Liturgical diversity run a muck or running its course or here to stay?
While the reforms of the Mass concretized after Vatican II by Consilium, that elite committee that reworked the Mass, authorized by Pope Paul VI which His Holiness as Supreme Pontiff and legislator promulgated as was his divine right, sought to simplify the Mass to make it more intelligible and to get rid of historical accretions that were not in place in the early Church.
So the following was stripped from the Mass:
1. Prayers at the Foot of the Altar (thought to be too clerical)
2. Private prayers of the priest either eliminated or drastically edited, for example the elimination of the silent prayers of the priest as he ascends the altar and kisses it, the psalm that is recited when incensing the altar, quiet prayers before the Gospel, the lengthy washing of the hands prayer, the prayers before the Orate Fratres and a few others.
3. Those who translated the revised Latin Mass into English took further liberties not found in the Latin Roman Missal (other language groups did the same). So the Gloria and Credo were truncated and improperly translated as was the "Lord, I am not worthy" and the Confiteor. Mercifully this has been corrected in English!
But then new accretions were added to the revised Mass that would make the historical accretions of the EF Mass blush with shame! The new accretions were accomplished ad hoc or by parish or diocesan committees or simply by the priest who thought it was a good idea.
Here are some of the more notorious examples:
1. During Advent, lengthy advent wreath lighting ceremonies in place of the penitential act or in addition, with lay people lighting the candle and words being said.
2. Lengthy introductions and mini or maxi homilies cast throughout the Mass. Bishops are the worst offenders of lengthy introductions to Masses at their Cathedrals prior to the penitential act where everyone is asked to sit, people are introduced, the reason for the celebration is explained and all are exhausted by the rhetoric before the Penitential Act even starts.
3. In some places, the priest gives a synopsis of what's coming up in the readings prior to the Penitential Act and after the religious greeting followed by secular "how do ya do's" and the like. Priests like to draw attention to themselves and their magnanimous friendly and inviting personalities. It's all about them after all.
4. In some places there is a brief synopsis before each reading.
5. In some places the priest summarizes all that has happened during the Mass after the Prayer after Holy Communion.
Then there are the cultural ditties:
1. Liturgical dance that is truly imposed on the revised rite of the Mass and has simply nothing to do with the Mass whatsoever
2. People wearing native costumes to do this, that and the other even though these costumes are no longer the normal dress of these cultures, who those ethnic groups doing these things in a foreign culture in which they now live.
3. Popular devotions of various ethnic groups dragged into the Mass rather than standing alone.
4. Secular music and trends of various cultures whether historic or novel imposed upon the style of liturgical music and/or chant. For Americans, it is the Broadway sounding melodies of much of the newer liturgical music; for young people it is the fads of how their music sounds; for some ethnic groups it is the Polka Mass sound or some other such silly innovation.
My final comments:
I am not opposed to liturgical diversity but I believe it has to be true to who we are as Roman Catholics and our European heritage as Roman Catholics no matter where we live, in Europe, Asia, the Americas or Africa. If we don't like being Latin Rite Catholics or Roman Catholics, then the pope should set up new rites as the Eastern Rites have, with their own bishops and priests. I guess in the Latin Rite we could call them Ordinariates.
But for those of us who want the cultural thrust of being a part of the pure Latin or Roman Rite, we now have two forms of our one Rite, the Ordinary and the Extraordinary. But these should be done within our cultural heritage, saying the black and doing the red.
In addition to this, in both rites, no matter the vernacular of the Ordinary Form, chant should have a place of pride as well as chanting the Propers. The first priority should be chanting the official texts of the Mass to include Sacred Scripture.
The second and much less important aspect of the Mass is the filler music, such as hymns and anthems that are added to the Mass to cover particular actions. These are insignificant and should not be the main preoccupation of the sung Mass.