Friday, June 28, 2013


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!


Steven Surrency said...

If the rumors that +Piero Marini is being made Prefect of Divine Worship is true, then I don't see many of these changes coming. :(

Carol H. said...

I hope that the Holy Spirit increases the influence of Cardinal Ranjith exponentially in the next few years.

John Nolan said...

All these things can be done at parish level, and in the best parishes are done, except for 3 and 5 which would require material alterations to the rite. 7 is a bit problematical if the bishops allow standing and CITH. However, if you provide a rail and distribute Communion moving along it, people will kneel, and the number receiving in the hand will gradually decline, especially if you read extracts from Athanasius Schneider's 'Dominus Est!' from the pulpit on successive Sundays.

Marc said...

The effect of these suggestions can certainly be accomplished right now. Every priest can offer the Traditional Mass according to the Missal of 1962.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes that is the rumor--keep in mind that it was under him JPII celebrated an eastern rite Divine Liturgy at the papal altar and ad orientem.

Steven Surrency said...

Yes. He isn't the raving liberal he is made out to be. But he is certainly not a reform of the reform kind of prelate.

Anonymous said...

I'd settle for #5.

So many of us have bad liturgy fatigue.

John Nolan said...

Benedict XVI originally intended to wear the fanon at his installation Mass, but P. Marini talked him out of it, finally persuading him to wear instead a pallium of a style long superseded in the West. When Guido Marini arrived on the scene in 2007 there was some speculation that more traditional vestments from the treasury might make an appearance, but most commentators were not expecting much change, and none thought there was any chance of the fanon making a comeback. What is interesting here is that despite his personal preference, Benedict had the courtesy and humility to defer to the wishes of his then MC. Only when Piero was safely out of the way did he begin to make changes.

If Pope Francis does make Piero Marini Prefect of the CDW this will be sending a strong signal about the liturgical direction of his papacy. Marini is already trying to curry favour by appearing to endorse homosexual civil partnerships (as Bergoglio did) and parroting the poor-Church-in-the-service-of-the-poor mantra. He has a reputation of being a careerist which would in theory scupper his chances, but don't hold your breath.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I'm not sure I understand what the interfacing is between the Papal Master of Ceremonies which has its own staff and the Congregation for Divine Worship. John perhaps you know, but these seem to work independently of one another and I'm not really sure what the heck the CDW actually does--I know good Old St. Joseph was just added to three of the Eucharistic Prayers at their behest.
At any rate, any hope for a reform Roman Missal that takes the best of the 1962 and the reformed one is more than likely dead on arrival. If the rumor is true, and I fear it is, we will see the "reform of the reform of the reform." I hope we don't go backwards to Paul VI's days or John Paul II's liturgically, but move forward building on Pope Benedict. But I somehow doubt it. But yes, this too shall pass, I just hope I live to see it.

Marc said...

There already is a Missal that takes the best of the 1962 Missal and the best of the Paul VI Missal... It's called the 1962 Missal.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

And that 1962 Missal has a hybrid English version called the 1965 Missal and of course the 1962 Order of Mass could be applied to the 2002 Roman Missal! Cool!

Henry said...

Yesterday, I would have regarded as equally unthinkable the appointment of a Bugnini disciple as CDW prefect , and a return in practice--either by indult or by blind eye--of the original 1973 ICEL English translation. But if the former happens, then I fear that aggressive steps will follow to return the liturgy to the ethos of the 1970s--and then from there to continue still further in the direction that Bugnini advocated but John Paul II forestalled. At the very least, it will mean that there will be no more talk of the reform of the reform or any new liturgical movement, for the duration of the current papacy.

Marc said...

I'm all for an English version of the 1962 Missal with the same rubrics and format. Although, I think there is a compelling reason to keep the Canon in Latin. And really all the Ordinary could reasonably remain in Latin, as well.

I do not think the 1965 Missal is the solution, though, unless certain things were added back in. In that case, you'd have basically the 1962 Missal.

Aside from vernacular readings, I can't think of anything the current Missal offers that should be kept. Perhaps the extended Easter Vigil readings that were dropped...?

I'm sure Henry and John might be able to correct me on this point with their opinions since they've made more a study on this than I have.

Anonymous said...

I was secretly hoping that Cardinal Ranjith would have been elected as our new Pope...for the Ten Reasons listed in the article.

A non-european bloodline Pope who loves, understands, and promotes reverent good liturgy would have been awesome!
Also, it could have given credence and validity to the Reform of the Reform;
and showed to the world the Church as truly the universal worldwide Church that it is.

Yet I trust the Holy Spirit knows better than me what His Church needs! :-)


John Nolan said...

The jurisdiction of the CDWDS effectively extends only to the forma ordinaria; anything connected with the forma extraordinaria falls under the purview of the PC Ecclesia Dei, now part of the CDF. The CDWDS doesn't have the clout of the pre-Conciliar SCR, for the simple reason that its attempts to identify and correct liturgical abuses usually go unheeded (cf Redemptionis Sacramentum).

What the OF needs (better rubrics and a new decree on music to replace Musicam Sacram) will probably not materialize and I'm not sure a hybrid Missal is at all desirable (not that it could replace the Roman Rite, which we now know was never abrogated). The Anglican Church uses Common Worship (with all its options) alongside the 1662 Prayer Book, and no-one regards this as 'divisive'.

Marc said...

This comment will sound like I am denigrating SL's comment, but I don't intend it that way: I'm just curious about this, and her comment reminded me to ask about it.

Is there some doctrine that the Holy Ghost effectively "picks" the Pope? Surely that is disproven by the history of terrible popes, right? Can anyone point me in the right direction on this?

Templar said...

Marc: The Holy Ghost guides the Cardinals in conclave, just as the Holy Ghost guides Holy Mother Church in all things.

The Cardinals, like the Church in total, is populated with fallen humans, so I'm not sure they're always listening and open to the guidance given, which explains things like Paul VI, Vatican II, EMHCs, Altar Girls, MR70, tacky vestments, etc etc etc.

Henry said...

Marc, rather than a naive and simplistic belief that perhaps demeans the Holy Spirit, I'd go with the following 1997 comment by Cardinal Ratzinger, in answer to a question whether the Holy Spirit actively guides the selection of popes:

"I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!"

My own feeling, having just finished reading Hitchcock's history of the Church, is that in particular cases the Holy Spirit should be blamed less than worldly unbelieving cardinals with different personal interests than the Church or the Kingdom of God.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think that it is best to say that the Holy Spirit preserves the Church despite the wretchedness and worm-like characteristic of we sinners, all of us, clergy and laity alike, popes, and bishops. Of course my negative appraisal of things makes me a boarder line Lutheran in terms of worm-like wretchedness or at least an Augustinian! :) I think what Pope Benedict said is right-on!

Marc said...

Thank you all for your answers. It appears we are all in line with our predecessor pope on this one!

How good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! And on this Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, no less!

Anonymous said...

Good question posed Marc.
For the record, I was stating from a point of humility.
I see lots of fruit from Pope Francis.
Perhaps the Church needed what he has to offer more than it needed more liturgical momentum.
I simply don't claim to know that is the best interest of the Church at any given point in time.

Just because I personally hold to the motto "Restore the Liturgy, Save the world." doesn't mean that I am so arrogant as to think that I know the how, and when to accomplish it.

No one is ever a puppet of the Holy Spirit, not even the Cardinals in a conclave..and I never thought so.

yet, from a standpoint of humility, and a wee bit of disappointment,I trust that those same Cardinals are more in tune with Holy Spirit especially in these matters, than I am.

You posed a good question that allowed an opportunity for clarification of any misunderstandings about the selection process and the Holy Spirit's role in it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I really don't get this weird fixation on Communion on the Tongue. In fact, there are probably very few people in the U.S. who can actually take Communion via Tongue. All the little children are taught how to make communion on hand in the U.S. I'm sure that this was the case for most Gen X and Gen Y children. Gosh, I'm glad that the Cardinal in charge was not elected pope. His suggestions about the Mass would upset and scandalize a large majority of the U.S.

As for Vatican ceremonies, I could really care less how Communion is given. Apparently, it is a free for all and I cannot see how it is reverent. I would likely walk away if forced to take communion on my tongue. I don't think choking on and spitting out Jesus is something that should be publicized.

Francis cares less, but this sentiment might not be popular. Why is Communion given to the masses at the Pope's Masses? I'm surprised there has not been American or European pilgrims choking on or spitting out the Eucharist administered on tongue. It is a zoo, so the sacrament should just not be administered.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The reaction concerning communion on the tongue has to do with abuses, which are many, in terms of the host being brought back to the pew or home or worse yet for untoward purposes, not the least of which would be Satanic. We've found host in our missalettes, under the pews and almost weekly someone walks off with it to be told by someone to put it in their mouth. We have many visitors of course of some of this is pure ignorance from non-Catholics who think they must come forward, but they don't really know why. Others are extremely poorly cathecized Catholics who are clueless as they only come to Church once or twice a year if that much. Children become very casual with the host when receiving in the hand no matter how good the cathecesis. Kneeling and on the tongue prevents most of this.

Joseph Johnson said...

Children who are about to receive their First Communion should be taught about receiving on the tongue because it is the universal way to receive. If teaching them about receiving in the hand is to be taught at all it should be emphasized that they should stop and face the Crucifix when they place the Host in their mouth. Because Communion in the Hand is an indult, there is less justification for only teaching this method of reception to children as opposed to Communion on the tongue.

In my parish, they are taught both ways and I see more children and younger people kneeling and receiving on the tongue than older adults.

In addition to the opportunities for abuse which come along with Communion in the Hand (mentioned by Father McDonald), I am strongly opposed to it because I believe Communion in the Hand promotes a loss of reverence toward, and a loss of belief in, the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament

We should not only return to Communion on the tongue only--we should also return to the use of hand patens placed under the chin of each Communicant, priests joining their fingers used to elevate the Host from the Consecration to the Ablutions and a return to having the server pour water over the priest's fingers (over the chalice) after he has distributed Communion as a part of the ablution (this should apply to deacons distributing as well). Distribution of Hosts by Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should stop altogether.
All of these practices (which were once standard practice) help reinforce reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and help prevent the sacrilege of having people wipe particles of the Blessed Sacrament on their trouser legs or trample Jesus Truly Present on the floor. Am I the only one who is sensitive to this anymore? Communion in the Hand has scandalized me for years! This is why I don't "get" people who consciously opt for Communion in the Hand when all the factors are considered. Experience over many years brought the Church to the practices it had up until we tried to wipe the slate clean and start all over after Vatican II. Now we are relearning the reasons some of the early practices were abandoned over the centuries in favor of what we had (for centuries) before the post-Vatican II period.

Respect and proper and reverent handling of the Blessed Sacrament matters far more than an historically innacurate mode of reception which is justified on the grounds that it is a return to "early Church" practice. The actual early Church practice (which is NOT the way it is done now) is outlined in Bishop Athanasius Schneider's book, "Dominus Est" (It Is The Lord).