TLM dust up with the LMS and Cathedral Chapter of Cardiff

I tip my biretta to His Hermeuticalness  o{]:¬/   for the following: 

The following announcement has appeared on the website of the Latin Mass Society:

URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pontifical High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite due to be offered in Cardiff Cathedral on Sunday 18 May at 11.00 am has been cancelled at the last moment. The LMS withdrew its involvement with this Mass after the Cathedral Dean insisted that a lady server be present in the Sanctuary during Mass. The LMS apologises to members and supporters for the disappointment and inconvenience caused. For those who might wish to register a polite protest the telephone number for the Cathedral Dean is 029 2023 1407. Email: cardiff.met.cath@btinternet.com

This all seems a pity. I should have thought it was fairly obvious that the Latin Mass Society would not be willing to accept the participation of women altar servers in the sanctuary. That could have been diplomatically explained to any women who usually serve at the Cathedral. After all, nobody is obliged to attend the extraordinary form and I am sure there were other Masses that people could have participated in today at the Cathedral.

Perhaps it was meant to be a "test case"; if so, I suppose it is one of those things that needs to be clarified by the Ecclesia Dei Commission.

 

It seems to me that this was a needless provocation on the part of the Dean …. so pointless.

UPDATE: 19 May 14:27 GMT

It seems that the terrier-like Damian Thompson at Holy Smoke as picked this up.  See his stuff here and here.

You definitely want to go visit, but here is the second of the two, with my emphases and comments.

More on Cardiff’s cancelled Latin Mass

Posted by Damian Thompson on 19 May 2008  at 13:52 

I’ve received a fascinating insider’s report (see below) on the cancellation of yesterday’s Latin Mass at Cardiff Cathedral following the Dean’s insistence on including a woman altar server in the sanctuary.

Archbishop Peter Smith
Archbishop Peter Smith declined to intervene

What an utter fiasco. The Latin Mass Society is so angry with the Dean, Canon Peter Collins, that it is invoicing him for the cost of its services. Note, too, that Archbishop Peter Smith failed to intervene. Here is the report:

In late 2007, [Okay… so they were working on this for months.] the Dean, Canon Peter Collins, agreed to a request from Kingsley Lewis, LMS Cardiff Representative, for a Traditional Mass to be celebrated in the cathedral. The Dean himself proposed that it take the place of the usual main Sunday Mass. The LMS therefore arranged for a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be offered by Abbot Paul Stonham OSB of Belmont Abbey.  [So far so good!  Sounds like a great event!]

The LMS handled most of the arrangements for the Mass, arranging for its senior liturgical expert, Mr Gordon Dimon, to travel from London to MC the Mass, for vestments to be transported to Cardiff and for Sacred Ministers trained in the Rite to be available. The LMS committed much time and expenditure to make the Mass as fitting an occasion as possible. It is understood the LMS now proposes to send an invoice to the Dean for its services.  [That seems fair.]

On the evening of Thursday 15 May [Just a couple days before the Mass was to be celebrated.] Mr Lewis attended a training session in the Traditional Rite for the cathedral servers and the Dean who was to be Assistant Priest at the Mass. It was only then that he discovered that Canon Peter Collins proposed to have a lady server present in the sanctuary during the Mass[Proposed?  Or insisted?  Sine qua non condition?  This part is unclear to me.]

Mr Lewis explained that this was not possible under the rubrics and law governing the 1962 Rite of Blessed John XXIII, but to no avail. [And I believe Mr. Lewis would have been wrong to invoke the law in force at the time of the promulgation of the 1962 Missale.  A far better position to take is that, under the present juridical situation, a) no priest can be forced to have female altar servers and b) the sensibility of the people must be taken into account.  It sounds like the Dean was merely imposing his own personal idea on people whom he knew would be completely against it.]  Afterwards he consulted with the LMS’s Senior MC and the cleric who was to be Deacon at the Mass, and all were of the same opinion that the 1962 Rite should not be offered if ladies are present in the Sanctuary. The Chairman of the LMS, Mr Julian Chadwick, confirmed that this was the firm policy of the LMS.

Certainly, if the Mass had gone ahead with LMS involvement, the ordinary faithful with an attachment to the Extraordinary Form would have been scandalised and there would have been uproar afterwards[Heck!  There is an uproar now!]

Mr Lewis telephoned Canon Collins the following morning (Friday) to inform him that in conscience the LMS would not be able to take part in the Mass. The LMS’s position and that of the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form is clear: that when the 1962 Rite of Blessed John XXIII is used, the rubrics and law integral to that rite must be respected and this does not allow the use of lady servers[There is that arguement again.  I don’t think this is their best position.  We will have to wait to see what the clarifying document for Summorum Pontificum says about this issue, but I think they are not on very solid ground with this approach.] Canon Collins refused to change his mind or take account of the consciences and clear wishes of those attached to the Traditional Rite[Okay… he didn’t merely "propose" this, he insisted.  I think what he did was extraordinarily rude.]

 Therefore, Mr Lewis emailed Archbishop Peter Smith asking him to intervene to ensure that the Mass proceeded on a basis compatible with the rubrics of the Rite so that scandal would not be given to the consciences of those attached to this form. However no response was received.  [Qui tacet consentire videtur?]

The LMS posted an announcement on its website on Friday evening but at such a late date it was not possible to contact those many faithful who were planning to travel long distances to assist at the Mass. On the Sunday some arrived by coach. The LMS had representatives outside the cathedral to explain to the faithful what had happened. Inside, a new rite Mass was concelebrated. The cathedral was almost full with about 300 worshippers instead of its usual 35-40 but they were expecting a Traditional Rite Mass. [Very interesting, the numbers, no?] It is understood that the LMS office on Monday received heavy traffic by email and telephone from faithful who were deeply upset at what had happened and felt they had been deliberately let down by the cathedral authorities.

What leaves a bad taste is the great discourtesy shown by Canon Collins to the Sacred Ministers who were due to travel and offer the Traditional Mass and the discrimination against the many faithful who gathered to assist at the celebration of the 1962 rite expecting the rubrics and law to be followed only to find that the Canon had planned to violate their consciences[And one must ask … Cui bono?]

It is clear that Pope Benedict in his Motu Proprio intended that the Extraordinary Form of the Rite be widely available and celebrated in accordance with its own rubrics and law; what Canon Collins proposed was in effect an act of defiance to the Pope’s wishes.  [More immediately, he was dreadfully rude to so many people.  And to what end?]

It has been suggested that the LMS prepare a report on this matter for HE Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, who in June comes to Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

I don’t think they should wait until then.

Meanwhile, in one of the comments at Damian’s place, the email address of the man who made the decision to insist on this lady serving. It’s

cardiff.met.cath@btinternet.com

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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199 Responses to TLM dust up with the LMS and Cathedral Chapter of Cardiff

  1. Kradcliffe says:

    Is it against any rules for a woman to serve at the TLM? I really don’t understand how that works.
    At any rate, I would be surprised to hear that there are any women who know how to do it.

  2. Hoka2_99 says:

    It seems to me that it was a deliberate provocation and was designed to prevent the LMS from going ahead with this celebration.
    I’m a woman, but I don’t like women serving even at the Novus Ordo Mass, so I simply don’t expect to see women in the sanctuary at an extra-ordinary rite Mass.
    If some “authority” is trying to upset the aim of the Motu Proprio, he or she can answer to me!

  3. Kradcliffe: Technically, juridically, it is not against the Church’s law at this time that a woman should serve even for a TLM.

    That said, it is entirely against the sensibilities of %99.99999 etc. of people who desire to attend the TLM regularly. I am sure it is entirely contrary to the ethos of the Latin Mass Society which sponsored this Mass.

    As a result, I suspect that this was simultaneously a thumb in the eye of those who desired that that Mass be celebrated in the Cathedral, and an ideological statement of those in charge there. It was a needless provocation and exemplifies some bad will.

  4. Andrew Plasom-Scott says:

    Until very recently, it was not allowed for any woman to enter the sanctuary, liturgically, excpet for matrimony. the rule against women serving at the altar was routinely broken util someone had the bright idea of submitting a ‘dubium’ to Rome which provoked the astonishing response (and patently untrue) that such a rule did not in fact exist. it was one of the low points of Vatican credibility. Thus women (and girl) altar servers have been foisted upon us firstly by disobedience and secondly by duplicity. Little wonder that the Latin Mass Society will have none of it. There is also the matter of the traditional Mass being celebrated in accordance with the Missal of 1962 -when everyone knew (both in theory and in practice) that women could not serve at the altar.

  5. Derek James says:

    My understanding was that it was legitimate for the celebrant not to avail himself of female servers if he so wished, even in the OF.

  6. EJ says:

    Derek – I second that. Wasn’t this restated somewhere in Redemptionis Sacramentum – that although female servers are permitted, that the use of males only is laudable practice and that a priest cannot be forced to admit female servers for his Masses? A former parochial vicar of ours availed himself of this possibility and only used young men and boys as servers for his Masses.

  7. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Oh dear! We shall have to keep our fingers crossed for Westminster Cathedral next month.

  8. John says:

    If asked, will the PCED really forbid female servers? I doubt it. How could they’re already allowed in the ordinary form? It would mean admitting the Vatican was at fault and calling the Vatican’s authority into question. Neither would it be in keeping with the PCED’s on going project to modernize the Tridentine liturgy (a process of “mutual enrichment” that has so far worked only one way) by allowing for the inclusion of elements taken from the Novus Ordo (vernacular readings, borrowed prefaces, “liturgy of the word” at the chair, sung “secret”, etc.).

    I also don’t think we should make the mistake of assuming that just because traditionalists don’t desire this change, it won’t be foisted upon them. The sensibilities of 99.9% of those attached to the EF have been completely ignored on at least two occassions since the MP: The new Good Friday prayer, which came as a complete surprise and upset those whoe treasured the EF because of the umcompromising tone of its prayers, and the decision to move Holy Days to Sundays where the bishops’ conferences required it. Now that the TLM is the focus of so much attention, the PCED has to worry about pleasing not just he traditionalists but the anti-traditionalists who have their own demands, and there are many more of them in the Church than there are of us.

  9. Nick says:

    This was clearly a vicious and mean spirited attack by that Dean. Nothing whatsoever required him to do that, but he knew full well he would poison the day by his actions. That dean put a dagger in the back of his fellow Catholics, including all those who SHOWED UP to the mass today only to find it canceled. It was objectively a mortal sin.

    Also, I was under the impression that the “option” of having girl altar boys was in the hands of the priest at mass.

    What really worries me is that Im sure this is not the last time we will see this card played.

  10. thomas tucker says:

    There are two sides ( at least) to every story. It seems to me that it was no less an ideological statement for the Mass to be cancelled as it was for the Dean to require a female altar-server.
    How sad that the Mass should become a contest of wills like this.
    And didn’t the Holy Father say something about both forms influencing the other?
    The Society should have just humbly gone ahead with the female altar-server.

  11. Michael says:

    If asked, will the PCED really forbid female servers? I doubt it. How could they? They’re already allowed in the ordinary form. It would mean admitting the Vatican was at fault and calling the Vatican’s authority into question. Neither would it be in keeping with the PCED’s on going attempt to modernize the Tridentine liturgy (a process of “mutual enrichment” that has so far worked only one way) by allowing for the inclusion of elements taken from the Novus Ordo (vernacular readings, borrowed prefaces, “liturgy of the word” at the chair, sung “secret”, etc.)

    I don’t think we should make the mistake of assuming that just because traditionalists don’t desire this change, it won’t be foisted upon them. The sensibilities of 99.9% of those attached to the EF have been completely ignored on at least two occassions since the MP: The new Good Friday prayer, which came as a complete surprise and really upset many of those who treasured the EF for the umcompromising tone of its prayers, and the decision to move Holy Days to Sundays where the bishops’ conferences required it. Now that the TLM is the focus of so much attention, the PCED has to worry about pleasing not just he traditionalists but the anti-traditionalists, and there are many more of them in the Church than there are of us.

    The MP has the potential to be a victory for the cause of tradition, but it could also turn out to be a deadly blow. It all depends on how the PCED responds to these requests. Will they try to turn the TLM into a hybrid liturgy overnight or will they let it grow as is, taking into account (for time being) the reluctance of those attached to the EF to accept the modernization of the liturgy or any steps that appear to move in that direction? If this is really about union and mutual enrichment, I would expect them to take the second route. But I’m not sure it is. The SSPX probably feels more alienated today than it did a year ago. A year ago, they prayed all the same prayers on all the same days as the Fraternity and the Institute. Today, that’s not so. I’m not interested in blaming anyone, that’s just an observation.

    It’s naive for any of us to think that the Vatican is going to all of the sudden start thinking about liturgy the same way it did before Bugnini. The past 40 years have left us desensitized to liturgical change, and this will undoubtedly be reflected in the PCED’s decisions. Every proposal for reform is met with “why not?” when really the first question should be “why?”.

  12. Maureen says:

    When my mom was in high school in the 1950’s, she and other girls were occasionally called upon to act as acolytes at Mass, at her all-girl school. However, this was something only done when the boys from the other school, who were supposed to serve, didn’t show up.

    So it could be done, and there are possibly a few women out there who know how to do it. But I think the vast majority of women would have better sense than to inject themselves into a non-emergency situation.

  13. Maybe I’m just too “old-school,” but I always thought the decision of who serves the priest was… well, UP to the priest.

  14. Jamie says:

    At least the cancellation sends the message that there is only so much “mutual” (read one-way) enrichment that traditional Catholics will accept. At least those who found the Mass cancelled could find a local SSPX chapel where a Holy Mass could be found.

  15. Volpius says:

    I’m sure the Dean had a point to prove Father, “Your not welcome” was probably it. You see because we aren’t inclusive enough be are excluded funny how that works eh!

    There are hundreds of things that aren’t forbidden by the rules, that doesn’t mean that anything and everything not specifically forbidden is a good idea or desirable.

  16. Sister Mary Joseph says:

    Testing 123 SMJ

  17. aaron says:

    Very sad, indeed – Dean of Cardiff Cathedral.

    Interesting to remember that the Dean is an appointment the Archbishop of Cardiff, a prelate considered by many a serious contender for Westminster.

    Let’s hope His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos and all who partcipate at the Solemn Mass next month are spared such viscious political interference within Westminster Cathedral. There could be serious repercussions

    Oremus pro invicem

    Aaron

  18. C.M. says:

    We need an Apostolic Administration.

  19. CM: Not going to happen.

  20. Patrick says:

    I think we need to rediscover a very important clarificatory letter from 2001: http://www.adoremus.org/CDW-AltarServers.html

    Every priest can refuse to have girls serve his Mass. As several commentators have pointed out, the way forward on this one is to base things on the will of the celebrant. Girls will not serve at the EF since no EF celebrant will allow them.

    Take note, vile Dean of Cardiff!

  21. Virgil says:

    I’m with Thomas Tucker.

    Yes, the Dean was acting silly and petty by asking for a female acolyte. Childish, like so many others who imagine that Trads need to be taught a lesson about sexism.

    But I think the worse silly and petty behaviour is coming from the folks who cancelled the mass. And to whom are they trying to teach a lesson? What do they think they are accomplishing by discouraging the celebration of the TLM?

    Think of the wonderful sign of unity in one Roman Rite, if the mass had been celebrated as planned! This wonderful sign of unity would have happened if either the Dean, or the Community, had smiled and tried to understand the other.

    But alas, no.

  22. Kim Poletto says:

    If refusing to be blackmailed is an “ideological statement” then so be it. Andrew is absolutely correct when he states that female altar servers is the result of disobedience and duplicity. If you research the issue you will find that female altar servers had become widespread in the United States DESPITE the issue being specifically addressed and prohibited. Not to be outdone, after all no never means no, a dubium was submitted to Rome which did not specifically address female altar servers. (Yep, the boys in the band learned something from the ambiguity of Vat.II) Based on what had transpired prior to the submission of the dubium, it is clear that had it specifically addressed female altar servers, the answer would have been a resounding NO. “Ideological statement” . . . puhleezew!!!!

  23. Willebrord says:

    Virgil: And do you think that if the LMS had yielded, this wouldn’t have sent the impression that girl altar boys are okay at the TLM? I highly doubt that they’d be able to smile and understand one another, if the Dean actually required that the mass have one altar girl.

    As others have said, I believe that it should have been asked of the priest. But I’m glad that the LMS didn’t back down on this, or else liberal bishops elsewhere might start thinking that the TLMs in their dioceses could start getting altar girls, to bring “equality” to those backward Traditionalists.

  24. C.M. says:

    The St. Joseph Foundation was prophetic:

    The remaining question is whether the influence of the Mass of Paul VI as it is typically celebrated in North America might result in a “hybrid” Mass, which might follow the outward form of the 1962 Missal but would include practices that are associated in our minds almost exclusively with the former. These would involve — but would not necessarily be limited to — (1) Communion received standing, (2) Communion received in the hand, (3) Communion under both species, (4) Mass celebrated versus populum, or facing the people, and (5) female altar servers. If these practices should become part of the celebration of the Traditional Mass, will it still be the Traditional Mass?

    The 1962 Mass with Post-1970 Innovations: Is It Likely? (November 9, 2007)

  25. Richard says:

    As opposed to trying to make a statement, would those of you who think the actions of the LMS were petty by cancelling the Mass suppose that they were perhaps just following liturgical norms? What other choice beside cancelling the Mass would the LMS society have if it were forced to choose between having a female server or following the liturgical norms, (which norms most traditionalists hold in very high regard)? If the dean had already insisted that the LMS use a female server and the society gave in, what makes you think everyone would suddenly smile with mutual understanding for one another once the Mass were celebrated? How would that make the dean understand the norms of the traditional Mass of not using female servers? These questions aren’t just rhetorical, please answer if you can.

  26. Gregg says:

    I guess I’d like to know how long had the Mass been planned and when did the Cathedral Dean announce the requirement for a lady server?

  27. Cerimoniere says:

    This was supposed to be a Pontifical Mass, celebrated by the Abbot of Belmont. One wonders whether he, or indeed Archbishop Smith, was consulted about this decision.

    It would be also be interesting to know whether this was meant to be the “price” of a traditional Mass in the Cathedral, forcing traditional Catholics to accept a symbolic change; or whether the authorities hoped this would effectively force cancellation, while seeking to make those requesting the Mass look unreasonable.

  28. dcs says:

    When my mom was in high school in the 1950’s, she and other girls were occasionally called upon to act as acolytes at Mass, at her all-girl school. However, this was something only done when the boys from the other school, who were supposed to serve, didn’t show up.

    Under the rules in place in the 1950s, women could give the servers’ responses but only from outside the sanctuary.

  29. C.M. says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf: Not going to happen.

    They said that about a universal indult too. (In fact, I said that about a universal indult.)

    Question: is there any other way to address the pastoral emergency of Catholics being in territories where the only Traditional Latin Mass available (as opposed to: Mass said according to the revised 1962 Missal as interpreted by so-and-so) is offered by irregular groups?

  30. Larry says:

    Now this is a mystery. In fact two mysteries. First how does the LMS control a Liturgy at a Cathedral? Mass as I understand it is the “PUBLIC” worship of the CHURCH not of some group!

    Second: Fr. Z. I believe it was you who stated that the 1983 Code of Canon Law applies to the TLM as well. It is an interpretation of Canon Law that allows women to serve ata Mass. Explain how Canon Law applies if it suits someone and does not when it offends. This sounds ever so much like the Cafeteria has re-opened under a more conservative management. Pardon me Mr. LMS is that a bullet hole in your foot cause I know it’s no stigamta.

  31. Dan O says:

    Girls will not serve at the EF since no EF celebrant will allow them – Comment by Patrick
    …it is entirely against the sensibilities of %99.99999 etc. of people who desire to attend the TLM regularly – Comment by Fr. Z

    Now that every priest has the right to say the EF and more average Catholics will be attending the EF in the future, I think that both of your thoughts are probably not correct. Certainly there are some priests who will say the EF and will allow female servers.

    99.999999 etc. is a very high percentage. Now that average Joe Catholic will be exposed to the TLM and may want to go regularly, I doubt that 99.99999 % will really care if it is a boy or a girl on the altar with the priest.

    Most posters to this blog get all disturbed by the possibility of female servers, but in 2008, even in the EF, I don’t think it is such a big deal.

  32. John says:

    There is no such thing as a female Acolyte. An installed Acolyte can only be a male regardless of which Form of the Roman Rite is used. Also, pre-Vatican II when there was no male server available, then a female could give the responses from outside the Sanctuary. For example kneeling outside the Altar rail. Obviously, she wouldn’t be dressed as an Altar boy either.

  33. Jim Dorchak says:

    I feel that this is the same issue brought up by Brian Mershon a few weeks ago, only the question was about conuion in the hand. In this case it appears that another “OF” abuse is to be legal and encouraged in the EF.

    Quitely and prayerfully many had said that we should not speak too loud about comunion in the hand at teh EF, because what is next “Extra Ordianry Ministresses / Ministers”, Altar Girls, Holding hands at the Pater Noster, Liturgical Dance during the silent portions of the Mass (So all remain entertained), Puppets and leotard Dressed incensors, A special Homosexual Mass, Michael Jackson singing we are the world during communion?

    Oh there are so many opportunities here for experimentation that it is mind boggling.

    I have recently spoken with a good FSSP priest who had predicted that these things would quickley become an issue, and have already arisen in places around the globe.

    The whole premis is like saying:

    “It must be ok since it is legal and the Church has not said do not do this or that”

    or maybe you have seen it in the secular world in another issue:

    “Abortion is legal so therefore it must be OK”

    The modernist beat us at our own game again!

    Who is playing the Fiddle in Rome?

    Jim Dorchak

  34. Will says:

    Question: is there any other way to address the pastoral emergency of Catholics being in territories where the only Traditional Latin Mass available (as opposed to: Mass said according to the revised 1962 Missal as interpreted by so-and-so) is offered by irregular groups?
    It seems to me the answer is obvious. Go to an Ordinary Form Mass at a church in communion with Rome.

  35. Larry says:

    Jim Dorchak,
    Your friend from the FSSP is correct. There are a number of iisues that have come up and need resolution. The issue raised here is one of Canon Law not civil or criminal law so it is the Church who decides these issues and by the Church in the case of Liturgy it is the Holy See and/or the local bishop in some circumstances who makes the law. The LMS or any group in the Church is not exempt from the law and neither are we as individuals. WHen altar girls were first allowed it was by a most intersting process in which John Paul II was asked to sign off on a document. A little detective work showed that on the date it was signed he was quite ill and had a high fever according to news reports. Be that as it may he never changed the order. By the same token if Benedict wishes to exempt the TLM from this rule that is his right and privlege. If it is exempt then it is up to Cardinal Castillion to make that clear. We need to be humble enough to follow the Church in obedience. This is fundamental. If we set ourselves up to judge the Church or interpret the law as we like then we are in great danger. Believe me I get pretty steamed on some issues as well; but, the Holy Spirit guides the Church and Satan plays with our pride and preferences. Be at peace. God will work this out as He see fit in His own good time.

  36. Somerset '76 says:

    As one commenter already noted in calling for an Apostolic administration, this is exactly the sort of thing that was facilitated by Summorum Pontificum’s legal strategy of considering both the TLM and the Pauline missal to both belong to one and the same rite. Liturgical norms and permissions now in force which weren’t some 45+ years ago all have the 1969 Missal as their contextual frame-of-reference. Thus, a certain legal positivism in their interpretation (“this is the current law of the Roman Rite”) gives an apparently “justifiable” context for authorities to run roughshod over whatever in the TLM’s rubrics (or the disciplinary norms in force when it was yet the missal of the Roman Rite) is incongruous with the later legislation.

    This sort of hostile insensitivity being unaddressed by proper authority is precisely what tells a group like the SSPX that “this is no time to make any deals.”

  37. Dan O, you may not think it is such a big deal, but many do, because it cuts to the heart of the Church’s approach to its Traditions. There never has been a ministry at the altar for women: even the deaconesses of Apostolic times had a role quite distinct from a ministry at the altar. The permissions in recent times are a complete innovation and a very disturbing one. I hope the PCED understands that for Tradition, this is a much more serious matter than adopting new prayers (e.g. Good Friday), prefaces and saints days’ into the 1962 Missal. It is even more serious than Communion in the hand.

  38. LCB says:

    “It is even more serious than Communion in the hand.”

    I would disagree.

  39. Franzjosf says:

    But wait a minute. According to the CDWandDS, even in the Novus Ordo, priests, without inteference by superiors, may retain the ‘laudable tradition’ of male only servers. This Dean was outside the law. Don’t know where to find the correct document, but I’m sure someone here can and will.

    So, it is only a matter of the celebrant standing on his rights, although I know that can be more difficult in practice than in theory.

  40. David2 says:

    “Serviettes” in the Sanctuary are a disaster for vocations to the priesthood.

    As the sanctuaries fill with “chicks with pyx” they empty of young straight boys and men, principally because altar service is seen as something feminine or “girly”. Boys at that age are impressionable.

    It seems to be obvious to me and to many others that indirectly discouraging boys from entering the sanctuary (by feminizing it), flows through to the seminary.

    What business do girls have serving anyway? Servers traditionally “stand in” for the minor orders and should be seen in that context – it is a role proper to those heading for priesthood – hence, no shielas. I suspect that this is the heretical agenda supported by proponents of “serviettes”.

    The LMS was absolutely correct to cancel the Mass; they should not be forced to co-operate with something with which they do not agree. This is not a question of lack of humility or disobedience on their part (as some have suggested). Priests are permitted to refuse to use serviettes (would that more did so!), so the LMS ought to be free to decline to participate in a Mass with serviettes. Simple.

  41. Hugh says:

    I’m entirely in agreement with St Bede Studio on this.

    Moreover, what is sorely needed now is a movement in the Western Church to repeal the disastrous decision which allowed altar girls in the OF form of the Rite. This in my mind would be the most urgent and salutary instance of the two forms of the Rite influencing each other.

    The very notion of an altar girl role as viable cuts down the essential symbolism of the eucharistic liturgy, specifically with reference to delegation. No doubt most people on this site are aware of this, but let’s just briefly recall the principle here to clear up any misunderstanding: In the eucharist, Christ, the High Priest, is represented by the Bishop who in turn delegates functions to priests who in turn delegates functions to deacons, they to subdeacons, and so on all the way down to acolytes,[and lectors and porters]. The one action of eucharistic sacrifice is thus performed by Jesus Christ, through the members of His Body.

    The servers at the altar are at the “end” of this body: they are, as it were, the fingertips – the fingertips of the High Priest. So just as the natural finger of a man or woman is of the same sex as the rest of that man or woman, it is fitting that altar servers are to be of the same sex as the rest of the body of which they are a part, that of the High Priest.

  42. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    My prayer will be the Holy Father let 1962 books stay as they are for a long time. Any changes will reopen old wounds. We need a lot of time to heal from what has happened.

  43. CM:  “They said that about a universal indult too.(In fact, <i>I</i> said that about a universal indult.)

    Yes, but you realize that there is no “universal indult” now, right?  What we got in Summorum Pontificum is not a “universal indult”, or any kind of “indult”. 

    We have now more than what a simple indult would have done. 

    The juridical solution in Summorum Pontificum, distinguishing the Roman Rite in two “uses”, means that no priest needs special permission, by indult or any other solution, to say the older form of Mass.

  44. David2 says:

    Hugh,

    Precisely. Of course proponents of altar girls will argue, “if the finger tips are female, why no the hands, arms, etc”. That is one reason why the whole notion is incredibly dangerous. Womenpriests by the “back door”.

  45. Terry says:

    I do wish discussions of this issue could happen without references to “chicks” and other demeaning language. It gives me pause and makes me wonder if the accusations about misogyny among tradition-minded might actually have weight.

  46. Berthold says:

    At least this report gives the impression that the Dean envisaged a sort of ‘power play’, that he wanted to see how much the Latin Mass Society would compromise to have a Mass in the Cathedral. Under these circumstances backing out was probably the most sensible thing to do. I feel sorry for the lady who was merely used to test other Christians or even to scare them away.

  47. David2 says:

    Terry (and anyone else offended),

    Sincere apologies for the “demeaning” language. I don’t normally speak like that; just trying to add a bit of colour to my comment. My usual excuse for colourful language is that, as an Australian, it’s somewhat culturally-ingrained. But of course, that’s a silly excuse, because I’d never speak that way in the “real world”.

    No misoggny intended!

  48. Patrick Rothwell says:

    Shame on all the actors involved. Shame on the Dean and Chapter for what sounds like a deliberate provocation. Shame on the Latin Mass society for picking up their ball and going home.

  49. Limbo says:

    I’ve been waiting for this. I feel a battle looming.

    Division ? We’re already divided.

    boycott – the only answer.

  50. I would like to clarify a point I made, namely: “it is even more serious than Communion in the hand”. I take this view about female ministry at the altar because, although there IS a precedent for Communion in the hand in the earlier ages of the Church, there is no legitimate precedent for female ministry at the ALTAR.

    I don’t myself care for Communion in the hand and it is open to abuse. But that is separate from the issue I am arguing about: Tradition.

  51. Maynardus says:

    I wonder how many of the folks who seem to have no problem with this – or who think the LMS have overreacted by cancelling the Mass – drive great distances or make other sacrifices to attend the TLM weekly? One is not “silly and petty” for resisting liturgial piracy, nor can one who defies their antagonists possibly be contrued as making an “ideological statement”.

    As my kids – who willingly endure an hour’s ride to and from church each Sunday – would say, “get real!” Myself, I’d call it nonsense.

    Catholics who regularly attend the TLM are there for a reason. As Father quite correctly states, 99.99999% of them will not tolerate this sort of hijacking of the Mass by *anyone*, regardless of their motivation. Of course there is always someone willing to be the exception…

    It was indeed “needless provocation” and the LMS is to be commended for peacefully defying this bullying by the Dean. As for those who prefer a Mass with “lady servers” my hunch is that you already know where to find one!

  52. Zach says:

    Allow me to ask a stupid question, but why are girls not allowed to be altar servers. I understand that it was the tradition not to do so, but why?

  53. Ioannes says:

    Redemptionis Sacramentum 47: Ad huiusmodi altaris servitium puellae vel mulieres admitti possunt, de iudicio Episcopi dioecesani et attentis normis statutis.
    (Vatican website translation): Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms.

    Does anybody know what the particular diocesan rule is for girls assisting on the altar? If an ordinary rules that girls are to be admitted as altar servers in general, no priest (or dean) under his jurisdiction possesses the authority to contradict that decision, though I admit to ignorance about what these “established norms” might be. Regarding E.J.’s comment that only the retention of boys and young men is laudable as servers, it seems more likely the case that what is laudable is that young people in general are delegated to handle many of instituted acolytes’ tasks: Consuetudo insignis omnino laudabiliter retinetur, qua adsint pueri vel iuvenes, ministrantes de more nuncupati, qui ad instar acolythi ad altare servitium praestent et pro captu suo opportunam catechesim de officio accipiant (ibid). This Latin version mentions pueri and iuvenes, both of which may, as Lewis and Short and Oxford Latin Dictionary demonstrate, describe young people of either gender, particularly in the plural. If the salient point was that only the admission of males is laudable, the Latinists at the Vatican didn’t get the memo.

    Would be appreciative if Franzjosf could cite sources.

    Seems to be the case that if the role of instituted lectors, who can only be male, can be exercised by women, as is frequently done even under the Pope’s nose, it is not clear why some roles of instituted acolytes cannot be delegated to females. It also seems to me that when women are assigned to read the petitions, they are executing a function assigned normally to a deacon (GIRM 177). In arguing against female altar servers, it seems to me that one would also have to argue against female extraordinary ministers, female readers, and potentially female choir-members as well (Tra le Sollecitudini 13). Perhaps someone could explain why the maleness of an acolyte is somehow essential specifically to the functions commonly assigned to altar servers while the maleness of a reader is not essential to his functions.

    Although it is almost certainly the case that some boys have not continued to the priesthood because their experiences as altar boys were uninspiring, I know several women who have left the Church completely, and their dissatisfaction began when no one could/would offer them a satisfactory reason why they were not allowed to serve at the altar as girls. I don’t see one given yet so far among the comments on this page either.

  54. Larry says:

    Boycott! Now ther is an idea. And I suppose next you will want to vote in the Conclave! I think that Pier-the-Plughman has the better idea. While I long to get the Church all on the same page I feear that my son is right. Things will not reach Pope Benedict’s goal unitl sometime after all of the generation that witnessed Vatican II is dead. Hopefully the seeds of SP will have germinated enough by then to have an influence as the Church moves into a new generation. But as I hope I also know that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church as He sees fit. He lead the Isrealites in the desert for 40 years. I see no reason that this perverse generation is any more likely to reach its’ goal in less time. It has taken nearly forty years just to get things started. We shall all look on from heaven (hopefully) to see this work out! That will indeed be GREAT! and it won’t even matter to us! Pray for Patience! I know I need it!!!

  55. David2 says:

    Zach, because traditionally, instituted acolytes were used as servers. Acolytes were (obviously) in minor orders and on their way to the priesthood. Servers stood in for acolytes when they were not available. Also read what Hugh has said about “delegation” and the Priest’s role as alter Christus. “In the eucharist, Christ, the High Priest, is represented by the Bishop who in turn delegates functions to priests who in turn delegates functions to deacons, they to subdeacons, and so on all the way down to acolytes,[and lectors and porters]. “.

    I would argue, on grounds similar to Fr James McLucas here:

    http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_emasculation.html

    that females in the sanctuary, in whatever role is damaging to the priesthood itself.

    In any event, it is contrary to the spirituality of the TLM, which, after all, what we are talking about here. I attend a Diocesan TLM parish, and no female parishoner there would dream of serving at the altar; it is completely contrary to the spirituality of the 1962 Missal.

    Why should the Latin Mass Society be forced to participate in, or even endure, something that they may well consider a mockery of tradition, and damaging to the sacrificial and sacramental priesthood?

  56. C.M. says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf: Summorum Pontificum…means that no priest needs special permission, by indult or any other solution, to say the older form of Mass.

    What is meant by the “older form of Mass”? Is it just the text of the 1962 Missal, or does the form extend to the use of exclusively male altar servers, the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling with the use of a Communion plate, the wearing of cassock and surplice by servers, etc.

    It is clear that there is permission to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal in the traditional way. But some argue that there are other licit options–altar girls and EMHC’s. I counter that the availability of these options would in practice defeat the permission.

    We can see this effect in the Novus Ordo, which can be celebrated reverently versus Dei in Latin sung in Gregorian chant or sacred polyphony using exclusively male altar servers, everyone wearing traditional vestments, with the people receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling at an altar rail. But such celebrations are almost never done, even though there is permission.

    If the Extraordinary Form is permitted to develop a similar set of options, subject to the will of the priest alone, the real TLM may become equally rare — except in the irregular communities.

  57. LCB says:

    “In arguing against female altar servers, it seems to me that one would also have to argue against female extraordinary ministers, female readers, and potentially female choir-members as well…”

    Well, in the 62 missal there were no extraordinary ministers, the readings were done VERY differently (and not by females), and there were no female altar servers. As for the choir, it has no business in the sanctuary in the first place.

    This goes back to an issue that has been discussed by Fr. Z, and in the combox of this blog, on many occasions: where do we draw the line and recognize that we are now dealing with 2 separate and distinct rites? There comes a point where the liturgies, and the theologies contained therein, are so different that they can no longer be called the same.

    The 62 missal has more in common with Eastern liturgies than with the Novus Ordo.

  58. Ioannes says:

    I wonder if the female altar server would have been put through the same rigorous “testing” that most priests have been threatened with in order to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

    I wonder if the Priest could have offered “her” an “on the spot” Latin test that would have eliminated the problem on the spot to start with. Sometimes you have to fight fire with ingenuity.

  59. Richard asked:

    As opposed to trying to make a statement, would those of you who think the actions of the LMS were petty by cancelling the Mass suppose that they were perhaps just following liturgical norms?

    I certainly don’t think it was petty. However, I am not sure it was the most prudent choice. The question is, which causes more harm to the cause of the Extraordinary Form in the long run: compromising one aspect of how it is traditionally celebrated as a result of an ultimatum or power play by the Dean, or cancelling it and giving its opponents the opportunity to portray all Latin Mass advocates as behind-the-times male chauvinists?

    The harm of the former (especially because it would be caving in to the Dean’s power play) is clear. But the harm of the latter is very real too, especially because the news articles will not be written by the LMS.

    If it were an actual violation of the norms to use a female server, cancelling would have been the only option. Because, as Fr. Z mentioned above, female servers are technically permitted, having the Mass with one female server was a permissible option in this case. Without knowing more about the details (and people) involved, I’m not sure we can know for sure if cancelling was the prudent choice.

    In hindsight, the most prudent course would perhaps have been to size up the Dean’s attitude and predict if he would try a stunt like this. But that’s hindsight for you!

  60. Peter says:

    If Pope Benedict had instead of removing restricitons on the extraordinary form rather dictated that the ordinary form was to be the only form should we all have meekly said “please sir, may I have some more?” Or used our wits to dispute the exercise of prudential judgement by every lawful means?

    I’m with the LMS on this one. While the Dean may have have offered ‘a fine procelain jar full of sweet smelling ointment’ my view would be to call a crock what it is – a crock.

    Peter

  61. Peter says:

    I would also add my voice to those who have expressed reservations about the outcome of any dubium to the PCED on this issue. Don’t waste your ink I would suggest unless the question is framed by a good (canon) lawyer who is confident he already knows the answer.

    The admission of women to service at the altar was perhaps the most imprudent act of the whole of the former pontificate.

  62. Constance says:

    First principles are at play here. And the first principle is the assisting at and preserving of the Trational Latin Mass. Traditional is a word specifically chosen to denote the action of passing on whole and entire the deposit of faith commanded by Our Lord. At this time and for centuries the efficacious vehicle for this is the Old Mass. In all charity the New Mass is undefensible from the inclusion of sacrifledge and the exclusion of orthodoxy. By the grace of God the Indult Masses have played a part in preserving the Ancient Mass while those assisting were-and this is saying it kindly -“mocked” and glad of it if that was the small price to worship Almighty God in this sublime axt of reparation. It would have been more offensive to Almighty God to have rolled over and abandoned their charge than it was for those who do not love it because they do not “know” it. This is a case of casting pearls before swine. You are not suppose to do it.
    Well done, Latin Mass Society.

  63. Kradcliffe says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. The pros and cons of females in the sanctuary is one debate, others include, what is meant by “The Traditional Form?” and “Who has final authority over how the liturgy is practiced in any particular church, the celebrant or the dean?”

  64. LeonG says:

    Beware of the “new synthesis” – it could be coming your way soon!

  65. GemmaRose says:

    I think the Latin Mass Society seriously needs to untwist its knickers.

    There are natural disasters happening left and right leaving thousands dead, injured, homeless. There are thousands of abortions performed each day. Child abuse. Child prostitution. The whole sex trade industry. Moslems intent on destroying Western society and Christianity. Fighting and bloodshed in the Middle East with no end in sight. Women’s rights trampled or non-existent in many areas of the world. Global warming, pollutants, and other human-produced abuses which are killing the earth we live on. Catholics who don’t believe in the Real Presence. A shortage in vocations. Marginal Christians who bear Christ’s name yet offend Him every day. Etc. Etc. Etc. … AND THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY IS SO CONCERNED ABOUT A FEMALE SERVER?!?

    If anybody needs to get their priorities in order, it’s the members of the Latin Mass Society!

  66. C.M. says:

    GemmaRose: Save the Liturgy, save the world.

    Distraction from prayer (whether precipitated by scandal or self-inflicted) might well be the cause of all those problems you mention.

  67. Michael says:

    If a congregation of women can subsitute for an acolyte at a dialogue Mass and a choir of teenage girls for a clerical choir at High Mass, does it really matter if they set foot in the sanctuary? They’re already doing half the job. I agree with this principle, but if we’re going to argue that only men should sit in for clerics, we have to be consistent.

  68. Volpius says:

    I’m pleased they cancelled the Mass over this, it sends a strong message, we are not willing to compromise over this, get used to it, we will say our Masses in the fields and woods if we have to just like we did during the protestant revolution in this country.

  69. wayne ratzinger says:

    I’m planing to be at the TLM at Westminster Cathederal on 14th June. This will cost me several £100 travel and hotel, meals ect. Cardinal Hoyos is coming from Rome to celebrate. Suppose it is cancelled at the last minute due to some technicality. Will we be refunded, after all they found Millions to compensate others who had “Technical difficulties” with over fussy and manipulative Hierarchies

  70. Michael says:

    “The question is, which causes more harm to the cause of the Extraordinary Form in the long run: compromising one aspect of how it is traditionally celebrated as a result of an ultimatum or power play by the Dean, or cancelling it and giving its opponents the opportunity to portray all Latin Mass advocates as behind-the-times male chauvinists?”

    Most people would probably rather see this particular celebration cancelled than see the EF deflowered like that. I’d rather see the TLM always remain in obscurity than corrupted in an attempt to make it more palatable to modern liturgists. Once girl servers are introduced into the rite, there’s no undoing it. We saw that in the NO. The same goes for every other modernization. If it means cancelling a thousand celebrations to ensure the female servers aren’t introduced, so be it.

  71. Michael says:

    St. Bede Studio:

    In the Byzantine Rite, an exception is made for nuns in monasteries. Though you’d probably never see girls at the altar in the Orthodox Church (outside the OCA) nuns traditionally serve at the liturgies in their own communities and there does seem to be an historical precedent (at least in the East) for women at the altar. To the dismay of certain popes, deaconesses of the early church even read the gospel in some places. It’s very hard to argue that women were never employed as servers in the West. Absence of evidence can’t be taken as evidence of absence. Even if such a practice is never mentioned that doesn’t mean there weren’t priests in remote country parishes during the Middle Ages who were willing to let girls hand them the cruets and say the responses.

  72. Paul Cavendish says:

    I wonder if the LMS has any form of public liablity insurance or indeed insures its major events against cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances? If so Wayne Ratzinger should claim against the LMS if he is left out of pocket.

  73. Peter says:

    Michael said: “If a congregation of women can substitute for an acolyte at a dialogue Mass and a choir of teenage girls for a clerical choir at High Mass, does it really matter if they set foot in the sanctuary? They’re already doing half the job.”

    Your syllogism suggest yes, but the answer is still no.

    As was already pointed out, the reference to the (‘perfect’) 50s was the recitation of the responses, NOT the actions in the sanctuary.

    The ‘choir’ who does the singing, which may be mixed or all female but not in the sanctuary (often in a loft), is different from the ‘liturgical choir’ which takes its place in the sanctuary. As is clear from Pius XII’s instruction on Sacred Music, all the faithful may participate in the song of the liturgy proper to their abilities and station, so the choir argument is a red herring anyway.

    If one views the roles of assisting at the altar as delegated from the ordained ministry, and not intrinsic ‘rights’ of the lay state then this innovation of female servers can only be concluded to be anathema to a proper view of the liturgy and erosive of belief in the priesthood. Yes, there was a juridical answer given to that dubium, and unless I am mistaken its contents are not de fide and the prudence of it may be legitimately questioned.

    Gemma Rose: Yes it is true that there are many things of great moment that demand our attention, and charity should be at the heart of all we do. But if the material circumstances of each day is the only yardstick by which we determine how to proceed in all things then we run the risk of becoming functional automatons. The error of ‘Americanism’ springs to mind as well.

    Lex orandi lex credendi – I’m reminded of St Dominic and his approach to the active life and the liturgy. As he toured through the Midi of France to preach against the Albigensians he carried the books necessary for the liturgy but he also exhorted his followers to match the rigour of life of the heretics.

  74. wayne ratzinger says:

    So I claim against the LMS, and the LMS claims against the Dean and Chapter and so on up to Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, sounds good to me.

  75. Michael says:

    Peter:

    My point is this. Women can’t serve not because they can’t substitute for clerics (a rule that was respected until the advent of the dialogue Mass. You can read the article on “laity” in the Catholic Encyclopedia as evidence) but because women aren’t allowed to serve at the altar. These two principles used to be one in the same. Altar girls is the dialogue Mass taken to its natural conclusion. First they serve outside the sanctuary (1925 on) and then they serve inside the sanctuary (present). What good is the first argument today, since Minor Orders no longer exist?

  76. Paul Cavendish says:

    I cannot see what claim the LMS would have against anyone. The Dean at Cardiff was merely being obedient to Church law. The problem is that some people in the LMS do not accept that we are talking about two forms of the same rite, both forms of that rite being subject to the one law in force. A minority of LMS types like to think that the Church has moved back to 1962 in its entire legisalation and thinking – which of course it has not.

  77. AnnaTrad says:

    Well put Constance. We can not compare the two Mases, there is to much difference. The whole problem here is that those of the OF do not understand this. Those that have supported the EF, for many a great sacrifice of time and distance, are not wiling to see the Mass they love been chipped away to resemble the OF.

  78. Ruthy Lapeyre says:

    What a sad situation and one I fear will be repeated over and over again until the Vatican makes some sort of decision or issues a clarification that who serves is up to the priest who is the celebrant. The fact that this Mass was to be at the Cathedral points to its high profile and has nothing to do with an emergency situation as I am sure there would have been no problem having enough males to fulfill the requirements. I would be truly surprised to find that it is not political and designed to generate what can be claimed to be sexists remarks. Or, in the case of this board, ” Tridentine formist” remarks. I came into the Church well after Vatican II and have no problem accepting the role Women have traditionally had in the Catholic Church. After all we women have God’s mother as our role model.

  79. Chironomo says:

    GemmaRose:

    It is a VERY TIRED argument that because there are more important things to worry about (which is true) that there is no reason to address the “lesser” issues. Were this true, there would be only ONE issue that we could be concerned about, since all other issues would be, ostensibly, less important than the most important issue. This argument continually was brought up during the sexual-abuse-by Priests fiasco, and was usually framed as “Why is the Church worrying about_____ when it has Priests abusing young children?” as though all else has to be put on hold while this was addressed. Yes, the world problems you mention are all very real and very pressing, but they do not exclude the conerns of these individuals whose personal mission is to be conerned about a very specific issue, in this case the integrity of Tradition within the TLM. For them, this IS the priority.

  80. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    This incident brings some fairly strong emotions to the front. I would suggest that the practice of female altar servers is a “red line” for the vast majority of the faithful attached to the TLM. In fact, I could think of nothing that would make it more difficult to pray at Holy Mass than to see the practice introduced in the TLM—for goodness sakes, so many of us flock to the TLM precisely to avoid these types of innovations. Licit or not, the problems with female altar servers have been well discussed elsewhere.

    I think the LMS decision was prudent, given the facts as presented here.

    To reason by analogy: suppose you have a peanut allergy, one that is not fatal, but gives you severe discomfort for a period of time. Someone invites you to their house for dinner, and when you show up the menu is peanut soup, salad sprinkled with peanuts, peanut-encrusted fish, and peanut butter cookies for dessert. If the host was unaware of your allergy, you might want to “go along,” explain your problem, and try to make the best of the meal, perhaps only drinking the water.

    However, if the host knows full well about your allergy, and presents the same meal with the intention of “if you come to my house, you’re going to darn well eat peanuts,” you might legitimately react a bit differently. It sure looks like the LMS was in an analogous position.

    In Christ,

  81. Prof. Basto says:

    1. – Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 46, directs against choosing a lay person to act as server for a Mass when that choice would cause scandal among the faithful.

    2. – Also, the Letter from the CDWDS on the issue of altar girls, directs that the sensibilities of the particular congregations be taken into account and also leaves the final decision on the employment of girls as altar servers up to the priest, even when the Diocese has already granted its permission. It states:

    “…As is clear from the Responsio ad propositum dubium concerning can. 230, § 2, and its authentic interpretation (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, Prot. n. 2482/93 March 15, 1994, see Notitiae 30 [1994] 333-335), the Diocesan Bishop, in his role as moderator of the liturgical life in the diocese entrusted to his care, has the authority to permit service at the altar by women within the boundaries of the territory entrusted to his care. Moreover his liberty in this question cannot be conditioned by claims in favor of a uniformity between his diocese and other dioceses which would logically lead to the removal of the necessary freedom of action from the individual Diocesan Bishop. Rather, after having heard the opinion of the Episcopal Conference, he is to base his prudential judgment upon what he considers to accord more closely with the local pastoral need for an ordered development of the liturgical life in the diocese entrusted to his care, bearing in mind, among other things, the sensibilities of the faithful, the reasons which would motivate such a permission, [EXACTLY! – Fr. Z]and the different liturgical settings and congregations which gather for the Holy Mass (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994, no. 1).

    In accord with the above cited instructions of the Holy See such an authorization may not, in any way, exclude men or, in particular, boys from service at the altar, nor require that priests of the diocese would make use of female altar servers , since “it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar” (Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conference, March 15, 1994, no. 2). Indeed, the obligation to support groups of altar boys will always remain, not least of all due to the well known assistance that such programs have provided since time immemorial in encouraging future priestly vocations (cf. ibid.)”

    3. – THAT, is the Law of the Church, so that, even in the OF, the celebrant priest can refuse altar girls, and he must do so if the employment of altar girls will cause scandal or will hurt the sensitivities of particular congregations. On the other hand, priority is to be given to the “noble tradition” of having BOYS serve at the Altar.

    So, it is not like the LMS is acting against Church Law in force; rather, the Cathedral Dean is acting against the Law, because his demand for girls violates the right of the priest to have only boys as serves, because it causes scandal, and because it hurts the sensitivities of that particular congregation, all in contradiction to the directives of ecclesiastical law.

  82. Larry: Explain how Canon Law applies if it suits someone and does not when it offends.

    Perhaps you didn’t read with close attention what I wrote above to Kradcliffe.

    I said that it is juridically permissible, but very much contrary to the sensibilities of those attending/organizing the Mass.

    Also, if we look at the document which states that females may serve at the altar, in those places where a bishop might permit it, we find first that it is not obligatory that they do so. In other words, it is not a “right”. Also, the custom of male altar service should be preserved and encouraged. Nor may any priest be obliged to have female servers at the Mass he celebrates.

    So, this is not indeed an issue of cafeteria Catholicism slithering into this situation.

  83. Sean says:

    The Dean at Cardiff was merely being obedient to Church law.

    Paul,
    What exactly was he being obedient to? Just because altar girls are permitted does not mean they are required. As documented in the CDW letter linked to above, a Bishop cannot require a priest to have altar girls and if the Bishop can’t force him than certainly neither can the Dean.

  84. Padre,

    I agree. The Dean was clearly in the wrong for imposing this rule artificially, demonstrating ill will towards the faithful unbecoming a priest of Christ.

    At the same time, I think the LMS folks should have gone ahead and celebrated the Tridentine Mass. Overwhelm evil with an abundance of good, is my thinking here. A gracious and humble response to an injustice may have been just the thing to pour hot coals on the Dean’s head. As it is, the LMS response makes both parties look unreasonable and the Dean achieved his nefarious objective: stopping the TLM at the Cathedral. I would not have handed him that victory.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo the Byzantine

  85. Diane says:

    I agree with Fr. Z on this one. From a standpoint of the sensibilities of the faithful who would gather at such a Mass, not an ounce of common sense was used.

    Furthermore, I think it is a good discussion because many do not realize that female altar servers cannot be imposed in any liturgy, including the new Mass where they are seen in abundance.

  86. Volpius says:

    Thank God you don’t run the LMS then Gordo.

  87. Ioannes (pro admissione puellarum) says:

    Prof. Basto,

    I was unaware of this letter from CDW dated July 27, 2001: http://www.adoremus.org/CDW-AltarServers.html. Gratias.

    It would seem then that the information in section 1 of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ liturgy FAQ’s needs clarification: http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/mass/altar.shtml. Although it says that ordinaries may permit female altar servers, it does not also acknowledge that priests may refuse them.

    Are people who are scandalized by girl altar servers also scandalized by females’ performing the roles of lectors, E.M.’s, and choir members who sing mass parts? I have to admit to being in agreement with Michael above. This must not be arbitrary, and I would add that if the sensibilities of the faithful are internally inconsistent or based on non-theological reasons (e.g. certain girls are too pretty and therefore distracting), those sensibilities should in no way influence a bishop’s or priest’s decision about female altar servers.

    May priests also exclude females from these roles in their parishes?

  88. Volpius,

    I did not say I would not oppose it, just that with so many people coming and the bishop refusing (apparently) to intervene, why compound an injustice and deny people the beauty of their tradition over such a relatively minor point?

    Perfection is not to be found in this life – no, not even in liturgy. And these things do have a way of self-correcting. After the Latin liturgy is “fixed”, watch what happens to many of your iconoclastic Latin Catholic sanctuaries. People will recognize the cognitive dissonance between sacred worship and “sacred” space. This is the full power and triumph of orthodoxy in the assembly. The music will also change.

    And yes, it is a good thing that I am not the head of the LMS, most especially because I oppose on principle the exclusive use of Latin in the liturgy.

    Gordo the Byzantine

  89. patrick says:

    Female Servers, I think should be like Extraordinary Ministers of the eucharist, used only when needed. (and I know the EM topic is a whole other discussion, the envelope on this one is constantly pushed across the country)

    I bring to mind two thoughts. I was just listening to Mother Angelica, a rebroadcast of course. She pointed out that what she would like to see in a EM is that they have some sort of gown, so you know their special duty they are performing. Likewise, this is why priests, deacons, bishops, and acolytes (servers) wear the garb that they do. Its a special function. Their clothing denotes who they are

    Now, Correct me if I am wrong, but the TLM requires specifically a server wear a Cassock, and a White surplice (or is it a dalmice , I always confused the difference, even when I myself was an acolyte, many moons past) , again to denote their special roles . Cassocks, are a male piece of clothing. So are surplices.

    Now tie the points together – We have a specific requirement for male clothing to be worn by the servers. Why then would you even go down the road of having a female server at that form of the mass? It doesnt make any sense. ITs not a unity or lack of unity thing.Women out of normal circumstances, should not be serving this particular form of mass.

    Also another point. this is the Traditional Latin Mass (as the pop term for it has seem to become ) Look at the first word. Tradition . Traditional Latin Mass = Pre Girl servers/acolytes.

    Also going further down the history look at the word acolyte and what it meant. Its one of the four traditional minor orders, that of which would be stepping stones on the road to priest hood , that being

    Porter
    Lector
    Exorcist
    Acolyte

    Now two of these, porter and exorcist , have fallen somewhat into obscurity in relation to being necessary for priest hood. But to THIS day, all seminarians in the traditionalist communities (ISS FSSP) recieve Lector , and then acolyte as part of their formation.

    So, its not a non inclusion thing to not have a girl server- It is tradition, tradition that included a potential route to priest hood. we dont have women priests, in either form of the mass, so it canonically, and traditionally makes no sense to have a female server (though of course, I do understand that under dier circumstances it is allowed. That meaning, no boys are available). I meant think about it too. A server “assists” the priest. A priest is acting “In Persona Christi”, so one can argue that point there too. If you have female servers unchecked, then its a very small step to Ordained women.I dont need to point out what a magisterial nightmare that one would be. Look at how its worked out for the Anglicans. Thats right, it hasnt.

    Women have a very special role in life, that is unique. They are called to bring life into the world. How beautiful a thing that is! No I am not calling a woman a “womb”. But we all have our roles of ministry in life, and some of them are very specific roles that a select few are called to. I would no more have someone that is illiterate perform the role of Lector. They do not have the capacity to do it as they cannot read. Thus if we look at the asthetics, and the tradition of a server, under normal circumstances, a woman does not have the capacity to be a server (just like men cant have children, its that black and white).

    If I am wrong, I know there are more learned men and women then I who frequent this blog, please by all means correct me.

  90. Jacob says:

    This is an example of what I have been thinking all along. The Holy See and the PCED have been dinking around for all these months with a clarification letter in the works while those who oppose the EF have been digging in and exploring their options.

    Blitzkrieg-type warfare is preferred to wars of attrition for many reasons which are equally applicable to our current struggles with the liturgy.

  91. LCB says:

    Prof. Basto Locuta Est– Causa Finita Est. Nice post.

  92. “Allow me to ask a stupid question, but why are girls not allowed to be altar servers. I understand that it was the tradition not to do so, but why?”

    I think if you were to ask the Church Fathers, you would get a simple answer: male headship. Only the male sex can represent Christ to the world, and only the male sex can represent the human race to God. Altar servers, because of their proximity to the priesthood, are involved in both.

  93. o.h. says:

    A woman should have known better. I’m actually very relieved to hear it was a woman and not a girl who was being asked to serve; not only would it be unforgiveable to use a child as a pawn in these shenanigans, but most adolescent girls would rather die than be the focus of negative public attention.

    I wish rather than the unmanly contempt and ridicule toward children that’s showing up here (“girl altar boys”; “chicks”)–phrases which I can’t imagine coming from any father of girls, and which only confirm the stereotype of traditionalists as misogynistic–those who disapprove of female altar servers would be compassionate to the girls and stick to arguing from tradition and theology. The girls you see serving are generally those who are involved in the parish, are trying to please the pastor and their parents, and have no idea of the controversy. Why heap scorn on them?

  94. Volpius says:

    Because the very people who went DO NOT want female alter servers and there would have been a good deal less people turning up if they were told in advance that there had been such a compromise. And there would have been riots if there was, people like you are sadly mistaken if you think we are willing to compromise on this, we do not want a NO/TLM we want the TLM and every little thing that goes with it period.

    If you oppose Latin in the Mass on “principle” stick to the NO and leave us alone, the NO is the rite for you, be happy with what you have instead of trying to ruin what other people love.

  95. Jackie says:

    o.h. –Amen.

  96. o.h. says:

    Volpius,

    Was that comment responding to mine, above it? Because I wasn’t talking about girls or women serving at the TLM–obviously, there shouldn’t be–nor was I asking anyone to compromise. I wasn’t even defending the use of female altar servers in the NO. Where did I say anything about opposing the Latin Mass on principle? I prefer it, and attend whenever possible.

  97. “Are people who are scandalized by girl altar servers also scandalized by females’ performing the roles of lectors,”

    Absolutely.

    “E.M.’s, …”

    Yes, a double abuse there.

    “and choir members who sing mass parts?”

    Not if they are in the loft where they belong.

    This issue – feminism and the assault on nature – is much, much bigger than liturgy or the Latin Mass. The Catholic Religion is patriarchal because human nature is patriarchal. Grace builds on nature. Removing the patriarchy from Catholicism makes nonsense out of Catholic teaching about everything from Creation to Christology to Marriage. Feminism is behind at least 50% of theological mischief in the Church today, and holding the line against its encroachments in the liturgy is crucial.

  98. Limbo says:

    Women look plain silly on the sanctuary !

    “Get down off there !!”

  99. AnnaTrad says:

    “It is clear that Pope Benedict in his Motu Proprio intended that the Extraordinary Form of the Rite be widely available and celebrated in accordance with its own rubrics and law”

    It was made very clear. This discussion is unnecessary. The rubrics and laws are to be left alone.

  100. Ttony says:

    Father, I have just sent the following warning to Fr Tim F. You should be careful about posting UK e-mail addresses, because if too many e-mails are sent to one address in a short period of time, the e-mail account is likely to be suspended.

  101. patrick says:

    well, I wouldnt go so far as to say women look silly being on the altar. but, women performing roles that are typically male roles, is a silly thing.

    The person who made the comment about feminism, you are totally right. Its an assault on the church. More Cafeteria Catholicism. It goes beyond NO/TLM and according to rome we arent to pit the two against each other. It comes down to simple common sense. It doesnt work liturgically. People think its funny when men wear dresses and women’s clothing. Its no differnt. Cassock’s and surplices are men’s clothing, always have been.

  102. Paul Cavendish says:

    Interesting to get the further information. So the celebrant of the proposed Mass did not himself object to the presence of a female server but two MCs and deacon did. Where in Canon Law are two (lay) MCs so empowered?

    I hope Canon Collins sends the purported invoice back, unpaid, to the LMS with an invoice from the Cathedral to the LMS with a hefty administration fee for wasting its time.

  103. o.h.,

    I think Volpius was speaking to me.

    Volpius,

    First of all, by my name “Gordo the Byzantine” you may discern that I am not a Latin Catholic at all, but a Byzantine Catholic, that is a Greek Catholic of the Orthodox tradition of Constantinople. (Greek was one of the original languages of the Latin Church, BTW. But I digress…) With that in mind, I simply oppose (whether one is of the Eastern or the Western heritage) the predominant use of a liturgical language which does not reflect the vernacular language of the congregation. To my mind, there are two principles involved:

    An Incarnational Principle: The Word of the Father was “translated” into human form. Just as the Incarnation did not diminish the divinity of the Second Person, but rather manifested it to humanity, so the translation and use of liturgical texts into the vernacular does not diminish in any way their sacred or sacramental character.

    A Pentecostal Principle: The overshadowing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the gift of tongues given to the apostles in the Upper Room facilitated the proclamation of the kerygma so that every person gathered from among the diaspora of Israel in Jerusalem for the Great Feast heard the apostles in their own tongue. Thus hearing, they believed. This kerygmatic dimension of the liturgy is cloaked unnecessarily through the exclusive usage of tongues unknown to the hearers. In order for the congregation to participate more fully, it is necessary to have such texts in Latin, Greek, Slavonic translated for them so that they follow along. Such a step is unnecessary, and excessive IMHO if it excludes a majority use of the vernacular.

    The problem is that traditional Latin Catholics with true orthodox sensibilities have equated a celebration in Latin with orthodoxy in worship. The Tridentine Mass is a very highly developed modality of Western worship, and I believe it to be far superior to the Ordo of Paul VI in nearly all respects. So while I am not a fan of the NO, though I have seen it done reasonably well on many occasions, the issue of equating the employment of a particular liturgical language with orthodoxy in worship is a wholly inadequate and limited view of Catholic worship in general. We see the same issue with certain Greeks and Ukrainians on the Eastern side of the aisle.

    Secondly, I oppose the use of female altar servers. Period. End of story. I just think an injustice was committed principally by the Dean of the Cathedral and only secondarily by the LMS in withdrawing their participation, leaving loads of people who came from far and wide high and dry. The injustice of it all was compounded, when I believe they should have simply pressed forward and celebrated the Tridentine Mass for the many pilgrims who underwent great hardship to get there. Following the Mass, they should have sought the appropriate clarification from the higher-ups in their own diocese and in Rome. So, just based on my reading, my issue is in part with the prudential judgment of the LMS leadership.

    Thirdly, nowhere does the NO call for female altar servers, so this is not a situation of “mixing and matching” official practices associated with the two forms of the SAME rite.

    Finally, I have no intention of “ruining” (nor ability to ruin) anything. I merely stated my opinion, which I am entitled to do. I may even attempt to persuade others to take my POV, but I have no illusion as to how convincing I may or may not be. And – you can offer a veritable litany of thanksgiving for this – I have no power to affect any change in the Latin Church, nor do I desire it.

    Deo Gratias! :-)

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  104. Larry says:

    Fr. Z.
    I stand corrected. I did miss your comments on the right of the priest. I had forgotten that. I wholeheartedly aggree with your comments on the later posting; relying on 1962 law and rubrics is very weak especially since the Holy Father has already indicated that there must be updates in the ’62 Missal. I am disappointed that so many members of the TLM seem to feel that they are safeguarding their personal property. The TLM is one form of the Liturgy of the Church; but, it is not frozen in time. It is as organic as are all true Liturgies. It is also quite true that the dean’s action was a provocation. It is not clear whether the conversations mentioned between the Dean and the LMS were carried on in cordial manner or if the LMS sounded more like me and blew up causing the Dean to do likewise. It would also be exceptional for an Archbishop to go against his Dean on so short a notice and based only on what was probably an ultimatum delivered by email. I am also certain taht those who traveled far and spent quite a bit to do so were to some extent disappointed. THERE IS HOWEVER THE FACT THAT CHURCH WAS FULL OF CATHOLICS WHO OFFERED TRUE WORSHIP TO GOD ON SUNDAY. Like it or not folks that is the FIRST Principle of Liturgy not as you suppose the defense of one form against another when both are valid. One other point. I’ll bet that the crowd in the pews were properly attired for Mass and not for footbol or whatever.

    Part of any Marshall PLan must be the updating and renewal of the 1962 Missal. That is something that can be begun and needs to be so that the new saints and feasts that have been added may be celebrated in both forms. In such a renewal issues that are considered unchanging can be discussed and if the Holy Father agrees they can become law; but, all this belongs to the Holy See and not to our personal preferences. Perhaps the Holy Father will decide to preserve the Missal for the time being as it is to allow the rather tender feelings on all sides to heal somewhat.

  105. Pleased as Punch says:

    Dear Gordo,

    With respect, please keep your Byzantine principles–assuming they really are Byzantine–in Byzantium. You claim to be opposed to the exclusive use of Latin in the liturgy “on principle.” Whatever principle that may be (and I assume it is some sort of attachment to the vernacular), it is not a principle of traditional Latin worship.

    I presume you think it perfectly legitimate for Eastern Catholics to be “de-Latinizers.” Adhering to one’s own authentic traditions and all that, no? So why is it not perfectly legitimate for Latins to be “non-Byzantinizers”? Many of the Byzantine tradition worship partially or exclusively in the vernacular. Well and good. That is their tradition. In the Latin tradition, virtually all worshipped in the sacred language until the early 1960s. Why can’t that be well and good too? Moreover, the extensive (and in some cases, I understand, exclusive) use of sacred languages in some strains of the Byzantine tradition–the continuing use of Church Slavonic among the Russian Orthodox and Koine Greek in the Church of Greece–witnesses to its viability and honor there as well.

    In all candor your view that the decision of the LMS made out both parties to be unreasonable is false. The LMS handed no “victory” to the dean and other enemies of the TLM. The LMS was victorious, because it had the courage to stand on principle. Your view that the service of women in the sanctuary is a “relatively minor” point is also false, as others have commented on quite cogently. Does the Ecumenical Patriarch permit women to serve in his Liturgies? Supposing it was arranged with the Turkish government that he could celebrate the Liturgy in Hagia Sophia, on condition that women had to serve, do you think he would capitulate? I honestly do not know the answers to these questions. But my impression is that he would adhere to the traditions handed down to him rather than compromise with the enemies of those traditions.

  106. Neil Mulholland says:

    It seems that all of my negative predictions about the motu proprio have or are about to come true.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the main goal of the motu proprio is to kill off Traditional Catholicism by merging the TLM into some form of horrific chimera, a phenomenon already appearing in some locations.

    I have been suckered too many times. I don’t buy the BS anymore. I’m out of here. [By all means, don’t let the proverbial door hit you… Fr. Z]

  107. Pleased as Punch says:

    Dear Gordo,

    By the way, I wrote my 12:06 entry before seeing your 11:45 entry. Thank you for the clarification on your principles.

  108. Michael says:

    “Part of any Marshall PLan must be the updating and renewal of the 1962 Missal. That is something that can be begun and needs to be so that the new saints and feasts that have been added may be celebrated in both forms”

    I do not wish to derail this thread, but I’ve often seen this sentiment expressed, but cannot seem to wrap my head about it. Why is there the automatic presumption that the 1962 Missal needs to be “renewed and updated”? What benefit will derive, for example, from the addition of new saints? Are there not enough saits to go around or are the teachings of the “old” saints no longer applicable, or have they retired and no longer intercede for us? If, as the Holy Father states, the Extraordinary form is a treasure being restored to the entire Church, why is there such a concerted and immediate effort to change this treasure so that it only superficially resembles what is purportedly being restored?

  109. aelianus says:

    1 Corinthians 14:34 “The women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak”

    Divine Law has primacy over ecclesiastical positive law and is the foundation of the latter’s authority. Women cannot be instituted as Acolytes or Lectors and so their reading or serving in the sanctuary must always in a certain sense be extraordinary. The refusal of so many bishops to institute permanent Acolytes and Lectors and the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of holy communion (itself contrary to liturgical law) have falsely given the impression of normality to extraordinary acts. It would seem that Pope Gelasius condemned the practice of women serving Mass in the year 494. If this condemnation was dogmatic, as opposed to merely disciplinary, then the subsequent curial statements to the effect that this practice is permissible are null and void. The disciplinary authority of the Holy See is binding but not infallible and if it comes into conflict with the magisterium it is nullified. This possibility was illustrated by the invalid dispensations given by the Holy See in the Middle Ages to allow a mere Priest to ordain another Priest.

  110. Lady says:

    IM IN UR SANCTUAREEZ PREVENTIN UR WURSHIP.

  111. Prof. Basto says:

    Dear Gordo,

    You state:

    …with that in mind, I simply oppose (whether one is of the Eastern or the Western heritage) the predominant use of a liturgical language which does not reflect the vernacular language of the congregation…“. And then you go on to declare your reasons, that are opinions of a theological nature.

    In stating your opinion, it seems that you hold that for reasons of principle (your “incarnational principle” and your “pentecostal principle”), Mass should not be said in a language other than the vernacular one.

    However, I ask you to reconsider that in light of the following:

    (a) for centuries, the Holy Roman Church has employed Latin as its liturgical language, which woudn’t have been possible if the use of a non-vulgar tongue was wrong for reasons of principle.

    (b) the use of non-vernacular languages cannot be wrong by reasons of principle, because, if it were, then the Mass would have to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only, and the use of Latin, etc, would be wrong, and that opinion is condemned by the 9th canon approved by the Tridentine Ecumenical Council during its 22nd session.

    So, we must recognize that the use of Latin and other non-vernacular languages cannot be opposed by reason of principle.

    (c) The same 22nd session of the Council of Trent above mentioned decided,(8th chapter) to maintain the rite of the Holy Roman Church, and the usages of other churches, that do not use the vernacular tongue for Mass, recalling that “it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue”; also, the Second Vatican Council, decided in no. 36 of its Constitution on Sacred Liturgy that the use of Latin should be retained in the Latin Church. Well, of course two Ecumenical Councils wouldn’t so decide if, for reasons of principle, it was wrong as you state.

  112. o.h. says:

    Gordo–You’re right. Volpius–my apologies for the confusion.

    Michael,

    When I was being converted by the Holy Spirit to the Catholic faith, I was greatly struck by the cessation of saints in Protestant churches. Lutheran churches would have the occasional “St. Martin’s” or other post-apostolic saints besides the Biblical saints; Episcopalians had saints up through the Reformation (even C.S. Lewis commented on how the English Church didn’t “make saints” anymore, though he seemed to think that was a good thing). Only the Catholic Church continued to add saints to its calendar. This was a big flashing sign to me about where the living Church was to be found.

    Where I live, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego are big deals, and their feasts are major occasions in the parish. If their days aren’t celebrated by the old calendar (I genuinely don’t know), it would seem to me a good thing to add them. I’d love to see, one day, the de facto division (by language) in our parish healed through both Spanish- and English-speakers attending the same (Latin) Mass.

  113. Ioannes (pro admissione puellarum) says:

    Mr. Culbreth,

    I appreciate your desire for consistency. The point I tried to make of women participating in a choir has nothing to do with where they are located. Pius X (Tra le Sollecitudini 13) upheld the exclusion of all women from choirs:
    On the same principle it follows that singers in church have a real liturgical office, and that therefore women, being incapable of exercising such office, cannot be admitted to form part of the choir. Whenever, then, it is desired to employ the acute voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys, according to the most ancient usage of the Church. (Adoremus.org translation)

    As far as I can tell, by Pius XII the restriction on women in choirs seems to have been lifted (without any theological exposition other than that singing is essential to Solemn Mass), provided that women and men sing separately and that women not sing in the sanctuary/presbyterium. In the light of historical/theological precedent, it is hard to see why the novelty of female singers is tolerable but not female altar servers. That female singers are okay only if they’re outside the sanctuary strikes me at least as a cop-out.

  114. Michael says:

    “Only the Catholic Church continued to add saints to its calendar. This was a big flashing sign to me about where the living Church was to be found.”

    I think that a distinction needs to be made between “making saints”, that is, the process of canonization, add adding a feast day for a particular saint to the calendar.

    The fact remains that there are more saints than there are days in a year.

  115. Mac McLernon says:

    Having serviettes on the sanctuary is bad enough in the Novus Ordo mass… what the heck is the Cathedral doing with a napkin (older serviette) in the first place??

  116. Joe McGrumpy says:

    I suppose that if you agree with the opinion that someone who wants Communion on the hand at the Traditional Mass has a right to this because Rome allows Communion on the hand, then the same principle would have to apply to altar girls. The decision you come to probably depends on whether you are a legalist or a traditionalist.

  117. Neil Mulholland says:

    Paul Cavendish:

    You are a complete idiot.
    People like you are the reason that I refuse to associate with Novus Ordoids.

  118. Jackie says:

    Neil Mulholland—no reason to name call. Charity in all things :-)

  119. Nathan says:

    Everyone:

    Could we all step back from this emotional issue and write more charitably toward others? With all the good that comes from this forum, I don’t think any of us want to be a source of scandal or drive a new or casual reader away by ad hominem attacks.

  120. Jackie: Mr. Hulholland won’t be joining us anymore. At least for a while.

  121. Ioannes wrote:

    “As far as I can tell, by Pius XII the restriction on women in choirs seems to have been lifted (without any theological exposition other than that singing is essential to Solemn Mass), provided that women and men sing separately and that women not sing in the sanctuary/presbyterium. In the light of historical/theological precedent, it is hard to see why the novelty of female singers is tolerable but not female altar servers.”

    I’m teachable on this point. Female singers don’t bother me at all, but maybe that’s because I have a thoroughly modern sensibility. How is the choir’s “liturgical function” different from that of the congregation? Is there a theological prohibition on women singing in the congregation? St. Paul’s instructions seem not to be given in this context (the same cannot be said for lectoresses and EEMs whose roles involve teaching and authority), so my instinct is to give Pope Pius XII the benefit of the doubt.

  122. Lady: IM IN UR SANCTUAREEZ

    LOL!

  123. Ottaviani says:

    This is one change in a line of other changes from above…

    Michael Davis warned in his lifetime that the PCED are not sympathetic to traditional sensitivities. They have already tried to fiddle with the 1962 Missal by incorporating changes from 1965 onwards, until Una Voce frankly said that this would not be supported and that it will only confirm what the SSPX have suspected for a long time: Rome is dishonest with traditional Catholics and possessed with the typical post-conciliar frenzy, that any change = good change. It should be clear from their waspish response to the Bishops in E & W about the Holyday fiasco, that \”mutual enrichment\” is only one way for the liturgical wreckers in Rome. Already Ignatius press have been crassly presumptuous and incorporated prefaces from the Novus Ordo into a mass booklet. At this rate the 1962 Missal will be unrecognizable in a half a century. Cut and paste at will seems to be the order of the day and the PCED love every minute of it.

    About 90% of todays Catholic clergymen or self-styled \”traditionalist reform of the reformers\” (maybe with the exception of the Holy Father) do not grasp concept of preservation. There is nothing, no matter how time tested or sacred, that can\’t be manipulated to suit immediate needs. This is exactly the reason why I have my doubts about this \”Reform of the Reform\” movement. They wish to incorporate all failed innovations from post 1962 onwards, in order to appear \”obedient\” to Rome. It is the worst form of ultramontanism possible. In their thinking, if it seems like a good idea at the time, then by all means, plug and play. If you give a someone with a conniving agenda a toe in the door, they\’ll use it to kick the door in.

    Happens every time. It\’s human nature.

  124. Anamaria says:

    I cannot help wondering if this woman actually exists. I cannot think of any woman who both knows how to serve in the EF AND would want to do it. It would always be one or the other or, more likely, neither.

  125. Richard says:

    To attempt to justify the dean’s behavior by saying that the Church permits female servers for the ordinary form is untenable because nowhere does the Church MANDATE that female servers are used, as did the dean. Even in the ordinary form, the Church only PERMITS female servers, and it is still up to the discretion of the pastor to permit that females serve. The dean was not allowing much up to the discretion of the Latin Mass Society by insisting that they use female servers. He was essentially asking them to part from rubrics which the vast majority of traditionalists hold, for many reasons, in very high regard. No appeal to the signs of the times justifies such abusive behavior.

  126. Gordon says:

    With regards the Archbishop of Cardiff, I know he was in London on Friday for a debate on the embryo bill going thru Parliament. This debate was broadcast on Saturday evening at 2215 on Radio 4, I listened to a fair bit of it. This may explain why His Grace was unable to intervene. I am surprised the Lord Abbot of Belmont couldn’t have insisted the lady in sanctuary would be out of place. I think the LMS was right to cancel. This is not a minor matter as some would have us believe. It is also an abuse of authority on the part of the dean. Even if, as some contend, the woman issue was not that big, the fact the cathedral administrator sought to impose this is wrong. I think he is somewhat sorry now. This incident goes to show how far gone things are in some places.

  127. big benny says:

    What everyone seems to be overlooking is that this 1962 mass was arranged at the time of the usual OF sunday mass which most probably has its own bunch of regular servers. I’m sure this female altar server (let’s not use these perjorative terms like ‘lady server’ or ‘serviettes’) was one of these. It seems unreasonable to me that the LMS effectively demanded that she should be prevented from doing what she normally does every week, especially as the LMS were invited guests. They should have over-looked it instead of shooting themselves in the foot. They could have submitted a dubium afterwards and played the end-game (but perhaps they too think that this would not return in their favour). Admittedly, you would have thought that this matter would have been clarified at the start of any planning rather than the day before.

    I’m sure when the clarification comes that the former liturgical rules surrounding the EF will be updated in line with recent developments, ie female altar servers, vernacular readings (even from the new lectionary), even lay readers and communion under both kinds (possibly in time extraordinary ministers of communion as well). Not compulsory but permissable. And some of us think that will be a good thing and not the end of the world.

    Up to now, organisations like the LMS have had an almost monopoly in providing the EF. With the MP, the EF will become more frequent and they will have less and less control. As local bishops and priests start to provide the EF in their parishes more regularly as an option on some weekdays, and once on sunday, these liturgical developments are inevitable. The LMS over-played it’s hand, they were guests. There is an issue about them flying into parishes and taking over, especially when it is not a specially organised event at a different time to scheduled masses. In these situations, their role must be to facilitate the needs of parishes, to work with them not lay down the law as they see it. The local bishop does have a role in moderating the liturgy in his diocese, and whether you agree or disagree must be given humble obedience. After all, doesn’t the MP specifically states that the bishop remains ‘moderator of the liturgy in his diocese’?

    As usual, any opinion expressed by Damian is reactionary, and very often his facts are incorrect and little more than ‘tittle-tattle’. I’d like to hear the other side of this story.

  128. AnnaTrad says:

    There is a saying in the government. If it works fix it, if it doesn’t leave it alone. I think all those of the OM should put all this effort in working on trying to improve the EM on their own Mass and leave ours alone. We neither ask nor want their opinions on how to improve a Mass that is already perfect and has been around for a few thousand years. I think you have enough on your on plate to worry about. You gave up this right 40 years ago when you made no effort to keep this Mass.

  129. Gordon says:

    Benny,
    It is most ppl’s understanding that it was the Dean himself who suggested the time of the mass. This was planned months ago. One would have expected from such a senior priest to know what would be acceptable for an old rite liturgy. As many of the commentators above have so well explained, ladies in the sanctuary are merely permissable not the norm, & not obligatory, neither are they to be imposed on anyone. That is why so many have been scandalized in this instance. Folks want the traditional mass to be traditional, otherwise what is the piont of calling it such? I agree with Nathan, lets have a bit of dignity in our discussions.

  130. Mr. Cavendish: So the celebrant of the proposed Mass did not himself object to the presence of a female server but two MCs and deacon did. Where in Canon Law are two (lay) MCs so empowered?

    This question reminds me of a statement I once heard from a traditional priest, to the effect that, among several ways the TLM encouraged a healthy humility in him, not least was the fact that the celebrant frequently is obliged to follow the direction of an MC who is almost always a layman.

  131. Francis Brennan says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I draw a measure of comfort from this unfortunate episode. Thanks to the blogosphere, all the readers of WTDPRS (and many other blogs) know about it; the press knows about it; Archbishop Smith and Canon Collins certainly know what people think about it (on account of all the blog comments and the hundreds of e-mails piling up in their inboxes); and by now several very important people in Rome likely know about it too, and may be preparing to do something about it.

    So, my disappointment about the affair is tempered with hope.

  132. Shane says:

    Very interesting, the numbers no?

    I don’t think this is really a very good point in favor of the Extraordinary Form. When it is celebrated, it draws people from all over. This Mass in particular was to be a Pontifical High Mass, even more of an attraction.

    I think if anything that making statements like this hurts the acceptance of the Extraordinary Form. Those who favor it are already viewed as being in some way as though they’ll say anything to support the EF, or as though they have contempt for the OF or thoses who favor it. This reputation is largely thanks to a certain subculture of traditional Catholicism who behave angrily, negatively, dishonestly, and contemptuously, rather than authentic traditional Catholicism. However, it is a reputation that nevertheless has the impression of authenticity in the minds of many other Catholics who have experienced first hand the virile words of that subculture.

    I think it’s really one of the very important tasks of folks like Fr. Z who are traditional Catholics but do not belong to this subculture to present authentic traditional Catholicism to the rest of the world. Show folks traditional Catholicism that is not angry, dishonest, contemptuous, and so forth, and more and more will become open to the riches of pious tradition. I think that making assertions like this one about the Mass attendance hurts that cause, because it’s very obvious to most people why it’s not an entirely valid point, and it just reinforces the misperceptions of what authentic traditionalism is.

    Peace and God bless

  133. boredoftheworld says:

    I have been suckered too many times. I don’t buy the BS anymore. I’m out of here. [By all means, don’t let the proverbial door hit you… Fr. Z]

    I’m not sure the “here” to which he was referring is merely your blog.

  134. RBrown says:

    Ioannes,

    That ordinaries can permit altar girls doesn’t mean that ordinaries can mandate them.

    If ordinaries can merely permit them, and–according to you–celebrants are not empowered to refuse them, then the decision would be made by someone other than the bishop or the celebrant.

    Who?

  135. Allatae sunt (nr. 29) of Pope Benedict XIV (1755):
    Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: \”Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.\” We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.

    I do not care about 1994 Cultural Revolution interpretations by a Vatican dicastery which cannot even manage take in recursus of high clergymen. Due to the fact that eternal custom becomes law and has the force of law itself, the interdiction against women servers becomes law even under modern 1983 Canon Law.

  136. Michael says:

    “I’m sure when the clarification comes that the former liturgical rules surrounding the EF will be updated in line with recent developments, ie female altar servers, vernacular readings (even from the new lectionary), even lay readers and communion under both kinds (possibly in time extraordinary ministers of communion as well). Not compulsory but permissable. And some of us think that will be a good thing and not the end of the world.”

    Of the four ends of the Mass, which will be better served by implementing the changes you think will be a good thing?

  137. Steve says:

    At my local Cathedral a strikingly attractive 17yo female server, plastered in make-up, regularly dons male clerical costume in order to serve Mass. Even done so in front of the Bishop.

    The male staff there are to be admired for their purity of heart either that or they all have serious problems …

  138. Ioannes (pro admissione puellarum) says:

    RBrown, I concede your point. Prof. Basto made me aware of a document of which I had been unaware.

    Mr. Culbreath,
    Although I am not a liturgical historian nor a musicologist, my understanding is that choirs consisted exclusively of men and boys from an early point on regardless of whether they sang in the nave in front of the altar, behind the altar in the presbyterium, or in the sanctuary.

  139. Pleased as Punch,

    First of all, great name. :-)

    Secondly, here are a few responses to your post:

    1. The principles I assert here are legitimately Catholic (I will address Prof. Basto’s well articulated points momentarily), and do not refer specifically to any one liturgical tradition of the Church. The use of the vernacular is not an “Eastern” thing and the employment of ancient (now defunct as vernacular) liturgical languages a “Latin” thing. Besides, to assert this is to deny the legitimate vernacular roots of the Latin liturgy.

    2. Eastern and Western traditions do not exist side-by-side as hermetically sealed and historically frozen realities. Cross-fertilization of ideas, influences and even practices is inevitable, as is legitimate development. That, of course, differs from the notion of “Latinizing”, which was really a process whereby a dominant ecclesial power mandated that the liturgical practices of its own sui juris Church be imposed upon another sui juris Church of a different liturgical tradition. The use of the vernacular, assuming that it is an “Eastern” thing which I do not, is not a direct or even remote correllary to what occurred over several centuries to the East, even at times being imposed by our own Rome-appointed hierarchs.

    3. The witness of Eastern Churches using ancient, defunct liturgical languages needs to be properly contextualized. These Churches are not growing, but either maintaining their own or shrinking. They are generally not missionary in their orientation, but rather often inwardly focused. One must therefore become “Ukrainian” or “Greek” to enter the Kingdom of God through these bodies. I for one believe that every parish has an apostolic mission and the vernacular language facilitates that mission.

    4. Allowing a woman to serve at the altar server is not synonomous with being an enemy of tradition. Let’s not, in the interest of upholding authentic traditions, overstate the case beyond all reasonable perspective. The examples given above about women serving as lectors is also a good one. Are we to say that women lectors are enemies of tradition? After all, they are prclaiming the Word of God in the assembly! There are legitimate arguments to be made against women serving as acolytes, but lets avoid all exaggeration.

    5. Your point about standing firm is a fair one. I suppose an argument could be made on principle that this is offensive to many with traditional sensibilities and could give scandal to those who have broken communion or are in a tenuous communion. As I stated, the bulk of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Dean, not LMS.

    And no, the EP would not allow women to serve as acolytes in the Divine Liturgy. There is discussion of restoring the order of deaconess, however. What form that will take, who knows?
    As to whether he would concede such a thing to the Turkish government (fantasy is fun, no?) I rather think he would, such is the power of the symbol of the Cathedral Church of Eastern Christendom.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  140. patrick says:

    For the few who have argued the case for the female servers, I remind you of

    1) the garb servers wear. Its Male garb.

    2) the tradition of the acolyte is the of male.

    3) The rubric does allow bishops to allow female servers, where its needed. It wasnt needed in this case. So that is where the idea of abuse comes in.. Just like EM’s. They arent ALWAYS needed. IF you have a mass of ten people, you dont need someone to assist the priest giving out communion, yet I have seen that in Daily mass. Totally inappropriate for the office.

    Its not a traditionalist thing to follow what is right. That is what is saddening about some people within the church. They look down on those of us who have tried to keep a 2000 yr old tradition what it was. Now, granted those things change over time, but many items such as female servers, can strike at the very core of the understanding of roles in the mass.

    It is not male chauvanism to hold to the patriarchal traditions of the church. when did women’s lib become extremist like this. Its not enough that women have equal legal faculties. Now we must re invent the wheel and have women in roles that they theologically arent suited for, both with scripture backing that line up, and also oh yes, 2000 years tradition. If people push the envelope on this the next thing you will see is a woman priest (legitimately ordained).

    No I am not a chauvanist. I also am not a “hardcore” traditionalist. I think both forms can be absolutely gorgeous when done right. But we must hold to what is roman catholic. Our faith and tradition supersedes that of the compulsions of the world. Just because it is the Politically correct thing to include men and women so equally in everything that there is no distinction, doesnt mean that we should mow over sacred traditions. There is political correctness, and then there is just plain gullibility. Throwing out years of tradition to keep an interest group happy, is it really worth it?

  141. Simon Platt says:

    Very interesting, the numbers no?

    Actually, I thought they were interesting, not so much for the large attendance on this particular day, but because of the low attendance reported on other days. How can the main Sunday mass at a cathedral in a large city like Cardiff draw a typical attendance of less than 40? There must have been a mistake in the original report.

  142. Kradcliffe says:

    Annatrad:”There is a saying in the government. If it works fix it, if it doesn’t leave it alone. I think all those of the OM should put all this effort in working on trying to improve the EM on their own Mass and leave ours alone. We neither ask nor want their opinions on how to improve a Mass that is already perfect and has been around for a few thousand years. I think you have enough on your on plate to worry about. You gave up this right 40 years ago when you made no effort to keep this Mass.”

    Anna, your “us v. them” stance is cause for dismay. We are all one Church. A lot of us (I think Fr. Z, included) worship/celebrate in both forms. It is that sort of contemptuous, separatist attitude that makes bishops leary of the EF.

    I have to guess that Cannon Collins was probably trying to push some sort of agenda, and that is upsetting. I am not really sure what I think of the LMS’s decision to call the whole thing off. I can understand why they are upset, but I feel badly for those hundreds of people who made the journey, including many who may not have been “Traddies” but merely people who were curious to see a Mass in the EF for their first time.

  143. Stephen says:

    “See how these Christians love one another”; or have we all forgotten that? I am not sure if Pope Benedict XVI, in allowing the TLM to be used more broadly, has healed some evidently festering 40+ year old wounds or spread the infection. For the love of God (and I mean that just as I say it) enough; stop the bickering.
    I have no problem with the Ordinary Rite and the Extraordinary (remember it is called an Extraordinary Rite). I grew up and served the TLM (and if I was at a TLM where there was no server I could still do it!)until the NO was introduced and I am proud taht my now deceased brother celebrated the NO Mass as his First Mass in 1970. I have been to TLM’s in the USA where most people do nothing but talk during the Mass. Is that why they want the TLM? I was at a TLM where the celebrant stood up and announced that those attending were at the only authentic Liturgy in the Archdiocese. Since they thing they do not have to participate as much as they are expected to do in the NO, they have the privelege to carry on conversations, criticize the NO? These same gabbers looked at me with disgust when I responded to the priest in Latin; sorry for disturbing your gabfest.
    Would it have not been better if the Holy Father had introduced the TLM as another Catholic Latin Rite instead of NO, TLM, Ordinary, Extraordinary, etc. Let’s face it, the Roman Church consists on MANY Rites, Western and Eastern. I am a comfortable going to an Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy as I am to an TLM or a NO Liturgy because I know that it is still the Unbloddy Sacrifice of Calvary.
    Mass in the vernacular is not sinful. How many Americans know that Archbishop Carroll (Primal See of Baltimore) had petitioned the Holy See to have the Mass and Sacraments celebrated in the vernacular when the USA was a new nation?
    If the NO Liturgy is celebrated according to the NO ruberics (as well as referring to the Ceremonial of Bishops) it too is a holy, uplifting, spiritually fulfilling experience: It is just as much the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary as the TLM.
    The biggest problem I have observed is the lousy, horrible Catachesis that has existed in the past 40+ years. If there are NO Liturgies celebrated that look more like a circus than a Mass it is the fault not only of the celebrant, but also of the Ordinary who is not aware, or chooses to turn his head, and do nothing to bring such attrocities to an abrupt hault.
    For some is as if the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with the Second Vatican Council. Remember, all the bickering is about the highest form of prayer there is – the Mass. If anyone is aware of liturgical abuses complain to the pastor, the Shepherd of Souls, or go to the Dean, Vicar, and go right up the line to whomever it would take to stop these abuses, even if it means going over the head of your Ordinary. Pray to the Holy Spirit for these abusers. But, for the love of God, please, please, PLEASE! Let us love each other as Christians!

  144. Michael C. says:

    Ottaviani,

    I would have thought you were overreacting a year ago, but now I’m afraid I have to agree with you. The PCED is obviously not staffed by traditionalists, and I’m not sure they have the best interest of the Tridentine liturgy at heart. I read this and the NLM regularly. The only instance where I can remember the PCED saying no to something was the practice of reciting the second confiteor. Every modernization (good and bad, but mostly bad) has received approval. It doesn’t matter how problematic they are. The goal of the PCED seems to be to turn the TLM into a hybrid rite without alienating traditionalists. What I find most upsetting is that the response to every one of these changes in the blogosphere seems to be that we should rejoice everytime we see a modernization because it consitutes “a legitimate organic development” as if that were all that matters.

    There’s a difference between adding new saints days and adding new prefaces. One “updates” the rite the other changes it. Here’a quote from Geoffrey Hull’s article, “The Proto-History of the Roman Liturgical Reform” from Christian Order. One of the important things he shows in this article is that “organic development” which most traditional liturgists argue is essential for the liturgy to “be alive” (the “Missal of 2008″ instead of 1962) stopped in 1570, just as it did in all the traditional rites:

    “In the Roman rite this guided development of the liturgy through the growth and ratification or condemnation of custom was halted by the post-Tridentine reform which permanently fixed the basic form of the Mass. The common Christian experience has shown that in each of the other historical rites of Christendom, the Mozarabic, Milanese, Antiochene, Byzantine, Edessene and Alexandrine, what those for whom evolution is progressive improvement contemptuously term ‘liturgical fossilization’ or ‘freezing’, occurred well before the end of the Middle Ages. Thus in traditional Christianity it would seem that the organic growth of the liturgy is not perpetual, but has a natural term. Before Vatican II it was generally accepted that the form of the Roman Mass had reached the end of its formal development in the year 1570. This is naturally far from meaning that a mature rite cannot undergo renewal in the ordering and length of its component parts, in the manner of its celebration or in such externals as music or ornaments.”

    I would have to ask whether the addition of new prefaces from the Novus Ordo, or new rites like the bidding prayers being used ad Fontgombault and warmly approved by the PCED really constitute a mere change in “in the ordering and length of its component parts.”

  145. Maureen says:

    Re: women servers in the 1950’s

    I asked my mom a few deeper questions about this, since I’m not the best at remembering details. (As you will soon divine.) Basically, their chapel was mainly their auditorium (although there was a sacristy attached to the auditorium stage), and the stage was the sanctuary for all practical purposes. If the boys weren’t coming, the office would send somebody to tell the sacristan (my mom’s great-aunt the sister), and she would move all the essential cruets and stuff from the little table onto the altar. The girls would carry the cross and the candles up to the altar, place them, and then retreat (to the sacristy, I think). At the end of Mass they would come back and get the candles and cross, and process back to the sacristy with the priest.

    So… the problem of responses was avoided by not having the girls give any at all. :)

    (This makes sense, in retrospect. If my mom had ever learned any server responses, we would have heard about ‘em. Lots. Especially when my brothers became servers.) :)

  146. Maureen says:

    I’m also supposed to tell you that if the wine, water, etc. weren’t already in place, my mom and the other two girls also brought these things over to the priest at the Offertory.

  147. Johnny Domer says:

    I have noticed that in many areas of life, things will get done in response to a large number of righteously furious people. I think this action has ticked off a LOT of people very justly. I think those people have very powerful friends who will be similarly angered by such actions: Cardinal Hoyos and Pope Benedict. BS like this will stop.

  148. Jason Keener says:

    As someone who loves the Extraordinary Form and frequents it almost exclusively, I don’t want to see any changes made to it. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

    Sacrosanctum Concilium #23 agrees, “Finally, there must be NO innovations [in the Liturgy] unless the good of the Church GENUINELY and CERTAINLY requires them.” Amen!

    A bigger general point:

    Some Catholics (many who don’t even attend the Extraordinary Form) say the Old Mass needs this change or that change (vernacular readings, female servers, Communion in the hand, etc.). How many people who actually attend and love the Extraordinary Form want any changes at all made to the Mass of Ages? Maybe 1 in 100. I really hope the PCED takes that into account before authorizing any innovations in the Liturgy.

    Some will also argue that the Extraordinary Form isn’t a fly stuck in amber. That is true, but can changes to the Liturgy that are forced upon the faithful against their will be considered healthy organic development? If the faithful are upset by changes being made to the Liturgy, it would seem to be a good sign that the time is not ripe for organic development. There should be periods of rest in the life of the Liturgy (as in any life). For the Extraordinary Form, this is one of those times.

  149. TJM says:

    It’s unfortunate that the Dean of Cardiff politicized the Holy Mass by injecting his personal views regarding the use of women as servers. I protested to him by citing appropriate ecclesiastical authority, and all he responded was to say thanks for your comments. He did not engage me in regards to 1900 years of tradition nor the mandate of Sacramentum Caritatis that it is the celebrant’s prerogative whether or not to use female servers ( a recent innovation of the past 20 years, a mere blip in terms of Catholic liturgical history). I’m afraid, unless the Ecclesia Dei Commission responds vigorously to these sorts of dilatory tactics , this type of nonsense to undermime the celebration of the TLM will be repeated by other like-minded clerics. Tom

  150. Mark says:

    I also agree with Ottaviani and Michael C.

    I would favor a moratorium against any changes to the Mass of 1962 – zero – for a period of 7 years. After seven years, only a commission composed of the heads of traditional orders would be allowed to make any modifications. Organic change does not happen in six months, one year or 3 years.

    Reform of the reform is problematic –syncretism is not a good thing, theologically nor liturgically speaking.

  151. Mark says:

    I also agree with Ottaviani and Michael C.

    I would favor a moratorium against any changes to the Mass of 1962 – zero – for a period of 7 years. After seven years, only a commission composed of the heads of traditional orders would be allowed to make any changes only after a vote of a two-thirds majority. Organic change does not happen in six months, one year or 3 years.

    Reform of the reform is problematic – syncretism is not a good thing, theologically nor liturgically speaking.

  152. Larry says:

    I can hardly believe my eyes reading some of the things that are being said by supposedly Catholic/Christian people! Earlier there were comments about my post on revisions to the 1962 Missal. Yes it is true that it is a treasure; but, not in the sense of a static thing. Remeber this is Liturgy and hence it is organic; it lives and grows. You all are well aware that the Missal of 1962 did not drop from heaven, and you all know that it is the end product of a long process that received its’ formal introduction following the Council of Trent. But much of it was already extent long before that. The Missal of St. Pius V has been amended and updated many, many times and if it is to remain a living document it must grow with the Church. That does not mean horrific changes by any reasonable standard. But to decry the inclusion of new Saints is over the top. Who needs new Saints? I think all of you could use some because many of the saints you usually pray to are crying watching those who most admire them sin by anger and name calling and hatred. If you want to act like children with your toy then get a play Mass kit that they sold in the 50’s and play to your hearts content. But don’t try to hold the EF hostage. You haven’t got it in your posession; it belongs to the CHURCH.

    I sincerely hope that the major changes that will come will come to the NO because that is where things really need serious attention and that is at least one reason why the Pope issued the MP. When you get through with your ranting tonight or tomorrow say a Rosary and ask Mary to help get things set straight and entrust this issue to her Motherly attention.

  153. Jack Regan says:

    Simon Platt wrote “Actually, I thought they were interesting, not so much for the large attendance on this particular day, but because of the low attendance reported on other days. How can the main Sunday mass at a cathedral in a large city like Cardiff draw a typical attendance of less than 40? There must have been a mistake in the original report.”

    Yeah, I agree. I’m not buying that either.

    I also agree with Shane’s post about the numbers for the TLM. I have nothing against these events at all, but they LMS do seem to put a lot of money, time and resources into advertising big Masses for months and months and then they turn round and say ‘Look how popular the TLM is!’ I am sure that the Mass in June will be very well attended and I am sure that afterwards the absolutely massive publicity effort will have been rather forgotten!

    I went to a TLM near me lately. That too was well advertised. In fact it was the only Sunday Mass in the EF that week in the whole Southeast of England outside of London. That means that it was the closest EF Mass for a population of over 2 million! It was in an accessible location, it was advertised on many many websites, yet the attendance… 28 people. Onle 2 or 3 of whom were under about 50!

    I am not against the TLM. Please don’t misunderstand. But I think that the traditionalist movement need to stop massaging the figures if they’re gonna maintain the credibility that they have a right to.

  154. David2 says:

    Larry, some interesting points. I’m only in my early 30s, but from my perspective, the frantic fetish for change in the Church’s liturgy needs to stop and give the faithful room to take a breath. We’ve had change up to the eyeballs, and some of us would like a rest, thank you very much.

    That said, as a matter of principle, I can’t see the problem with new saints. I can’t see the problem with the new oratio pro Iudeis in the Good Friday Liturgy. I wouldn’t necessarily object to a couple of appropriate new prefaces if they were worded consistently and harmoneously with the Latin texts of the existing 1962 prefaces, rather than “cut and pasted” straight from the 2002 MR; after all, the preface of the dead (for example) is a perfectly fine 20th Century addition to the Old Mass.

    BUT, I for one draw the line at:

    1. Shifting week-day feasts and messing with the lectionary (including vernacular-only readings) – the old one-year Vulgate lectionary is just fine, thenk you – at least it has a familiarity to it and doesn’t wrongly assume that Holy Mass is a didactic moment;

    2. Communion in the hand;

    2a. Standing for Communion

    3. Serviettes / Chicks with Pyx;

    4. Assorted lay folks a-traipsing and a-hula-dancing, and a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ ’round the sanctuary waving banjos and bongo drums, and a-strummin’ on their gee-tars, and a-waivin’ their papier mache puppets, and a flingin’ their ankles behind their ears in the latest “liturgical dance”. Save it for the Democratic National Convention, people.

    5. [Shudder] Hand-shakes and hand-holding and hugging and arm-waving and laity with their hands extended imitating the priest, and a noisy Canon, and, well, need I say it, versus populum…

    Now those are where my sensibilities lie. Plenty here will disagree with me, I’m sure. But I respect that, and don’t accuse people of being un-Christian because their sensibilities and approach to this question differs from mine.

    Many of us have found a haven in the Old Mass where we can escape 1-5 above, and some of my friends in the pews will rend their clothes and wail and gnash their teeth if anyone pursues them to foist the tree huggin’ hippy crap on them in the TLM. I don’t blame them in the least. Have some pastoral respect for our sensibilities. Just because you think a change is “good” or “inevitable” or “organic” doesn’t mean that it wont distract, or upset, or hurt, someone deeply rooted in the faith.

    HOWEVER, I think there are serious reasons to oppose importing the worst features of the Novus Ordo into the Old Mass. The above-mentioned lay folk, and the communion in the hand destroy the sense of the sacred, and undermine belief in transubstantiation. Serviettes and other “feminizations” are disastrous for vocations to the priesthood (as is at least tacitly acknowledged by Redemptionis Sacramentum [supra]). Stuffing around with the lectionary and importing Novus Ordo prayers undermines the integrity of the rite.

    Make too many changes and before you know it you can say hello to the liturgical dancers at a TLM near you!

    So I say again “Bravissimo!” LMS, for drawing a line in the sand. There are some things up with which we should not have to put!

  155. Can’t we all just hold hands and give peace a chance?

    When I was an altar boy, altar girls scared me off.

    I need a cup of tea and a biscuit.

  156. puella says:

    If I understand some folks here correctly, does this mean that the choir at our Chaplaincy that’s all of one Mass old, comprising entirely of ladies, which leads and bolsters the (small) congregation’s singing of hymns and the parts of the Mass…is somehow wrong because we’re women?

    We sit in the front pew (we’re shy and don’t want to see people looking at us). We’re part of the congregation. But is the choir doing something the priest does, or the people?

    And…yes, many have come across here as being very anti-woman. I was an altar server (and I’m shocked that Mac used the terms “serviette” and “napkin” – really shocked) and whilst I’m not anymore, I have mixed feelings about all this. The language used has unraveled the last few months’ work by someone (HS?) in me that was warming me up to the idea of the TLM.

    Eh. I think the really emotional stuff I’m coming up with now is best reserved for my own blog. Sorry, Fr. Z.

  157. Paul Cavendish says:

    I am still baffled as to why the view of two LMS MC’s should cause so much fuss.

    Can no celebration of the EF take place without the approval of the LMS? Has the LMS been given some executive role by the Church to police celebrations of the EF?

    Perhaps there should be more EF celebrations without the involvement of the LMS?

    Fr. Z in his commentary points out that the LMS argument that the laws as in force in 1962 is not a particularly good one. One would have thought that if the EF is to appeal to a significantly wider audience in the future than it has in the past then there needs to be a move away from a petty lace mentality and the waspishness of some EF supporters – pace Mr. Mulholland.

  158. wayne ratzinger says:

    .Stephen,
    “See how these Christians love one another”. How many seminaries have we suppressed in the last 40 years ??. I’m not talking about ones that died for lack of vocations, I mean closed down by order of Canon Law. Pope Paul VI and the French Hierarchy “loved” the seminary at Econe so much that they tried every trick in the book to close it down. Even stooping telling deliberate lies. Lies that are still selling “Catholic” papers to this day. I showed our Parish Priest a copy of the Catholic Times, published by the Bishops of England and Wales, a front page, leading article that was based on a complete and bare faced lie. That was about 6 months ago.

    This latest outrage in Cardiff is the latest “Out pouring” of the Spirit. The difference from now on is that “The Spirit” will become more and more recognizable, as the adherents to “The Spirit” will come to see the damage they have wrought on the Church these last 40 years. Rather than repent and start helping rebuild the Church, I guess they will become more hostile.
    It starts off with petty minded stuff like this, but eventually they will prefer to “Pull the Temple down” on us all.

    Cardinal Martini said bluntly, that he would not be saying the Traditional Mass. Martini was the preferred candidate at the Conclave of the English Hierarchy, he is old, not in the best of health and retired. He does not have the responsibilities of a diocese. The English Hierarchy did not want Pope Ratzinger, and they do not want the Traditional Mass. Period. Unfortunately they do have responsibilities for diocese. Even more unfortunately they have been getting told for the last 40 years that the Novus Ordo was open to abuse, abuses that where by far the rule in virtually every single parish, rather than the exception, including “Girl” altar servers. What did they do about all the warnings, public meetings, letters to the Press etc, etc, etc, Nothing, that’s what they did, precisely nothing.

    Well now is as good a time as any to stop the rot. The Pope and Cardinal Hoyos should stick to their guns, a Traditional Mass in every Parish, that is the Main Mass every Sunday. Every Bishop, Priest, and all the Laity to take the Oath against Modernism. Marcel Lefebvre publicly exonerated and Statues of the Blessed Marcel ordered for every Cathedral, Church, Monastery, Convent, Parish Hall, etc, etc, etc, in Christendom, we will have Christendom back by then, and that’s a promise.

  159. Volpius says:

    “I am still baffled as to why the view of two LMS MC’s should cause so much fuss.”

    Nice try to shift the blame Paul, it is the Dean who has caused such a fuss, you don’t seem to be able to grasp this or maybe you just don’t want to, it is not just the two MC’s who had a problem with this, but rather nearly everyone who is attached to the Gregorian Rite and certainly nearly all of the people who turned up on the day been that they will all be supporters and likely members of the LMS. The MC’s were merely defending the rights of the laity granted by the Church, something which the Dean is meant to do by the way!

    “Can no celebration of the EF take place without the approval of the LMS?”

    Of course it can, if the Dean wanted there was nothing to stop him performing the Gregorian Rite himself, what he cannot do is force his politically correct secularly informed opinion on his brothers by attempting to make mandatory what our mother the Church only allows as an option.

    “Has the LMS been given some executive role by the Church to police celebrations of the EF?”

    No, but that question is irrelevant, this Mass in question was organised and funded by the LMS, they made all arrangements including the provision or priests from start to finish and they did this with lawful expectations of what that Mass would involve, those lawful expectations were unlawfully rejected.

    “Perhaps there should be more EF celebrations without the involvement of the LMS?”

    Yes your right perhaps you could discuss this with the Bishops of England and Wales because without the LMS the rightful aspirations of those people in England and Wales attached to the Gregorian Rite would have been wholly neglected, there is now a whole generation of Catholics attached to the Gregorian Rite who no longer trust the Bishops because we have been treated with scorn and hatred and driven out of our own parishes, and still the persecution continues at the hands of men like this Dean, he will have to answer to God for what he has done.

    We will not compromise Paul you hope in vain if that is what you want, for 40 years we have been holding the line in the trenches, with the MP we have came out of the trenches but we left them to advance not retreat, we will not allow those like you and this Dean to destroy that which is most dear to our hearts, the best you can hope for is to force us back underground.

  160. David2 says:

    Mr Cavendish, reading between the lines of Damian Thompson’s article, it appears that whilst the LMS has no “monopoly” on the TLM, at least a majority of the sacred ministers involved considered the use of female servers an abuse in which they would not participate. The LMS did organize the Mass, and organized the celebrants. What they organize, they can cancel. I think you will find that most clerics who know the old Mass, most servers trained to serve the old Mass, and most Catholics who generally assist at the old Mass are against female servers, and would prefer not to use them. Those that are not definitely opposed would recool from the fuss that would be caused by offending the sensibilities of the congregants.

    Deal with it.

  161. Puella: Speaking as one likely having as much experience in the TLM vineyard as most here, there\’s nothing whatsoever wrong with your women\’s choir as you describe it. Pay no attention to any foolish comments to the contrary.

    You make a vital contribution by singing (and leading the people) in singing the ordinary parts of the Mass. This is a liturgical action in support of the celebrant. You may also sing the propers of the Mass. The only prohibition is against women serving within the sanctuary — i.e., within the altar rail, if any, in clerical roles and dress.

    My only comment might be to wonder whether your choir might most effectively \”bolster\” the congregation\’s singing by sitting in the back row (rather than the front row), as does the majority-women choir in my own TLM community.

  162. Michael C. says:

    Larry,

    There are problems with your understanding of liturgical development, that the liturgy must be growing organically to be alive and that this is the natural state of liturgy at all times. That cannot be said of any of the eastern rites, or the Roman Rite before the botching of the 1960s. No, the natural state of the liturgy is static, a “fly in amber,” because organic development stopped for all traditional rites at the end of the Middle Ages when they were respectively codified. Before the Missal of 1965, excluding the unsatisfying and artificial reforms of Pius XII’s Holy Week and Pius X’s Breviary, “organic development” consisted of nothing more than the re-arrangement of parts, the removal of others and the constant addition of new feast days. But even the most conservative traditionalists today demand changes to the Missal that would have been unthinkable one hundred years ago but seem like nothing in the chaotic liturgical climate we live in (ie. the addition of new prefaces). They ignore the fact that between 1570 and 1950, the Missal wasn’t growing organically at all. There were no innovation, now new rites added. This was normal.

    Are we supposed to believe that the Roman Missal, Mozarabic Rite, Ambrosian, Byzantine, Syro-Malakar, Chaldean and Maronite Rites and every other non Protestant Rite were/are all unhealthy liturgies because they aren’t constantly developing? This is such a ridiculous position that I wonder how people can bing themselves to say it out loud. As if the Russian Church has a poor liturgical life because it’s rites haven’t “grown” since the fourteenth century. Are Coptic monks unable to benefit from their liturgy because it’s so outdated? To the contrary. The liturgical life in these chruches is richer than anything the Roman Chuch could ever hope for. In all the liturgical traditions, organic growth has a natural term. That’s how its supposed to be. The innovators of the liturgical movement were the first to challenge that universal principle, and their legacy lives on today in every traditionalist who can’t be content with a Missal that isn’t constantly changing.

  163. Ruthy Lapeyre says:

    Being a singer and a member of a choir where the Tridentine Form of the Latin Mass is Celebrated every Sunday I would like to respond to the questions concerning women singing at Mass. Our choir has a male schola which sings all the Propers in Latin. During Offertory and Communion, time permitting (always), the mixed choir sings appropriate motets (choral pieces). For instance an Ave Maria at Offertory and a Tantum Ergo at Communion. These choral pieces being interpolations it is entirely appropriate for women to be involved in singing. Women are even allowed to sing the Propers in Gregorian Chant in the ’62 Missal if there is no male schola however I agree this would not be a good practice where men are available to sing. Men need the encouragement to sing in our culture and when Gregorian Chant was composed men were the only ones who sang these parts in church. However, even women sang psalms in the early Church as attested by some of the Church Fathers. When it comes to more modern music (say after 1300) the choral parts become rather difficult and stratified. For a time the Church, (yes the Church) and secular institutions used boys and castrati to sing the higher parts. But composers such as Mozart and Handel made use of women, even during the Mass. The story goes that Mozart wrote the soprano solos in his famous Coronation Mass, sung at his wedding, for his sister in law to be. Just to be clear, Handel was not Catholic but spent time studying and composing in Rome where he was hired by Catholics to write music for the liturgy. As there are very few boy sopranos and they are no longer castrated in order to keep their high voices I think allowing women to sing during the Tridentine Mass is perfectly fine as long as it is outside the Sanctuary such as a choir loft.

  164. Volpius: Hear, hear.

    The language used in some comments bothers me a little. I think feminism has a lot to do with the ‘smoke’ in the church.

    Unfortunately, some of us come across as decidedly uncharitable.

    SMILE AND PRAY

  165. Phil says:

    I may digress, but…:

    The Dean himself proposed that it take the place of the usual main Sunday Mass.
    and
    Inside, a new rite Mass was concelebrated. The cathedral was almost full with about 300 worshippers instead of its usual 35-40 but they were expecting a Traditional Rite Mass

    I’m almost hoping some-one is playing with the numbers here; if the normal attendance at the main Sunday Mass in a cathedral is only 35 to 40 souls, this TLM episode must only be the tip of the iceberg. While one cannot expect the heartening experience I had in Vienna recently (just about all seats in the entire cathedral filled 15 minutes before Mass (yes, OF)), 35 people is less than the normal turnout of just about any St. Ipsyditsy-in-the-fields. Something must be very wrong there if this is true.

  166. Patrick says:

    Wayne,

    Calm down. There is no secret conspiracy to ruin the Church. And don’t hold your breath waiting for statues of Arch Lefebvre. It is doubtful he will ever be exonerated and there is no point in removing a canonical penalty on a dead person.

    I don’t think there is much a big deal in the scenario on this thread. So, the LMS didn’t like the idea of a female server, that’s their right. They decided to cancel over it. Hopefully, next time such issues will be decided well in advance.

    I don’t think female servers are a good idea, but it’s not my call. As for all the talk opposing any changes to the missal of 1962, let’s just be grateful for the books that the Holy See gives us and stop digging our heals in everytime any change is made or proposed. It’s not our vocation (most of us anyway) to decide what the liturgical books should say.

  167. RBrown says:

    Fr. Z in his commentary points out that the LMS argument that the laws as in force in 1962 is not a particularly good one. One would have thought that if the EF is to appeal to a significantly wider audience in the future than it has in the past then there needs to be a move away from a petty lace mentality and the waspishness of some EF supporters – pace Mr. Mulholland.
    Comment by Paul Cavendish

    Waspishness? Let’s see–the last letter of WASP means Protestant. In the main, the NO is said in the vernacular versus populum, which is of course the mode of Protestantism. Yet you want to accuse the LMS of WASPishness?

    It appears, Mr. Cavendish, that you have been snookered.

  168. LCB says:

    Puella,

    I’m very sorry some folks have been insulting on this thread. They were wrong in doing so. Some have been chastised, others have been ignored.

    Please know that the spirit influencing them is not the Holy Spirit, and that they do not represent the typical EF attendee. Many times they are individuals who are hostile to the EF, and seek to tarnish its name.

    Some commentators are purposely trying to distort the issue so as to confuse people. The larger issue is not simply female altar servers, but females in the sanctuary. There is absolutely nothing wrong with female choir members.

    In addition, the proper place of the choir is outside the sanctuary (unlike the abuses we see in many churches today).

    Michael C.,

    I recommend Ratzinger’s “Spirit of the Liturgy.” You understanding is a bit mistaken.

    Concerning the Cathedral’s normal Sunday attendance,
    35-40 people sounds about right for a Sunday mass at a European Cathedral. Churches are empty across Europe.

  169. Phil says:

    I may digress, but…:

    The Dean himself proposed that it take the place of the usual main Sunday Mass.
    and
    Inside, a new rite Mass was concelebrated. The cathedral was almost full with about 300 worshippers instead of its usual 35-40 but they were expecting a Traditional Rite Mass

    I’m almost hoping some-one is playing with the numbers here; if the normal attendance at the main Sunday Mass in a cathedral is only 35 to 40 souls, this TLM episode must only be the tip of the iceberg. While one cannot expect the heartening experience I had in Vienna recently (just about all seats in the entire cathedral filled 15 minutes before Mass (yes, OF)), 35 people is less than the normal turnout of just about any St. Ipsyditsy-in-the-fields. Something must be very wrong there if this is true.

    PS: and seeing LCB’s comment: Churches may be not nearly as full as they should be, but you’re painting too grim a picture. Far too grim. If Cardiff gets 35 people for their main Mass, they must have been extraordinarily (no, no pun this time) effective in driving them away – like I said, the tip of the iceberg.

  170. Michael C. says:

    LCB,

    I’ve read it all. Even if Ratzinger’s book were biblical truth, I’m merely stating an historical fact that organic development in the Roman Rite stopped in the sixteenth century, around the same time that it did in all traditional rites. From that point onward, the types of changes we see are completely different. We no longer see the introduction of new rites but the modification of old ones. The Liturgical Movement tried to change that. If you study the history of the liturgical movement, you’ll be able to identify two phases. One which sought to introduce the people to the riches of the liturgy by improving the way it was celebrated, another that tried to change the liturgy, something that would be unthinkable today in the East and would have been just as unthinkable as late as the 1920s in the West. Ratzinger is writing from the second perspective. I’m not sure the distinction between the Byzantine liturgy as a “window into heaven” and the western liturgy as a continually developing rite would have gotten much currency before the 1950s when the rite wasn’t undergoing constant change and hadn’t been since the Middle Ages. If you want to argue in favor of a process of continuous development in the Roman Rite, or that this is the liturgy’s natural state, you’ll have to reconcile it with a four hundred year stand still in all the traditional rites and devotion such “static” liturgies continue to inspire.

  171. Jill of the Amazing Wolverine Tribe says:

    Well, Mac if you ever come out to San Diego, please don’t attend the Mass I ocassionally serve at, because if you had the guts to call me a serviette to my face, I’d be tempted to slap you. IT would be a near occasion of sin for both of us. Keep your Latin Mass toy, it’s apparent to some it’s not really for the whole church .. just for the groupies. Pity, there’s a lot to recommend it, but if even women who should know better are deprecating then maybe it’s not for me.

    It’s amusing that it’s okay to have varience on the “man lace” men are permitted to display in their surplices .. but it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that though a cassock doesn’t exactly fit a female correctly across the bust, a properly made alb should be fine. I don’t want to accuse every Latin Mass fan of being incapable of acting with more grace than a bunch of 10 year olds, unable to handle their sisters entering the “no grils alowd” clubhouse, but that’s where many of you seem to be.

    Do you really think Jesus faints if a woman or girl hands the priest a cruet? How sad.

  172. Michael says:

    “It’s amusing that it’s okay to have varience on the “man lace” men are permitted to display in their surplices .. but it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that though a cassock doesn’t exactly fit a female correctly across the bust, a properly made alb should be fine.”

    Haha, can you imagine an alb with pleats? Scandalized!

  173. Daniel says:

    I often try to hold my tongue when discussions (arguements?) such as this thread come up, but I am not sure I can anymore. Why is it that many people who 1) infrequently if ever assist at TLMs, 2) assist at TLMs only when their local NO is outrageously abused (e.g., half-naked liturgical dancers and outright heresies being preached) or 3) view the TLM as a strange sort of “exhibition” feel the “right” to criticize TLM parishes, priestly societies, communities, etc.? Those of us that have for years driven many hours, each way, every Sunday and Holy Day (whether of current canonical obligation or not) to assist at TLMs frankly deserve better than to be treated as if our sentiments do not matter…that everybody else is correct even when their assumptions and directives have proved disatrous for enormous portions of the Church. Many of us assist at the TLM because what is frequently called a “preference”…but it is not a preference that has come about because of abuses we have witnessed at local Masses, but because the TLM is more solidly Catholic.

    The burden of proof, so to say, for any disagreement is always on those that assist at TLMs. Why? I am not sure why the question is “Why do so many who assist at TLMs feel so strongly against female altar servers?” Why can the question not be “Why do so many who do not assist at TLMs feel so strongly in favor of female altar servers at TLMs?” What good has come out of it? Can you name one good, for the universal Church, that has come about as a direct result of allowing females in the sanctuary? Besides letting “Jill of the Amazing Wolverine Tribe” or “puella” (or any other individual female altar server) feel as if they helping the Church, what has it done? What good has come about by letting numerous females (or non-ordained males, for that matter) help distribute the Eucharist at Mass? Why do so many people, no matter which Mass or liturgy they assist at, feel that we need to take exactly the same steps that the Novus Ordo took…regardless of the disastrous consequences? Look around! Churches are empty; too few people of every age know anything of substance about the Faith; the liturgy and Faith are treated as a simply human endeavor that can and should be changed to be acceptable to our “sophisticated” and modern sensibilites. Can you not see the destruction that has been wrought over the last 60 years (at least)? Can you not accept that maybe…just maybe…the Church in her infinite wisdom were more correct for 1900 years than the last 40?

  174. Ioannes (pro admissione puellarum) says:

    Puella,

    As the parenthesis after my name inidcates, I am actually in favor of admitting girls as altar servers, as well as female lectors, E.M.’s, commentators and choir members. My point was that I don’t see how one can be scandalized by female altar servers but not by female choir members, as both groups fulfill functions historically considered ministerial. From one choir member to another I applaud your hard work and hope you keep it up. My apologies for impressions to the contrary!

  175. Mark S. says:

    One or two commentators have suggested that the Ecclesia Dei commission needs to clarify this issue. Consider that this same commission has recently stated that in England, the Latin Mass of certain feasts e.g. the Ascension has to be transferred to the Sunday to correspond with the Novus Ordo. In light of this, those hoping it would insist on male-only servers at TLM should be prepared for Ecclesia Dei to insist that TLM should follow the Novus Ordo on a number of issues. This would result in having to accept female altar servers, Extraordinary Ministers, and all the other elements of the Novus Ordo liturgy that Traditionalist Catholics dislike. Although the Pope stated in Summorum Pontificum that the two forms should enrich each other, it seems to be a one way street -the TLM having to accept all the practices currently circulating in the Novus Ordo.

  176. wayne ratzinger says:

    Patrick, who said anything about a secret conspiracy to ruin the church. There is nothing secret about it, they’ve been screaming from the roof tops these last 40 years Now the church is in ruins, they are still not content. Every effort to resume normal service will be fought tooth and claw, as the Dean of Cardiff has just has just shown. I know nothing about Cardiff, bu it can’t be any better than other English and Welsh diocese, which are all but bust vocations wise.

  177. Brian Cassidy says:

    The Dean kindly replied to an e-mail I sent him, saying: “I will undoubtedly be arranging for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to be celebrated at this Cathedral in the not too distant future. Many thanks for your communication. Reverend Canon Peter G.Collins”

  178. Anthony says:

    Given that this was the main Sunday Mass in the Cathedral on a major feast of the Church, I imagine that Canon Collins was also considering the consciences of regular worshippers, who might equally have been scandalised to know of a female server being excluded from a sanctuary where she would otherwise have been welcome. To forestall any of the more obvious comments around numbers of regular worshippers, et al., I seriously question the attendance figures given for an ordinary Sunday mass at the Cathedral, as an occasional worshipper there on a Sunday; they seem decidely low to me. I say all this as one who made special arrangements to attend last Sunday in order to assist at a celebration of the Usus Antiquior (my very first.) I doubt if anyone was more disappointed than I that it did not take place, but I think that the aspersions that are flying around cyberspace at the moment are uncharitable and unwarranted.

  179. Scott Smith says:

    Is Jesus offended that women hold the cruets?

    An interesting question indeed. It isn’t about holding cruets though. Nor is it about wearing the cassock per se. It isn’t even about women in the presbyterium. Psssst. Let me tell you a secret. Sometimes they actually have women in the presbyterium on purpose! After all a bishop doesn’t leave the presbyterium to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation.

    It is about what women are doing in the presbyterium that matters.

    A woman should not be serving. A layman should not be serving. But when you don’t have enough clerics (or instituted acolytes and lectors) to serve the priest, one makes due with those that could someday become clerics (or instituted ministers).

    Just as one should face east to pray because of a theological reason,
    there is also a theological reason that the presbyterium should be free of female servants. Simply put, the sanctuary is a type of the Bridegrooms chamber where it would be unseemly to find female attendants. There is an eschatological quality to the male only presbyterium, a nuptual significance that admits women only for the administration of the sacraments, whereby they, in unity with the whole Church and all the laity, are wed to their Head, Christ.

    To pull in so many laity, as is constantly done, is to clericalize the laity and to diminish the significance of the participation and role of the congregation as a whole.

    If the liturgical rites are just something we make up, including their significance, then there isn’t any point to “prohibiting” women from attending to the altar or becoming priests for that matter. However, if what takes place in the sacred rites bear meaning and significance that are heavenly by earthly veils, we aught not pretend that the veil is getting in the way when it is revealing a subtle truth that some would rather ignore.

    As for the LMS’s decision…A statement was to be made by sitting a woman in the presbyterium for the sacred rites. LMS decided that it wasn’t a statement that they wanted to consent to by doing nothing.

    There are different kinds of opposition. But the only successful opposition is the kind that makes the other compromise a value. There is an integrity to the Traditional Latin Mass that many would like to see broken and that many are afraid will be broken by either the PCED or their local Bishop.

    Is the Mass of Paul VI, Calendar, Ritual, female servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc, able to be reconciled as it is in so many places with the Mass, Calendar, Ritual, ect, of the Catholic Church as it was before and during the Second Vatican Council?

    How can they both remain as they are and be reconciled? Is either side willing to discuss a meaningful reunion within the one Roman rite?

  180. Michael says:

    “I imagine that Canon Collins was also considering the consciences of regular worshippers, who might equally have been scandalised to know of a female server being excluded from a sanctuary where she would otherwise have been welcome”

    You’ve got to be joking, right? Has it reached such a state of totalitarian political correctness that people are scandalized if there is not at least one female altar server at every Mass?

  181. Susan Peterson says:

    I wonder why the woman involved didn’t withdraw when she heard her presence was the subject of such controversy. Wouldn’t any sensible person say, “If this makes our guests uncomfortable, I’ll be glad to trade with one of the men for this week.”?

    Susan Peterson

  182. puella says:

    Dear Henry Edwards, LCB, and Ioannes,

    thank you all for your kind comments, it was encouraging to read them. I can’t believe I’m now worrying about whether our choir would be able to sing the Propers (technically we need a while to get there!), but ok.

    If I might introduce another question – is there a sort of choir dress (not th real choir dress that priests might wear in the sanctuary) that would be appropriate for both men and women, standing outside the sanctuary? I ask because after WYD in Cologne (2005) I’m sure I saw photos of some Juventutum Masses with the choir (male and female) in cappas. Whether they were inside the communion rail I don’t recall.

  183. C.M. says:

    I don’t know why women singing in choir is being used as a weapon to force the emasculation of the sanctuary.

    It is preferrable for lay choirs to be made up exclusively of men and boys, but women and/or girls can do it if there are insufficient qualified men and/or boys available. If there are enough men, but not enough boys, then women and/or girls can sing the musical pieces that require treble voices. Women singing in the choir must be outside the sanctuary.

    This preference is actually part of the music rubrics for Mass, cf. De Musica Sacra (1958), which (as modified by Vatican instructions through 1962) is normative liturgical law for the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated today. So if enough qualified men and boys show up (a situation which will almost never arise), the women must shut up. Alternatively, if enough men show up, the women must confine themselves to music which requires treble voices, e.g. polyphony.

    Even if female altar servers were ever admitted to the TLM using the choir as precedent, it could only be due to the lack of qualified males to perform the role (a situation which will almost never arise), and they would have to be outside the sanctuary, and not vested.

  184. Puella: I’m not aware of any kind of preferred or standardized attire for lay choir members. Most any ordinary non-clerical dress would seem acceptable. Though I personally would hope you’d steer clear of the white bathrobes one so frequently sees on various types of “ministers” at ordinary form Masses.

    Incidentally, let me mention that my encouragement comes from one who is very traditional indeed. I would not assist at a TLM with female servers, lectors, (male or female) EMHC’s, lay choir within the sanctuary, or any other obvious deviation from customary practice.

    It’s simply the case that there’s nothing whatsoever wrong in any sense with a choir such as yours singing ordinary and propers outside the sanctuary. Indeed, you deserve every commendation for your effort and dedication.

  185. @puella:

    If I might introduce another question – is there a sort of choir dress (not the real choir dress that priests might wear in the sanctuary) that would be appropriate for both men and women, standing outside the sanctuary? I ask because after WYD in Cologne (2005) I’m sure I saw photos of some Juventutum Masses with the choir (male and female) in cappas.

    As a member of that choir, I can tell you that the gentlemen wore blue cassocks while the ladies wore cappas. Choirmasters and organists were in blue cassock and white surplice. All were fully clothed in black underneath.

    Whether they were inside the communion rail I don’t recall.

    The one time any subset of the choir was in the sanctuary was during the first Mass at Ottobueren Abbey where a schola cantorum of men and boys sang the proper chants [jpg]. At all other times the choir was either in a loft [jpg] or in front of the sanctuary [jpg], but never within it.

    Hope this helps.

  186. puella says:

    Mr. Edwards: thank you again for your comments. I don’t think our Singing Ladies are really up for dressing up (this is the Netherlands; we’re in a slightly different situation than many other places), it was mainly curiosity. Ok, I do love dressing up myself, so the question was more out of self-interest.

    Although – bathrobes? Eeks!

    C.M.: you wrote above “It is preferrable for lay choirs to be made up exclusively of men and boys….”
    Could you expand on why?

    I think I understand the reasoning behind having gents as servers, readers, etc. The priest, as Christ, brings the Eucharist to the people and proclaims the Word to the people. As such anyone who participates in those specific activities mirrors Christ and as such should be male. If I understand this correctly.

    But is singing the Introit and Kyrie (assuming for now there isn’t a difference between the Ordinary and the Proper) something that the Christ gives to His people, or is it something that the faithful offer to Christ? If it’s the first, then…ugh, I guess I’ll get married and chain myself to the sink and my God-corner at home as stepping into a church would necessitate me shutting up from now on!

    But if it’s the second, if it’s something that the faithful does (like works of charity which women can be involved in, right?), why should there be a preference for males in choirs?

  187. Michael says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf, re: your commnets on Damian Thompson’s report. It all makes sense but leads nowhere. The present liturgical establishment cannot be seriously challenged from within. What makes them vulneralbe is the SSPX because the SSPX is beyond their reach. Why not press for a canonical establishment of a Tridentine Rite Catholic Church, on the pattern of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches sui iuris ? Say, one diocese in each country, directly under the Pope, to which all those who want would be entitled enrol, and at the same time be exempted from the juristdiction of their local bishops.

  188. Michael: This is not on topic.

    However, it would never work, because it couldn’t be administrated.

  189. Ann says:

    Hello to all. I have read a few things on this page tonight that have given me cause to reflect.

    First of all, I do understand how some of you are very frustrated by the thought of having your TLM influenced by the various aspects of the Novus Ordo, now that there is talk of the hope they will somehow enrich each other. It would scare me to think of creative changes to the TLM and I do not even attend one yet. It would scare me because with what we experience right now in the OF, I just have to be able to hang onto the reality that there is something more somewhere, something more sacred, more reverent, more traditional, something that won’t change and become a subjective celebration. I don’t know if the LMS was right or wrong in the decision they made, so I cannot speak to that, but I do agree that pushing the issue of having a female server take part was not necessary and seems uncharitable to me.

    Secondly, while female altar servers are “allowed” I believe their presence is never supposed to take away from the boys serving at the altar, according to what I have read. I’m not sure I understand how having a girl there doesn’t take away from the boys, because if she wasn’t there, a boy would be in her place, but I could be missing something in my interpretation. I am a female and I have no desire whatsoever to serve at the altar, nor do I feel the least bit slighted when I hear your opinions about women in the sanctuary. I have never seen it as my place, and I would much rather see men there than women.

    Lastly, I am so very saddened at this time by the fact that I have no where to go to escape my current situation and the various things that upset me during our Masses here. I cannot change anything, and few people see the problem, so our family is feeling rather isolated and disheartened because we know how things are supposed to be and we are missing out. I can’t help hoping that our priest will be transferred very soon and this makes me feel that I am being uncharitable. I have to keep reminding myself that I go to Mass to encounter Christ so that’s the main thing, but I come home afterward each day feeling more and more discouraged. So I can only imagine a little bit what some of you have experienced over the years in trying to hang onto such beautiful traditions that seemed not to be acceptable for whatever reason.

    I am grateful that you hung on, because if you hadn’t, there would be little hope for people like me to ever find more than what we have. It would be lost to us. At least now I can see that there is more, and hope that eventually some of the EF will influence the OF so that we can have the balance we need. I just hope that it won’t be, as one person said, only after the post VII generation has all died off, because that’s me and I want things to change long before that :-)

  190. C.M. says:

    Puella: Could you expand on why?

    At High Mass, the choir actually sings parts of the Mass, so they are effectively servers. If there are sufficient clerics available to form a proper schola cantorum, the lay men should shut up.

    stepping into a church would necessitate me shutting up from now on

    Everyone should shut up when stepping into a church, regardless of sex. People should shut up before Mass, and they should shut up after Mass. During Mass, the only people speaking should be those who have been given the right and privilege of speaking by divinely instituted authority; everyone else should shut up.

    Divinely instituted authority has admitted women to sing the parts assigned to the choir at the Traditional Latin Mass under certain conditions, some of which I elaborated above. This is a great privilege and dread responsibility, like it is for lay men. If someone is authorized and chosen to sing, then he or she really ought to consider making the sacrifice and doing so.

  191. puella says:

    C.M.: You said At High Mass, the choir actually sings parts of the Mass, so they are effectively servers.
    Does this refer to the Proper (Introit, etc.)? Or also the Ordinary? Does it also refer to various responses?

  192. C.M. says:

    Puella: Whenever the choir is singing as a choir, as opposed to congregational singing.

    What falls under which category varies locally (for example, due to custom or competence) and depends on the type of music performed (e.g., Psalm tones, melismatic chant, polyphony). Detailed rubrics for variation are given by Vatican guidelines (e.g., De Musica Sacra).

  193. Puella: Perhaps it will put some of your questions in perspective — and lay your apparent concerns to rest — to emphasize that it is permissible for the whole congregation (men, women, and children) to sing both the ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, etc.) and propers (Introit, Gradual, etc.) of the Mass. For in Pius XII’s 1958 Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy Musica (see C.M.’s Musica Sacra link above) we read:

    25. In solemn Mass there are three degrees of the participation of the faithful:

    a) First, the congregation can sing the liturgical responses. These are: Amen; Et cum spiritu tuo; Gloria tibi, Domine; Habemus ad Dominum; Dignum et justum est; Sed libera nos a malo; Deo gratias. …..

    b) Secondly, the congregation can sing the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass: Kyrie, eleison; Gloria in excelsis Deo; Credo; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei. …..
    c) Thirdly, if those present are well trained in Gregorian chant, they can sing the parts of the Proper of the Mass. …..

    26. ….. What has been said above in paragraph 25 about the participation of the faithful in Solemn High Mass also applies to the High Mass. [i.e., sung Mass]

    Thus, plainly, any official “singing distinction” between men and women (outside the sanctuary) is long outdated (if not a “fly in amber”). Although my personal preference for Gregorian chant still is a men’s schola.

  194. puella says:

    C.M.: thank you for the notes and the link to De Musica Sacra.

    Aristotle A. Esguerra: thanks to you too for the clarification about Juventutem’s choir during WYD in Cologne. Not to mention for the photos! It was remiss of me to not post my thanks earlier.

    Fr.Z.: thanks for your patience and indulging my ignorance :)

  195. puella says:

    Mr. Edwards: thank you again for your post. I’ve learnt so much in this thread an am grateful to all who have been patient with me.

  196. Ernie Todd says:

    The undernoted excahange of correspondence might be of interest ?

    Dear Canon Collins,

    Many thanks for your very rapid reply, which is appreciated.

    If I read you correctly, the misrepresentation is on the part of the LMS ? That would indicate that you did not in fact insist on the young lady serving Mass, hence there was no need for them to react as they did and cancel the service after all. What a great pity.

    Sincerely,

    Ernie Todd

    ________________________________________
    From: Canon Peter Collins
    Sent: 20 May 2008 11:12
    To: ‘Ernie Todd’
    Subject: RE: Cancelled Mass at Cardiff Cathedral

    Thank you for your correspondence. The situation and issues have been misrepresented.

    Reverend Canon Peter G.Collins.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ernie Todd
    Sent: 20 May 2008 08:41
    To:
    Subject: Cancelled Mass at Cardiff Cathedral

    Dear Canon Collins,

    I have just heard reports of your insistence that a female server participate in the planned LMS extraordinary rite of Mass at Cardiff Cathedral and of your behaviour in connection with this affair.

    From some reports, it appears to me that your action was a deliberate attempt to prevent the Mass taking place ? If this is true, I would like to tell you that I believe your action is completely misguided and contrary to the clearly expressed wishes of His Holiness Pope Benedict. That is serious and requires explanation I suggest.

    It would also be an uncharitable act, an improper way for a Catholic priest to behave, particularly as Catholic priests have always been renowned as true gentlemen.

    If the facts are in dispute, I would be very glad to hear about it. There are always at least two sides to any question.

    Sincerely in Our Lord,

    Ernie Todd

  197. C.M. says:

    Henry Edwards: Thus, plainly, any official “singing distinction” between men and women (outside the sanctuary) is long outdated

    Whether that’s the case or not, the excerpts you provided don’t prove it. First, they don’t prove it because they ellipse the neighboring parts of the document which outright restrict the parts you chose to include, e.g. 25c “This form of participation should be carried out particularly in religious congregations and seminaries.”

    Second, they don’t prove it simply because they’re in the very same document as the gender restriction itself: “laity of the male sex, whether boys, young men, or adults” (93c). De Musica Sacra by no means eliminated nor intended to eliminate the choir from singing the parts of the Mass: “the priest-celebrant and the sacred ministers should endeavor to execute their song parts as correctly, distinctly, and artistically as possible.”

    At many churches where the Tridentine Mass is practiced, the men in the all-male schola have to do double duty singing polyphony with a mixed choir, so they will set up outside of the sanctuary to be near the women who sing treble–by doing so they have not forfeited their right to exist.

    There is a lot of pressure on priests to integrate men’s scholas, just as there is pressure to integrate the sanctuaries. It comes from the same quarters and is motivated by the same ideology. Singers have a “real liturgical office”, so it is not surprising that attacks on the visible liturgy will be accompanied by attacks on the audible liturgy.

    (if not a “fly in amber”)

    Or perhaps it’s a dove that some miscreants are trying futilely to drown in sap. In fact it’s very much in flight, as is evidenced by the great number of all-male scholas throughout the world despite the pervading influence of feminism. The dead log floats downstream, and men’s scholas are still being established at new Traditional Latin Masses, much to the consternation of some.

    Although my personal preference

    I think we’re all tired of that meaningless hermeneutic by now.

  198. Hey all i thought i would jump in to the Cathedral Dean’s defence..

    1. the LMS representative had been to a previous ‘training session’ at which the femal altar server was present and he didn’t even raise and eye brow.

    2. the Cathedral Dean informed the LMS Representative Kinglsey Lewis right from the outset that the regular altar servers at the Cathedrals 11am Sunday mass would be serving.

    3. the Cathedrals average attendance is a lot more than 35-40 this is just a petty remark at someone grasping at straws!

    4. if people were that upset thay could have just left.

    5. does this not show an alteria motive of the LMS? to impose their will on everyone else?! And ban women from the Sanctuary..hmm what ever happened the equality..

    and finally!

    6. As an altar server at the Cathedral i was appalled at the way the LMS handled the situation i can understand them posting a message on their website but to include the Deans telephone number and e-mail address was nigh on unforgivable, he has since recieved numerous quite hurtful and rude e-mails (163 to be exact) from around the world!

    I was initially interested in the whole idea, however i must confess the prejudice shown by the LMS has put me off the mass of the Extraordinary form for life.

  199. Francis says:

    The REAL fact of the matter is that Kingsley Lewis, The “so-called” LMS Cardiff Representative has ALWAYS been aware of the insistence of the Dean of the Cathedral that all the Regular Mass servers of the cathedral would serve @ the mass.

    The “training session” mentioned was DEFINITELY NOT the first training session and the female mass server has ALWAYS been in attendance for all training/practise sessions; feigning ignorance about the female server and claiming the Dean was imposing his will on them is rather pathetic. If anything, the LMS did try to impose its decision on the Dean, and hence the Cathedral Faithful (which by far, outnumbers the 35-40 members that was MISCHIEVOUSLY quoted). For a church that makes, on the average, a regular 11.00am Sunday mass collection of more than 300GBP bearing in mind the pound coins and copper coins that go in the offering tells a lot about the strength of the congregation.

    Come to think of it, did the Dean actually need the LMS’s permission for the mass to be held? Since when did the authority of what mass is said lie with a lay organisation? To have cancelled the mass (as Kingsley said to me “There was no way I would have allowed the mass to go on” ) for misunderstanding just goes to show how petty the organisation and its members are.