Sunday, June 8, 2014


Prayers at the Foot of the altar, one from the Latin Rite during Passiontide another from the Episcopal Church during Clowntide:

An anonymous writter opines the following about mutual enrichment of both forms of the one Latin Rite Mass:

In his letter, Pope Benedict gives some example of mutual enrichment. The OF enrich the EF by offering new Saints. The EF can enrich the OF by what he calls “the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage”. I think he is talking about the sense of the sacred and I suspect this is what many people are referring to when they speak of the reverence of the EF. The Pope is concerned widely occurring “arbitrary deformations of the liturgy” in the OF and I think he is saying that the influence of the EF will help to fix this problem.

Pope Benedict is, of course, talking about mutual enrichment of the two Forms in terms of the Church as a whole. I was thinking that I could apply it at an individual level too. Here is an example. The words of Consecration are silent in the EF. This enriches my experience of the OF because, when I hear the words of Our Lord spoken aloud at the Consecration, rather than taking it for granted, I have a sense of it being a great privilege. The difference also works in reverse. When I am at the EF the silence at the Consecration draws my attention to the holiness and power of God even more because it is in contrast with the spoken option. 

Cardinal Burke who is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship had the following sentiments in 2011:

Cardinal Burke is also responsible for overseeing the Church's liturgy as a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship. 

He is grateful to Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for giving the Church "a font of solid direction" regarding worship, based on the Second Vatican Council's vision of a "God-centered liturgy and not a man-centered liturgy." 

That intention was not always realized, he said, since the council's call for liturgical reform coincided with a "cultural revolution." 

Many congregations lost their "fundamental sense that the liturgy is Jesus Christ himself acting, God himself acting in our midst to sanctify us." 

Cardinal Burke said greater access to the traditional Latin Mass, now know (sic) as the "extraordinary form" of the Roman rite, has helped correct the problem. 

"The celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form is now less and less contested," he noted, "and people are seeing the great beauty of the rite as it was celebrated practically since the time if Pope Gregory the Great" in the sixth century.

Many Catholics now see that the Church's "ordinary form" of Mass, celebrated in modern languages, "could be enriched by elements of that long tradition." 

In time, Cardinal Burke expects the Western Church's ancient and modern forms of Mass to be combined in one normative rite, a move he suggests the Pope also favors. 

"It seems to me that is what he has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite – the 'reform of the reform,' if we may – all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent."

My musings about Cardinal Burke's intuition that we will one day have a new form of the Roman Rite that is more like the EF Mass but maintains the tradition of the OF Mass, without radically changing the OF Missal.

To that end, I think we see it already in the revised "Anglican Use Mass." It was revised last year and was a collaborative work between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship. While the work took place primarily under the reign of Pope Benedict, it was Pope Francis who signed off on it and ultimately approved of it. 

These are the options for the Anglican Use Mass which basically uses the 2013 revised Roman Missal except for one option that has Elizabethan English. But the areas of enrichment of the EF Mass on the OF Mass which could come easily to the Ordinary Form Roman Missal immediately if allowed are the following options in the Anglican Use Missal found in its appendix:

1. Prayers at the Foot of the Altar!

2. The EF Offertory Prayers!

3. Revised rubrics for the Roman Canon that adapt many of the EF's rubrics for it!

4. The Last Gospel!

5. The Ordinariate Revised calendar has many EF elements restored too , like Septuagesima and ember days but still remaining true to the Ordinary Form Calendar and Lectionary!

6. Ad orientem is clearly the preferred option and kneeling for Holy Communion all the while still allowing the distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ from the Chalice! 

Of course the Ordinary Form Mass has more flexibility than the EF Mass. The six options from the EF Mass for the Anglican Use Mass would allow the Ordinary Form Mass to resemble an EF Mass with OF enrichment.


If the Ordinary Form Mass with the six optioins from the EF Mass were included in it and completely said or sung in Latin, maintaining the modern lectionary (which still has the option of the Gradual in place of the Responsorial Psalm, even today) and let's say that the canon is prayed in a low voice during this Ordinary Form Mass, would it not then be the case in reality that the OF Mass has enriched the EF Mass and the two are very similar? 

So in my above scenario, in an all Latin Ordinary Form Mass with the EF elements included, the only difference between it and a traditional EF Mass would be the following:

1. The propers and Collect, Prayer over the Gifts (Secret) and Post Communion Prayer would be from the Ordinary Form Missal but in Latin (many of these were revised and others were borrowed from older Missals predating the Tridentine Missal and some are new. The same would be true of the Prefaces. All these would be from the current Ordinary Form Mass.

2. The revised Lectionary would be used and presumably in the vernacular not in Latin and in the manner of the OF Mass, from the Ambo but not to exclude the chanting of the Gospel in the position of the EF's Solemn Sung Mass. 

3. The Rite of Holy Communion would be the revised one of the Ordinary Form, meaning that there would not be a double Communion Rite, one for the priest and the other for the laity. Therefore the priest would receive his Holy Communion after the Ecce Agnus Dei which he proclaims facing the congregation and then turns back to the altar to receive himself first and then the laity.  

Would this not be the perfect new missal to supplant the older version of the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form?  

This is Pentecost Sunday Solemn Mass at Saint Peter's with Pope Francis. What elements of the Extraordinary Form Mass are present in the Ordinary Form Mass?

Let me point out the first. The Penitential Act is omitted in favor of the Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water. After the water is blessed and sprinkled and the choir has sung "Vidi Aqaum" in Latin, the free standing Kyrie is not omitted as is done in so many American parishes. Of course Saint Joseph Church in Macon has chanted the free-standing Kyrie following the "absolution" for the Rite of Sprinking as is done at the Vatican.

The free standing Kyrie should not be viewed as a Penitential Act. It should always be included when the Penitential Act is omitted, for example at Requiem Masses and Nuptial Masses in the Ordinary Form as well as when the Rite of Sprinkling is chosen! This is very EF indeed!

Does the Holy Father look gaunt or he is trying to lose some extra pounds? He looks quite papal though, very nice miter and vestments for this morning's Pentecost Mass:


Joseph Johnson said...

Based on my experiences, I would prefer to see the the proposed EF-style options for the OF not be options but, rather, MANDATED for all OF Masses. Otherwise, they might be something that we can read in the Missal or Missalette but never see used (a theoretical option only) because the individual priest we have been assigned simply won't use them.

The non-use of the Roman Canon (EP I) is a prime example of this problem. I'm ready for the era of what kind of Mass we get depending on the personalities and whims of each individual priest to end. We need more mandated standardization of the way things are to be done, as in the EF, as well.

If Pope Francis doesn't see the need for these things, maybe we will see them enacted under a future Pope Pius XIII in the person of Card. Burke or Card. Ranjith, or Bishop Schneider!

JBS said...

I'm wondering if added options will be enough on their own. Latin, ad orientem, Roman vestments, etc. have always been options in the reformed Roman Mass, but hardly any priests opt to use them. There is now even long-hoped-for option to offer the EF Mass daily, but how many priests take this option? Hardly any.

What's lacking in Divine Worship today is a reverential fear of the Lord. Were this fear to be recovered, we would naturally desire those existing options for Mass which best express reverence, and this development would in turn open us up to the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost, Who would then guide any needed reforms to the Roman rites.

That said, it would be very funny if the Anglicans end up saving the Roman liturgical tradition!

Anonymous said...

Gaunt? Haven't you seen that belly, he is getting bigger by the day. He should exercise more. Genuflecting burns calories.

rcg said...

Pope Benedict XVI made clear that the "options" of the (now) EF were always available and the "new" translation shows how latitude in the Mass was abused. I am very content with the current state of affairs and think the adjustments, if any could be made to the OF so people who want to explore and experiment can do so within that set of parameters. St Joseph's Mass, under your guidance, shows what can be done. I expect that PI leads a Mass that brings his flock to God as well although it is probably very different. That is a good reason to have the OF. It would be a disaster worse than the 1970's to go back to only one form based on a merging of the current EF and OF.

Anonymous said...

Joseph, I do hope one of the three you mentioned will be the next pope, but I think he should take the name Benedict XVII.

Gary said...

A Solemn High Mass has a sense of reverence unmatched in the OF. A reverently celebrated OF can be hard to distinguish from a Low Mass.

The EF definitely gives perspective on Sacrosanctum Concilium where the Fathers at Vatican II said what they intended. A good argument could be made for Lesson, Epistle, & Gospel in the vernacular, despite its lack of regard for near 15 centuries of sacred tradition, but far less so for the rest & the Council has been largely defied on a lack of any Latin in the Ordinary of the Mass or in the general loss of Chant in the parishes.

Similarly, Holy Communion in both species with the Precious Blood was envisioned as being rare and on special occasions. The routine use of laity as Extraordinary Ministers for distribution of Holy Communion as well as at the altar and ambo defies the spirit, if not letter of the NO law, as it does for the both in the EF.

Pater Ignotus said...

JBS - How does a "Roman vestment," by which I think you mean the fiddle-front chasuble, "best express reverence"?

Anonymous said...


Straw man doesn't work here. JBS did not mention Roman vestments as an illustration of reverence, but rather as an example of the traditional options that very few priests use.

That said, I doubt that any serious person would argue that reverence inheres in any particular style of vestment, Romanan or Gothic or whatever.

One of our TLM celebrants recently acquired a Gothic vestment just as beautifully adorned as the typically ornate Roman vestment. And in the vetus ordo before Vatican II, I never saw anything but fine Gothic vestments.

Though reverence is connoted externally by appearing to offer God the finest we can. Just as a lack of reverence would be connoted to most observers by a priest wearing a KKK bed sheet to celebrate Mass (even if he was internally reverent in intent).

JBS said...

Pater Ignotus,

I refer you to the response posted by Henry.

John Nolan said...

I have never been to an 'Anglican Use' Mass. I have been to Masses celebrated by Ordinariate priests and without exception they have been in Latin and according to the Roman Missal of 1962.

Regarding Gary's comment, the Solemn Latin OF Mass is the one that most closely resembles the classic Roman Rite. The 'Low' forms are more obviously different, even if the OF is celebrated in Latin.

In the 1962 revision the celebrant is no longer required to read the Epistle and Gospel in a Solemn Mass. It would make sense to extend this to the parts which are sung by the schola and/or congregation; this was after all the practice in the first millennium. I know this was introduced in 1965 but it was accompanied by other changes which are less easy to justify.

Last year the CDWDS was going to issue new guidelines for celebrating the Novus Ordo. It was one of the first casualties of the new papacy.

Pater Ignotus said...

JBS, I refer you to your own words:

JBS said, " Latin, ad orientem, Roman vestments, etc. have always been options in the reformed Roman Mass,..."

JBS further said, "Were this fear to be recovered, we would naturally desire those existing options for Mass which best express reverence,..."

"Options" which best express reverence ...

I agree that no particular style is more reverent than any other. To suggest otherwise is silly.

Joe Potillor said...

How about eliminating or minimizing options? I think there are far too many options, where the subjective taste of a priest gets in the way...

But I think 1st one needs to begin with the Institution of the Roman Missal itself

JBS said...

Dear Pater Ignotus,

I do not know which options best express reverence, but if we have fear of the Lord, then we will more easily choose the more reverent options. Further, I would maintain that merely providing a variety of options, traditional and novel, will not in itself ensure that choices are made based upon the need to express reverence. Finally, to suggest that no one liturgical option can be more reverent than any other is perhaps to fall into Platonism, thereby dismissing the value of liturgical forms altogether. This position also dismisses psychology, preventing recognition of the various temperaments that find expression in particular liturgical manifestations of reverence.

Father G said...

"The free standing Kyrie should not be viewed as a Penitential Act. It should always be included when the Penitential Act is omitted, for example at Requiem Masses and Nuptial Masses in the Ordinary Form as well as when the Rite of Sprinkling is chosen! This is very EF indeed!"


The February-March 2014 issue of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship's Newsletter has an article titled "Exploring the relationship between the Penitencial Act and Kyrie at Mass."

Basically, it states the Kyrie is omitted at Requiem Masses and Nuptial Masses in the OF and when the Rite of Sprinkling is used.

Thought I'd let you know.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

That's the problem when a damn committee of no real authority pontificates on such a thing! I'll have to stand by the Vatican liturgists who do not omit it and as recently as Pentecost Sunday with Pope Francis who used the Rite of Sprinkling and after the absolution the Kyrie was chanted!

John Nolan said...

There is also the slight matter of the GIRM which states (para.52): 'After the Penitential Act the Kyrie is always begun, unless it has already been included as part of the Penitential Act' This applies only to option 3 of the PA which includes a troped Kyrie.

Apart from this, there is no Kyrie in the Easter Vigil and it may be omitted on Candlemas and Palm Sunday, where a procession precedes the Mass.

The USCCB's liturgy committee seems to be peopled by men and women of the same calibre as those found in the English equivalent. The latter has a section on music which has a lot about guitars and 'songs' but which doesn't even mention Gregorian Chant. Pathetic.