A new edition of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described edited by Alcuin Reid is being produced.
A kind soul sent me the text of the introduction to the edition by the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, His Eminence Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos.
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.
It is a pleasure for me to present this fifteenth edition of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, the first edition to appear since the Motu Proprio of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, dated 7th July 2007, definitively clarified that the rites according to the liturgical books in use in 1962 were never abrogated [Just in case it wasn’t clear to those who continue to claim that the older rites were abrogated.] and that they truly constitute a treasure that belongs to the entire Catholic Church and should be widely available to all of Christ’s faithful. [NB: widely available because they belong to the "entire" Church. The consequence of this is that priests should bring these treasures to people even when they haven’t asked for them.] It is now clear that Catholics have a juridical right to the more ancient liturgical rites, ["juridical right"] and that parish priests and bishops must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who ask for it. ["must" What this doesn’t clarify is the rights of priests not to use the Extraordinary Use. Do priests have the right to refuse to celebrate the Extraordinary Use? If that is the case what right do they have to refuse to use the Ordinary Use? Can they refuse one and not be permitted to refuse the other?] This is the express will of the Supreme Pontiff, legally established in Summorum Pontificum in a manner that must be respected by ecclesiastical superiors and local ordinaries alike. [I remember that John Paul II in Ecclesia Dei adflicta said this in stronger terms. He was nearly entirely ignored.]
The Holy Father is pleased at the generous response of many priests to his initiative in learning once again the rites and ceremonies of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the other sacraments according to the usus antiquior so that they may serve those people who desire them. I encourage priests to do so in a spirit of pastoral generosity and love for the liturgical heritage of the Roman Rite. Seminarians, as part of their formation in the liturgy of the Church, should also become familiar with this usage of the Roman Rite not only in order to serve the People of God who request this form of Catholic worship but also in order to have a deeper appreciation of the background of the liturgical books presently in force. Hence it follows that all seminaries should provide such training as a matter of course. [I wonder how that is going this year.]
This book, a classic guide to the celebration of the Church’s ancient Gregorian Rite in the English-speaking world, will serve priests and seminarians of the twenty-first century – just as it served so many priests of the twentieth – in their pastoral mission, which now necessarily includes familiarity with and openness to the use of the older form of the sacred liturgy. I happily commend it to the clergy, seminarians and laity as a reliable tool for the preparation and celebration of the liturgical rites authoritatively granted by the Holy Father in Summorum Pontificum.
I congratulate the distinguished liturgical scholar, Dr. Alcuin Reid, for his care and precision in ensuring that this revised edition conforms to the latest authoritative decisions with regard to these liturgical rites. As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his letter which accompanied Summorum Pontificum: “In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.” The Gregorian Rite [There is that term again.] is today a living liturgical rite which will continue its progress without losing any of its riches handed on in tradition. [That’ll freak a few people out.] For as the Holy Father continued, “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” May this book assist the Church of today and of tomorrow in realising Pope Benedict’s vision.
Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos
Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
25 September 2008
This introduction is very strong but it raises questions.
We really need some clarifications from the Holy See about a range of issues.
But it is not necessary to make clear that Card. Castrillon continues to make strong statements about the will of the Holy Father in this regard. If it weren’t true, he wouldn’t be repeating the same things.