You might remember that I closed the comments on the rather explosive entry where some people had trouble with self-editing. Instead, I invited e-mail messages.
Here is one of them (my emphases):
Hi Father Z,
Love the blog, visit daily.
This will be the fifth year I’ve been attending at our archdiocese’s EF parish. I’ve experienced five different FSSP priests, one who was quite old, the others ranging in ages from late 20’s to late 50’s (I estimate). None of them have ever asked for or had a second Confiteor just before Communion. So I don’t think having one said is a mandate by the Fraternity. These guys are pretty much “by the book” priests, as far as liturgy goes. I follow the liturgy very closely with my hand missal, so I would have noticed if there was a second Confiteor. Also I’m an “Old Guy” so I remember the old days and don’t remember it being a custom when I was a server in the 1962-67 timeframe, either.
I admire your patience in moderating the discussions. That’s gotta be tough!
Interesting. So, the practice within the FSSP does not seem to be monolithic in regard to the Second Confiteor.
This item came in from a seminarian at a US seminary who wants to be anonymous:
Given the to do at your blog over the second confiteor, which is something that has often bothered me, I thought that a clarification of rubrics and customs might be in order. However, I didn’t want to unduly start up the debate again by posting to your newest addition. By my reading of the following, I come to the same conlcusion as you. Primarily, my reason for this is that the arguments for the proponents in general are faulty (e.g. the rubrics are silent when in fact they are not silent cf. R.G. VIII I 503) and the application of their arguments is contrary to Mediator Dei and the general protection against innovation in the liturgy that is most necessary in the here and now.
Another seminarian wrote:
I was reading your blog (it has become more or less a daily affair) when I came across the following point that was put across by someone else:
2. It does seem that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter insists on this [a confiteor before Holy Communion] [That sounds right. I am not sure, but I think the ICK does also.]
I raised the same question before to a priest as to the stand of the Fraternity regarding the 2nd confiteor. The reply that I received was that in places where the local custom is to have it, the Fraternity will include the 2nd confiteor. However, wherever it is not part of the local custom, it will not be included.
With the two Apostolates in the Diocese of Sydney, one makes use of the 2nd confiteor, the other does not.
One long-time participant here whom I repect very much had this for me:
I must tell you frankly that I think this WDTPRS concentration on the 2nd confiteor issue is ill-advised because
– The contention it generates is not good for the TLM. [Hmm.. I think clarity is good for the TLM.]
– The low level of a thread like yesterday’s does you and WDTPRS no good. [Amen, brother.]
– It is not fair to the FSSP which, whatever any current PECD staffer may say or think, would not do it without authorization it believes valid. [First, they are big boys. Second, let's push to get some clarity.]
In any event, would you think that, if the priestly communities with principal custody of the TLM apparently have approval for the 2nd confiteor — allegedly going back to Cardinal Mayer — then this provides a clue as to the eventual "organic development" of the matter.
The last point is especially interesting. First, I must add that I worked for Card. Mayer in the PCED and I have no memory of such a thing. Second, this got me thinking about an organic development in the direction of the Novus Ordo: It would be wonderful to used the old Confiteor and "penance rite" in the Novus Ordo. I think that would be "organic" and in the right direction. But until that is approved, I would only do the old Confiteor if I slipped and forgot to do the new one. I wouldn’t do it on purpose until it is approved for use.
Finally, MG sent the following (slightly edited):
# 503 of the General Rubrics of the Roman Missal states (it is in the Missale Romanum decreed on June 23, 1962):
503. Quoties sancta Communio infra Missam
distribuitur, celebrans, sumpto sacratissimo Sanguine,
omissis confessione et absolutione, dictis
tamen Ecce Agnus Dei et ter Domine, non sum dignus,
immediate ad distributionem sanctae Eucharistiae
I think this should resolve the issue with the Confiteor before the communion of the faithful.
503. When Holy Communion is distributed within Mass, the celebrant, once the Most Holy Blood has been consumed, the confession and absolution having been omitted, Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine, non sum dignus having been said thrice, procedes immediately to the distribution of the Holy Eucharist.
Pretty clear, that.
So, in the notes I posted there are points of interest. Among them are
- local custom
- organic development
- explicit rubrics