Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Yesterday I celebrated the Extraordinary Form Low Mass for Tuesday in the Octave of Pentecost. The Mass had its own propers and prayers and the Preface of the Holy Spirit was used. The EF Lectionary had it own readings and the Pentecost Sequence followed the Gradual. Since is was a Low Mass, the readings were in English including the Sequence. (I have a 1965 English Lectionary which has been most helpful with these Masses.)
What a pity that the reforms of 1970 did not maintain the Octave of Pentecost. It could easily be reinstated and I would hope that this is on the table for discussion in the Congregation for Divine Worship. The Octave of Pentecost would conclude marvelously with the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity this coming Sunday. Pentecost needs to be extended and celebrated with an Octave! It is a no brainer.
But let's talk about something that I do like about the 1970's reforms and there are many aspects of that reform that are worthy. The most worthy is the 1970's classification of liturgical days. Even after almost 7 years of celebrating the EF Mass I am still baffled by the various designations of various classes for the Masses celebrated. The OF's designations are wonderful and simple.
There are four designations for daily Masses. The highest is the "Solemnity." Solemnities have the Gloria and the Credo and usually the full array of readings as in the Sunday's OF lectionary. During the week for Solemnities I use the legitimate option of the Apostles' Creed rather than the Nicene Creed.
The next highest is the "Feast." The Gloria is mandated but not the Creed. The lectionary readings omit one reading as is done for daily Mass.
Then comes the capital "M" Memorial. It is obligatory to be used, but the Gloria and Credo are omitted.
Finally is the little "m" memorial. It is optional. I'm not sure why it is optional and why this decision is left to the discretion of the priest to make.
When there is no special designation for a daily Mass, the "ordo" makes recommendations as to which daily Mass the priest may use. Usually these designations are based upon the on-going daily readings of the lectionary. Again, the determination is made by the priest who celebrates that Mass. He may choose not to follow the ordo's recommendation. There are many votive Masses the priest can use as well, all based upon his preferences.
As I've written before and I'll write it again, I love the revised English Roman Missal in terms of everything that is included in it and the various options available. I would not in any way recommend doing away with this Missal and going exclusively to the 1962 Missal even if it were allowed in the new and glorious English translation of the Ordinary Form Roman Missal.
However, with the Ordinary Form Missal and to make it more like the Extraordinary Form Mass, I would love to see the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar" mandated once again even if it is privately done by the priest and servers at a Sung Mass, while the Introit is chanted. And these prayers prayed at the Foot of the Altar ad orientem could still accompany a Mass which otherwise is prayed facing the congregation.
As well the older Offertory Prayers and the Last Gospel could easily be reinstated without much fuss. However I prefer the Ordinary Form's Final Blessing prior to the Dismissal. And I would recommend if the Last Gospel is reinstated, that the "Go in Peace" follow it. It just makes logical sense.
I would pray that the Propers would once again be mandated and not just one of four options as it is currently in the Ordinary Form Missal's GIRM. I still would suggest that a processional hymn could still be sung for the procession and the Introit begun after the priest arrives at the Foot of the altar. And certainly filler chants could be used at the Offertory and Communion in addition to the official propers.