Saturday, July 7, 2012


Cardinal Raymond Burke should be in the know in terms of what will happen in the future concerning the revision of our reformed Mass also known as the Missal of Pope Paul VI. He offers a stunning admission that some of the reforms after the Second Vatican Council, and by this he means official reforms, not silly abuses on the local level never envisioned by Vatican II, where mistakes and an abuse of what the Second Vatican Council actually intended. He says, the official reforms went beyond what should have happened and not coherently; that the Church needs to go back and not negate, but correct abuses that entered in and return some elements taken away a re-incorporate There needs to be an organic unity in theology and externals between the unreformed Mass and the Reformed Mass. That, my dear friends, is rather stunning no matter how you cut it.

Listen carefully to what Cardinal Burke has to say about the reform of the reform of the Mass which oddly enough mirrors what I've been saying all along and sounds quite a bit like St. Joseph's Sunday Mass for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. I will post comments below the video as to what I think the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass will be, because as you know I am clairvoyant, but maybe not, but I really wonder about that!

This is what needs complete recovery in the Missal of Pope Paul VI:

1. The recovery of beauty and clarity that it is Christ who is acting in the Mass.

2. Prayers at the Foot of the Altar need to be recovered as a prelude to approaching the altar

3. the traditional Prayers at the Offertory need to be recovered

4. Strong sense of sinfulness and redemptive nature of the Holy Mass

5. Vernacular should be the primary language of most parish Masses but Latin should be required for the following only (this doesn't mean that the Ordinary Form couldn't be entirely in Latin)

a. Latin Chant for the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons
b. Greek for the Kyrie
c. Gloria
d. Credo
e. Sanctus
f. Agnus Dei

Again, the following video is a good example of what might be and could be even now. The most controversial aspect of this video is the use of the EF's Rite of Sprinkling as a prelude to the Mass. But keep in mind, there are many preludes today in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. For example, Christmas pageants on Christmas Eve, Choral Concerts and even Lessons and Carols for Christmas and other times. At the closing Mass of the Fortnight of Freedom, after the processional which lasted almost 10 minutes, Cardinal Wuerl asked the congregation to be seated even prior to the Sign of the Cross and had a twenty minute pep rally and introduced all the major celebrities at the altar to thunderous applause and had two major speeches by other prelates. All of this makes my humble inclusion of the EF's Rite of Sprinkling look fully in accord with what is permissible and i would suggest the pep rally prelude is an abuse of the liturgy, in my humble opinion.

I believe the preludal Rite of Sprinkling acts as a kind of Prayer at the Foot of the Altar. Please note that a processional hymn is sung for it, but the official Introit in Latin is also sung as the Entrance Chant for the Mass. There is a good recessional hymn to and I am blown away that my parishioners stay for its conclusion, I don't think that happens everywhere--I'm always outside to greet people so I've never actually witnessed this except by this tape!

Apart from the EF's Rite of Sprinkling, there is nothing unusual about this Reform of the Reform of the Mass that isn't allowed by Pope Paul VI's missal, nothing whatsoever!


Joseph Johnson said...

One of the most effective ways to overcome the resistance to these needed reforms of the OF and to help people understand what we have lost is more widespread availability of the EF. I fear that if the suggested reforms were mandated from on high to the OF they would not be well received at this point by most (including clergy) because of the lack of recent exposure to the EF (or any exposure at all to most younger people--most will be clueless).

If you don't know what we came from how can you accept/understand where we may be going? If these things are to be in the OF, our Diocese of Savannah had better start preparing the ground by making the EF more available in its parishes. Otherwise, when any such OF reforms are mandated, it's like throwing good viable seed on hard ground that has not been broken up by plowing and harrowing first (see, you can tell I have farming in my background as I can figuratively see the EF as a liturgical turning plow preparing the ground for true liturgical reform!).

rcg said...

I heard thunder when I read #1 and I think the next three flow naturally from that. #5 will follow as people yearn to understand how to best accomplish the other four.

ytc said...

Lay it out Cardinal Burke.

Hammer of Fascists said...

While it's always nice to hear such things, my response to them now is "talk is cheap." It's like the Republicans talking about their pro-life stance: sure, they talk pro-life, but the two groups most responsible for continued abortion right in this country are the Republican Party and the Catholic bishops.

Nothing is going to correct these abuses, which are now institutionalized, except unilateral papal action ordering specific corrections through a revised missal. The factthat several priests objected even to that tactic when the revised missal came out last year shows that anything less certainly won't be enough.

And as the motu propro shows, at's also insufficient for the pope to say "You are now allowed to do it this way." Permission may be safely ignored by dissidents. A requirement, with definite penalties attached, will be the only thing that works.

I think the single best thing that BXVI could do would to be to order all NO Masses be celebrated ad orientem, as the rubrics already imply is should be. Ideally, it would be a simple instruction, supported by current rubrics, not subject to loopholes, and it would be the single most important liturgical change he could carry out, IMHO, de-emphasizing the meal aspect of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and reintroducing the vertical element that's been very nearly suppressed in the NO.

But I doubt he'll do it. It's less risky to placate orthodox Catholics by soothing talk than it is to alienate the huge numbers of people who've been unwittingly infected with modernism. Orthodox Catholics are a captive audience; to whome else shall we go? It's the casual folks and the dissenters who can easily leave (and take their money with them).

Sorry f I sound cynical, but . . . I am cynical, at this point.

Rood Screen said...

Joseph Johnson, "One of the most effective ways..." I agree with your comment entirely. The Holy Father sees that sudden and drastic liturgical changes, mandated from on high, did great damage to the Church. The 'reform of the reform', therefore, cannot be mandated from above, but must grow organically from the EF Mass by close contact with the OF. The OF Mass cannot reform itself, but can be reformed, slowly, by the EF.

ytc said...


In the Cardinal's defense, this was simply an interview, likely a requested one at the behest of the news source itself.

However, I do largely agree with you.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would have to agree Fr. Shelton that the reform of the reform must flow from a renewed awareness of the Mass that is the template for the reformed Mass. Already great strides are being made here and there and as the old guard dies off, I don't think there will be quite the resistance to what some call the "re-enchantment of the liturgy." But it is better to take the long view in this and hope that a new breed of clergy will strive to implement the reform of the reform in their parishes. It isn't that difficult.

ytc said...

This reform of the reform must and likely will be a medium-range goal. It will not be a short-range goal because it would be almost cruel and evil to put the larger Catholic community through what it was already put through once. (As a side note, even the most flaming liberal clown Mass-type Catholic will likely tell you that the changes in the Church were not comfortable, revel though they may in the outcome.) It will likewise not be a long-range goal because in order for this to work correctly, the Church must have the pre-Conciliar experience and culture in Her "cultural memory." If the zeitgesit of the pre-Conciliar Church dies with the elderly or is exclusively relegated to FSSP parishes: 1. No one but specialists who are perceived as complete weirdos will have any idea what must be restored and, 2. No one will care.

We already have at least a general sense of what prayers, rubrics and practices are necessary to return to the OF Missal. Pre-Mass asperges, PatFotA (to include the "Penetential Act" taking place here), Latin for the unchanging parts of the Mass with the changing parts to certainly be allowed in Latin if so desired, restored Offertory, limitation to the Roman Canon or at least "Eucharistic Prayers" with obligatory usages, COMMUNION ON THE TONGUE KNEELING, a restoration of proper orations that reflect more than just "God do this, Jesus pls make me happy," etc. I would also like to see a restored Calendar with a significantly repopulated Sanctoral cycle. Restore the maniple, biretta, etc. Also a general and far-reaching restoration of rubrics.

Some of these things, like the vestments and manner of reception of Holy Communion, can be restored without much fuss. Others, like Latin and the proper orations and PatFotA, will likely require a new Typical Edition.

As I said, this must be a medium-range goal. I would say twenty to thirty years is a fair, reasonable, and dare I say compassionate time line.

Henry Edwards said...

"The Holy Father sees that sudden and drastic liturgical changes, mandated from on high, did great damage to the Church."

The fact, that it did harm to mandate harmful things in the 60s/70s, does not contradict the fact that good might be done now by mandating good things.

But, alas, we live in an age of fuzzy logic--perhaps especially in the Church--when few can make such subtle logical distinctions.

trc said...


The always faithful PTB has an aneurism.

John Nolan said...

I sometimes wish that I haven't had to spend my entire adult life trying to find
Catholic liturgy and music which didn't find me tearing my hair out. It would be wonderful to drop into a local church on a weekday and hear a simple Low Mass, or attend a decent sung Mass on a Sunday and Holy Day without driving for miles. I know that I shall be long dead before things are set right. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was reading "few Catholics under 30 are familiar with Mass in Latin" - now it's not 30, but 60.

However, I am lucky to have been baptized and confirmed in the older rites, to have had the privilege of serving the Mass before the changes, and perhaps one result of the complete mess of the last half-century is that I don't take the liturgy for granted.

Ryan Ellis said...

Keep in mind, Father, that requiring Latin Mass propers from the Gradual means outlawing Simple English Propers, one of the most successful efforts of recent times.

As long as we're requiring Latin, why not in the proper orations? Because they change from Mass to Mass? So do the proper chants, so what is the difference?

Your list also leaves out a more necessary Latin requirement than even the Mass ordinary parts pertaining to the people: the consecration. At least the central nugget of the Eucharistic prayer should be in Latin, to ensure that the formal part of the sacrament can never be open to vernacular abuse.

ytc said...

Ryan Ellis, I agree with you in--dare I say that awful word?--spirit.

However, I do believe there are some differences between proper orations and the proper chants. Proper chants are not designed to be nor were ever intended to be sung by a congregation in the first place. Their complexity and fast-paced day to day change almost seals this as fact. On the other hand, the ordinary parts of the Mass--given that they are chant and not polyphonic--are absolutely intended to be sung by a congregation along with the choir.

The proper orations in the vernacular is something I am on the fence about. Are they meant to be dialectical or are they meant to be exclusively communicative between the priest and God, regardless of whether they are heard or not?

The Simple English Propers is certainly a wonderful project and I support it fully for the time being. However, I have never seen it as the end goal. The Latin propers contained in the necessary official liturgical books is the end goal. Furthermore I think Vatican II itself indicates this clearly enough. The CMAA is not a publishing company wanting to reap profits or something. It is an organization whose intent it is to steadily and surely increase the quality of Catholic music used in the context of the liturgy. The sung Latin propers is the pinnacle of that goal, and therefore Simple English Propers cannot continue to be anything other than a step in the right direction. Yes, I fully support it. But only until it seems feasible--by Papal decree, diocesan decree, or pastor's decision--to sing the proper chants properly, that is, in Latin, according to the tones assigned to them by Solemses.

WSquared said...

Gosh, Fr. McDonald, it would be a blessing, indeed, to have an OF Mass celebrated this way (call me silly if you wish, but when I heard the Asperges, I actually cheered, "woo hoo!").

Joseph Johnson, I agree. The EF needs to be seen as a little more, er, "grass roots," for a want of a better way to put it. I think more and more people need to check out the EF for themselves, and to realize that there's nothing to be afraid of: namely that nobody is trying to "take Vatican II away" from them, and that nobody's "going backwards" (if we believe in an Almighty and ever-living God, such a claim is actually silly and makes no sense, anyway). Furthermore, the people's parts of the EF are easy.

Also, couldn't priests who are more sympathetic to the EF use the homily during the OF to introduce parts of the EF as a catechetical talking point so that we know where we came from and where we might be going? The Monsignor at our parish did this to prepare everyone for the new translation of the Roman Missal, so I'm wondering if the same can be done for the EF so that this is one additional way in which the EF can "talk to" the OF. If a priest who is sympathetic to the EF can share that joy from the pulpit that this is indeed something wonderful and truly awesome, maybe people will catch on and see that the two aren't and can't be pitted against each other.