Friday, July 04, 2008

Moving the Pax & Latin Consecration

Ignazio Ingrao, religious correspondent for Italian weekly Panorama reports two rumours about the Pope's intention to move the Sign of Peace, which I think is plausible and secondly to use the Latin formula for the consecration, I think this is slightly less plausible.

The Sign of Peace

This was first suggested, officially, at the Synod on the Eucharist, it was taken up by the Pope in Sacramentum Caritatis, in which he said it could be looked at. It is true that in the Ambrosian Rite it happens before the Offertory. At face value this would fit in with the Lord's words about being reconciled with one's brother before one brings one's offering to the altar.

In practically all Rites of the Mass, except the Ambrosian Rite, the Sign of Peace has always occurred just before the Holy Communion. In the Tridentine Rite it comes from the celebrant, the alter Christus and is passed to assiosting minister and down the choir and presumably in an earlier times into the nave. The normal practice is that it now hapens after the priest's invitation, ther is a recent document which forbade the older ordered passing of it from the altar, suggesting that this was incorrect because the congregation is also the expression of the presence of Christ, nevertheless it is supposed to be limited to those around one.

Moving it, strikes me as being a misunderstanding of the Lord's words, the offering is not what goes into the plate, ones financial contibution but the offering of oneself in Holy Communion.

In a sense there are two communions, one which is horizantal expressed at the Sign of Peace, a communion which symbolises a person's oneness with all mankind, which precedes the reception of Holy Communion, whether or not the sign is offered, which according to the Missal is optional.

Moving the rite of the offering ofthe sign of peace will seriously change the ancient structure of the Communion Rite. Since Summorum Pontificum's publication one would expect a certain harmony between the two expression of the Roman Rite, this move will destroy it.

Latin Consecration formula

This is presumably a way of introducing some of the language which is proper to the Latin/Roman Rite.

It also avoids the differences such as exist between the English formula and elsewhere. In English for the consecration of the chalice we use the words "... for you and for all" whereas the Latin and most other translations say, "... for you and for many".

My anxiety is will this move, if the rumour is true, be readily taken up throughout the world, and more importantly will it survive Pope Benedict.


Anonymous said...


A mandatory directive issued from Rome requiring the use of Latin for the consecration would be beneficial for all of the priests out there who are inclined to use Latin for the consecration but cannot use it, due to protests from the congregation.

It's amazing for me, as a traditional Catholic, to spend time in a run of the mill Catholic parish and see the resistance that a parish priest gets from introducing Latin into the Mass, eliminating lay "ministries," or even giving orthodox sermons.

It's eye opening.

We traditional lay Catholics tend to arm-chair quarterback and tell priests how they should do things, and never see the vast majority of lukewarm cafeteria Catholics and the kind of pressure they put on the priest to maintain the status quo.

A universal directive from Rome would ease the pressure on the priests and could be used to shut up the progressives in the laity who make life difficult for Father.

Anonymous said...

Fr Ray, It's either Sacramentum Caritatis by Benedict XVI, 22.II.2007, or Redemptionis Sacramentum from the Congregation for Divine Worship, 25.III.2004, not Sacramentum Redemptionis as you have at the beginning.
Many thanks for all your work and 'pamphletering'. God bless.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Thank you Father, I shall correct.
It was actually Sacramentum Caritatis.

Michael Clifton said...

Not only the words of consecration but all the parts of the ordinary that are sung plus the Pater Noster should always be in Latin in my book at any rate ! This might remind people that it is supposed to be the "Latin Rite" of the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

I would very much welcome these changes, but I suspect they won't happen.

However, if they do happen, then I guess they will catch on and could outlive the current Holy Father simply because many of the younger priests will exercise the option and that will become the norm. As the liberals die off, there will only be followers of the magisterium left.

Anonymous said...

I think that this would be a great idea. Leaping over the whole 'pro multis' argument.

Recall that the Greek Kyrie was the last thing to be abandoned in the reformation. So why not bring back both that and the Latin consecration


Physiocrat said...

Quite a few of the priests round here speak the vernacular with such a heavy accent that it is hard work for everyone so what's the point then?

Physiocrat said...

What is wrong with

Priest: Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum
Response: Et cum spiritu tuo
Priest: Angus Dei...

Anonymous said...

I Loathe the sign of peace but partake out of obedience. It should be noted that Pope Benedict does NOT propose we should dispense with it, but simply move it.(before the offertory. Still, it might as well have been proposed in Mandarin, for all the notice that`s been taken of His Holiness)

It`s even riper when the celebrant steps down from the altar and abandons Jesus for a full five minutes to press the flesh with the great and the good while the "music ministry" performs some sort of jingly jangly crap for a further ten mimutes at a point in the Mass which is meant to be Holy.)

I can`t wait to emigrate. God speed it soon. I can`t take any more.


Anonymous said...


In regard to relocating the kiss of peace, you might like to take note of the fact that in the recently published definitive Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way, the Holy Father has (1) approved of the NC practice of having the kiss of peace before the Offertory, and (2)determined that the Saturday evening celebrations of the Eucharist in Neocatechumenal communities are to be regarded as parish masses open in principle to all parishioners. The effect of (1) and (2) will be to make the experience of a relocated kiss of peace quite widespread in many countries, though not in England, with its episcopal resistance to new movements approved by the Holy See.

Luke Gormally

Anonymous said...

Luke Gormally,
The Archbishop of Liverpool has already moved the sign of peace (before the offertory) at least for the Masses at which he himself is the celebrant.

Anonymous said...

For someone who is so open to the so-called Gregorian Mass, the idea of moving the 'gesture of peace' back to before the 'offertory/presentation of the gifts' is a strange move by Pope Benedict XVI -- especially it was Pope Gregory I himself who traditionally is said to have moved the 'gesture of peace' to after the Our Father from its up to then standard position at the offertory/presentation of the gifts. So the question rises will this move involve both versions of the Roman Rite? And what reaction will this cause among the 'traditionalists' who are so enamoured with the 'Gregorian Mass'?

Anonymous said...

And on the "Latin consecration" usage, in fact the majority of both Romance and Germanic languages say some version of 'for all'. The almost sole exception from this is French which says 'pour le multitude'.

Adulio said...

...episcopal resistance to new movements approved by the Holy See.

Resistance to some new movements. Opus Dei and Communion & Liberation seem to do well here in these isles.

The Neo-Catechumenal liturgy is a another story for another day...

Anonymous said...

But Bernadette,

where would you go? The Catholic Church is universal and the rot has gone into every limb.

Anonymous said...

"I Loathe the sign of peace but partake out of obedience."

Obedience to what, Bernadette? I too dislike it, but feel no need for obedience since it is an optional extra (which requires no obedience)- and so can be abandoned without cause for concern - at least in that regard.

The only time I do it, is if refusal is likely to offend my immediate neighbour. For that reason, I seek out the remotest part of the Church whenever possible.

bernadette said...

NO, I think the bottom line is that it remains as part of the liturgy, and while it does.. then we should respect it, not necessarily like it - and as I say, I really don`t. It`s utterly false. So I don`t think it's an option to just sit it out - it`s part of The Mass for the moment. At least if it was to be moved, we would not all be focussing on self and others at the point in the Mass when we focus on Him.

SOmething happened recently which really sealed my dislike for it. Bloke with guitar starts singing " Reach out and touch somebody's hand, make this world a better place, if you can.... etc" for a full three minutes while everyone seemed to be setting off in different directions to embrace everyone else. I nearly died. It`s not even an appropriate piece of music for the Sign of Peace.. . it was so bizarre, I found myself in controllable giggles. And that can not be right, during Mass.

We also had to clap the music ministry after communion as well. That`s another thing that`s got to stop... Pope Benedict did actually ask for that to stop some time ago.. but notably he has not made the Sign Of Peace, history. It stays. sigh.

Anonymous said...

Bernadette - don't tear yourself up on it. It's still optional - there is nothing prescriptive in the rubrics about it. Because it is optional you don't have to feel obliged to participate - unless non-participation would cause offence. The whole thing clearly upsets you at a time when you would wish to be much more recollected.

I used to feel like that, but it caused me such heartache I had to find a way of dealing with it. My way (which may not be suitable for others) was to follow the rubrics where they are prescriptive and to ignore the rest. It's the only way I could get peace of mind at Mass.

As to the ditty you had to endure, if that's typical of the parish music, isn't there a more conducive Church nearby?

Oremus pro invicem.

Anonymous said...

Point taken...but there is a kind of resigned peace in obedience in those sorts of situations. You have to just look at The Cross and realize that by comparison, these are tiny inconveniences.

A different parish. Tempting. An hour away would be my place of choice. Can one justify it for practical reasons, with petrol the price it is ? And.. I have this again, perhaps misplaced obedience, that we are put where we are partly to help bring about change but partly to help us grow in things like humility and acceptance of things and people we loathe. And I can promise you, I find plenty of glorious opportunities for that.

I used to think it was very important to be part of a community and a parish and to teach children that that is important - the family aspect of our faith.. but I have completely changed my mind on that. The Catholic Faith is universal, so I don`t think it matters any more if you parish flit. It`s just that you can`t escape banal irreverance wherever you go, so why not stay and try and make a difference....

Mind you, I don`t think I`m succeeding at that, either !

GOR said...

"...and more importantly will it survive Pope Benedict."

Well it will, if a certain Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Burke is elected Pope at a future Conclave...!

It may sound like a long shot today - given that he is not even a Cardinal yet - but he just turned 60 and, God willing, will be around for some time to come.

He is very 'Benedictine' in outlook and practice and an accomplished Canon Lawyer. With his recent appointment to Rome, he will be in a position to effect change and assist the Holy Father's 'Reform of the Reform'.

We can always hope and, of course, there's the Holy Spirit to be reckoned with...

Fr Ray Blake said...

As much as I admire the Archbishop, I have to ask how many votes do you think a Cardinal from the US will get?

GOR said...

Point taken Father - as I said "a long shot". But then I remember back in the 60s when people could not envision a non-Italian Pope. I was in Rome at the time and the Italians especially could not see the possibility of a Pope being other than Italian ("Mai, mai" - Never!).

Then in the 70s came John Paul II, and surprised everyone. And now Pope Benedict, who also surprised a lot of people.

Granted, there are a lot more 'political' issues associated with an American as Pope, but, like Pope Benedict, Ab. Burke may spend many years in Rome and have the opportunity to become better known among the College of Cardinals...

Dum spiro, spero!

Anonymous said...

The ordinary should all be done in Latin to preserve our heritage as Catholics. Lay people should view this as the encouraged "active participation". Learn the prayers, it is not a whole language. And for Priests who do not know Latin. That is shameful and they should complain to their Seminary administrators for not having been given the gift to learn it. It is simply wrong. For way too may Catholicsm has become the religion of laziness and pushiness on the part of the laity. Catholics should take PRIDE in their liturgical language and CLAIM it. Time to turn things around and The Holy Pope seems to want to do just that. God Bless him and a long Pontificate!

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