Wednesday, January 29, 2014


On some other blog, and ever since we received from God, through the human actors of Holy Mother Church's processes, the new, accurate, melodic and gloriously literal re-translation of the Latin Mass into English, there has been whining and whining and whining to the point of obsession and useless repetition of the whine. Some want to go to another translation and others to the old English translation and of course adolescent authority issues and unresolved childhood parental issues abound in those who fixate on the Church's liturgy and that they can't have it their way. One wonders if they aren't spoiled brats.

But let's face it liturgists are terrorists, no excuse me, let me say that right as the old joke goes, the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist!

When I was Director of Liturgy for our diocese and for only six years (and at the same time Vocation Director and at the same time the Bishop's master of ceremonies and of course at the same time the associate pastor (rector) of the Cathedral in Savannah), I went to one and only one National Conference for Diocesan Liturgists. I found it altogether too much and focused on control and telling those bishops who was really in charge and coming up with all kinds of actions items that would set those bishops straight. It was too much to take, so I never went back again!

I loved, though, the national conventions for vocation directors who understood their service as not one of control and manipulation but of service. I always went to those in the 13 years I was vocation director.

But I digress. What does my clairvoyance tell me about the liturgy under Pope Francis, whose priorities lie in service to the poor in the periphery and not in liturgy. He's very austere in his liturgical celebrations and I don't see too much talk about liturgy from His Holiness other than he likes austerity, simplicity and celebrating the Mass as it is prescribed.

There is no proclamation voice as he knows that as the main celebrant and thus an "actor" in the liturgy his role is of service not of overpowering the liturgy and pointing to himself and his skills in a narcissistic way. Rather, he says the black and reads the red and he is consistent in doing so. He speaks in soft, reverent tones and everyone knows that when he prays, he prays the prayers to God, never gesturing to the laity either physically or in voice inflections and eye contact. He prays the Mass facing the congregation in an ad orientem sort of way. He doesn't proclaim his prayers in a Gettysburg sort of showoff way, thus showing off his acting skills, but rather prays these prayers in a devotional, spiritual way so as not to make the congregation think he is acting, although he is an actor in the liturgy.

But with that said,  I predict that the English Mass as we currently have it will have only minor, minor, revisions to enhance its current elegant, literal texts in any subsequent revisions. Minor revisions occurred with the previous translation as new missals were issued in the last 40 years, nothing major, just minor tweaking until the glorious grand tweak of a new translation three years ago.


I predict that Pope Francis will celebrate a Low Extraordinary Form Mass somewhere in the existential periphery and it will be with the Franciscan of the Immaculate! (You read it here first!)

I predict that with Pope Francis' approval or authorization, similar to his authorization for the new Anglican Use Roman Missal, that the appendix of our post-Vatican II Missal will allow for the following now gloriously allowed to our Anglican Use Roman Catholics albeit unfair just for these Johnny-come-lately's and not for us cradle Latin Rite Catholics, but I digress:

--Prayers at the Foot of the altar
--Revised Order of the Introductory Rite when PATFOTA are used
--The 1962's Missal's Offertory Prayers to include the infusion of blessed water and the Lavabo
--The clear options of ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion
--The Last Gospel
--The Revision of the Roman Calendar to correspond to the Anglican Use Roman Calendar

Yesterday, when it was about to blizzard outside here in Macon and mass hysteria and pandemonium had broken out the day before in near 70 degree weather, I only had three people in attendance at our Tuesday EF Low Mass and one of those was the altar server.

I didn't expect anyone to come actually so I decided rather than celebrated the EF Low Mass that I would celebrate the OF Latin Mass (I have the OF Latin Mass Missal) in an EF sort of way.  So I did so completely ad orientem, except for the Liturgy of the Word which was in English in the normal OF way at the Ambo (I omitted the Universal Prayer, as this is permitted as well as the Sign of Peace).

If the options above that my clairvoyance tells me will eventually become actual options in the OF Roman Missal's Appendix could have been used at yesterday's OF Latin Mass celebrated in an EF sort of way, no one would have known the difference between the 2002 Latin Roman Missal and the 1962 Roman Missal.

Only the discerning liturgist in the Congregation would have detected that this Mass was an OF Mass in Latin by the Liturgy of the Word (which could still have the Gradual rather than the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia) and the Rite of Holy Communion with the streamlining of the Prayers after the Pater Noster, the elimination of the dual communion rites for priest and congregation and the elimnation of the three-fold "Domine Non Sum Dignus(es)" although that could easily remain as a option!

Do you think my clairvoyance actually sees into the future or maybe not, that it opens new doors, breaks through windows and goes to new dimensions? Twilight Zone music please!


Anonymous said...

I truly, truly, truly, hope your clairvoyance comes true Fr. AJM!! It would be amazing, though I would also add having all of the fixed parts of the Mass in Latin.

I read a post on Reddit Catholicism concerning the Pan-Orthodox council coming up next year. The article was about what it would take for Catholics and Orthodox to come into communion. One of the main things was that we need to fix our liturgy because Orthodox and Eastern Catholics are scandalized by how it is celebrated, etc. if PF hears this, maybe he'll bend over backwards to make it happen. If I remember correctly, did he not say that he admired the EO's for keeping mystery in their worship? I pray he does this.

Henry said...

"On some other blog . . . there has been whining and whining and whining to the point of obsession and useless repetition of the whine."

I rarely visit any more that liberal blog you apparently still frequent, in part because watching those aging hippie types work out publicly their adolescent problems, over and over and over again, make one feel like voyeur.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is true and it is sad.