraged by what I have seen so far. On a more personal and local level, my feelings of liturgical lassitude are exacerbated by the impending loss of my current pastor through reassignment after only four years (not the six-year term that I just learned is supposed to be the norm in the Savannah Diocese).

When will southeast Georgia (Valdosta/Brunswick Deanery) ever get a priest who is willing to celebrate the Extraordinary Form on some kind of regular basis for the people of southeast Georgia? Must we always be consigned to driving to Savannah, Jacksonville or Macon for the EF? The EF needs to be more accessible so that more people (not just the highly motivated ones like myself) can be introduced to it and so it can play its part in true liturgical reform. The spread of the EF should have some bearing in priestly assignments (I know it has absolutely no bearing at this time). The bishop should take stock of which priests can or will be open to learning/offering the EF so that he can spread their assignments outside of the metropolitan areas to geographically spread the EF and, consequently, the reform in continuity.

Free us from liturgical lassitude and a liturgical wasteland!

Gene said...

Joseph, Maybe the Bishop does not care about the EF?

Templar said...

This Pope will do nothing for the Liturgy, we will be darn lucky if he does no damage.

Our Bishop will do nothing to advance the EF in our Diocese, you need only look at the Parish he came from to understand his take on Liturgy.

This Diocese will remain a Liturgical wasteland for the foreseeable future, St Joseph being an island of refuge because of it's Pastor and not because of any grand movement within the Diocese. The rest of the Diocese is busy being stuck in the 1970s Liturgically, while old liberal Pastors keep young orthodox Vicars under thumb. The dam will break though and those young Priests will start to be Pastors and maybe change will come.

But ultimately the NO must go for there to be any true reform. Until then we have reform of the deformed only. True reform must start from a valid starting point, and the NO's foundation is built on sand.

rcg said...

JJ, contact the FSSP North America. They insert TLM parishes by approaching the bishops and negotiating a parish presence. We have a very liberal diocese and FSSP got our bishop to assign a parish to Dayton.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

RCG, the likely candidate for the FSSP here in Macon would be Holy Spirit Church. Over the years with its decline in church attendance they have gone to only one Mass each Sunday at 10:00 AM I think, that's it, what a plum of a place for an elderly priest to handle. But if PI would convince the bishop to give his parish new life and vitality by allowing the FSSP to pastor it, I'm sure we would be amazed. They could keep the single OF Mass they already have, although upgrade the style of music to Catholic English chant and then add a EF High Mass and an EF Low Mass. I bet the parish would double in size.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

MJ, I wouldn't moderate the use of Polyphony for special occasions or those parishes or other institutions that could pull it off, nor forgo the "concert" Masses that have come to us from the great artists. Obviously these would never be normal Sunday fare in most parishes and only for special occasions for those parishes that could do it.
I think the greater uproar would be from professional musicians in the Church who have turned Catholic music into a big business and for making a name for themselves, the English repertoire that would be dumped and the publishing houses OCP that would suffer financial losses.

Marc said...

Of course, FSSP priests don't say the Novus Ordo, though, because that is not their charism.

So, all the Holy Spirit attendees would have to go elsewhere - Warner Robins parish would probably suit their "tastes". Then they could maybe have more sympathy for those of us who have from time to time driven several hours for Sunday Mass...

CHE said...

ytc: "Going to a saint's Mass and hearing a nice Collect about the saint immediately followed by a random reading that has nothing to do with that saint is jarring and poor liturgy"

Though I would hardly attempt to defend the quality of the readings in the OF lectionary, it should be acknowledged that the MR 3e is rich in its proper prayers and readings for saints feast days, and has a full complement of commons Masses (of martyrs, etc), more in both cases than the EF missal.

But when was the last time you attended a weekday Mass on the memorial of a martyr, and heard either the proper Mass of that martyr, or am appropriate Mass from the common of martyrs? To the contrary, in almost all parishes one can attend years of ordinary time weekday Masses and hear daily only the propers of the preceding Sunday and the readings from the next day in series I or II (depending on the year).

So perhaps this problem is not primarily with the OF missal but with OF priests who are not familiar with it or with its proper use. The genius of the EF missal is that it leaves no decisions open for such priests to make.

Gene said...

Fr, Re: Holy Spirit/FSSP...you're killin' me. Kavanaugh would have to be carried out in a straight jacket...LOL!

Marc, concerning the Holy Spirit attendees...they need not drive to Warner Robins. There are several Methodist churches in the area.

ytc said...

CHE:

Perhaps the problem is with the OF Missal, or its creators, who were giddy beyond belief and were too optimistic to realize that, good intentions aside, their program re: readings/calendar/Propers was just too complicated for the average priest to understand or, more likely, care about.

People like to constantly harp on how the OF Missal is just "sooooo RICH!" with all it's add-ons and stuff. Problem is, NO ONE USES THOSE THINGS!

WHO'D'A THOUGHT! "Let's add all this junk on but not take the time to print a few more words making these things obligatory!" More evidence of the sheer irrational optimism of the changes.

This is why, "richness" of the Missals aside, I still contend that your average EF Mass is at least twice as "rich" in practice, textually, as your average OF Mass. It doesn't matter if you stuff the OF Missal full of prettie Prefaces and the Lectionary full of readings. If they a: have nothing to do with the particular Mass being celebrated and/or b: are not obligatory and thus Fr. Jimbob resorts to using his as usual stuff, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what's in the Missal if nobody uses it. And nobody uses it because it's not required!

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - You are incorrect when you say attendance at HS has declined. YOUR numbers indicate a 29% decrease in YOUR parish in the last the last ten years.

JJ - The Diocese of Savannah has never adopted the "6+6" tenure policy for pastors. In fact, a pastor can refuse a transfer when such is requested by his bishop.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, don't mess with the fact, two Sunday Mass quite full and now only one not completely filled and a Saturday night one that is almost empty. Your eyes and facts need checking.

Joe Potillor said...

Lately I have been attending the Byzantine parish in Spokane, and I've come to a fuller understanding of what I believe the Vatican II Fathers were attempting to achieve for the Church Universal....and so while I like some of your Father suggestions...there are a few I'd like to add...

a. Everything from beginning to end should be sung daily...kill progressive solemnity. God deserves our best everyday of the year, not just on Sunday's and Solemnities.

b. Hymns need to be Liturgically specified as in the Byzantine Liturgy. (Granted I'm of the opinion that Hymns should NOT be in the Roman Liturgy period)

c. Restore the all the genuflections back.


Gene said...

I think global warming is to blame for the poor attendance at Ignotus' Church.
He could go out in that neighborhood and recruit some feral minorities, however, who are in great need of social justice programs and the blandishments of progressive thinking. Go for it, Ignotus...

Marc said...

I once had a client who the police alleged left some evidence of a spree of armed robberies in the dumpster at or somewhere around Fr. Kavanaugh's Church.

I'm actually pretty impressed that Fr. Kavanaugh is ministering in such a dangerous area of town. I hope many convert to the True Faith from that area.

Joseph Johnson said...

Gene,
You may be right--maybe the Bishop doesn't care about the EF (and, if so, what a pity!). I don't know of any proof that he disfavors it (although, in fact, he may and I just don't know it). I just pray that he would be like some bishops and celebrate it himself and come to appreciate it and promote it as part of the overall "program" for the Diocese.

Pater Ignotus,
I read about the 6 year pastoral term policy in the "Southern Cross" in the article about the most recent pastoral assignments. My current pastor, who has been with us just four years, said that he was surprised when he got the call about moving but he wished to be obedient to his bishop. He told me that it was his understanding that each priest gets one "refusal" when he is asked by the bishop to move. He did not exercise that option because of his greater desire to be obedient.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - In 2003 you reported that an average of 1759 prople per weekend sttended mass at your parish on October weekends. In 2013 you reported that the number was 1233. That's a decline of over 29%.

In 2003 Holy Spirit parish reported that the October average was 319. In 2013 that number was 314. That's a decline of 1.6%.

When Holy Spirit built a new narthex, about 50 new seats were also added in the church. Two Sunday morning masses were no longer needed. That is why there is now one Sunday morning mass at Holy Spirit, not because our attendance has declined, as yours has, by over 29%.

I'll check to see if we have the data about mass attendance at the two Sunday morning masses before the new space was added and get back to you on whether they were "quite full."

JJ - The Diocese of Savannah has never adopted the "Six and Six" policy for the tenure of pastors. In the 28 years I have been ordained I have served on the Presbyteral Council for, probably, 20 of those years. The suggested "Six and Six" policy has been discussed seriously three or four times in those years and has always been rejected, and for good reasons I think.

Pastors can refuse a transfer - an associate does not have that right under canon law. A pastor refusing a transfer is not an act of disobedience.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI read the front page article in the SC. and you will see that we pastors now have a 6 year term plus an additional 6 but no more than 12 except for exceptional circumstances. PV, usually 2 years.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This, PI is the bishops new policy written in the Southern Cross.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

So much your your careerist dreams at staying as long as you want in your declining parish.

Joseph Johnson said...

Pater Ignotus,
I never said that a priest's exercise of his option to decline a requested new assignment constituted a formal act of disobedience, canonical or otherwise. I was merely stating what my pastor gave as his reasoning in accepting his new, unexpected, assignment.

Maybe the Diocesan Chancellor needs to weigh in on this blog to clarify the new diocesan policy on pastoral assignments if the "Southern Cross" article is inaccurate.

Pater Ignotus said...

ACK! Our Southern Cross comes via Madagascar - I haven't gotten the New Assignments issue yet.

I don't know how helpful or successful a six and six policy will be. I don't think we can even begin to live up to that.

We shall see....

Gene said...

Is this just our Bishop's policy or is it USCCB policy?

Gene said...

I personally believe that a successful pastor should be able to remain as long as he likes. This obligatory rotation thing isn't always such a good idea...it is what the Methodists do and some Presbyterians. But, even there, a church with a large apportionment (money) gets to keep the pastor as long as they like. It seems the rule is broken everywhere it is tried. I mean, if you have a Methodist or a Presbyterian church that is budgeting a couple mil a year, is in the black, and is sending a large apportionment of that to the Presbytery, well, you ain't gonna' move the preacher unless he beds the Bishop's wife on the floor of the annual convention...

Joseph Johnson said...

If getting the parish to meet its goal for the Bishop's Annual Appeal is any measure of a "successful" pastor then our current pastor at St. Joseph, Waycross has been quite "successful" (or should I say "fruitful" as the correct word in a Church context). He has helped our parish improve in many other ways as well.

Joseph Johnson said...

Pater Ignotus,
I used to think that Waycross got its "Southern Cross" via Madagascar by planned and contrived conspiracy as we would always get our issue AFTER the (then)quarterly Latin Mass (in Savannah)had already been celebrated. Then certain folks could talk about the "low attendance" at old Rite Latin Masses because it was lower than it might have been if timely notice had actually been received by all who had an interest (thereby creating the result that some wanted to support their viewpoints).

rcg said...

FrAJM, concerning you comment at 10 May 0836: I expect it would be interesting to see. The Society is growing and has a lot of young men i the seminary. We have a parochial vicar who is older, a monsignor, and I expect is prepping to move off on his own to start another parish. These guys know how to organise and manage, very self-sufficient. So I would not be surprised to see someone ready to move into your Diocese to help with EF. Perhaps your Bishop can see fit to allow such an experiment with two purposes: to help the parishes such as yours as they inculcate the TLM into their repertoire and to feed and increase the flock that responds to that particular worship style.

Gene said...

Well, since I toss Southern Cross in the garbage unread, I missed the article.

I think it would take a better analysis than off-hand pastoral assessments of attendance increase/decline over a given period of time to get a true picture of the viability and success of a parish. At St. Jo's, one might first look at budget and finance which gives a picture of a thriving and growing parish. One might also look at Church activities and programs...we have number of very active groups for youth and adults, a thriving RCIA program that is a structured, classroom/seminar atmosphere with texts and assigned teachers and lecturers at every meeting. Our Priests and our Sister are often in attendance and teach many of the programs, and others are taught by people with graduate degrees or a deep knowledge of dogma and Church history. Over the past four years, close to two-hundred people have come into the Church through RCIA. Inquiry meets regularly all summer, and RCIA runs from September to May and is a challenging and dynamic program.
Then, one might attend Mass and observe the care and dignity with which the Liturgy is celebrated and the incredible quality of the music and choir. The homiletics at St. Jo's are doctrinal and exegetical, while remaining pastoral and engaging. I have heard very few trite or maudlin homilies from Fr. or any Vicar in my seven years there. The two main morning Masses are always full, and 5 pm is often near full. The TLM needs a bit of pumping up, but fifty or sixty is a common attendance. So, as a former pastor and member of several pastoral review and finance boards, I would say that St. Jo's is a thriving Church.
Now, where did you say Holy Spirit was...

rcg said...

I can see that a pastor should be considered for essentially permanent assignment. However, I do think he should have some goals to meet. depending on the circumstances he should have increased the presence or at least visibility of the Church and in a positive way reflecting on Rome. There is the risk of going native or even slouching into a comfortable post. The shepherd should smell like the sheep, but not necessarily think like them.