Thursday, August 11, 2016

Towards a Fourth Edition

I am fascinated by Joseph Ratzinger's liturgical writings, he says the Bugnini created the post-concilliar liturgy 'ex nihil' and yet he performs elaborate gymnastics to graft roots onto it.  Ratzinger's life work was see the hermeneutic of the Church in terms of 'continuity', simply because, although it is possible to understand it in terms of aggiornamento, it is impossible to see it in terms of  'rupture'. Rupture is simply not Catholic. Ratzinger pushed forward the idea of reading the Council its documents being understood in the continuity with all that had gone before but he actually spoke little directly about liturgy, the fons et origo of the Church's life and theology, in these terms. Yet of course his liturgical style, his choice of liturgical ornament spoke of 'continuity' but the greatest act of 'continuity' was of course the recognition of what scholars had been saying for decades the the ancient was not abrogated and what was good for past generations is still good and has value for us today.

One of the things that Ratzinger's resignation brought about was quietening of rumours about a fourth edition of the Roman Missal. It was expected to be issued possibly in 2015 or 2016, other events took over so presumably it is awaiting different times. It has apparently long been in preparation by what one or two Italian Vaticanistas refer to as 'the hidden Vatican', those academics and experts who carry on their work no matter who sits on the Apostolic throne. As real academics they are concerned about truth and academic rigour and resolving apparent ambiguity.

The last three CDW Prefects have hinted at the contents of such a Missal, suggestion that a future new edition of the Missal could contain more Latin, even be bi-lingual, has been suggested, the optional use of the ancient offertory prayers, increasing options to include many of the prayers of the 1962 Missal, even the possibility of the preparatory or prayers at the foot of the altar being included. Cardinal Sarah's recent intervention about the orientation of the celebration of the Mass is obviously very much in tune with the thinking behind such a Missal. His idea of the Liturgy of the Word being celebrated facing the people whilst the Liturgy of the Eucharist being celebrated facing the apse seems to be a very sensible implementation of Ratzinger's 'mutual enrichment'.

Whether there will be room in such a Missal for the non-Roman oriental-style Eucharistic Prayers II,III and IV, is another matter, perhaps they might go the way of the various Eucharistic Prayers, which are no longer in current Missal, perhaps they might be included in a supplement? One of the big problems will of course be the two calendars currently in use in the Latin Rite and of course the ancient one year Lectionary as opposed to the three year expanded one.

In this vein there is an interesting article: A Call for the Silent Canon which deserves some thought. In Low Mass the Canon was said in a low mutter, which reflects the origins of Low Mass's monastic origins; multiple priests offering multiple Masses at the altars in relatively close proximity but in High Mass the normal voice used was the un-projected ordinary speaking voice, loud enough for at least the circumstantes to hear and understand. I am told this is how Cardinal Piacenza, who at least was a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, he is the Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican, so presumably has some grasp of the Church's liturgical law. I like the idea the article presents that the Eucharistic Prayer is not a 'Presidential' prayer. Perhaps liturgically informed friends might comment here or privately.

At this time, it is perhaps important that those who believe in 'continuity' hold firm to this teaching and celebrate in the liturgy.


Nicolas Bellord said...

Very interesting article Father. May Pope Benedict's ideas prosper.

W.C. Hoag said...

I can understand denying the Eucharistic Prayer to be a Presidential prayer in that it is addressed to the Father by the Son, not to the congregation by the presider.

Wolverine said...

We can all hope that there is some way to bridge the gap (ie hermeneutic of continuity) between the pre and post VII Church. However, the whole endeavor may prove impossible in the end due to the contradictory philosophical foundations on which each rest (ie. Metaphysical/ontological/epistemological (Magisterial approved) Traditional Thomism vs. (speculative) Modernist Phenomenology. After reading (and re-reading) Larson's articles on the "War against Being" I'm convinced the effort will eventually prove fruitless.

Robert Brown said...

More than any specific idea, the most important Ratzinger contribution IMHO was that he was the first youngish Cardinal (not yet 55 when he became Prefect of SCDF) to criticize certain texts of Vat II and the Novus Ordo. Before he came on the international scene, the official Church line was that the documents of Vat II and the Novus Ordo had been hand carried down through the choirs of angels to Rome. To say otherwise was considered a sin against the Holy Spirit.

Fr.Nathan said...

Have you been able to see the Ordinariate Missal yet? It contains many of the variations that you mention. It gives different forms--some more Anglican others more Roman--that the individual priest may use. One can also use the older Offertory prayers or the new ones. The Second Eucharistic Prayer is allowed on Weekdays, but the Roman Canon is used on Sundays. And the translations are (IMHO) much better than the current ones.

There are some difficulties with it, of course, but it is worthy of much greater notice in the wider Catholic world.

Fr. N

Murray said...

If anyone wants to see what a reformed vernacular liturgy might look like, get thee to an Anglican Ordinariate Mass (formally called Divine Worship). While not in Latin, and with a spoken Canon, it features the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Propers in plainchant, the Last Gospel, and it closes with a Marian chant appropriate to the liturgical season (in Ordinary Time, the Angelus). It is so far superior to the Novus Ordo that we have made our local Ordinariate chapter our regular parish, even though we have no recent Anglican roots.

Rumor has it that the Ordinariate's Divine Worship might serve as a template for some aspects of the next edition of the Roman Missal. If so, this would be heartening news indeed!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Nathan, A useful observation: in a sense one could suggest the Ordinariate Liturgy is transitional, it is certainly a sign of where official Roman scholarship is at.

Fr Ray Blake said...

WCH, I think you need to expand that, to make what you say understandable.

John Nolan said...

The GIRM has to be interpreted with regard to the traditional practice of the Roman Rite (para.42 mentions this with regard to 'movements and posture' but it really applies passim).

Of course, the Missale Romanum, Editio Typica Tertia, to which the General Instruction refers is not the Roman Rite by a long chalk, but the incorporation of elements from the tradition must be licit - the Ordinariate Missal surely concedes this principle.

The current Offertory was described as 'impossible' by Fr Bouyer; 'in a Catholic Action, sentimental "workerist" style, the handiwork of Fr Cellier, who with tailor-made arguments manipulated the despicable Bugnini in such a way that his production went through despite nearly unanimous opposition.'

At the very least, a priest could pray the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas between the Lavabo and the Orate Fratres, and thus partly remedy matters. And since the (new) Offertory prayers are directed to be said silently, who would notice if the old ones were substituted? And why not pray the Placeat before the blessing? This was removed in 1967 but with a recommendation that the priest say it as he left the altar.

Pope Benedict's clever legal fiction that the EF and OF are forms of the same Roman Rite means that EF elements can be incorporated into the OF without 'mixing rites'. The Oratorians have already re-introduced elements of the older Ceremoniale Episcoporum into their Pontifical OF Masses (e.g. Presbyter Assistens, bugia bearer, deacons at the throne) and we know that officially there is no preference between ad orientem and versus populum.

Instead of waiting for a 'reform of the reform' which might not happen any time soon, individual priests can implement their own reforms, provided that they stay within the established tradition of the Roman Rite. I think this is what Benedict XVI was implying when he pointedly said the incensation prayers which are not in the Novus Ordo. The ball's in your court, Reverend Fathers!

mark wauck said...

I'm reasonably certain that Ratzinger would have, should have, said: 'ex nihilo.'

Timothy Graham said...

Fr Blake,

(1) About the Eucharistic prayer not being presidential, I don't quite know what definition the article you linked to is working with. It seems to suggest that those parts are "presidential" which are uttered or performed by the principal celebrant alone. But surely the proper presider over the Eucharist is the bishop, or the presbyter as the bishop's vicar: and the Eucharistic prayer is always the prayer of the bishop. It is an episcopal prayer par excellence in Tradition and always in this sense presidential... whether it is said together in concelebration seems (from this point of view) besides the point - concelebrating priests can say the Eucharistic prayer in virtue of their sacramental relation to the ordinary Eucharistic president, the bishop.

(2) I was once very keen on Benedict XVI's hermeneutic of continuity: and perhaps theologically it works in the imperative mood, i.e. V2 (or V1 or Trent for that matter) must be interpreted in the light of what went before, not vice versa. But in liturgy I have come to wonder if it is nonsense. The new bits are new, full stop. The millennial traditions that were thrown out were thrown out, full stop. It is surely better to identify the mistaken reforms clearly and state them, and also the destructive ideas that led to them. It is arguable that the failure of Benedict XVI is that he did not directly address the degradation of the Roman rite from 1911 onwards by his predecessors, and instead of tackling the process that led to the damaged Missal of 1962 (esp. the huge problem of Mediator Dei), he specified the books of 1962 in S.P. and therefore indirectly gave the disastrous 1950s his blessing. There will be no recovery of a healthy Roman Tradition and the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi, until the 20th C notion of papal liturgical absolutism is recognised as sharing a pernicious root with the current papal theological absolutism.

(3) The comments above about the Ordinariate Missal are close to the mark. In fact I strongly suspect that in Rome the missal was produced with the aim of running a "pilot project" for traddying up the Novus Ordo. Its worth as Anglican "patrimony" has suffered to a degree from this, I would argue, for reasons not relevant to this discussion. The best place to see it in its full Tridentine potential is at St Agatha's Portsmouth.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I am not sure about the term 'presidential' it is I suspect a recent introduction to the Catholic lexicon. We could understand it terms of at some times the bishop/priest prays as the head of the assembly, whilst during the Canon esp but also the other EPs he humbles himself and intercedes as Christ the priest - I think this might be what WCH is suggesting.

It is not a presidential but a priestly prayer.

Sixupman said...

Not another form of Missal! Surely the answer, to satisfy [if they can be satisfied - some will never so be] those of current persuasion, would be the pre-1962 Missal in bi-lingual format. After all, SSPX quite often recite Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular. The vernacular parts should, in English cases, should reflect a quality, almost Anglican, form of language.

Athelstane said...

The Ordinariate Missal still suffers from too much "option-itis." I say that even while recognizing that they had to play to a lot of audiences within the Ordinariate, too few of them being high-church English Missal types. But even with the most trad options, the biggest flaw remains having to use the three year lectionary.

But that said, it still points the way, roughly, to what traditional vernacular western liturgy COULD look like. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

Nicolas Bellord said...

"Not another form of Missal!" says Sixupman. Well mine is falling to bits after less than 5 years. Is that a sign of something new about to happen?

James said...

I have long since given up on the Novus Ordo and as grateful as I am for Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict himself killed off any possible Reform of the Reform and also threw the whole Church into (even worse) chaos with his resignation.

Nicolas Bellord said...

James: I agree we have chaos but the existence of this chaos is forcing anybody who takes the situation seriously to really study the problems in order to try and understand where the truth lies. So good could come out of it. As a layman I learnt my catechism at an early age and I think this gives me a sense of what is right and wrong. However never having studied theology, read the documents of Vatican II etc etc I am not easily able to articulate why my sense of the truth is right. I am therefore forced to study and read these things as never before and I suppose that is a good thing. To-day I have read an article in the Catholic Herald where it is stated that proponents of ad orientem are really chipping away at Vatican II although the author (an OSB most of whom are dodgy) admits there is nothing in VII about ad orientem but that there arises out of Vatican II a reformist spirit which strikes me as a sort of will-of-the-wisp. I am struggling through Fr Serafino Lanzetta's book "Vatican II A Pastoral Council" in order to try and clarify my mind. Unfortunately I trust few of our silent pastors to guide me anymore and where I see the initials SJ I pray to St Michael to defend me against error.

The Saint Bede Studio said...

It is doubtful that having a Liturgy of the Word versus populum and a Liturgy of the Eucharist ad apsidem is an adequate solution to this vexed issue. I have written some articles about this subject on my Blog suggesting the opposite.

Part Three :

Part Four :

Part Five :

(not yet concluded).

Physiocrat said...

There are practical difficulties with the Novus Ordo Mass that are rarely talked about.

1) It depends on clear articulation by the readers, good acoustics, a well designed and correctly adjusted sound system, and readers who know how to use it.

2) A three-year cycle makes for a much fatter book than a one-year cycle.

3) The responsorial psalm is more often a mumborial psalm.

4) The Proper usually disappears and is replaced either by indifferent hymns of modern origin, or Protestant ones which are anti-Catholic in spirit. The Introits are a serious loss as the accompanying music are the signature tunes for the feasts that they celebrate.

5) There is confusion over the calendar, especially between Easter and Advent: Low Sunday, which was the First Sunday after Easter, is now the Second Sunday after Easter.

6) The whole adds up to cognitive overload - there is too much going on.

whiteowl whiteowl said...

I am no liturgical expert but I love the idea of a non presidential Eucharistic prayer. For me this is a crucial step in taking the mass beyond the sphere of words into the heart and then the mystical presence of the body. I am always so distracted by the incessant drone of the priests voice. Give me silence..please!!

John Vasc said...

"it is impossible to see it in terms of 'rupture'. Rupture is simply not Catholic." And yet in the suppression of the traditional Latin Mass said invariably for centuries, and its replacement by a sort of Ikea DIY NO, with Propers rewritten by iconoclasts and translated by analphabets; with Sundays bearing centuries of tradition renamed or ignored, (and entire seasons abolished);with feast-days deliberately re-scheduled so as to disrupt the pattern of the ecclesiastical year, and all penitential elements in the liturgy removed or toned down, and the protestant re-ordering of the altar - Rupture is exactly what we had: Rupture of the most violent kind possible.

Which rather suggests that in that case, if rupture is not Catholic, the changes were not Catholic, nor were (arguably) those who instigated and bulldozed them through. I am genuinely surprised that that fairly apparent conclusion has not occurred to Pope Benedict.

As you can probably guess, I was one of the generation forced to live through what felt to this Catholic like a shocking sacrilege.
Nor are more recent changes such as the transfer of Holydays on a Sunday (most ridiculously, the Epiphany and Ascension Thursday) any more Catholic than the previous outrages. Like the Traditional Liturgy, traditional Holydays are a Right of the Faithful, not merely an Obligation.

of life the color said...

the most important Ratzinger contribution IMHO was that he was the first youngish Cardinal (not yet 55 when he became Prefect of SCDF) to criticize certain texts of Vat II and the Novus Ordo. Before he came on the international scene, the official Church line was that the documents of Vat II and the Novus Ordo had been hand carried down through the choirs of angels to Rome. To say otherwise was considered a sin against the Holy Spirit.

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