Young priests for the most part are interested in the sort of continuity of which our Holy Father Pope Benedict has written and spoken. They are not chained under the burden of 60’s-80’s seminary "rupture" formation. They want our whole tradition.
I received the following from a long-time reader/participant of WDTPRS both in print and on the blog, Henry Edwards.
It seems that a young Fr. Shelton, assistant at Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa, TN, gave some instruction on the Roman Canon using little sermons. An interesting dimension of these little sermons is that, in them, he also uses the new ICEL translation. This means he is also helping the people prepare to hear the new translation of Holy Mass.
This is a tribute also to the pastor of the parish! They are doing their job and helping people in their fuller and more authentic active participation in the source and summit of our Catholic identity.
Moreover, he, like other young priests, he has been saying Holy Mass, on day’s off, using the 1962MR, as he is free to do under Summorum Pontificum as a priest of the Latin Rite, and groups of lay people are choosing to participate, as they are free to do and members of Christ’s faithful.
That sounds just about right.
I would wager that this priest’s use of the 1962 Missale Romanum has exerted a strong gravitational pull on how he celebrates with the Novus Ordo. I would further wager that this in turn as exerted an an influence on those who attend his Masses.
Use of the older form of Mass will affect a priest’s ars celebrandi which is precisely what the Synod on the Eucharistic called for and which Pope Benedict desired to foster in Sacramentum caritatis.
Oh yes.. Fr. Shelton has a blog. You might over there, looks around, and spike his stats.
Let’s see what our WDTPRSer wrote, with my emphases and comments.
Let me recommend to you and WDTPRS readers a somewhat "different" new blog FatherShelton recently started by the associate pastor of my local parish, Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa (TN). Fr. Shelton is an altogether remarkable "young priest of the restoration"–Pope Benedict’s restoration, that is.
Beyond some of the usual Catholic things, his blog centers on (more notably) the texts of his recent sermonettes at daily and Sunday Mass.[A good use for a blog!] Each of these "sermonettes" being a polished jewel that takes him just 2 to 3 minutes to deliver and is densely packed with liturgical perspectives rarely if ever heard at Mass. These rare nuggets enhance the liturgy instead of detracting from it. In particular, because no homily of his is ever over half as long as the Eucharistic Prayer, there’s no possibility of the mixed message that can be conveyed by a Mass in which the Holy Sacrifice itself is the shortest part of the whole liturgy.
Currently, Fr. Shelton uses only the Roman Canon (EP I) at Mass, [That’s all I use as well. I figure that as soon as I no longer have anything to learn from the Roman Canon, I will then move on.] and his daily homilies are interpretations of successive parts of this most venerable and explicitly sacrificial canon. [NB] All ten (so far) are collected in the single thread ROMAN CANON that can be browsed in a few minutes, but may reveal more about the Mass than most readers have ever heard. Father illustrates them with quotes from the canon using the new English translation that will (before long, hopefully) expose us all to What The Mass Really Does Say. This translation in the works may be news in some pews, but not in our parish, at least not at daily Mass. Some extracts:
Actual participation ( Mysterium Fidei )
"Our participation in the Mass is an experience of Christ’s offering to the Father. If we are in a state of grace during the Mass, then we experience this mystery perfectly and completely. [Well… that’s enthusiastic, and on the right track because he speaks of mystery. But, no, not perfectly and completely. It is a mystery, right?] ….. The more we try to plan the Sacred Liturgy, or change our thoughts, feelings and actions within it, the less we look like Heaven. But when we accept that the mystery is already complete, and that even the smallest Catholic child or feeblest Catholic adult participates perfectly [in sense, perhaps, of doing the very best we can] in the Holy Sacrifice simply by his presence while in a state of grace, then we are no longer motivated by ourselves during the Sacred Liturgy, but, rather, by the great, eternal, and complete mystery of faith into which Christ places us. Mysterium Fidei, indeed."
Processions and music ( Quam oblationem tu )
"The Church prefers that for the processional parts of the Mass, namely the procession of the Priest at the beginning of Mass, the procession of the faithful at the offering of your sacrifice of bread and wine, and at the procession of the Bride of Christ to receive the Body of the Groom at Holy Communion, we sing a psalm or other text of Sacred Scripture, rather than a hymn of human origin. ….. The Church tolerates hymns when necessary, but hymns at the processional parts of Mass begin in history with a merely human author, and so lack the liturgical dance with time that is liturgical sacrifice."
Incense and sacrifice ( Commemoratio pro defunctis )
"The Roman Mass presumes the use of sweet incense, especially in celebrations with a deacon. It is at the points in the Roman Canon we are discussing this week that it seems most certain that the air above the Altar ought to be filled with this holy, moving, living cloud of sweetness. Many today object that incense should be burned only on red-letter days or major feasts of saints, but incense is not about saints or schedules, but about sacrifice, which is the essence of the Holy Mass. Thankfully, our God-given imaginations allow [all our] celebrations to be filled with plumes of incense billowing up and pushing open the doors of Heaven, as our sacrifice, and our dead, rise to the Father."
Communion while kneeling ( Supra que )
"The Holy Father wishes to feed the faithful once again as one would a child, and quite literally: by having the priests and deacons place the Lamb of God directly onto the tongues of the faithful. [I bet Father get’s a little flack for that. However, people should remember that this is the true method of reception and the method on the hand is merely permitted by law. And it can be curtailed if there is any danger of profanation of the Blessed Sacrament (cf. Redemtpionis Sacramentum).] God the Father does not reach down to take our gift, but receives our gift born by the hands of his Angel. ….. The present practice [of communion on the hand] is sadly misleading, was introduced illicitly in the 1960’s, resisted by Pope Paul VI–who never permitted it in Rome–and is tolerated today in Church law only as an exception to the traditional norm." [As I said.]
On the tongue ( Hanc igitur )
"When you receive Holy Communion today, imagine the ciborium is the beating Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Host, a drop of his Precious Blood, falling through the wound in his side onto your waiting tongue, as you kneel with the faith of an infant to receive this divine nourishment." [Sounds familiar. I recently gave a talk in NYC about the Sacred Heart, and made a connection between the Sacred Heart and the chalice.]
The context for all this is that the Diocese of Knoxville has the usual range of lay and clerical attitudes, but is a dynamic and growing diocese with — many thanks to former Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz (now Archbishop of Louisville) — no shortage of vocations, and with a bunch of young priests of the restoration who expect a bright diocesan future under our new Bishop Richard F. Stika.
Our parish, despite the horizontal appearance of our church itself, is one with Mass celebrated reverently by the book — especially since the recent pastorate of Most Rev. J. Vann Johnston, now Bishop of Springfield (MO). For instance, the Tabernacle moved back to a central position behind the altar and reverenced appropriately, [Excellent!] communion with patens [good!] held by altar servers in surplice and cassock, beautiful music in both vernacular and Latin [as Sacrosanctum Concilium indicates] (including Sanctus and Agnus Dei), all the usual bells and smells–incense on solemnities and major feasts (including incensing of the elevated species during elevation after the consecration), communion on the tongue not uncommon, etc.
But Fr. Shelton’s ars celebrandi goes well beyond these common practices. Beginning when he processes in wearing beautiful Roman vestments and carrying the chalice veiled and topped with burse in the color of the day. In the opening dialogue (with never an extemporaneous word here or at any other time in the liturgy) he faces the people from the celebrant’s chair to the side of the altar. But whenever prayer is addressed to God rather than to the people — e.g., the Confiteor (before which he pauses long enough for everyone to say a silent act of contrition), the Kyrie Eleison, the Gloria, etc., he visibly turns to face the altar instead. The offertory rite is silent until the "Pray brethren … ", although evidently he is praying privately throughout. He says the canon in a quite and measured tone that somehow connotes the fact that he is speaking in the person of Christ rather than with his own personality, and to God rather than to the people, but with an audibly more solemn tone for the Consecration. I’ve never before heard a priest include every "Through Christ our Lord. Amen." [Actual] that appears in brackets as an option 4 or 5 times throughout the Roman Canon. And all with such precise and solemn gestures–and a visible bow of the head at each mention of the Holy Name–that simple words fail.
When he arrived in our parish last fall, Fr. Shelton began a "private" EF Mass one weekday night per week, and latter initiated an "experimental" ad orientem Latinate OF celebration at (only) his Saturday morning Mass. However, [Get this.] at present he has voluntarily suspended both these initiatives pending further thought on his part about the question of real or perceived "carry over" of traditional practices into regular parish liturgies. Apparently, many new and recently ordained priests have the impression that this "mutual enrichment" of forms may be among the Holy Father’s intentions with Summorum Pontificum, but the issue may not be soon resolved by any single priest, parish, or diocese.