I get lots of questions via e-mail and I am considering how to revive the old ASK FATHER Question Box. In any event, here is something I got recently (edited):
Recently a visiting priest said some of the Masses at our
church. He was quite young and of very traditional disposition. I know that he
often offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form at his own parish. His
masses were very reverent but I did notice that, though he was offering the
Novus Ordo in English, he used many of the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form,
especially the many signs of the cross, placing the host on the corporeal
before later placing it on the paten, signing himself with the empty paten, and
the crossings of the consecrated host over the chalice, etc. Was he free to do
so or was this a co-mingling of rites and therefore not allowed?
More seriously, he very clearly and distinctly said
"for many", at the consecration of the Precious Blood. Was this
a step too far? Did he have the freedom to make the change himself, before it
has officially been done, and did it in any way make his Mass
First, his saying "for many" did not make that Mass invalid. How could it? It is what "pro multis" means? And we know that the vicar of Christ has confirmed that. I think he would do well to stick to the approved texts, however.
Second, it is very good that this priest is
interested in the older ways. That is to
be applauded. However, at this point I would suggest he not be quite so obvious in what he is
doing, viz. using elements of the older form in the newer. He should stick more closely to the Novus
Ordo when using that book. There are times when I say the Novus Ordo that, because I use the older form most of the time, some elements slip in from habit. You have to really concentrate to keep things straight. Those genuflections before the elevation, for example… well.. what can I say? Sometimes they just happen. Still, it is best to stick closely to the book.
Over time the gravitational forces of liturgy will exert their inescapable influences.
Thank you, dear querist, for the questions.