Monday, March 12, 2012

Rome Restores... A New Missal

So important are seasons and festivals that in the Old Testament the sun, the moon and planets are created in order to mark them and the routine of daily life, of work and commerce, even war and sexual intercourse are made to fit into the liturgical calendar.
Perhaps the deepest liturgical changes are those which affect the calendar, so it is interesting that Rome's latest moves on the liturgical front is to restore the more ancient usage, but for the Ordinariate.
  1. As in England, Ordinary Time will no longer be referred to, being replaced by Sundays after Epiphany or Sundays after Trinity, thus ensuring the whole liturgical year is now explicitly anchored and referenced to the mysteries of salvation.
  2. The three “-gesima” Sundays are restored.
  3. Rogation days before Ascension, and the Ember days in the four seasons of the year are restored.
  4. The Octave of Pentecost is restored, to be marked properly except for the readings which will be of the particular weekday.
Already the Ordinariate have announced its liturgy should be eastward facing. The replacement of Ordinary Time is obviously a reflection of calendar of the Book of Common Prayer, but it is probably more than that, the same could be said of Rogation and Ember days but the rest, the -gesimas, the Octave of Pentecost are used by some Anglicans but at least here, it is not mainstream.

This isn't going to happen tomorrow, if the whole Church is to be carried forward but for the rest of the Church these are interesting developments, one hears rumours of a new Missal being prepared, an Usus Medior; a reconciliation of the Usus Antiquior and Recentior, so there is one Roman Usage, rather than two.

This is could be one of the reasons why Cardinal Canivares has been speaking about concelebration being ancient but really, in the West, being something that should be about celebrating with a bishop, rather than as so often happens a gang of priests electing one of them will preside over the rest. The same can be said about the Pope, Cardinal Canivares and others raising the issue of the reception of Holy Communion in the traditional manner: kneeling and on the tongue, or again the whole discussion raised by the then Cardinal Ratzinger about liturgical orientation at the turn of the millenium. What serious liturgists would argue for Mass facing the people today?

The big problem is that "Traddies" are not going to take kindly to the Missal of Pius V or as we say now, the Missal of the Blessed Pope John XXIII being interfered with, and yet it is now permissible to celebrate the Traditional Mass and use vernacular readings, that is done on the continent by the SSPX. There is talk about adding new Feasts which for most is hardly problematic, many would actually welcome the addition of some of the new Prefaces. As far as language is concerned the CDW has been encouraging the use of Latin. There were rumours a few years ago that there was a move that all sacramental formulas in the Latin Rite should be said in the language of our Rite.
One trend which is significant is discussion on allowing the use option of the Usus Antiquior offertory prayers.

As we “celebrate” the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council we will see an increase in Rome issuing re-presentation of the major documents – read in the light of Tradition – the hermeneutic of continuity. I would be very surprised if the Pope did not start devoting his Wednesday Catechesis to this.

A significant part of this reappraisal will be re-evaluating Sancrosanctum Concillium, a lot of groundwork has already taken place like the reassessment of paticipatio actuoso. An important area will be the whole examination of “lay ministry”, yet already to an extent this has taken place with, officially instituted acolytes being able to take the place of subdeacons at High Mass, or in their absence a member of a religious institute, a brother, may fulfil the sacred ministry, though sans maniple.

The big problem is women’s ministry.
In other areas, music for example, chant is coming back in many places, there is a tendency to prefer the Introit, Gradual/Tract, the Offertory and Communion Antiphon to songs and that preference is already in the rubrics of the Paul VI Missal. The gradual insistence on the importance of the rubrics, including the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, is beginning to take hold.
For many the reconciliation of the two Missals seems like squaring the circle but the rise of younger priests happy to celebrate both Usages and developing a “feel for Tradition”, perhaps the impossible is actually is beginning to happen.

At the moment so much seems to be happening on the level of bread being cast on the waters, discussion amongst experts or in journals but little by little the fruit is being passed on in seminaries, in certain parishes, on diocesan committees. I noted with some astonishment recently that our own Bishops Conference appointed a real liturgical expert, fully conversant with both forms and the intellectual trends in liturgical thought as Secretary to the Liturgical Commission. The Benedictine way is to capture the intellectual high ground.


Lynda said...

Great developments. However, the emphasis ought to be on ending the many habitualised abuses first. I think EMHCs need to be done away with at Mass as soon as possible (many are also allowed to take the Blessed Sacrament from, and return it to, the Tabernacle!) and reception of HC in the hands and standing abolished. This would assist in restoring reverence for the Body of Christ, like nothing else.

Anita Moore said...

Does the restoration of the old calendar or elements of the old calendar for the Ordinariate foreshadow its restoration in the Church at large? I certainly hope so! So many excellent things were just discarded wholesale. Of course, new feasts should be added.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Rules are easy to issue, there are plenty - the problem is getting people to realise why such things are bad, so the rejection of such things comes from the grassroots because of peoples love of the Lord.

It is only then bishops, priests and laypeople will want to keep the rules and instinctively do what is right and understand why it is important.

servusmariaen said...

This is encouraging. I hope you right about all of this. I never thought I would see a reconciliation of the two calendars/usages/missals in my life time. Can one really hope for this? It would seem that a restoration of the "gesimas", rogation days, sundays after trinity, pentecost could be offered as an option in the new calendar could it not? I'm assuming in the Ordinariate the liturgical colours will correspond to the traditional ordo?

Michael Clifton said...

In this article it appears to say that after recent changes it is lawful to concelebrate at Old Rite Masses. Surely this is incorrect?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Michael, Then I have expressed myself badly.
The Cardinal did not suggest that but he did say that concelebrating with the Bishop was part of out Tradition, I presume he meant the Mass of Priestly and Episcopal Ordination, but priests concelebrating amongst themselves was not something in the Tradition of the West.
Curious that we have almost lost our Tradition of simultaneous private Masses has been lost - that is our Western Tradition.

Francis said...

Another interesting detail in the Calendar is that the Fifth Sunday in Lent is designated as "Passion Sunday", instead of that term being a synonym for Palm Sunday. Presumably this implies the restoration of a two-week Passiontide season (or sub-season).

Ironic, isn't it, that the "Anglican patrimony" being brought into the Catholic fold is in fact the ancient patrimony of the Catholic Church which it threw in the trash forty-plus years ago.

Nicolas Bellord said...

The Portuguese for fiftieth is quinquagesim0 and so on. I am always looking for an opportunity to use it!

Clare said...

I am old enough to remember that in the Catholic Church we counted Sundays after Pentecost, not Trinity, which was/is the Anglican usage.

Francis said...

Clare: As has been pointed out on Fr Z's blog, Sundays after Trinity are not a distinctively Anglican thing. They were used in all the pre-Reformation rites/uses in Britain (Sarum, York, Bangor &c.), and the Church of England's practice simply continued this. It also seems that there were some continental Catholic uses which had Sundays after Trinity.

Lynda said...

Fr Blake, Proper cathechesis regarding every element of the Mass, and most importantly, the Eucharist, is crucial; and that, I assumed in my comment. However, stopping abuses (and obviously, explaining why) is a necessary first step in renewing the liturgy. The liturgy properly conducted speaks to the intellect and the affections, as well as the spirit. Seeing the Eucharist adored, reverently administered, received, etc., teaches better than many sermons could, but sermons on the matter are nevertheless necessary (as on all Church doctrine).

Victor said...

Clare: The German Lutherans count their sundays after Trinity too - I suspect because this was the usage in pre-reformation Germany.
By the way, the German Lutherans still call the sundays of Lent and Eastertide after their Introits: Circumdederunt/Septuagesimae, Exsurge/Sexagesimae, Estomihi/Quinquagesimae, Invocabit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Laetare, Iudica, Palmarum; after Easter: Quasimodogeniti, Misericordias Domini, Jubilate, Cantate, Rogate, Exaudi, Trinitatis...

Catholic Left-winger said...

The centre of my prayer life is, obviously, Our Lord and time before the Blessed Sacrament is essential. On the occasions when I can attend Exposition, my life is lifted.
I mention this because whilst I sympathise with Lynda in her concern about the misuse of the extraordinary ministry of the Eucharist (including their use when enough Ordinary Ministers are available), there are places in the world when Exposition would never take place without the.Extraordinary Ministry and, even in less remote places, the opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament regularly would be massively circumscribed.
So, proper training and appropriate use: yes.
Until the growth in vocations to Ordinary Ministry matches the meeds of the Catholic community, I would say it would be a misguided decision to end the Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion.

Matthew said...

' . . .but the rest, the -gesimas, the Octave of Pentecost are used by some Anglicans but at least here, it is not mainstream':

Dear Father, If you were to consult your copy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer you would find proper Collects, Epistles and Gospels for 'the Sunday called Septuagesima, or the Third Sunday before Lent' and the two other 'gesmias', as well as for the Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun Week. The (unauthorised but widely used) revision of 1928 appointed propers for the remaining weekdays of the Whitsun octave.

Sue said...

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to "stand fast" and hold to tradition (2 Thess 2). Vatican II took the greater part of the church on a fantastic voyage away from God (your photo is perfect). The answer has been there all along - The traditional Latin Mass with its commensurate spirituality!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Matthew in the UK the BCP hasn't been widely used, High or Anglo-Catholics have been using the Roman Missal for years.

Matthew said...

I know the BCP hasn't been in frequent use, but it remains the official liturgy from which other forms of service are -- strictly speaking -- permitted deviations. Things are different in other Anglican provinces such as the Church in Wales, where I served as a clergyman for 20 years, and where revised forms of generally more Catholic-minded but conservative 'experimental' services were incorporated in a replacement prayer book in 1984. Since then the CinW has followed the Gadarene rush to adopt the ecumenical version of the 3-year Roman lectionary, a couple of Zwinglian remodellings of the eucharistic prayer of Hippolytus (your Prayer 2) and suchlike stuff; there is probably far less use of the modern Roman rite among Welsh Anglo-Catholics than among their English counterparts.

John Nolan said...

If you habitually attend EF Masses or dignified OF ones with appropriate music, it is either because you consciously seek them out and are prepared to travel, or are fortunate enough to be in the catchment area of parishes like yours, Father. To attend the average parish Mass then comes as a profound culture shock - it took days for me to recover from the last experience. Yet for the vast majority of practising Catholics, an informal community celebration with non-liturgical music in the pop style is perfectly normal, and a large number of them would resist any attempt to change this.

They have, of course, largely accepted the corrected translation, since the people's parts haven't changed a lot; but how many parishes are ditching Dan Schutte for the missal chants or sustituting sung Propers for the hymns and worship songs to which they seem to be addicted and don't realize are not really appropriate?

Since this 'culture' is the one that is being plugged in Catholic primary schools it's not going to change any time soon.

Anonymous said...

It is true. There are a number of music directors in Latin rite Catholic Churches in the USA who upon introducing bits and pieces of gregorian chant, such as the communion antiphon on a regular basis, and evening using english language versions, are met with resistance. Many are asked to stop by their pastors or threatened with expulsion (as happened in the mid '60's).

So I see no big change in regard to traditional music yet. A few churches are improving, but it is still quite a small insignificant minority at this time.