From a reader:
Our TLM priest has asked the altar servers not to lift his chasuble during the elevations. Says it distracts him.
Anyway, I was wondering if the chasuble lifting is just a tradition or if it is such a tradition that it has become a ‘norm’ so to speak.
I don’t recall that this lifting of the chasuble is – for servers – an actual norm. In the Ritus servandus in the 1962 Missale Romanum we are told that during a Solemn Mass the deacon is the lift the edge of the chasuble ("fimbrias planetae elevat"). Therefore, I assume that all others do this in imitation of the deacon at the solemn Mass. That said, this is certainly a long-enduring custom, and a good one.
If this is really a problem for the priest, then it would be okay at a low Mass not to do it. But… but… why should this be a big problem for the priest?
Unless the server is yanking on the chasuble backward, I cannot fathom why this should be a problem. If the server is being to intrusive in the way he handles the chasuble, then the server’s action should be corrected, not forbidden.
Thus, I would say in this case, it really should be done, from custom, and in imitation of the deacon, and from the expectations of the people, and from the desire of the servers (especially when young) to be able to do cool things. I would say to the servers to be careful with the chasuble. There is an old adage that "less is more". Just raise the edge a little. You don’t have to yank it backwards or raise it above your head. A couple inches should suffice.
To the priest I would suggest "offer it up" if it bothers you. This isn’t about you, after all. Let the young men do what is expected and just deal with it. In the meantime, be sure you train them to lift the chasuble in a way that is neither abrupt nor asphyxiating.