Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The Holy Father's divisive preferences:

A young child receives our Lord in Holy Communion and in the hand, how precious.

A wedding, how lovely! Holy Communion in the hand is allowed!

YIKES, Did his bishop give permission for inter-communion?

As you can imagine, ever since Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on the celebration of the 1962 Roman Missal, there has been an out cry from the progressive camp of the Church over this "turning of the clock back." Of course, these same progressives advocate for all kinds of other diversity in the celebration of the Mass, all the way to clowns, secular music and trendy multiculturalism.

When they see Pope Benedict distributing Holy Communion by way of intinction to communicants kneeling and receiving the Sacred Host on the tongue, they declare foul and lurch in horror at this "divisive" act on the part of the Holy Father.

But are pluralism and diversity in the Church and her liturgy that horrible and divisive? I think I am progressive enough to say "no" "authentic pluralism" is not. At the same time, I realize that following the Lord Jesus, even in the Church, as our Church teaches and enunciates in canon law and liturgical law, which gives a great deal of flexibility to priests, could cause division. Jesus said following him would. "Do you think I have come to bring peace, no, I have come to bring division!" (My paraphrase, you look up the actual words and larger context).

But now for my modest proposal concerning the Reform of the Reform:

1. The 1962 Roman Missal, keep it as the Holy Father as legislated, recognizing that it is the Holy Father's outreach to schismatic traditionalists to show them that there was no real rupture in the Church if one truly accepts the Documents of the Second Vatican Council

2. Keep the 2002 Edition of the Roman Missal and get us an English translation of it as soon as possible (looks like Advent 2011 but who knows?)

3. In the 2002 Edition of the Roman Missal, allow for an "optional" order of Mass using the 1962 Order and rubrics continuing to call it "extraordinary". Again this would be optional and along side the Revised Order of Mass continuing to be called "ordinary" going back to the 1970 revised Roman Missal.

4. Now, I get really liberal and radical, allow the 1962 Roman Missal Order of Mass and rubrics in the "new" 2002 Roman Missal to be translated into English as an option, just as it is an option for the 1970 Order of Mass. As well, make sure that when using the 2002 Roman Missal with the "1962 Order of Mass and rubrics" that the Liturgy of the Word be the Revised Lectionary always and that when using the 1962 Order of Mass, only the Roman Canon be prayed with its 1962 rubrics.

5. Why allow the "Order of the 1962 Roman Missal Mass and Rubrics" as an option in the 2002 Roman Missal?

A. You can still use the Revised Roman Calendar for any day of the liturgical year.

B. You can still use all the revised Opening Collects, Prayers over the Gifts, and Prayers after Holy Communion, in addition to all the added prefaces but with the 1962 Order of Mass and rubrics. In other words, each Sunday if a Mass is celebrated with the Revised Order at 9:30 AM and with the 1962 Order at 12:10 PM, the Mass texts, including the lectionary would be the same for both, either in Latin or English.

C. Of course, the choice of Ad Orientem or Ad Populum should be allowed explicitly. Kneeling for Holy Communion would not be viewed as heretical, divisive or out of order, the same for standing. The same would hold true for "intinction" but by the Minister, not self-intinction.

Your thoughts? Of course I realize that I'm just dreaming?


Rood Screen said...

Maybe a “First Eucharistic Prayer--Extraordinary Form” would be a reasonable start. We already have so many; surely one more would not hurt.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dear Fr. Shelton, I have thought of that too, and with the revised English translation of the Roman Canon, it would be very easy to insert the rubrics of the EF Roman Canon onto the re-translated English, with all the signs of the cross, double genuflections at the consecrations and rubrics for the pall, genuflecting each time the consecrated Precious Blood is covered or uncovered. Rubrics for the pall are sorely lacking in the OF Mass rubrics. Fr. Allan McDonald

Templar said...

The details of such proposals are fascinating to someone with an interest in Liturgy such as myself, however I think they put the cart before the horse.

I think stage 1 of the Reform of the Reform must be to correct those things which can be corrected NOW without the need to wait for changes and directions. Specifically I mean ad Orientem worship, and communion in the hand.

The loss of ad Orientem creates a community closed in upon itself in a horizontal and circular fashion. Catholic Liturgy should be a reflection of our Faith and it should be hierarchical, and vertical. Turn the Priest around to lead the faithful and assume the proper role as intermediary with God.

Communion in the hand I realize is permitted by indult and no Parish Priest can deny it, however, Communion kneeling and on the tongue can be encouraged and fostered as a superior way of receiving and it is simply not to any great degree in even the most orthodox of OF Parishes.

Robert Kumpel said...

Regarding the photo of Bill Clinton: At least HE had enough respect for the Catholic Church to receive it according to the universal norm.

Now if we can just get him to convert (I mean REALLY convert--not a Tony Blair conversion).

skeeton said...

It would be a great witness if priests were asked (required) to maintain the same high standard of piety toward the Most Holy Eucharist in both forms of the Mass. In OF Mass, if a priest must take special care that not a single fragment falls from his finger tip or thumb, if a priest must diligently purify the sacred vessels, if a priest must thoroughly wash his fingers in the ablution cup...well, then the laity might start to think that there is something special about the Eucharist after all!

As a second step, I'd like all the bishops of the world, in union with the Holy Father, to declare that all the tabernacles of the world should be put back in their rightful places, in the sanctuaries of all Churches. Of course, this wouldn't necessarily apply to places that are frequented by a ton of foot traffic (i.e. St. Peter's) or where there might be too much distance between the altar and the apse (i.e. St. Peter's).

A guy can dream, can't he?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Blogger skeeton said..
I have to tell you that since I started celebrating the EF Mass once a month on Sunday and every Tuesday, it makes me wonder why I'm so careful with the EF Mass and the consecrated Species and not as careful with the Sacred Species at the OF. The impression could be given that one is the True Mass and the other isn't. I don't think we should give that impression and I'm not sure why these rubrics were removed in the OF Mass. The law of prayer is the law of belief. In our God given sacramental form of prayer, what you do and what you don't do speaks volumes in terms of what the people see and don't see. I can't help if priests and laity have lost respect, reverence and awe for the Holy Things (Jesus Christ) we handle so casually today in the OF Mass. I can't help but wonder too, if people who watch me celebrate the EF Mass have a renewed sense of respect, reverence and awe for the Holy Things we handle (Jesus Christ). I know it has helped me to reconsider my "sacred actions" in the OF. Pope Benedict knows what he is doing in re-establishing this form of the Mass and in this regard and many other matters he is a genius!-- Fr. Allan McDonald

skeeton said...

Fr. McDonald,
What's the word on the street amongst you priestly foot soldiers? Are we merely going to get a new translation of the Mass next year? Or is there a chance that we will also get tightened rubrics and a revised General Instruction? The promulgation of the new Missal is a once-in-a-pontificate event. I can't imagine that Benedict will allow the catechetical moment to pass without blowing all the trumpets and pulling out all the stops. I'm thinking there will be more - a revised instruction, a major encyclical, a global synod specifically on reforming the reformed liturgy. Your thoughts?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

To Skeeton, well there is a little bit of new age religion in me, but no I'm not clairvoyant. But from the facts, it appears that Pope Benedict has an agenda that is very well thought out and yes, it was thought out before he became pope. He's simply implementing what he has written and spoken about in his years a head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. When he had his synod on the Holy Eucharist at the beginning of his papacy, he inquired among the bishops present if it would be a good idea if we had the Tridentine Mass easily available. At the time the press reported that a good number of the bishops were opposed to such a proposition. Well, the next thing you know, a couple of years later is issues his now famous decree and yours truly is celebrating it for the first time as a priest.

I think though he knows there is a lot of resistance and division in the Church over the direction of his leadership, so he has slowed it a bit and he has not publicly celebrated the EF Mass which I see as rather odd and perhaps a move to placate those who are very upset with him and there are many and in high places.

Will he revise the GIRM or the rubrics of the 2002 Missal. Maybe yes, maybe no. I don't think many priests have an opinion one way or another. Unfortunately, many priest don't even know that the new translations is coming and that they can find much of it on our Bishops' own web site. YIKES.--Fr. AJM

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Anonymous said...

dear father:

Did any councils of the Catholic Church allows Communion by hand?

Can post a very specific documents that states communion by hand is allowed.

respectfully yours,

paul dominic of the holy eucharist

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Paul, I know of no document that allows for communion in the hand other than the permission that was granted to the United States (and other places where bishops requested permission) by the Holy See. It is permitted in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal in USA adaptations approved by the Holy See.