Saturday, December 5, 2015
PERPLEXED IN MACON: WHY AREN'T OTHER LITURGY BLOGS MAKING A BIG, BIG DEAL OUT OF THE ANGLICAN ORDINARIATE, "DIVINE WORSHIP: THE MISSAL?"
I suspect that many liturgy blogs don't want a reform of the reform of the untraditional Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. They want the traditional Extraordinary Form Mass and they want it in Latin as it has been and they want it that way now and forever and not just as extraordinary but as normative for the entire Church. They want the Ordinary Form suppressed. Thus the Anglican Ordinariate's "Divine Worship, the Missal" isn't what they want and they still think it is a product of bad old Vatican II.
In other words, they do not accept Vatican II because it is "just" a pastoral council. However, they don't accept the Magisterium's authority to legislate for the Church even based upon a pastoral council. That's heterodox!
Sacrosanctum Concilium as with all the documents of Vatican II are authoritative even though most are not "infallible and thus immutable." However, most of the documents of Vatican II contain infallible, immutable teachings handed down in continuity with the Church of the period in which Vatican II took place.
It is completely absurd to dismiss Vatican II and of course the laity (prior to Vatican II as well as afterward) have no authority whatsoever to do so, none, nadda, nulla, niente!
Yes, in the areas of non-infallible teaching, in the areas of pastoral judgements or programs and in the areas of Vatican II that are formulated in response to what was happening in the world at that time and events that led up to that point in time, the laity can question and the Magisterium of the Church can correct or modify. The laity, as the pre-Vatican II Church taught, cannot act as the Magisterium even if invoking the sensuum fideli! And it is erroneous to believe that the post-Vatican II Church allows the laity to manipulate the teachings of the Church and to pick and choose canonical authoritative decisions as if in a cafeteria. This applies to the so-called orthodox as it does to the clearly heterodox.
Thus Vatican II's document Sacrosanctum Concilium ordered that the liturgical books of the Church be revised according to the principles it set forth. These principles though are conservative and not wide-ranging. However, Consilium which was the committee that Pope Paul VI set up to implement the conservative agenda of Sacrosanctum Concilium went way beyond what the fathers of Vatican II desired for the Liturgy.
However, Pope Paul VI, exercising his legitimate authority as the Supreme Pontiff authorized the contrived, untraditional liturgy of Consilium as Pope Benedict would later call it. Thus it became law.
While Pope Paul did not suppress the traditional liturgy altogether, he did forbid parishes after the First Sunday of Advent 1969 from celebrating it as a normative Mass in parishes and convents and monasteries. We can now with 20/20 hindsight see the imprudence of this authoritative decision but we have no authority to say Pope Paul VI had no authority to do what he did even though we might object to this, that or the other.
Acting under his own authority as Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict in continuity with his "reform in continuity" agenda lifted the complete ban on the EF Mass and other sacramental celebrations allowing any priest anywhere without his bishop's permission to celebrate this form of the Liturgy.
SC simply called for "noble simplicity" and for maintaining the Latin but allowing for some vernacular and it asked for a lectionary that used Scripture more lavishly. I think it is fair game to call the 1969's (70's) Missal a perversion of what Vatican II requested.
And that brings us to the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. We have seen a very organic although slow reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass take place since 1969. Slow to be sure but it happened and continues to happen. I would say that the revision of the GIRM in 2002 was a major reform of the reform as was the new and glorious translation of the Latin into English in Advent a few years back.
And now we have the Anglican Ordinariate's Divine Worship, the Missal that may well be the template for our own Ordinary Form's revision (not the English that is used, but the order and additional options from the EF's Missal that it incorporates as well as its splendid revision of the Ordinary Form's Roman Calendar keeping the best of the EF's Calendar).
How does Divine Worship: the Missal actually implement SC and in a more literal way?
1. Noble simplicity is maintained but not dumbing down as in our Ordinary Form. The only useless repetition that is removed from the EF order of Mass is the double Communion Rites for priest first and then laity. That's it.
2. Since it is an Anglican (English) tradition Missal, Latin is not excluded because most the of the prayers in the Order of the Mass (apart from the peculiarly Anglican additions here and there) but there is no Latin version of this Missal. But Latin is already available in the Ordinary Form's Latin Missal. But no Latin is prescribed which I would say is unfaithful to SC.
3. The more lavish use of Scripture in the lectionary is maintained from our Ordinary Form.
4. The Missal presumes Ad Orientem as does the EF; it does not presume facing the people although as in the EF it is not actually forbidden.
5. Kneeling for Holy Communion is clearly an option as it is in our revised 2010 Missal and GIRM.
So let us rejoice at the ongoing organic reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. Divine Worship, the Missal is a splendid culmination or better yet, ongoing example of organic development in this reform.