Yes, Virginia, this is a reform of the reform Catholic Mass in the Ordinary Form. Wouldn't such a Mass be a wonderful Christmas gift to the entire Church?
Cardinal Ranjith on Forming the Faithful to Live the Liturgy
Will the day come when practical reform of the Ordinary Form will come bY returning to its source AND being faithful to the actual instruction of Sacrosanctum Concilium?
1. Can't we mandate the Official Introit as the Opening Chant and eliminate "liturgists" in the parish from imposing their ideologies on the parish by the other hymns they select?
2. Can't we eliminate some options for the Penitential Act, keeping only Form A and B only and allowing the freestanding Kyrie?
3. Can't we go back to the offertory Prayers of the EF AND keep the double genuflections at the consecration and kissing the altar when turning away from it toward the congregation?
4. Can't we always chant the Offertory Antiphon?
5. Can't we go back to the three-fold "Lord I am not worthy?"
6. Can't we always chant the Communion antiphon?
7. Can't we all just kneel for Holy Communion and receive on the tongue?
8. Can't we keep Kyrie in Greek; the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Great Amen and Angus Dei in Latin only and any other parts of the Mass as optional in the vernacular including the official Introit, offertory and Communion antiphons?
9. Can't we have the Liturgy of the Eucharist Ad Orientem?
10. Can't we then restore reverence, awe and wonder in the real Presence of Christ who absorbs us into His mission, His Life, His Church and His eternal life?
If we did just these 10 things with the Ordinary Form and worldwide, wouldn't there be more Catholic unity, greater reverence and a sense of world-wide community in the Church? What is so difficult about these 10 recommendations?
I think this is the most important aspect of the Liturgy that we have lost over 50 years, that the Liturgy is the work of God and not what we do to get closer to God. Cardinal Ranjith sums it up beautifully: The faithful must be taught the true meaning of the sacred liturgy: that it is “an instrument of communion with the Lord, allowing the Lord to take hold of you, and the Lord absorbing you into his divine mission, and making you experience what a great and privileged moment of communion this is.”
Explicitly tied into Cardinal Ranjith's articulate theology of the Mass is what the mission of God is, for which He founded the Church: "People have misconceptions about evangelization as if it is something we ourselves, with human effort, can achieve. This is a basic misunderstanding. What the Lord wanted us to do was to join him and his mission. The mission is His mission. If we think we are the ones to be finding grandiose plans to achieve that, we are on the wrong track. The missionary life of the Church is the realization of our union with Him, and this union is achieved in the most tangible way through the liturgy. Therefore, the more the Church is united with the Lord in the celebration of the liturgy, the more fruitful the mission of the Church will become. That is why this is very important.
In other words, the narcissism of the Liturgy and the Church these past 50 years is the biggest problem to be overcome by a fruitful "reform of the reform" in continuity of course with the entire history of the Church and her liturgy.
On Pope Benedict's revving up of the "reform of the reform in continuity" as it concerns the Liturgy, the good Cardinal Ranjith states: "Yes, because the older liturgy has some elements in it that can enrich the new liturgy, which can sort of act like a mirror into which you look. You look at yourself, and you understand what you are. The old liturgy helps us to understand what is good in the new liturgy and what is not perfect in the new liturgy. So by creating that kind of confrontation in the Church, he has helped us to make a proper evaluation, purify the new liturgy and make it stronger. He sort of guides us into a process of thinking and working towards a reform of the reform, because the reform of the liturgy had some flaws in the way it started off, in the way it worked. There had been a lot of arbitrary actions, misunderstandings, misconceptions, which need to be purified and which can happen in the light of the old liturgy. By understanding the beauty of the old liturgy, one can gain from the new liturgy also some elements of that beauty. The new liturgy has some of its own positive points, such as better use of the scriptures, more participation by the people, room for greater singing and other things, which can also be integrated into the old liturgy. Old elements like genuflection and some of the beautiful prayers, some of the repetitions, can enrich the new liturgy also. So it’s a two way process. That’s why the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, thought of allowing the old liturgy more freely, in order to affect this third way, the way of the reform."
These are some of the wonderful things Cardinal Ranjith has thus far accomplished in his own diocese as it concerns the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. These are simple but striking:
"When I arrived I found much liturgical disorder so I started from the very beginning, insisting on certain things. We have declared a Year of the Eucharist in order to put everything in order. Now all the priests are using the vestments because, before, they were not using all of them when they celebrated Mass. Now everybody’s following that, showing that the celebration of the Eucharist is something special, not like any other activity. And there is greater devotion in the celebration of the Eucharist. Communion is given on the tongue and kneeling. This has become common practice everywhere and more and more people are returning to the Church. Those who have resorted to fundamentalism, for example, are returning to the Church because they find that the liturgy is something formative, enriching. It’s not this “show” that they had been used to. So we’ve changed the liturgical life of the diocese a lot."
You can read Cardinal Ranjith's entire interview with Zenith by pressing HERE!