Over at our friends of the NLM, we find an interesting post in which Fr. Thomas Kocik muses about concrete things priests can do to help along the "reform of the reform" in light of the growing success of Summorum Pontificum and Pope Benedict’s own concrete adjustments of the papal liturgies.
Here is his concrete advice, which I share. My emphases and comments:
A few suggestions for my priestly confreres:
* Priests and deacons who are available to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion should do so, even if they are not concelebrating or assisting at that particular Mass. [Especially priests, since a deacon’s hands are not consecrated.]
* Sing the orations, Gospel, and Preface, at least at the principal Sunday Mass.
* Incense may be used at any Mass in the Ordinary Form, whereas in the Extraordinary Form its use is restricted to High Mass. Use incense every Sunday, at least at the principal Mass, and not only for "special occasions."
* Use Latin at every Mass, even if only for the Sanctus or Agnus Dei. (It’s a start!)
* Begin catechetical preparation for celebrations ad orientem, then introduce (or re-introduce) the practice gradually. Advent suggests itself as the best time for implementation (or at least preparation): the Church awaits the coming Lord, symbolized by the rising sun. "People Look East!" commands the hymn. Yes, including the priest! [Amen.]
* Take advantage of all legitimate options to strengthen and amplify continuity with tradition. [Legitimate options, including use of the Rituale Romanum and 1962 Missale Romanum.]
Regarding that last point, many examples can be given:
* Use a chalice veil and burse. The use of the former, while not required by the most recent General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002), is deemed "praiseworthy." The latter is not mentioned, but one would have to espouse the papally discredited "hermeneutic of discontinuity" to oppose the use of a burse.
* Wear the cope whenever permitted; e.g., marriages outside of Mass, baptisms, the final commendation at the funeral Mass.
* Wear violet or black vestments for funerals and other Masses for the Dead. [Yes… that white vestment thing seems to much like a "canonization", as if we don’t need to pray for the deceased.]
* Do not omit Sequences, even when their use is optional.
* Instead of a Responsorial Psalm, use the Gradual. I recommend this especially for funerals, when (understandably) few people are inclined to sing. At most funerals, the Responsorial Psalm is, in fact, a solo performance by the cantor. [Sounds like we need Gregorian chant.]
* In the weeks containing few or no feasts/memorials, celebrate one or two votive Masses, or some of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. No need to go the whole week using the prayers of last Sunday’s Mass.
* Have a "preferential option" for Penitential Rite ‘A’ (the Confiteor and Kyrie).
* Have a "preferential option" for the Roman Canon, especially when the saint of the day is mentioned therein or when a special Communicantes can be used. [And say the names of all the saints!]
* Although, lamentably, the Octave of Pentecost does not exist in the Ordinary Form, there is nothing to prevent the offering of the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit (and thus the use of red vestments) on the ferial days after Pentecost Sunday. This would give the appearance of observing an octave. [In the old calendar there is an Octave. I’m just sayin’ ….]
This list is not exhaustive. I invite liturgically informed readers (clergy or laity) to suggest other legitimate possibilities for realizing the reform of the reform hic et nunc.
Perhaps you will have more suggestions.
- Put dalmatics on deacons.
- Use birettas.
- If there are priests available, have confessions during Mass if not always, then occasionally. It is permitted and laudable.
- Get that schola cantorum going.
- Have a Mass wherein everyone sings the Ordinary in chant from a Kyriale. Yes… it can be done and it doesn’t always have to be Mass VIII!
- Priests should returning to minding the fingers after the consecration and also where they direct their eyes.
- Foster teams of altar boys to serve at Mass.
- Use (or put in) Communion rails.