Saturday, February 15, 2014

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP DOES THESE DAYS AT THE VATICAN? STOP WONDERING AND READ

Anglican Use Catholic Mass:
The Chant Cafe is reporting on some significant developments at the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship as it regards music and chant for the Mass. It sounds like an examination of conscience for the last 50 years since Sacrosanctum Concilium and that perhaps this Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship will strive actually to implement SC which has not actually been done according to its letter for the past 50 years. You can read their article Here.

The supposed outgoing head of this congregation, Cardinal Canizares Llovera said the following:

"With regard to “gratitude” and “commitment”, the prelate added, “We must, indeed, thank God for this first fruit of the Council … not only for the Constitution itself, but also for the renewing dynamism of the Church that it has given rise to, and continues to provide. At the same time, urgent commitment on our part to the continuation and deepening of the liturgical renewal hoped for by the Vatican Council II is now called for. It is true that much has been done, but there remains much still to do”.

I've written this before and I'll write it again. Pope Francis is going to allow the Congregation for Divine Worship to proceed in continuity with what it has thus far accomplished and the ground work it has laid for future accomplishments, the "much has been done, but there remains much still to do." 

Part of what the new initiative that the Chant Cafe reports will certainly revolve around the recovery of the Official Chants of the Mass, meaning not only Gregorian and Polyphony, in Latin or the vernacular, but also the Entrance Chant (Introit) and Offertory and Communion Antiphons. To mandate these as in the EF Mass will solve a whole host of silly problems currently experienced in the OF's music at these times!

We know for a fact that this Congregation along with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has worked together to present to the Holy Father for his approval, and it was the approval of Pope Francis, not Pope Benedict, the revision of the Roman Missal for the Anglican Ordinariate.

This revised Anglican Use Roman Missal brings their missal closer to the Ordinary Form of the Mass although allowing for many Anglican adaptations that do not go against the Roman tradition of the Mass.

But most peculiar and greatly appreciated is what is in the Appendix of this new Roman Missal for the Anglican Ordinariate. And here it is again!

1. The restoration of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar as an option, with its corresponding revision of the order of the Introductory Rite making it exactly the same as the EF's order for this.

2. The option of using the EF's Offertory Rite including the psalm for incensing the altar, the prayer for infusing blessed water into the wine and the longer prayer for the washing of the hands, not to mention the actual Offertory Prayers--this is mind-blowing to say the least and a bombshell!

3. The allowance of the somewhat modified EF's rubrics for the praying of the Roman Canon (in an audible voice, as the exception) but with the other more complicated rubrics!

4. The option of the Last Gospel

As I have written before and write again, this is what Pope Benedict envisioned for the Ordinary Form of the Mass when he issued Summorum Pontificum allowing for the generous celebration of the EF Mass as one of the two forms of the Latin Rite.

Apart from the issue of the Latin and vernacular, if the Ordinary Form's Mass was celebrated entirely in English with the options of the EF's parts of the Mass included as listed above, the Ordinary Form would look and feel like the Extraordinary Form. The differences only being in the English (vernacular) language, the Liturgy of the Word and the simplified "Rite of Holy Communion" of the Ordinary Form.

Allow for kneeling at Holy Communion (and this alone without any of the more radical allowances of the EF influences, would restore sanctity and sanity to the reception of Holy Communion and the reverence due our Risen Lord at this time of Mass) and there would be almost no difference!

AND NOW FOR MY CLAIRVOYANCE! I BELIEVE THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP WILL REVISE THE APPENDIX OF THE CURRENT ORDINARY FORM'S MISSAL TO ALLOW FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE. I WILL GO ONE STEP FURTHER, THE OLD ENGLISH WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AS AN OPTION AS WELL!

WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN? WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS!

The genius of this revision of the Appendix to allow for these EF options in the Ordinary Form's current Roman Missal is that it will undercut the objections of the left-wing liturgical progressives in that they will still be able to have the Ordinary form as it is in the main body of the Missal.


Thus those of us who are progressive with an "organic renewal" of the OF Mass without tossing out the good work of the last 50 years along with the bathwater, will be able to use these EF options at our normal Ordinary Form Sunday Mass and bring about a truly organic development of the Ordinary Form Roman Missal in the next 50 years without tossing out the current Ordinary Roman Missal altogether, but simply developing it along the lines of the EF Mass. This is simply genius! And this should be the goal of the "reform of the reform!"

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Though I'm sure there will be ten thousand comments succeeding this, speaking of the unintelligence/sinfulness/brilliance/etc of this.. As for my own opinion, I must simple say Praise be to God.

Ryan Ellis said...

If this were to come to pass, it would mark the end of one era of the ROTR and the beginning of another. For decades, the ROTR was about taking what was already there in the OF and celebrating in an EF way. The insistence was that everything was there in the OF missal. This would be something entirely different--it would be the beginning of a textual reform era in the ROTR. In that light, the Kocik bombshell of last week makes more sense. His ROTR is, in fact, over (at least in terms of arguments and writing). Perhaps a new one is beginning even as the old one still struggles to be implemented.

Anonymous said...

There is about as much chance of the Vatican correcting the liturgical destruction of the past fifty years as there is of Pope Francis wearing choir dress. It ain't going to happen.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

He's already done it (his approval) for the Anglican Ordinariate's revision of their Roman Missal, although the work was done during Benedict's time, it was in his time it was approved.

Also, He wore the Rocet (if that is the spelling (surplice) over his cassock and then the cope for Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at one of his outdoor events that was purely devotional.

Anonymous said...

Francis did not wear a rochet. A rochet and a surplice are two different things. He wore a surplice which was incorrect for a bishop as is his wearing that cross on the chain instead of the gold cord which is proper and required when wearing choir dress or a cope according to the ceremonial of bishops currently in force. I know, I know it means nothing to you or the other liberals. But it is just another example of his sloppy attitude towards liturgy. He is a modernist who cares nothing about the official worship of the church or prescribed rubrics or forms of dress. It would be unthinkable for an Eastern Rite bishop to ignore or alter their liturgical prescriptions but Francis does it at will because he has no love or respect for tradition. And that Father, is clericalism.

Joseph Johnson said...

This all sounds wonderful but the continuing real problem will be when a parish gets stuck with a priest who will not use these options (presumably because of his personal liturgical philosophy) even when they become an official option in the OF Missal.

Since the new English translation of the Mass first came into use, I have yet to see the Nicene Creed used at Mass (both the previous pastor and the current one only use the Apostles' Creed since the change). It is very rare to see the Confiteor or the Roman Canon used. In fact, to my knowledge, my current pastor has used neither since he has been here.

The addition of these other EF items to the OF Missal will likely be something I only see (just as with the EF itself) when I visit other parishes (like yours, Fr. McDonald . .).

Henry said...

Joseph: "I have yet to see the Nicene Creed used at Mass (both the previous pastor and the current one only use the Apostles' Creed since the change). It is very rare to see the Confiteor or the Roman Canon used. In fact, to my knowledge, my current pastor has used neither since he has been here."

This is incredible. Meaning, literally, unbelievable.

In 40+ years of OF Masses, in numerous (northeast) Georgia and (east) Tennessee parishes and elsewhere, I have never, not a single time, ever heard the Apostle's creed used instead of the Nicean creed. I attend only the EF on Sundays, but on weekday feast days and solemnities I virtually always here the confiteor and the Roman canon at OF Mass. On ferial and memorial week days I almost always hear EP III, only rarely the shortie EP II that was originally introduced with the claim that it was an ancient anaphora, which is now known to have been false.

Admittedly, I choose nowadays to attend OF Mass only where I'm pretty confident what I'll see, but I wonder whether yours is an anomalously bad situation.

John said...

Do not have options. Some priests will always picks the shortest or least suitable one. Until such time as priests are uniformly well formed as liturgists, options shuld not be allowed.

Anonymous said...

I think that unless it is mandated and not just as an option, it will probably go largely un-noticed. If the last 50 years have taught us anything it's that force has to be used, at least with the bishops/priests of this era.

Joseph Johnson said...

Henry,
Incredible? Please accept my invitation to visit the only Catholic parish in "the largest city in the largest county in the largest state east of the Mississippi" (hint: it's where the major railroad lines cross in southeast Georgia) and see for yourself.

Joseph Johnson said...

Henry,
I don't know if you are familiar with an organization called the Association of U.S. Catholic priests (AUSCP). It appears to me that they have taken a stand against the current English translation of the OF Mass.

Now, if your pastor is a member of this organization (in fact, not only a member at large but now, or in the very recent past, on the steering committee of this organization) it should not come as a surprise when he doesn't want to use the Nicene Creed (because of "consubstantial," I suppose . . ?) and when he ends the Mass by saying "The Lord IS with you!"

Believe me, if I didn't have a child being confirmed this year (and having committed myself to teach the Confirmation class under the previous pastor), I would likely be driving the 100 or so miles each way to the EF Mass in Savannah each Sunday!

Henry said...

Believe, Joseph, I understand your situation, having spent much of my adult life in a northeast Georgia county having only a single Catholic parish, and during some pastorates driving 70 miles to the Atlanta area occasionally to maintain contact with spiritually satisfying liturgy. And though now there are multiple EF Sunday Masses within ready distance of my home, it's not been that long since I had to drive 100 miles monthly for one. And I still drive past one Catholic church to another for the exemplary OF weekday Masses I've mentioned.

Joseph Johnson said...

Henry,
I went to the Saturday vigil Mass tonight because of a 25th anniversary dinner afterwards for our Knights of Columbus council.

Once again, no Confiteor (the pastor had previously announced that we would use it during Lent) and we used the Apostles' Creed. As has been typical for some time here, Eucharistic Prayer II was used. Afterwards, I asked our deacon when we would use the Nicene Creed again and he replied that it wouldn't be happening any time soon (mind you, he probably thinks it SHOULD be used--he was simply making an honest observation).

The missalette states that the Nicene Creed should be used on Sundays and on solemnities with the suggestion that the Apostles' Creed could be used during Lent. Do any of the priests want to chime in and set us straight on this one?

Pater Ignotus said...

The Confiteor may or may not be used at the discretion of the priest. He may choose that form, or use on of the "Sample Invocations for the Penitential Act" (Missal Appendix VI).

The priest has the option to use any of the approved Eucharistic Prayers in the Roman Missal.

The Nicene Creed should commonly be used. The Missal suggests the Apostles' Creed for Lent and Easter.


Joseph Johnson said...

Thanks Pater Ignotus--all of what you wrote confirms what I had always read and believed to be correct on these matters.

Henry said...

Agreed on all points, PI. But perhaps there are some licit practices by a priest--such as never choosing the confiteor form, never using the Roman canon, always using EP II even on Sundays, very frequently substituting the Apostle's creed for the Nicean creed, etc--that may suggest something about him that we might rather not know.

Pater Ignotus said...

Henry - I don't know how using legitimate options from the Roman Missal prompts you to "suspect" a priest.

If he uses a cope when it is allowed, does that engender suspicion? If he does not use a cope when that is allowed, does that?

If you have concerns, ask the priest.

Henry said...

PI: "If you have concerns, ask the priest."

I have never asked a priest about his liturgical practices, and never will--nor complained to one, nor about one to anyone else. A priest's celebration of Mass speaks for itself, so what would there be to discuss? Or to gain. If mere validity of sacramental action not enough, and more perfect worship is sufficiently important to one, it can always be found with sufficient effort. In these troubled recent decades, surely many Catholics serious about the liturgy have have occasionally faced a decision to take themselves (and their support) elsewhere.

Pater Ignotus said...

Henry - You have "suspicions." If you ask your pastor why he does what he does, your suspicions may be eased.

Or, if as you say "A priest's celebration of Mass speaks for itself" then, in fact, you have no suspicions. You already "know" what you want to know.