Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Ten Elements of Renewal
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, offered these 10 points of implementation which he views as fundamental for liturgical renewal. Why would there be opposition to this hermeneutical method of implementing Vatican II Liturgical renewal?
1. The tabernacle, where Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, is really present under the species of bread should be placed in the center of the sanctuary, because in no other sign on this earth is God, the Emmanuel, so really present and so near to man as in the tabernacle. The tabernacle is the sign indicating and containing the Real Presence of Christ and should therefore be closer to the altar and constitute with the altar the one central sign indicating the Eucharistic mystery. The Sacrament of the Tabernacle and the Sacrifice of the Altar should therefore not be opposed or separated, but both in the central place and close together in the sanctuary. All the attention of those who enter a church should spontaneously be directed towards the tabernacle and the altar.
2. During the Eucharistic liturgy – at the very least during the Eucharistic prayer – when Christ the Lamb of God is immolated, the face of the priest should not be seen by the faithful. Even the Seraphim cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2) when adoring God. Instead, the face of the priest should be turned toward the cross, the icon of the crucified God.
3. During the liturgy, there should be more signs of adoration — specifically genuflections — especially each time the priest touches the consecrated host.
4. The faithful approaching to receive the Lamb of God in Holy Communion should greet and receive Him with an act of adoration, kneeling. Which moment in the life of the faithful is more sacred than this moment of encounter with the Lord?
5. There should be more room for silence during the liturgy, especially during those moments which most fully express the mystery of the redemption. Especially when the sacrifice of the cross is made present during the Eucharistic prayer.
6. There should be more exterior signs which express the dependence of the priest on Christ, the High Priest, which would more clearly show that the words the priest speaks (ie., “Dominus Vobiscum“) and the blessings he offers to the faithful depend on and flow out from Christ the High Priest, not from him, the private person. Not “I greet you” or “I bless you” but “I the Lord” do these things. Christ. Such signs could be (as was practiced for centuries) the kissing of the altar before greeting the people to indicate that this love flows not from the priest but from the altar; and also before blessing, to kiss the altar, and then bless the people. (This was practiced for millennium, and unfortunately in the new rite has been abolished.) Also, bowing towards the altar cross to indicate that Christ is more important than the priest. Often in the liturgy — in the old rite — when a priest expressed the name of Jesus, he had to turn to the cross and make a bow to show that the attention should be on Christ, not him.
7. There should be more signs which express the unfathomable mystery of the redemption. This could be achieved through the veiling of liturgical objects, because veiling is an act of the liturgy of the angels. Veiling the chalice, veiling the paten with the humeral veil, the veiling of the corporal, veiling the hands of the bishop when he celebrates a solemnity, The use of communion rails, also, to veil the altar. Also signs – signs of the cross by the priest and the faithful. Making signs of the cross during the priest by the Eucharistic prayer and by the faithful during other moments of the liturgy; when we are signing ourselves with the cross it is a sign of blessing. In the ancient liturgy, three times during the Gloria, the Credo, and the Sanctus, the faithful made the sign of the cross. These are expressions of the mystery.
8. There should be a constant sign which expresses the mystery also by means of human language – that is to say, Latin is a sacred language demanded by the Second Vatican Council in celebration of every holy Mass and in each place a part of the Eucharistic prayer should always be said in Latin.
9. All those who exercise an active role in the liturgy, such as lectors, or those announcing the prayer of the faithful, should always be dressed in the liturgical vestments; and only men, no women, because this is an exercise in the sanctuary, close to the priesthood. Even reading the lectionary is directed towards this liturgy which we are celebrating to Christ. And therefore only men dressed in liturgical vestments should be in the sanctuary.
10. The music and the songs during the liturgy should more truly reflect the sacred character and should resemble the song of the angels, like the Sanctus, in order to be really more able to sing with one voice with the angels. Not only the sanctus, but the entire Holy Mass. It would be necessary that the heart, mind and voice of the priest and the faithful be directed towards The Lord. And that this would be manifested by exterior signs and gestures as well.


Carol H. said...


Anonymous said...

1. Place the tabernacle very near the altar at St. Peter's Basilica.

2. If you have to hide your face, priest, in order to show the face of Christ, you are forgetting that grace Builds On Nature.

3. Why are more signs better? How many are too many?

4. Assistance at mass is an act of adoration. Do we make it greater adoration by
kneeling for communion?

5. When, in the EF, is there silence during the praying of the canon by the priest? Not whispering, but silence?

6. See #2 above.

7. Why not veil the entire sanctuary? Build a wall or a vision-preventing iconostasis between the people and the altar.

8. Latin is no more "sacred" than any other language. God does not understand Latin more clearly than other languages and neither do the people at Mass.

9. Nothing prevents a woman from being a true icon of Christ, inside or outside the sanctuary, close to or far from any priest.

10. "Resemble songs of the angels" - as if the good bishop had ever heard an angel sing.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

1. Tabernacle very near St. Pete's main altar, actually several are, behind, to the right side and the left side.
2. the priest is still there, just not his facial expression feigning or actually showing piety
3. How many are too less?
4. yes, kneeling for Holy Communion in the Latin Rite, its longest tradition is and was a powerful sign of piety, humility and reverence in the presence of the Eternal King.
5. The Canon is inaudible, whether in a low voice/whisper or silently with the priest mouthing the Prayer. Whisper might be heard over a microphone only developed in the 20th century.
6. No problem see, #2.
7. Your suggestion is not of the history, tradition or Tradition of the Latin Rite and neither is the style of chant that the Eastern Rite rightly employs in their liturgical heritage.
8. God understands all languages, men do not and thus Latin unifies diverse tongues preventing fragmentation of parish liturgies according to language groups. Latin in the Liturgy is the longest tradition in the Latin Rite of any use of language, with the Kyrie chanted in Greek even longer.
9.A woman cannot be the icon of the Risen Christ in sacramental sense of He being the Bridegroom of the Church. A woman cannot be a groom, unless you accept recently developed gender ideology.
10. How do you know that the good bishop hasn't heard the angels in a private revelation which the Church accepts??????????

Anonymous said...

"Bridegroom" is but one of the images used to describe the relationship of Christ and the Church. He is not actually - literally - a Bridegroom. Concretization of metaphors is an all too common mistake.

Hence, a woman doesn't not have to "be" a Bridegroom since Christ, Himself, is not a Bridegroom. We could just as appropriately refer to Christ as the Spouse of the Church, and a woman most certainly and effectively can be a spouse in every sense of the word.

Just ask your parents.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Your sacramental theology is not Catholic but protestant at best and secular at worst.

The priest, by virtue of his ordination, is the "bread and wine" of the Mass, pointing to the masculinity of Christ, His fertility and His ability to impregnate the Church and her members with His grace. It is no accident that in Latin, Spanish, Italian and others that the term for soul is feminine for both males and females. And thus we refer to the Church as Holy Mother, Bride and she/her. The metaphors, is you will, are built upon a human biology that is very, very important to the sacramental economy of the Church. If you don't understand that, they you don't understand Catholicism or her sacraments where metaphors must work not work against each other.

Anonymous said...

"It is no accident that in Latin, Spanish, Italian and others that the term for soul is feminine for both males and females."

So, your rather odd suggestion is that these languages use the feminine to describe the soul BECAUSE Jesus can impregnate them with grace? This is very, very odd 1) theology and 2) linguistics. Is the door (la porta) to the church feminine because Jesus can "enter" it? Come on.....

Metaphors are built on human biology, eh? "I am the vine."

Jesus is, metaphorically, referred to as water, light, a potter, a shepherd, the Bread of Life, the Morningstar. DO tell how these are "biological"?

Victor said...

Anonymous above has a very dull imagination, and adds nothing to the evangelisation of human hearts.

In my opinion, and having just attended a TLM for the Ascension last week, this silly business of the paschal candle that began in 1955 needs to be suppressed. The paschal candle is a symbol of the resurrected Christ on earth, the light of the world, so indeed it should be extinguished following the Gospel of Ascension Thursday. Worse still is the silly theatre a la Bugnini during the Paschal Vigil when the pascal candle is virtually worshiped. The ancient ceremony of procession with the triple candles should be restored, as these candles represent the 3 Marys coming from the empty tomb to announce to the Apostles and thereby to the people at church and the world, the good news of the resurrection of Christ. (Wow, women in the liturgy!) The most nonsensical part of this is the 1955 cutting back of the Exultet whose purpose was originally a prayer for the lighting of the candle, not its worship.

Similar things could be said about the corruption of the Palm Sunday blessing of the palms, and the inclusion of the bizarre washing of smelly feet into the Mass on Holy Thursday. Weird stuff came about in the 1955 Holy Week de-forms.

Anonymous said...

LOL getting women off the altar...I think that is pretty widely accepted in most American parishes---certainly in mine in the state's "other" diocese. Once you open up certain roles to laypeople, there really isn't any going back---you know the old saying, "the cat is out of the bag."

And what is the fascination with kneeling? In the Eastern Orthodox Church, communion is received standing---always. Does that make them "liberal", as seems to be the implication on those who might prefer to receive communion standing?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A- you are oblivious to the problem that you actually but unwitingly hit the nail on the head rather than your finger. The Orthodox would never be unfaithful to their centuries' long traditions and they would never drag Latin Rite practices into their liturgies, like Latin Rite chant styles, Liturgical sobriety, kneeling for Holy Communion or even devotional piety such as Eucharistic Adoration and Processions, all of which belong to the West not to the East. This is also true in the Eastern Rites in union with the pope.

Yet, after Vatican II Latin Rite liturgists dragged all kinds of traditions and customs into the Latin Rite Mass incongruous with our centuries' long traditions, to include the abandonment of our Gregorian and Polyphony chant tradition for Protestant versions of music and even Eastern chant traditions. They chose the East's way of receiving Holy Communion standing, but certainly didn't want the use of Hosts in the chalice where communicants had to receive from a cleric and from a spoon with a purificator under that to prevent profanation. They preferred a more Protestant approach and the liturgical fundamentalism of non liturgical protestants by making the altar into a table with the priest facing the congregation.

There are some Latin Rite parishes that have dragged Easter Rite Iconography and its spirituality in the the Mass.

What we need to do is to recover respect for our liturgical traditions that developed separately but in tandem with the East over the centuries and have the same pride in ours as the East has in theirs which they meticulously strive to protect from our less scrupulous ways of the so-called liturgical renewal.

Anonymous said...

Of course, whining about dull imaginations, silly business, silly theatre, nonsensical parts of the liturgy, corruption of Palm Sunday, washing of smelly feet, and unnamed weirdness is going to do the trick in evangelizing human hearts...


Carol H. said...


I will assume out of charity that you are ignorant of certain facts. Eastern culture is different from western culture. In the west, the highest honor a person can show to another is to kneel before them. In the east, the highest honor a person can show to another is to stand and not sit in the other's presence.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Carol and Father M, I am quite familiar with the Orthodox; I have several books about their beliefs and practices. I have been to several Orthodox churches and can tell they are quite different from their western ones. With regard to kneeling, a book the Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers has a review of the different methods of administering communion over the ages, starting with---communion received in the hand. Their point is the differences between standing and kneeling are not cosmic---in fact the book points out the main difference had to do for many years with denial of the common cup to the laity. To me the whole issue of kneeling is a small T issue, not a big T one---I have no objection to it but feel like there are much greater problems facing Christianity today than having the so-called perfect liturgy.

Anonymous said...

In the West (or East), the highest honor a person can show to another is to love (desire good for) them. Kneeling or standing is inconsequential.

Gene said...

Anon @ 5 pm: "All you need is love..." Cue Coca Cola song...