A priest is concerned about a “hybrid” form of Missa Cantata: questions raised.

I got this very interesting e-mail from a priest friend. 

Here is the priest’s concern:

As far as I could tell from the picture you posted of the Mass in Vermont, the bishop was celebrating not a Solemn Mass but a Missa Cantata. Furthermore, though surrounded by assistants, he was celebrating this Mass in the manner of a priest: altar cards instead of the Canon Missae, no candle by the book, six rather than seven candles on the altar, etc.

As far as I can recall, permission for bishops to celebrate a Missa Cantata and to omit the prescriptions of the Ceremoniale Episcoporum date from 1965 or later. [Interesting.] What do you think? Is this an issue worth bringing up? Is it like Communion in the Hand? [I think not.  Communion in the hand is now something that cut across both uses of the Roman Rite now.  However, when the older use is celebrated, the 1962 rubrics ought to be followed.] This is not the first time I have observed this practice by some American bishops celebrating the Extraordinary Use. I have never seen pictures from Europe or elsewhere indicating the same phenomenon.

We can insist on 1962 rubrics all we want but the fact is that in traditional Benedictine Monasteries with the permission of the EC Commission the conventual Mass is celebrated with some but not all of the 1965 rubrics.  On the other end of the spectrum I continually note the use of pre-Pius XII rubrics and rites for everything from Holy Week to the Consecration of Churches. 

It will be interesting to observe how this develops.

Organically?

Father raises an excellent point.

The provisions of Summorum Pontificum say that we will be using the 1962 Missale Romanum.  Not 1965, not any edition before 1962.

We as yet have no clarifications from Rome about this other issues.

I very much like Father’s subtle comparision of the bishop celebrating in the manner of the priest with Communion in the hand.  Think about it.  In 1962 a bishop celebrating as a priest, somewhat common now, would have been an abuse.   It eventually came to be approved.  Communion in the  hand was an abuse.  It eventually came to be abused.

Organic development?

A priest is concerned about a “hybrid” form of Missa Cantata: questions raised.
0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Mail from priests, SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to A priest is concerned about a “hybrid” form of Missa Cantata: questions raised.

  1. I confess I do not understand: what is the difference between a bishop celebrating as a bishop, and a bishop celebraing “in the manner of a priest”?

  2. Fr. B. Pedersen says:

    I suspect the problem that many bishops might have in celebrating this form of the Mass is a complete unfamiliarity with the prescriptions of the Ceremonial Episcoporum, not to mention chances that they even have a Canon Missae (i.e. Pontifical Canon) would be dubious indeed. After several years of searching I only recently had a chance to see what the actual book looked like. Now, trying to acquire one might take some time and a great sum of treasure. Loome is not cheap. Couple that with a lack of clerics capable of properly celebrating episcopal ceremonies and you have a conundrum indeed. It can be learned, but in a place like Vermont which has not seen the usus antiquior in 40 years where are the priests or deacons capable of serving as M.C., arch-priest, assistant deacons, subdeacons, etc…Certainly these clerics can be found, but they may be spread around the country. I think we ought to congratulate Bishop Montano for what he did. No doubt as the ancient use becomes better known by the clegy again the full prescriptions of the ceremonial can be put into use. Until then acquiring all the other books including the Pontificale Romanum will be difficult indeed. It cost me $500 to acquire the Epistolarium et Evangelarium from 1959. It is in excellent condition, but I am not even sure it is the latest 1962 edition if there even is one of this book. If I had my druthers I personally would prefer a pre-1955 edition especially because of the Passion readings, I consider the chopping of the passion to be a great loss of some beautiful chants, but I guess I am showing my colors when it comes to the 1950’s liturgical reforms. At least the use of these books while not technically allowed is not odious to the faith as are some of the famous liturgical celebrations of the ordinary form today (i.e. Think – LA Catechetical Conference). Of course, the use of longer readings during the Gospels of Holy Week, or more of them in the vigil, is that so bad? Certainly it would not be bad from the point of view of those who think the greater the amount of scripture in the Mass the better, but I digress.

    –Fr. BP

  3. dcs says:

    I suspected it was not a Pontifical Mass as His Excellency was not wearing the pontifical dalmatic. However, my guess it that he did not celebrate pontifically either because there was insufficient time to prepare or perhaps because his MCs did not understand the distinction.

    Interestingly enough, I have seen a video of Bp. Fellay of the SSPX celebrating a Solemn Mass but not pontifically, and I am told that this is not uncommon among the SSPX bishops.

  4. Eric says:

    This raises a question I’ve had for some time. The rubrics in my 1962 missal talk about the actions of the subdeacon, but how does this play out since we no longer have subdeacons? This was a concern of mine while an Anglican (many Anglo-Catholic churches still have individuals functioning as subdeacons). Is there any hope that the pope will reinstate this order?

  5. Paul Goings says:

    Father,

    I want to thank you for bringing up a question which has intrigued me for some years now. There are, it seems to me, many small issues of ceremonial and protocol which will need to be resolved by either the P.C.E.D., or some other authority, as time goes on. S.P. provides some wonderful opportunities, but we are left rather in the dark about the minor orders, the required use of the C.E., and such-like. Will there be an authoritative decision about all of these at some point, or will each community make its own decisions, as we see happening now?

    To look at this specific example, might it not have been better for the bishop to celebrate a Low Mass, rather than a Missa Cantata? (On the other hand, it certainly is true that some bishops in missionary districts were given all sorts of indults over the years, for lack of one think or another. May we assume that these indults are still in force?)

    I don’t have any answers, but it seems to me that if said answers are not forthcoming at some point, we’re going see a range of practices that would make an Anglo-Catholic blush in comparison!

  6. David Kubiak says:

    This question has been raised repeatedly and commentary can be found in other threads. I would add here that there was a request from the Bishop of Erie, PA in the late 19th century to celebrate Solemn Mass “like a priest,” since he could rarely muster the manpower for the pontifical rites. The request was denied by the Congregation of Rites on grounds that such a celebration would diminish episcopal dignity. The issue will have to be addressed formally by Rome soon, and I suspect that solution will not sit well with certain traditionalist Catholics.

    I wonder how many people are aware that our “High Mass” depended on an Indult for places lacking clergy. It has no basis in the historical rubrics and Fr. Fortescue says it was utterly unknown in Rome.

  7. Mary says:

    Eric — As I recall, pre-1962 (OK, I was about 14), in our church anyway during Holy Week, priests took the roles of deacon and subdeacon. I think I recall hearing of a change in rules after Vatican II that this could no longer be done. AFAIK, there are still (transitional) deacons and subdeacons in the seminaries, which I suppose a bishop could call on should he wish to.

  8. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Fr.Pederson,Where did you find an Evangelarium and Epistolarium?

  9. John says:

    I have a Roman Missal and a Lectionary dated 1964 would these be official?

  10. If the Evangelarium were reprinted, would you buy it?

    Please raise your hand!

  11. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    Father, the comparison between a bishop singing a Missa Cantata without Pontificals and Holy Communion in the hand raises some interesting questions—of course, liturgical abuse vs. organic development is central.

    Even though I’m tempted, one can’t argue that not saying the Pontifical Mass is good because I like the Missa Cantata and that Holy Communion in the hand is bad because I don’t like it. Where does one draw the line?

    Perhaps to open some discussion, my initial take would draw two distinctions. First, what would be the effect of the liturgical change upon both the priest and upon the faithful? In this case, one could argue that the bishop’s choice has little impact upon either the bishop or the faithful, while Holy Communion in the hand has contributed to the increasing lack of belief in the Real Presence and increasing sacrilege toward the Blessed Sacrament. The second distinction would be the theological/pastoral/philosophical basis for the change. It seems that the bishop’s choice would be practical and pastoral, based on the availability of books, knowledge, and suitable clergy. In the case of Holy Communion in the hand, one can argue that it was based on a false “antiquarianism” seeking to remove “medieval accretions” from the Mass. In that light, what defines an abuse would be a liturgical change seeking to implement a hermeneutic of rupture.

    One key caveat—the authoritative decision on whether it is an abuse or organic development lies with competent authority in the Church, not what I (or for that matter, any layman) think.

    I can’t think of any “organic development” in the traditional Roman Rite that wouldn’t pass either distinction—the Offertory prayers, prayers at the foot of the Altar, Last Gospel—all seem to me to have a positive effect upon both priest and faithful, all made upon the theological basis of demonstrating love of God. As for the post-Vatican II changes, I’ll leave that to the reader’s discretion.

    Am I completely off base here?

    In Christ,

  12. Richard says:

    Mary says “there are still (transitional) deacons and subdeacons in the seminaries”.

    Deacons, yes. Subdeacons, no (except in the seminaries of the traditionalist orders); since the order was suppressed, our future priests are no longer ordained sub-deacon.

    Hence the issue, raised in other blogs, as to whether priests ordained since the 60s reforms should wear the maniple, since it is restricted to those who have been ordained sub-deacon. Previously all priests had been, but now (again, with the exception of those who passed through the seminaries run by the traditionalist orders) none are.

  13. Richard: Hence the issue, raised in other blogs, as to whether priests ordained since the 60s reforms should wear the maniple, since it is restricted to those who have been ordained sub-deacon. Previously all priests had been, but now (again, with the exception of those who passed through the seminaries run by the traditionalist orders) none are.

    First, surely it is wrong that a priest not ordained a sub-deacon cannot wear a maniple. Of course priests and bishops can wear maniples.

    Second, if the minor orders were suppressed for the Catholic Latin Church, they were suppressed for any group claiming to be part of that Church, … unless they really aren’t.

  14. Fr. Ramil says:

    Concerning ‘hybrids’, this is something that has been on my mind since 7/7, and I guess I should know the answer, but better to get help from learned persons, rather than do my own personal interpretations (and we all know where that can lead!)

    Much will require clarification from Rome in the months and years to come, but for now….:

    We predicate all discussions on the fact that Summorum Pontificum authorizes the rites in effect as of 1962 if I were to celebrate the ‘usus antiquior’ (meaning, for the Missale Romanum, the insertion of St. Joseph into the Canon, as well as the additions of the Gallican Prefaces, I believe – no more, no less, no other). So the use of the 1964 bilingual Roman Missal or anything in between until 1970 is definitely not intended,

    BUT what about the Office and other rituals?

    Therefore, my queries on the following:

    1) Can we use the 1964 3 Volume bilingual Latin/English ‘The Divine Office’ by Liturgical Press (Pius XII psalter) and the upcoming Vulgate edition being produced by Baronius Press;

    2) Would the 1964 one volume Roman Breviary published by Benziger be applicable for the obligation of reciting the Office, since it is an English translation of the two volume Latin editions;

    3) Are any of the ‘Collectio Rituum’ from 1964 permissible, since they were issued with decrees in the front authorizing publication due to Sacrosanctum Concilium;

    3) Is the 3 volume set of ‘The Roman Ritual’ Latin/English recently republished the last known edition of the Rituale, or were there subsequent editions – I’ve heard there was an update in either 1960 or 1961, but can’t find it anywhere;

    4) Are we allowed to use the 1964 Roman Ritual English 1 Volume, since there were additions and modifications noted in the rubrics throughout the early ’60s.

    In my opinion, the beauty of the ’62 use is the Latin language, the obvious antiquity and continuity of the Roman rite through so many centuries, millenia. Many saints, many heroes, much magnificent art, architecture, culture and civilizations were seeded with this beauty, splendor and grace.

    So in a way, wouldn’t it be sort of ‘cheating’ to use the mid-60’s English translations, since isn’t that what Sacrosanctum Concilium and the entire Liturgical Movement was all about: the gradual introduction of the vernacular into the rites?

    Or is this the sort of cross-pollenization our Holy Father intends to stimulate for the ‘reform of the reform?

    Please forgive me, I’m not trying to be controversial, but perhaps others have been wondering about the parameters as I have been.

    Thanks Fr. Z!

    Fr. Ramil

  15. Paul Goings says:

    “Second, if the minor orders were suppressed for the Catholic Latin Church, they were suppressed for any group claiming to be part of that Church, … unless they really aren’t.”

    Father,

    That’s the real question, isn’t it? For example, Paul VI says in Ministeria Quaedam says, “It is in accordance with the reality itself and with the contemporary outlook that the above-mentioned ministries should no longer be called minor orders; their conferral will not be called ordination, but institution. Only those who have received the diaconate, however, will be clerics in the true sense and will be so regarded.” So when, say, Abp Burke confers “tonsure,” “the minor orders,” and “the subdiaconate,” what is really happening? Are these men becoming clerics, or not? Are the putative subdeacons bound to celibacy and the divine office, or not?

  16. Serapion says:

    This is a very fun thread, since several of the topics raised are regularly debated in my circle of friends. My thoughts:

    Fr Z: First, surely it is wrong that a priest not ordained a sub-deacon cannot wear a maniple. Of course priests and bishops can wear maniples.

    A priest who is celebrating Mass or serving as the deacon should, I agree, wear a maniple. It’s a vestment belonging to that office. I might argue, however, that a “Novus Ordo priest” (for lack of a better term; I mean only a priest who followed the post-Ministeria quædam path to ordination) should not wear the maniple when serving as a sub-deacon. Never having been ordained to that office, he is as much a “straw sub-deacon” as is an acolyte or layman. Nonetheless, he should still be preferred to the latter, since he can perform the sub-diaconal tasks reserved to clerics (purifying the chalice, &c).

    Mr Goings: So when, say, Abp Burke confers “tonsure,” “the minor orders,” and “the subdiaconate,” what is really happening? Are these men becoming clerics, or not? Are the putative subdeacons bound to celibacy and the divine office, or not?

    This is very complicated question. On the one hand, the 1983 Code of Canon Law says that one is raised to the clergy with diaconal ordination. But on the other hand – remembering that no where in 1983 was the former Pontificale Romanum being licitly used – the FSSP and other groups were later granted permission to use the Pontificale, which contains the ceremonies for tonsure and minor and sub-diaconal ordinations. The CCL is a higher authority, of course, but did the indult to use the former books also give an indult in these particular laws concerning the clerical state?

  17. Christophorous says:

    RE: SUBDEACONS

    1) a higher ranking cleric can always debase himself
    (eg: a priest can always serve as a deacon, a deacon as a subdeacon —
    look at a traditional papal mass, they’re all bishops!).

    2) SRC ruled (I think in 1682) that a tonsured cleric can act as a subdeacon (with certain restrictions [see Fortesque/O’Connell/Reid]).

    3) The Ecclesiae Dei Commission ruled that “tonsure” today means acceptance as a candidate for ordination or simple vows in an order. (Prot 24/92).

    4) In addition, EDC also ruled that using an “installed” accolyte as a acting sub-deacon
    “would be tolerated” but he could not wear a berreta (since he’s not a cleric).

  18. Serapion: I might argue, however, that a “Novus Ordo priest” (for lack of a better term; I mean only a priest who followed the post-Ministeria quædam path to ordination) should not wear the maniple when serving as a sub-deacon. Never having been ordained to that office, he is as much a “straw sub-deacon” as is an acolyte or layman.

    Piffle.

    Of course a priest, serving in the sub-deacon role at Mass can and should wear the maniple.

    Those who wear the maniple must be at least a subdeacon. (cf. Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites 4181,2, cit. in Trimeloni) A priest is certainly that. The subdiaconate did not confer on a man anything which a priest, ordained first a deacon, would lack.

  19. Paul Goings says:

    Given what Christophorous has said, it appears that the P.C.E.D. understands that an “installed” acolyte can act as a “straw subdeacon” at the RR-EU, as if, under the former rules, he had received the tonsure and the clerical state. He may wear the tunic, which is the proper vestment of the subdeacon, but not the biretta, which was formerly allowed to all clerics of any rank (including those who had only received the tonsure). However, a man who has been granted candidacy, which is a juridical, and not a liturgical act, may be regarded as a cleric, at least insofar as the use of the biretta is concerned, even though this is contrary to the provisions of the C.I.C.

    Is this a correct summary?

  20. Serapion says:

    The subdiaconate did not confer on a man anything which a priest, ordained first a deacon, would lack.

    That’s certainly true, of course, and I didn’t mean to suggest that a priest who was never ordained to the sub-diaconate had any less authority than one who was. (I do also want to stress the I might argue… part of my previous comment; I have absolutely no certainty in the matter, could argue for either side of it, and only consider it to be an interesting exercise in rhetoric and canon law.)

    But it’s also always been my understanding that a priest (or even a bishop, as shown in the above example of papal functions) can serve as a deacon, sub-deacon, acolyte, lector, &c, in liturgies, not merely because he holds a higher rank, but because he actually still holds those other offices, having once been ordained to them. But this is not the case for most priests ordained within the past 35 years, in regards to the sub-diaconate, so whether or not they wear the maniple, can we not say that these priests serve “extraordinarily” as sub-deacons?

    This is, in any case, a very minor point, but it’s another example (along with the situation described in the original post, and also the papal liturgy discussed some time ago) of the confusion associated with the restoration of the traditional liturgy when so many things related to it have been suppressed or modified.

    P.S. With all due respect to the PCED, it’s proposition that a straw subdeacon is not to wear the biretta has, in my experience, been widely ignored and ridiculed.

  21. Scott Smith says:

    Very interesting thread.

    No Subdeacons? Who’s a subdeacon? Surely anyone ‘ordained’ to the subdiaconate according to the liturgical use of 1962 is a subdeacon, 1983 code of canon law would say only that he is not a cleric in the strict sense of the word. Also the same document that suppressed the order of Subdeacon said that an instituted acolyte could be called a subdeacon by the bishop’s conference if it so desired, not that any have or would want to today. And surely, logically speaking, a subdeacon is just that, the order just below the deacon, which today ordinarily is the acolyte properly so instituted. So let him, in the extraordinary use, wear a tunic and maniple and as long as he doesn’t wear a stole let him not incur a penalty for assuming the vesture of a rank not attained.

    As to the question of organic development with bishops celebrating as priests verses communion in the hand I offer the following:

    Bishops are priests. For a bishop to not celebrate pontifically but as a common priest against a rubric is different than receiving communion in the hand against a rubric.

    1) A bishop doing so would be doing what is being done by and as a priest in accordance with those rubrics. A person receiving communion in the hand was doing what was done by non-catholics. (Even a Bishop would receive on the tongue if he was not the celebrant.)

    2) Dispencing with specific ceremonies in deviance from the rubrics is not the samething as changing the ritual gesture of recieving communion in opposition to the rubrics.

  22. Paul: So when, say, Abp Burke confers “tonsure,” “the minor orders,” and “the subdiaconate,” what is really happening? Are these men becoming clerics, or not? Are the putative subdeacons bound to celibacy and the divine office, or not?

    I think they are having a moving, meanful, beautiful old ceremony that confers on them precisely nothing more than, say, what a boy scout gets when moving up a step in the troop.

    They are not made clerics.  They are not being truly ordained to anything.

    That doesn’t mean they are not benefiting in some way from what is happening.  Certainly it will help them on their way, if it is approached properly.

  23. AlexB says:

    The solution at our indult site (what a quaint term!) is for a visiting (auxiliary) bishop to celebrate a “Low Mass Said by a Bishop”, accompanied by music. This is essentially a slightly more elaborate version of a Missa Cantata. See the 2003 Fortescue/O’Connell/Reid for details.

    At this point in time, we need to encourage bishops to put a toe in the water with the TLM. That will mean letting the more hesitant ones celebrate a regular, simple Missa Cantata. I hope the PCED takes into account this fact, when determining whether to issue formal permission.

  24. M Kr says:

    Fr. Z:

    The priests at my parish have been looking to buy one.

    Question: Is the Evangeliarium printed separately from the Epistoliarium or are they printed as one book?

  25. M Kr says:

    David Kubiak:

    What did parishes do that had only one priest before this indult? I know that in the middle ages, even parishes with one priest had a “sung” mass.

  26. David M.O'Rourke says:

    I’m somewhat confused here. One picture I saw, obviously taken from the organ loft, showed the Bishop attended by all the correct ministers including the capilani in copes and (presumably) vimpas for the mitre and crozier bearers. Another picture showed what appeared to be a hybrid Missa Cantata.

    We are, of course, in a perisd of transition here. Most bishops don’t own full Pontificals in the traditional sense. When Cardinal Hoyos is shown pontificating he wears the dalmatic but NOT the tunicle. He wears the gloves but NOT the buskins and sandals (which have a much longer pedigree than either the gloves or the mitre). One would expect that Cardinal Hoyos, of all prelates, would have the full sets. Notably, when the ICRP are involved, the bishop is much more likely to wear all of the Pontificals than is the case with the FSSP. Perhaps they (the ICRP) supply them.

    As time goes on, we may hope that more bishops will acquire full sets of pontificals but bishops who rarely pontificate in the Usus Antiquior may be reluctant to make the expenditure. In pre-Vatican II times bishops were required to own all of the necessary items. It is possible that where the bishop is friendly to the Old Use but for whatever reason is not willing to purchase the full sets, traditionalist groups might supply them. The most problematic items are the buskins and sandals since different bishops have different size feet but it would be very sad indeed were they not restored as their use was first granted by the Emperor Constantine to Pope St. Sylvester and thus they pre-date even part of the Nicene Creed. They are, by the way, allowed but not required in the Novus Ordo so perhaps encouraging their use in both uses (along with those other pontificals that are optional in the Novus Ordo) might be an opportunity for the good influence of the Old Use upon the new

    As for other practices not in the 1962 missal, the chanting of the Confiteor at Communion was apparently conceded by the Ecclesia Dei Comission. Whether the concession still holds is a good questsion since the Motu Proprio supercedes the older legislation. I suspect that sinceit was conceded once it willbe so again.

    One often hears suggestions that Pope Benedict should celebrate Pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s but that would be really hard to pull off these days as the Papal ceremonial is so complex. Better, perhaps, to wait a bit so that it can be done in it’s full splendour. Ironically he would have to face the people since teh Papal Basilicas were built facing west.

  27. dcs says:

    David O’Rourke writes:
    Ironically he would have to face the people since teh Papal Basilicas were built facing west.

    Of course, but the people in the nave would hardly be able to see His Holiness, what with the candlesticks, altar cross, statue reliquaries of SS. Peter & Paul, etc. in the way.

  28. M Kr says:

    An issue that may arise if it becomes permissible for a bishop to celebrate as merely a priest is a temptation to do this all the time when celebrating the extraordinary form – to avoid the hassle of the full High Pontifical Mass. There is a prevailing liturgical minimalism in many sections of the Church – which extends in some cases to those attached to the usus antiquior and I think this is something to be careful about.

  29. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    I would buy an Evangelarium if it is reprinted.

  30. Paul Goings says:

    “I think they are having a moving, meanful, beautiful old ceremony that confers on them precisely nothing more than, say, what a boy scout gets when moving up a step in the troop. They are not made clerics. They are not being truly ordained to anything.”

    Father,

    This is interesting. Would you say, therefore, that an “ordained subdeacon” of the F.S.S.P. or I.C.R. should not be permitted to serve as subdeacon at an RR-EU Mass, wearing the maniple, etc.?

  31. dcs says:

    If the old Mass was never truly abrogated, perhaps the minor orders and the subdiaconate were not truly suppressed either. On a cursory reading, it seems that there are enough loopholes in Ministeria Quaedem that one could make that argument. For example, first tonsure is not abolished but “is no longer conferred.” That’s pretty squishy, to be quite honest. Paul VI also says that “the major order of subdiaconate no longer exists.” Well, it does not follow that the subdiaconate no longer exists, only that it no longer exists as a major order (which I believe was made clear at Vatican II anyway). Etc. Really one could have a field day with the document.

  32. Fr. B. Pedersen says:

    Fr. Mcaffee,

    I purchased the Epistolarium et Evangeliarum from Loome Theological Booksellers out of Stillwater, Minnesota. The cost was hefty. They probably do not have another one at this point. But from time to time one will come in. I would definately purchase a new one if I could. A friend of mine has a very rare Epistolarium et Evangelarium with a section at the back with the Proper Readings for the Fransican Calendar of Saints. His was a dumpster dive.

    –Fr. Pedersen

  33. Paul: Would you say, therefore, that an “ordained subdeacon” of the F.S.S.P. or I.C.R. should not be permitted to serve as subdeacon at an RR-EU Mass, wearing the maniple, etc.?

    Of course I would not say that.  Laymen can substitute for a subdeacon.  Put maniples and birettas on ‘em and put ‘em to work.

  34. David Kubiak says:

    To M Kr:
    I don’t know exactly when the permission for the simple “Missa Cantata” was granted, but there can’t be anyone alive who remembers the time before it.

  35. Berolinensis says:

    Re. subdeacons ordained today and what “happens” at their ordination: While I am by no means an expert on this, I think it is important to remember that the subdiaconate was (although often with the qualification “probably”) not regarded as a divinely instituted sacrament, but only as a sacramental instituted by the Church (which is, after all, the reason why the Church could suppress it). Since the liturgical book providing for this sacramental to be conferred has been readmitted, I would think (welcoming correction) that it is not correct to say it is only like a meaningful scout ceremony, but that these cnadidates do in fact receive this sacramental. The reception into the clerical state is seperate from this, and is ruled by canon law. Since the reception into the clerical state is connected with grave obligations, I would think a special treatment for FSSP/ICRSS candidates, departing from the general rule of the Codex (deaconate), would have had to be granted/prescribed explicitly. A third question is whether these candidates, having obtained the sacramental of the subdiaconate, may perform the office of subdeacon during High Mass. I would think (again, under correction) since they received the sacramental expressly instituted by Holy Church for this very purpose, it should be obvious that they in fact may do so, irrespective of their remaining in the lay state.

  36. Greg Smisek says:

    Christophorous wrote:
    2) SRC ruled (I think in 1682) that a tonsured cleric can act as a subdeacon (with certain restrictions [see Fortesque/O’Connell/Reid]).

    The Sacred Congregation of Rites first allowed tonsured clerics to assume subdiaconal duties in the 19th century. Fortescue’s handy summary of the succeeding 1906 decree (Decreta Authentica, S.R.C., 4181) is as follows:

    In case of necessity the place of the subdeacon may be taken by a clerk in minor orders, or by one who is at least tonsured. In this case he does not wear the maniple, he does not wipe the chalice nor pour water into it at the offertory, but leaves this to the deacon; after he has brought the chalice to the altar at the offertory he does not touch it, nor does he cover or uncover it; nor does he clean the chalice after the ablutions. This is done by the celebrant. The clerk does, however, arrange the chalice and veil it and carry it back to the credence table. Otherwise he fulfils all the office of subdeacon.

    Incidentally, “In case of necessary” is stronger than the Latin, “numquam nisi adsit rationabilis causa.”. “Reasonable” in canon law is a much lower standard than “necessary” and is closer to “inconvenience.”

    3) The Ecclesiae Dei Commission ruled that “tonsure” today means acceptance as a candidate for ordination or simple vows in an order. (Prot 24/92).

    Not according to Mr. Sternbeck’s posted scan of PCED’s responses (Prot. N. 24/92) to his queries. In his response, Msgr. Perl wrote only of permission for instituted acolytes to act as subdeacons in a 1962 Missal Mass:

    1. In celebrating the Solemn High Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal it is necessary to follow the rubrics of that Missal. In the past the employment of a person who had received the ministry of acolyte acting as subdeacon was tolerated. In that case the acolyte acting as subdeacon did not wear the maniple. This usage may continue to be tolerated.

    It isn’t clear to me whether the good Monsignor is referring to the usage tolerated by the 1906 decree (he should have referred to “tonsure and the minor orders” rather than “the ministry of acolyte”) or to a usage tolerated since Ministeria quaedam. If the former, we would presume that the 1906 restrictions still apply to the acolyte (including no maniple); if the latter, then we don’t know if there are any restrictions beyond not wearing the maniple.

    4) In addition, EDC also ruled that using an “installed” accolyte as a acting sub-deacon “would be tolerated” but he could not wear a berreta (since he’s not a cleric).

    Prot. N. 24/92 says nothing whatsoever about birettas. I understand that Dom Alcuin Reid says an instituted acolyte doesn’t wear the biretta when acting as subdeacon, but I believe he is merely stating his own opinion on the matter.

    The other way to approach the question of what an instituted acolyte can and can’t do in the old Mass is to start from Pope Paul VI’s motu proprio Ministeria quaedam, which morphed the “minor orders” into “ministries” and divided up the (major order) subdeacon’s parts between the (instituted) lector and acolyte. Norm IV states: “The functions [partes] heretofore assigned to the subdeacon are entrusted to the reader and the acolyte.” At face value, it would seem that anyone who is currently instituted as both lector and acolyte would thereby be authorized to do all of the former subdiaconal duties.

    The fact that instituted acolytes are merely “tolerated” in the role of subdeacon would indicate otherwise.

    And the changes following on the demise of the sacred order of subdeacon also indicate a lack of parity between the former subdiaconate and the current ministries of acolyte and lector. In the Novus Ordo Mass, the instituted acolyte indeed assumes the former subdiaconal duty of assisting the priest and deacon with the purification of the sacred vessels (GIRM2002, n. 192), and Canon Law even makes the acolyte ex officio an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (can. 910 §2).

    But the subdeacon’s offertory duties went to the deacon instead of the acolyte:

    the deacon prepares the altar, assisted by the acolyte, but it is the deacon’s place to take care of the sacred vessels himself. (GIRM2002, n. 178; GIRM1970, n. 147 had the subdeacon prepare the altar while the priest and deacon remained seated)

    the deacon … pours wine and a little water into the chalice, saying quietly, Per huius aquae.(GIRM2002, n. 178; GIRM1970, n. 147 had the subdeacon pour the water into the chalice, as in the old Mass)

    It would seem to me that the safer interpretation is for an instituted acolyte to abide by the 1906 restrictions on a lesser cleric when acting as a subdeacon in the forma extraordinaria. At least until a further clarification by PCED.

  37. Patrick says:

    I RAISE 2 HANDS!

    I would certainly buy a few copies of the reprint of the beautifully illustrated (in RED cover with the great Golden Cross and with pre-Vatican II Imprimatur):

    Epistolae et Evangelia Totius Anni. Secundum Missale Romanum ex Decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini Restitutum Summorum Pontificum Cura Recognitum.

    This is both the Book of Lessons and Gospels consolidated into ONE VOLUME for the Tridentine Ordo of the Roman Rite.

    I ALSO would buy a few copies of a reprinted Latin Vulgate text (with pre-Vatican II Imprimatur) of the:

    Book of the Four Gospels (Evangeliarium)

    and the Book of Lessons (Lectionarium)

    (Also in RED COVER at least – which can be covered with a Golden or Silver book cover).

    To answer one of your questions: these books were distinct long ago, then merged after the Council of Trent. For the passing of books during minor and major orders, these distinct books should be used over the consolidated Epistolae et Evangelia because they distinctly signify the passing of the grade (i.e., with subdeacon, epistles, and deacons, gospels, and also with bishop the passage of gospel promulgation being on top of the bishop-elect).

    I also would buy the same books for the Missale Monasticum and Divine Office.

    I ask – is someone here considering REPRINTING these books or inquiring into the Libreria Editrice Vaticana??? Raise hand…please.

    I would be cautious with the Vatican Press, they may only reprint a study copy as they have done with the Pontifical, Breviary, Missal, etc. Although it is nice to have the original edition for study usage. I think St. Pius X was the one who very critical about museums having relics (and other religious items) on display, as if they were something beyond usage, and he urged that those relics should be used, and NOT to be kept just for show.

    Anyhow…contact me if you got any ideas.

    +AMDG

    Patrick