Friday, September 26, 2014


Fr. Christopher Smith has a good article on Pope Benedict and now Pope FRANCIS approach to the Liturgy. I do not think either is mutually exclusive but rather both/and rather than either/or.

I love both forms of the Mass and I pray one day the revised Ordinary Form incorporates elements removed in the revision that we now have again in the EF but maintaining the overall ethos of the OF.

I believe we already have this template in the soon to be released Roman Missal revised for the Anlican Ordinariate.

In that new Missal provisions for TPATFOTA are allowed; the older Offertory Prayers, rubrics similar for the Roman Canon in the EF; kneeling for Holy Communion, ad ORIENTEM and the Last Gospel.   The Anglican Ordinariate Calendar II's also a superior reform of the reform expression!

Of course all this could been implemented TODAY using the current OF Roman Missal!

Mutual Enrichment and the Coexistence of Varying Models of Liturgy in the Church


Православный физик said...

And the subjectivity and personality in execution is exactly the problem in the Roman church today.

rcg said...

Would it be too much to say that the the NO and EF forms represent, maybe even codify the two major factions tearing at the Church today? They seem to be creating at least confusion if not actual schism, not on Liturgical grounds, that is a red herring, but in their content.

Doesn't the NO represent an accessible Mass for many, but does it not in its accessibility represent a real hazard to Faith and formation if it can be interpreted and represented as valid with liturgical dance, clowns, and the like?

The NO is almost like an introductory form of Mass that can be done for inquirers or children. That is good way of doing it. But every time I attend an NO Mass they seem to be drifting further and further away from Catholic identity and more toward a sort of ceremonial Unitarian model that elevates ethics above God. if they remember God at all.

John Nolan said...

I love the classic Roman Rite with which I was brought up. I also love the Novus Ordo. No-one, forty-five years ago ever bothered to tell us that the new Collects were actually older than those we were used to. Everything was rushed through at a bewildering pace.

I have just heard excerpts from Paul Jernberg's 'Mass of St Philip Neri' It's in English. No matter; it could be in any other language, including Latin. It draws one into the mystery in a compelling way. Everything that can be sung (including the celebrant's parts which are actually quite easy) is sung.

To see this as the norm is quite achievable. But - and its a big but - the pernicious influence of the St Louis Jesuits and the sacro-pop merchants of the Haagen-Dazs school will need some eradicating. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the CMAA and everyone on your side of the pond for your sterling work. We're looking at you for inspiration, and though it's one thing for someone like me to sing Gregorian Chant it doesn't necessarily resonate with everyone else.

Rood Screen said...

Your post is about an article which is about an article which is about a series of articles. The great information flow!

Anonymous said...

From Fr. Hunwicke's post today:

"But it is well-known that this great Pontiff looked ahead to a day when the two Forms would converge and eventually become again one single form of the Roman Rite. However, this is going to be a long job. There is so much irrational prejudice on both sides. Among some whose personal preference is for the Ordinary Form, the Extraordinary Form is seen as some sort of return to the Dark Ages of a pre-Conciliar, rigid, sin-obsessed, clericalist Catholicism which makes them wake up in the middle of the night in a feverish sweat. Among some whose own choice is the Extraordinary Form, their narrative of decades of ruthless persecution has made them resistant to the slightest change (in itself, an 'untraditional' attitude since Liturgy has always evolved, gradually and organically).

"But the Ordinariate Rite constitutes a stage in that convergence for which Pope Benedict longed, and is thus of very profound significance not simply to members of the Ordinariate but to the whole of the Western Church. In many ways its basic structure is that of the Novus Ordo. But it includes ceremonial from the Vetus Ordo, perhaps most noticeably the double genuflexions at each Consecration. It includes optionally the Praeparatio at the foot of the altar, and the Last Gospel. Of doctrinal importance is its preference for the 'Tridentine' Offertory Prayers said by the priest, full as they are of the language of Sacrifice and Propitiation, and its restoration of the normativeness of the Roman Canon, the First Eucharistic Prayer, as a movement towards the longed-for and essential phasing-out of the alternative Eucharistic Prayers which Vatican II never envisaged and, indeed, by implication excluded."

Anonymous said...

John Nolan: "Everything that can be sung (including the celebrant's parts which are actually quite easy) is sung."

The description of this Mass that I've seen online omitted mention of the Credo. Does Jernberg's setting include a Credo?

JusadBellum said...

The irony is that those who decry the 'bad old days' of 'sin-obsession' have their OWN set of obsessions: man made global warming, the arms trade, the US military, capital punishment....

We are to utterly ignore the vast majority of our personal sins and glom onto scape goats of 'sins' or sinful structures which do not affect most of our lives in any meaningful way.

It's a pretty sweet deal actually: personally you give yourself free rein to let things go but then get to experience the frission of spiritual excitement by being 'against' some terrible thing waaaaaaaaay over there, among 'those people'.

Unfortunately what this does is empty out the Mass (and then the pews) because if you notice, a good chunk of the prayers have to do with publicly acknowledging "times we've failed" or sinned and asking for pardon and mercy.

If you don't believe you are a sinner because you've changed the definitions of what constitutes 'serious' sin and it no longer touches our lives in a visceral way... then you no longer 'need' the forgiveness experienced in Mass or the spiritual strength to persevere that comes in the Eucharist.

If there is no spiritual enemy to our souls (devil) nor any innate tendency to sin (concupiscence) and only far off' structures of sin' (the world), then it follows that the 'solution' will be political and horizontal, not spiritual and vertical.

The 'bad old days' Church Mass did have 3x more references to sin than we do today. Oddly though they also had 3x as many individuals in the pews and 3x as many children per couple, and 3x as many vocations....

If I didn't know better I might suspect that the PR spin of the past 40 years about how awesome we are after getting rid of the 'bad old days' is just that, a PR spin to hide a tragic reality.

What is genuine 'progress' measured by if not quantity and quality of Catholics in the pews? That we be on the road to holiness and filling the pews to receive Jesus as 'church'? To the degree people are walking away, we are not 'progressing' at all but regressing.

Anonymous said...

"The 'bad old days' Church Mass did have 3x more references to sin than we do today. Oddly though they also had 3x as many individuals in the pews and 3x as many children per couple, and 3x as many vocations...."

And I suspect that those 3x as many pew Catholics then knew 3x as much about the Mass heard in a language they presumably didn't understand, as today's pew sitters know about the Mass heard in a language they presumably do understand.

When I was a young pre-convert questioning ordinary Catholics about what happened in the Mass, I got meaningful descriptions of the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross from virtually Catholic I met--both 8th grade graduates and fellow college students.

Who thinks that would be the case now? I spoke just yesterday with an RCIA participant whose experience has been quite different.

Anonymous said...

"When I was a young pre-convert questioning ordinary Catholics about what happened in the Mass, I got meaningful descriptions of the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross from virtually Catholic I met--both 8th grade graduates and fellow college students."

The point being that that was in the dark old days of the 1950s.

JusadBellum said...

Yep Henry. I think the pop culture ill serves us (and itself!) by the 2D caricatures it creates about people. Just as "only Nixon could go to China" so too life in general is full of counterintuitive realities. Like allowing for concealed carry firearms among the general public not only DOESN'T lead to mass shootings, it actually reduces all manner of violence. The "wild west" only had regular gun fights in the movies. In real life the west wasn't nearly as deadly a place as Chicago is today.

When Mass was in a foreign language or when Catholicism was hard, the human tendency was to honor it and value it even in the breech. But once something becomes easy... the human tendency is to take it for granted and thus de-value it.

Re-read Vatican II... the Church fathers were terribly concerned with the abuse of modern states, the arms race, the bi-polar world, but most of all over the rising tide of atheism.

In 1962 world-wide Communism was on the march everywhere. In the free West the various 5th columns were actively infiltrating every element of society. "Better red than dead" was a serious argument.

Only in the US and a handful of other countries was a 'golden age' going on. Europe was still recovering from war, much the rest of the planet was stuck in dire poverty. So the Church fathers were searching for some way to turn the tide globally by energizing the whole Church especially through laity interiorizing the doctrine of the Church in practical holiness.

Which is exactly what DIDN'T happen! Which is what the same communists and secular anti-Catholic forces fought tooth and nail to NOT happen. Which is why the non-Catholic media went so aggressively into "good liberals vs. bad conservatives" mode, whereby 'good liberal' meant someone who uncritically accepted anything "the world" said, especially when it came to sex and politics.

Rather than let our light shine, we spent 40 years re-arranging the curtains, fighting over clericalism of laity and laicization of priests... Nuns who were perfectly fine in habits went into psychological therapy, abandoned the schools (*and then their founders' prescribed ways of holiness).

Far from stopping atheism, this largely western response to Vatican II only advanced it. Every time the threshold was lowered, fewer people crossed it from the outside in and more crossed it from the inside out...

Counter-intuitive: when it was never easier to be both a Catholic and an American... people became less and less active Catholic Americans!

So to the degree we enter a period of general social persecution and it gets harder and more inconvenient to be Catholic, I expect the reverse phenomenon to occur (but at what a great cost of blood, sweat, tears and souls lost in the process).

The harder something is, the more it's valued. In art, in sports, in business....and in liturgy, architecture, etc.

John Nolan said...


Does Jernberg's Mass include a Credo? I don't know, but the Missal chant has Credo I in both Latin and English. Being more or less syllabic it actually works in the vernacular. I would not be in favour of shoe-horning English words into more elaborate chant, since it ignores the Gregorian principle of making the text paramount. Gregorian psalmody works well in English (even better in Italian!)

The Novus Ordo has a musical symmetry which the Old Rite lacks. More elaborate settings are better suited to the Old Rite for which they were written. The Graduale Propers are ideal but too difficult for most parish groups. Realistically a parish Mass would be sung in the vernacular (including the Propers) with a Latin Kyriale. Vernacular settings of the Ordinary can be effective, but it is notable that James MacMillan has announced that he will not be composing new liturgical music since the existing treasury needs to be rediscovered.