Sunday, October 12, 2014


Perhaps John Nolan or someone in the know can tell us why there are silver candlesticks and crucifix on the altar and no addependium. I thought silver was more for penitential seasons?


John Nolan said...

There seems to be a return to liturgical minimalism. On a 'green' Sunday I would consider silver candlesticks and thurible to be quite in order, but I notice that the candlesticks are now very much pushed to the side, and I would not be surprised if the central crucifix (now considerably smaller) were soon to go. The lack of an antependium in the correct liturgical colour is puzzling.

Things were worse in JP II's day when Piero Marini held sway. But when Paul VI was ascending to the papal altar (adorned with six stumpy candles and a tiny crucifix), clad in a boring polyester chasuble, the London Oratory was putting on splendid High Masses and was proud to do so. Who cares what happens in Rome? It's what happens here on the ground that counts.

The nearest Mass to where I live is in a small chapel three-and-a-half miles away. The new priest-in-residence has already made his mark, replacing the cheap ceramic vessels with silver ones, getting rid of girl altar boys, adhering meticulously to the rubrics and using the Roman Canon on Sundays, and looking to introduce chant Masses. The ball is very much at the feet of the younger generation, and oldies like me are on hand to offer help and encouragement.

In contrast with some of the commentators here, I am more optimistic than I have been in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone say Pope Burke??? We are waiting for your Grace to save us and Holy Mother Church!

Anonymous said...

True, who cares what happens in Rome, these are all old Vatican II prelates inluding the Pope, as stated by John Nolan the wave of the future is all of our YOUNG priests pouring out of the F.S.S.P., Institute of Christ the King and yes our brothers in the S.S.P.X. who will God willing come home to Rome and help swell our ranks of young priests for the TLM. Just think of the influence the priests and bishops of the S.S.P.X. would have when they come home to Rome!!!! Pray the talks with the S.S.P.X. will give fruit and open their hearts.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Raymond Burke as our next Holy Father this holy Cardinal has been such a stauch advocate of the TLM amid such hatred against him for his love of the TLM.

John Nolan said...

Does St Peter's have a green antependium? Green was not a papal liturgical colour before Paul VI's reign.

If, as many assert, Pope Francis is not particularly interested in liturgy, who is doing the tweaking? I noticed that the Introit was preceded by an interminable Italian responsorial hymn which is calculated to depress the spirits of anyone with an ear for music. Are we to assume the HF asked for this?

Benedict was too cautious. Pope Burke or Pope Ranjith would be well advised to go the whole hog with sedia, flabella, trumpets and the rest, following the example of St John XXIII. In this grey and boring age we are crying out for a bit of pomp and circumstance. Triumphalism? Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

Agreed Mr. Nolan, Benedict was very cautious and just could not go all the way with the return to the TLM and all that went with it. Yep Burke and Ranjith are the best bets for pre-Vat II rituals.

Cameron said...

John Nolan I've never seen a green antependium at St. Peters, not ever.

John Nolan said...

On Saturday I attended a sung Requiem Mass (chant and polyphony) in the Ordinary Form. It was ad orientem, entirely in Latin (including the Scripture readings which were sung from the ambo, the first two by a cantor in choir dress). The Dies Irae was sung in the correct place, alternating chant and polyphony. Since the Sanctus/Benedictus was polyphonic the young Dominican priest recited the Canon in a low voice while singing was in progress; the Benedictus was sung after the Memorial Acclamation.

Now I realize that such a celebration is at the higher end of 'graduated solemnity' but it shows that the Novus Ordo and the classic Roman Rite are not in opposite camps. Those who argue that if you're going to have a Latin Mass you might as well use the 1962 Rite are missing the point. In a lecture afterwards, Fr Uwe Michael Lang, a priest of the London Oratory who has done stints in Rome at the CDWDS and the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations spoke of the concern of liturgists that the trend since the Council has been to emphasize the text at the expense of the ritual, to the extent that many, if not most celebrations of the Novus Ordo are seriously unbalanced.

To redress this imbalance does not require a new rite of Mass nor a wholesale return to 1962, which is hardly a practical proposition. However, there is a generation of priests and bishops who were brought up to regard the Novus Ordo as an entirely new departure, reflecting a different theology or 'ecclesiology' which not only makes it incompatible with the older Rite but demands that it be celebrated in a radically different way. It was this perception that Benedict XVI sought to counter, and Summorum Pontificum was one means of doing this. Those in the 'progressive camp' were appalled, and some still try to argue it was merely a concession to diehard 'traditionalists'. Benedict's legacy will certainly survive this papacy, since the current generation of liturgical scholars (Fr Lang was born in 1972) share his vision. Piero Marini, born in 1942, is thirty years behind the times.