Thursday, August 24, 2017
SAY THE BLACK AND DO THE RED: WHAT DEFORMS THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS--WHAT ARE THE ABUSES?
When we look at liturgical disconnect from those who are more orthodox in the Catholic Church, there was a small minority in the 1960's as today, who wanted to discard the reform of the Mass period and keep the status quo of the Mass of the Council of Trent.
But there was a much larger group of orthodox Catholics then and perhaps now, who did not argue with the reforms but accepted these as authoritative and out of respect for an Ecumenical Council and the Magisterium of the pope of the day, being Paul VI. Traditional Catholics always defer to the pope in the areas of faith and morals when his teachings are authoritative and not just an expression of opinion or when these enter into the realm of politics or sciences outside the competency of the papacy.
What were the immediate deformations of the revised Roman Missal of Advent of 1969? And in fact these abuses preceded its promulgation and often occurred in the English/Latin hybrid of the 1965 Roman Missal.
Let me count the ones I remember from the late 1960's into the 1970's:
1. Music--the sung Mass faded away and a low Mass with hymns of dubious quality and theology were imposed on the Mass and on congregations--usually sappy folk music. But Protestant hymns with a Protestant ethos and their version of dripping sentimentality was imposed on the liturgy and congregations. Think Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art and Just A Closer Walk with thee. Apart from the Protestant "total depravity of humans" in Amazing Grace, none of these hymns are theologically problematic but they are a Protestant spirituality with the sentimentality of popular devotions of Protestantism.
2. Priests ad libbing the words of the vernacular Mass and taking liberties which pointed to the priest's haughtiness, elevated his personality and charm and his outright disobedience to local bishops and Pope Paul VI who demanded that priests not change the reformed Mass but to accept it as it was/is.
3. The stripping of the Catholic altar to look like a Protestant Lord's Supper table as well as the iconoclasm of historic and not so historic churches and new architecture devoid of Catholic sensibilities as it concerns devotional artwork.
4. The total neglect of Latin which Sacrosanctum Concilium expected to be preserved and all Ordinary Form Missals since 1969 have a complete Latin Version which is the official template for any and all vernacular versions.
5. The limiting or forbidding by bishops of some legitimate options allowed in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal such as Intinction, kneeling for Holy Communion and ad orientem. And the promotion of limited permission for other things, such as a hoard of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion because of use of the common chalice, with its possibility of spreading contagious disease such as Hepatitis, herpes and other infections and viruses.
6. Turning Catholic ritual which is formal into an informal act lacking attention to detail and a lack of care of vestments, altar clothes and the like.
5. The emphasis on the priest due to his ad libbing, funny antics and affective friendliness.
You name other abuses not related to saying the black and doing the red.