Thursday, December 6, 2012
WHERE HAVE ALL THE SILENTLY PRIESTLY PRAYERS GONE AND WHY DID THESE GO?
As you know, I am a great advocate of maintaining the revised Roman Missal but reverting to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass's Order of the Mass, except for the Liturgy of the Word, although I would be extremely happy to see the Word of God proclaimed from the Epistle Side and the Gospel from the Gospel side with the symbolism of facing the Liturgical North--but using the revised Lectionary, although I would like to see a Year D that is the Tridentine Missal's lectionary.
I would also like to see the 1965 Roman Missal's Order of the Mass rather than the 1962 Missal. The reason for this is that I am convinced as a priest and thus a leader of the laity that even with a Pastoral Council, we must respect the spirit and law of the bishops of that particular Council, although we should never make a pastoral Ecumenical Council into a "superdogma" that cannot be changed or modified, but of course by the only ones who can do that, the Holy Father alone, or the Holy Father with the bishops together in an Ecumenical Council.
So, apart from the Mass being Ad Orientem, I would add the following to the Order of the Mass "renewed" after Vatican II, aka, the Ordinary Form, which were removed most of which are priestly quiet prayers of a devotional quality that are important for a priestly liturgical spirituality.
In its revision, euphemistically called "renewal" the Tridentine Mass, aka, the Extraordinary Form Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass, had many private priestly prayers of a devotional spirituality. Why in the name of God and all that is holy, these were removed is beyond comprehension. But we must acknowledge that there was hysteria amongst many bishops and theologians about the priests or the congregation reciting private prayers at Mass because the Mass is communal prayer not a private devotion. What rubbish! It is both, not either or!
The First of these was the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. At a low Mass these were said aloud and the congregation could also speak them in the Dialog Mass. These were totally eliminated in the 1970 Missal, although a "Penitential Act" was maintained for both priest and congregation together, with a form of the Confiteor as optional.
The next quiet devotional priestly prayer that was totally eliminated were the two prayers the priest made as he approached the altar:
Take away from us our iniquities, we entreat Thee, O Lord, that with pure minds we may worthily enter into the Holy of Holies. Through our Lord. Amen.
(Then kissing the altar) We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy Saints, whose relics are here, and of all the Saints, that Thou wilt deign to pardon me all my sins. Amen.
Then the prayer before the Gospel was terribly truncated, eliminating a beautiful Scriptural reference altogether:
Cleanse my heart and my lips, O Almighty God, Who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias with a burning coal; through Thy gracious mercy so purify me that I may worthily proclaim Thy holy gospel. through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I will not go into why the 1970 missal revised the Offertory Prayers altogether, suffice it to say that it did seem to be a mini-eucharistic prayer. But notice the quality and beauty of the traditional Offertory Prayers. What if they had simply omitted the one that sounded like a canon but kept the rest, for example eliminated what I italicize?
For the bread: Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may avail both me and them for salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.
Pouring of water: O God, who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restore it, grant that, by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divine nature, who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our human nature, even Jesus Christ our Lord, Thy Son, who with Thee, liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: world without end. Amen.
For the wine: We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, beseeching Thy clemency, that it may ascend before Thy divine Majesty, as a sweet savor, for our salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen.
Come, O almighty and eternal God, the Sanctifier, and bless ☩ this Sacrifice, prepared for the glory of Thy holy Name
Washing of hands: I will wash my hands among the innocent: and I will compass Thine altar, O Lord That I may hear the voice of praise: and tell of all Thy wonderous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with blood-thirsty men. In whose hands are iniquities, their right hand is filled with gifts. But I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way, in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Prayer after washing of hands, prior to the Orate Fratres: Receive, O holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee, in memory of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, that it may avail unto their honor and our salvation, and may they vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we celebrate on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prior to the priest's communion: I will take the Bread of heaven, and will call upon the Name of the Lord.
After receiving the Sacred Host but prior to the chalice: What return shall I make to the Lord for all He has given to me? I will take the chalice of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. Praising I will call upon the Lord, and I shall be saved from my enemies.
Prior to the Final Blessing: May the performance of my homage be pleasing to Thee, O holy Trinity: and grant that the Sacrifice which I, though unworthy, have offered up in the sight of Thy Majesty, may be acceptable to Thee, and through Thy mercy, be a propitiation for me, and for all those for whom I have offered it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
All these beautiful, devotional prayers of the priest were esponged from the "renewed" Mass. What a pity! What in the name of God and all that is holy was the back alley committee formed by the Pope under the direction of Bishop Anabil Bugninni thinking? Oh, they weren't thinking, so they get an "F" grade in this "renewed" Liturgy and a "TU" for totally unsatisfactory!
It wouldn't take much to restore all of these to the current Roman Missal following the Order and rubrics of the 1965 Roman Missal, which by the way, allowed for Universal Prayers after the Credo and an Offertory Procession of Gifts.
As well, the 1965 Order of the Mass could accommodate RCIA liturgies easily enough as well as the current way of celebrating Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders.
So, I'm not against Vatican II's essential and mild proposal for the true "renewal" of the Mass, I am all in favor of actually following it explicitly!