Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO FORMS OF THE ONE LATIN RITE AND THE EF MASS AS THE TEMPLATE TO JUDGE HOW WELL OR HOW POORLY WE CELEBRATE THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS

It should not be either/or but both/and when it comes to the treasury of the Church's liturgy and the two forms that are available today, thanks be to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Fr. Z's blog first posted this video of Archbishop Alexander Samples of Portland, Oregon preaching a very nice homily at a Solemn Sung Pontifical Mass in Portland.

I could not agree more with what the Archbishop says during this homily:

“When Summorum Pontificum came out, and the Holy Father said this is one of the forms of the Latin Rite, the Extraordinary Form, I said ‘I’m a bishop of the Church, I must know this rite!’  And I encourage my priests and my seminarians to learn and to know this rite.  Even if you never have a chance to celebrate it, knowing it, experiencing it – I guarantee you – will affect the way you celebrate the Ordinary Form.  It will do so.”

 


Archbishop Samples knows that in following Vatican II, we must look at the EF Mass to understand how to properly celebrate the Ordinary Form and in continuity, not in a rupture.

What are some of the abuses, not authentic reform? Listen to Archbishop Sample's description of an Ordinary Form Mass in the 1970's around a coffee table. I experienced that in the seminary! How did we get from the Mass that Archbishop Samples is celebrating in the video to a Mass at a coffee table? What was going on? Did Vatican II foresee such nonsense? How did the reform go off track?

The Archbishop seems to endorse the celebration of the Mass ad orientem and makes a good apologetic for it. As I have said before, nothing in the Books of the Ordinary Form of the Mass needs to be changed, or if there are changes, only minor ones, what needs to change is the mentality about how to celebrate the Ordinary Form, even in a purely vernacular Mass. Chant needs to be recovered, ad orientem needs to be recovered, kneeling for Holy Communion needs to be recovered. I would go so far as to say that in both the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form that Holy Communion under both kinds should be exclusively through intinction and allowed and encouraged in both.

1 comment:

Henry said...

"And I encourage my priests and my seminarians to learn and to know this rite. Even if you never have a chance to celebrate it, knowing it, experiencing it – I guarantee you – will affect the way you celebrate the Ordinary Form. It will do so.”

Indeed, it will! Among the numerous priests I know who have learned the celebrate the EF, I've never seen an exception to the rule that attending an OF Mass celebrated by an EF-knowledgeable priest is a sure guarantee of a properly celebrated Mass. So, as a devotee of both forms, I'm grateful that my own bishop is encouraging seminarians to learn the EF.

I've always thought it likely that Pope Benedict restored the EF non only to preserve the Church's greatest liturgical treasure, but perhaps even primarily to serve as a model for the reform of the OF. Perhaps a good variant of Fr. Z's dictum (especially for bishops) would be

"Support the EF, Save the OF."