Will Benedict XVI himself celebrate a TLM? Not right now, apparently.

Via our friends at Rorate we read comments of the papal Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini.

Msgr. Marini commented on something many people wonder about: Will Benedict XVI celebrate the traditional Roman Rite in public?

According to Rome Reports there is no direct quote but, in the interview with Msgr. Marini there is a toss away comment:

He says that for now it is not expected that the  pope will celebrate a mass according to rites prior to the Second Vatican Council.

 

I propose that if the Pontiff does not choose to be celebrant for the older form himself, he could perhaps consent to be present at a Pontifical Mass in one of the major Basilicas in Rome or, perhaps, for a pastoral visit to a parish in his diocese, he could be present at Holy Mass celebrated in the older form by the Cardinal Vicar at SS. Trinita dei Pelegrini.   The Holy Father visits Roman parishes as a matter of his pastoral solicitude.  He could visit the parish set up for the older forms of the sacraments as well.

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48 Responses to Will Benedict XVI himself celebrate a TLM? Not right now, apparently.

  1. ghlad says:

    My comment over at Rorate is still awaiting moderation. But already in the comments they are being very unfair to our Holy Father.

    I pointed out the all-important words that are easily overlooked: “Not yet.”

    That’s different from “Never.”

    Furthermore, that most important part of the article/video doesn’t even document Mons. Marini’s exact words, interviewing context, Benedict’s reasons for not using the EF publicly, etc., which is a major weakness of that interview as it’s reported.

  2. Sedgwick says:

    Didn’t we read somewhere that the TLM is what he celebrates privately?

  3. Tom in NY says:

    RP Marini “romanitate” locutus est. Imperator Augustus festinare lente dixit.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  4. Tim says:

    I fear that the hostile over-reactions to the Holy Father’s actions regarding the liturgy (e.g. Summorum Pontificem) and church unity (e.g. lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX bishops, Anglicanorum Coetibus) will make a public celebration of the TLM by the Pontiff unlikely. One can only hope … but would Pope Benedict have to issue a letter explaining his actions afterwards?

  5. “My comment over at Rorate is still awaiting moderation. But already in the comments they are being very unfair to our Holy Father.”

    That’s because most of them spend more time pontificating in comboxes, than they do reading about that for which they pontificate.

    Yes, His Holiness celebrates the Traditional Mass privately, so we can establish that he’s not hostile to it. Why not a Traditional Papal Mass? It’s probably very simple. Doing a Papal Mass in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite is a complicated affair. The extraordinary form is likely to be even more complicated. There’s a lot to learn, a lot of people to do the learning who are not always in one place all the time, and a long time since it was last done. What’s more, to do so would require that preparations be a major priority for an extended length of time.

    Sometimes the best explanation for something is the simplest, or the most obvious.

  6. pfreddys says:

    I am not complaining about our Holy Father; believe me, I think he has done more good for Holy Mother Church than I dreamed possible. {And here is the HOWEVER}However I do have to say that this does irritate and puzzle me: why, why of why will he not celebrate a traditional Latin Mass?
    Does anyone have any ideas as to the WHY of him not doing this? So much good could come about with it, and he certainly was not adverse to celebrating the TLM as a cardinal.

  7. anna 6 says:

    I think that Benedict is always teaching…he therefore is trying to show how beautiful the “ordinary” form of the Mass can be when it is greatly influenced by the EF…Communion on the tongue while kneeling, generous amounts of Latin etc. But he remembers the pain that was experienced by those who had the Tridintine Mass taken away so abruptly post VII. I think that he is being patient and wise to focus on the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I am sure that he will eventually participate in the EF, but it is pastoral of him allow others (like yourselves!) to celebrate it and show the world the fruit of this beautiful form of liturgy.

  8. YadaYada says:

    There’s no way His Holiness will offer the Gregorian Mass before the three year experiment is over. Otherwise, he would be viewed as forcing the issue, galvanizing the bishops’ evaluations one way or the other. Go Holy Father!

  9. basilorat says:

    This is where conservatives/traditionalists are like S.N.A.P. Never enough can be done to satisfy. I’m disappointed too, that the pope hasn’t celebrated the Ancient Liturgy as pope, but he’s done so much, I mean, more than I could have hoped for in my lifetime.

    LEAVE THE POPE ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let’s just be grateful for what we have, pray for more, be humble, and shut-up!

  10. lucy says:

    I’m with pfreddy’s…….why o why. But, I still fully believe our Holy Father knows what he’s doing. May God grant him the green light to celebrate the EF in public very soon.

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    Does anyone have any ideas as to the WHY of him not doing this?

    Yes. Both as a result of reading what Pope Benedict has written about the liturgy (and previously as Cardinal Ratzinger), I have come to suspect that he may never celebrate the TLM publicly as pope. Even though he appears personally fond of the EF, and evidently feels strongly that it should never have been effectively prohibited.

    I’m convinced that he’s utterly devoted to a reformation of the celebration of the ordinary form that makes it beautiful and reverent for the preponderant majority of Catholics for which the OF is and will continue to be the form they attend. And therefore that his intent for the TLM is for it to be a anchor and model for the “reform of the reform”, rather than for its own general restoration.

    So …. It occurs to me that a papal celebration of the TLM could be taken as a lack of confidence in the normative form of the Roman rite. And this might be sufficient reason for him not to do it.

  12. Nathan says:

    Henry, a cogent and thoughtful answer (as usual). We must continue to be obedient and patient–God has been so good to us in giving us Pope Benedict and in giving us the opportunity to worship regularly at the TLM.

    One thing that might provide an opportunty for the Holy Father to say the TLM publicly could be formal reconciliation with the SSPX. Perhaps that occasion would clearly not be perceived as a papal lack of confidence in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

    I must, in the meantime, pray every day: “Not my will, O Lord, but Thine.”

    In Christ,

  13. Roland de Chanson says:

    I don’t think it requires thumbing through the Sibylline books to predict that Cardinal Fellay will celebrate the “Ordinary Form” before Pope Benedict celebrates the “Extraordinary Form.”

    Vereor autem ne hic vetulus equus ad mortem omnino verberatus sit.

  14. I think he might celebrate the EF publically…eventually. My opinion.
    The transformation of the Papal liturgies, based in the EF, is a very telling sign.
    Msgr. Marini (Guido, the good one!) knows what is going on; he knows Pope Benedict.
    The slow, painstaking process of making the Papal liturgies in greater harmony with tradition takes some time.
    Pope Benedict XVI knows what he is doing.

  15. Mitchell NY says:

    And why can’t you be devoted, dedicated and love the Novus Ordo Mass and offer the Tridentine Mass as well? That is exactly as the Holy Father wishes with SP and it would appear since Rome wishes to do things by setting examples that alot of people who love the Extraordinary Form as well as those who only attend Ordinary Form Masses would be curious, supportive, and even hopeful to see both forms celebrated in Rome. That is why their is disappointment with the statement from the Monsignor. Priests and lay alike will be hard pressed to see the Holy Father celebrate both forms of Mass and also continue the organic development that is wished for. It would surely be a statement that BOTH forms are alive and well. I do not think people mean to undervalue what this Holy Father has done for us and the Church, but reasonable disappointment with the statement is to be expected, myself included.

  16. Sieber says:

    OK. If not celebrated according to the rite used prior to the council, how about a celebration according to the rite celebrated during the council?

  17. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Henry Edwards:

    I agree with you completely. As a cardinal, Ratzinger could offer the EF Mass as a gesture of support for its return. Now, as pope, Benedict has accomplished the return of the EF Mass and now must pour his heart and soul into another mission. Namely, he is the #1 person responsible for repairing by fiat and example the state of the Ordinary Form Mass. This would be difficult if the faithful perceived him as preferring to return to the EF Mass.

  18. mr. crouchback says:

    Henry Edwards is making sense.

    As a fairly regular reader of WDTPRS and similar blogs, I’ve come across a number of Mr. Edwards’s comments and I can’t recall a single one I’ve disagreed with. Accordingly, I can only assume he is a scholar and a gentleman.

  19. Brian K says:

    We are not going to have a restoration simply by the Pope leading by example. It is impossible to lead by example when those in most need of being led refuse to take your lead.

    We need the Pope to lead by all the tools available to him as Vicar of Christ, i.e., not just by leading by example.

    But if leading by example is the bare minimum we can expect from our Holy Father (who I love and esteem) then at a bare minimum, he should be offering the TLM soon.

  20. I agree with manwithblackhat, it’s rather simple, why a full solemn Papal Mass hasn’t been offered in the EF it’s even more complicated than the OF

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Tom is right (make haste slowly) . . . as is Henry E (as per usual).

    This Pope is a very intelligent man, very wise as well. He is taking the long view, and when he feels the time is right he will move. And not one moment before, even if we whine and worry.

    Our job is to pray like mad for his intentions and support him — vigorously if need be in the face of any attacks from the malicious or ignorant. The anti-Papist evangelical at work now ducks around the corner when she sees me coming . . . . :-D

  22. Andrew says:

    Has Pope Benedict ever used those words himself – the “reform of the reform” statement? I worry that “reform of the reform” legitimizes some misconceptions: such as e.g. that a “vernacular” liturgy is preferable to Latin as long as it is done reverently. Which is not true: Latin is preferable. And for those who do not understand Latin it would be preferable that they learn it, and if they can’t learn it, they can have their vernacular, but it is not preferable. But, you will say, the Novus Ordo can be celebrated in Latin. True, but with rare exceptions no one would dream of doing that: not even if a “reform of the reform” was to materialize somehow. I also worry about the “better” English translation for the same reason: it will only entrench the idea that we can give up on our catholic language.

  23. MichaelJ says:

    Like most here, I have no expectation that the Holy Father will ever offer a Traditional Mass. Most of the reasons seem entirely plausible and resonable. Still it is curious and a bit odd.

    By not publicly celebrating a Traditional Mass, it calls into question his earlier statements regarding the Mass

    There are those in the Church who fight vehemently against the Traditional Mass. When trying to convince them that it would be a good idea to allow its celebration, we could easily cite the Holy Fathers words identifying it as a treaasure that should be available to everyone. How then do we respond, when they say “If he really meant that, he would celebrate it himself at least occasionally”?

  24. The Ordinary Form is very rarely celebrated with “ad orientem”, “Gregorian chant”, in Latin, according to the proper rubrics and norms in most places in the Western world. I cannot speak for Africa, Asia, etc.
    If this would become more commonplace, the “Benedictine” liturgical reform would be taking place.
    Otherwise, we have all kinds of everything…that is NOT going on in the Papal liturgies…there is change taking place. Really.

  25. paulbailes says:

    Well, if anyone needed a convincing reminder that there’s a State of Emergency in the Church, this certainly suffices.

    Whatever the Holy Father’s motives, the fact that he hasn’t publicly celebrated the TLM (at least as HF) and evidently continues not to do so means that there comtinues to be something VERY WRONG in the Church.

    The TLM was illegitimately suppressed by papal fiat INCLUDING (bad) exemplary celebration of same; if it’s now somehow imprudent to restore the TLM through the same combination then we are in a bad way indeed!

    Don’t get me wrong – I thank God for giving BXVI the graces to issue SP and to lift the SSPX “excommunications” – but I fear there’s a creeping element of HF-can-do-no-wrong-ism in some of these posts that is exactly the sort of thing that let us down when the awful NOM was inflicted upon us.

    Cheers
    Paul

  26. Geoffrey says:

    I think it is more important for His Holiness the Pope to continue his “reform of the reform”, by showing everyone how the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite SHOULD be celebrated. I don’t think his celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form will accomplish anything crucial other than satisfying the longing of some. Also, the rubrics would have to be modified. The many of the traditional ceremonial elements do not exist any more.

  27. Paul: I don’t think there is “carte blanche”, Pope Benedict “can do no wrong” here…sorry…just my opinion. But there is more at stake here than just his celebration of the Papal Extraordinary Form…I believe (my opinion) that in his heart of hearts, he wants an authentic restoration of reverence, sacrality, proper “orientation” (to the Lord), etc. that goes way beyond a particular “form”…maybe I’m wrong; but having read and meditated upon His Holiness’ writings before he became Pope, the interiority and sacrality, the “signification” of what exactly is happening here, regardless of its form, is his main and central concern.

  28. Roland de Chanson says:

    The encomia being heaped upon Benedict’s lack of followup to his own motu proprio border on the ludicrous not to mention the sycophantic. If he intended to restore the True Mass, why then not an Apostolic Exhortation or Encyclical?

    The fact is that Ratzinger is. was, and ever shall be a V2 apologist, a necktie cleric with his buddy Karl Rahner. He is merely hedging his bets with the motu in the hopes of (a) testing the waters for a possible reform of the protestant mass of Bugnini and V2 and (b) a revenue stream from aging disaffected Catholics. That there are a few, and I emphasize, few young people who are drawn to the TLM, the vast majority are OF until the allure of secularism draws them into the abyss.

    Let us allow this poor flogged horse to die a peaceful death at last. The wounded carcass of the TLM is already attracting vultures. Let us follow Pope Ratzinger into the fait accompli of the Roman Reformation. The Church is irrevocably destroyed.

    Hier steht er. Er kann nicht anders. Gott helfe ihm.

  29. Agnes of Prague says:

    Roland, if we were in the same room I would throw holy water at you.

  30. Mike says:

    “The Church is irrevocably destroyed.”

    I’m guessing you weren’t at the National Shrine, in Washington, DC., on May 24, 2010.

    Give it up.

  31. Roland: And you have the privilege of “seeing into” Pope Benedict’s soul; not to mention what it is like to be the Pope (not what you’d LIKE it to be)…shame on you! Ten rosaries and a good kick in the butt, is my penance (but nobody’s asking me).

  32. Geoffrey says:

    “Roland, if we were in the same room I would throw holy water at you.”

    Amen!

  33. Paul says:

    Seldom does something on the internet really, truly, make me LOL, but this did! “Roland, if we were in the same room I would throw holy water at you.”

    Thank you for cheering me up after a difficult day. :-)

  34. pfreddys says:

    Some very good thoughts here on my original “why, oh why” question….I am curious though, is it a confirmed FACT that Benedict XVI celebrates the TLM in private? It almost seems to me to be one of those statements of wishful thinking.

  35. rgrossi says:

    Father, thank you once again for your level headed insight into this situation, and for all of the work you do in maintaining this blog, in general. In advance, please forgive a novice as this is my first time commenting on this blog. I want to further at that my comments are not directed at anyone on this blog, rather just a general observation from posts on Rorate. I don’t claim to be a professional liturgist, in any sense of the word, I do however, enjoy studying anything and everything liturgical. That being said, while I do prefer the traditional Latin Mass over the Novus Ordo, attending the former has allowed me to gain a better appreciation of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, as a whole. Although I am an amateur, I will never cease to be amazed at some of the harsh criticisms directed at our Holy Father. Is not this self righteous attitude doing more harm than good to the treasure that is the Extraordinary Form? I would think that such a view tends to turn people away from the traditional Mass. Would it not be more productive to pray for our Holy Father, instead of playing armchair pope? There are certain individuals that need a solid reflection on the duties and heavy responsibilities that surround the Successor of St. Peter and the Vicar of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I figure this same rule applies to bishops and priests, in that, if your local bishop and your parish priest are doing what they can in order to facilitate the needs of the faithful by encouraging, celebrating, and even establishing personal parishes dedicated to the EF, isn’t sincere gratitude and prayers of thanksgiving to Almighty God in order? Those are my two cents, for what they’re worth.

  36. paulbailes says:

    Dear rgrossi

    I think your sympathetic comments about the HF (and about Fr Z) are much appreciated by all on this blog.

    But re the criticism or at least suspicion directed by some of us (self included) towards the HF, I think this may stem from our reflections on how “we” let the Church get into its current horrible state. “We” trusted Paul VI and accepted the changes entailed in the NOM etc and it turned out that our trust was misplaced. “We” don’t want to be fooled again, and measure our clergy’s orthodoxy by their position on the TLM: if you are pro-TLM you’re prima facie Catholic; if you’re anti-TLM then you’r prima facie a heretic/apostate/etc.

    On that basis, which I am confident I share with many readers of and commenters to WDTPRS, the HF’s seeming ambivalence towards the TLM is a source of great anxiety. Catholics not unreasonably want reasurance that the HF is on their side re the TLM. And to reiterate, after what Paul VI did to us (harsh but fair comment), who can blame us for being wary now, especially in view of Fr Ratzinger’s alleged track record during Vatican II? (Pls don’t get me wrong, I think Benedict XVI has a lot to be thanked for; but so does Paul VI e.g. Humanae Vitae and that neither makes him perfectly trustworthy amid the anxieties we’ve no-unreasonably developed since the 1960s.)

    God bless
    Paul

  37. rgrossi says:

    To Paul,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I was born in ’89 and thus never experienced the changes of the mid 60s, 70s, etc. I returned to the faith in 2006, precisely because of the TLM. I guess what had me bothered was the seemingly unproductive comments posted at Rorate, rather than intelligent discussion.

    God bless,

    Ryan

  38. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Paulbailes:

    I believe that it is the Catholic instinct to trust the Holy Father, to always impute to him the best of intentions, and to love him. As many have said, no one can possibly fathom the weight on his shoulders. He can only do his best, at any given time, given the limited and fallible resources which are at his disposal, in making day to day decisions for the worldwide church.

    The idea that the poor decisions of any pope now merit a critical or suspicious vigilance of the present Pope’s actions is repugnant to me. It is not my place to become the pope police, or give him advice on how to really run the Church.

    What I do regard with the utmost of the suspicion are the comments of some trads: 1) that “we resist you (the pope) to the face.” Puhleeze. Who the heck do they think they are? A reincarnated St. Paul? Or the very Lutheran and Zwinglian contention that 2) overly submissive attitudes or the idea that the pope should not be corrected is “pope-alotry.” Oh really? I think it is odious to kiss the posterior of Luther by borrowing one of his favorite anti-papal termss.

    In fact, to have a submissive, obedient, and trusting disposition for the pope was the attitude of the greatest saints and doctors of the Church.

    I don’t think it matters how much anyone loves the Traditional Latin Mass. If someone needs to denigrate the pope or be angry because he has not offered a TLM, in order to show how much they love the TLM, perhaps such a person has interiorly morphed into a Reformation Protestant who just happens to like the TLM.

  39. paulbailes says:

    Dear Ryan, thanks for your kind remarks.

    Dear Fr_Sotelo,
    Re “it is the Catholic instinct to trust the Holy Father, to always impute to him the best of intentions” – quite so, but surely only unless/until there’s evidence to the contrary? (How wrong am I in this?)
    Re. “Who the heck do they think they are? A reincarnated St. Paul?” – well, when circumstances dictate, isn’t his the example to follow?
    Re. “kiss the posterior of Luther by borrowing one of his favorite anti-papal termss” – if Luther et al didn’t actually have some degree of truth in point, they would have got nowhere with their overall lies.
    Re “If someone needs to denigrate the pope or be angry because he has not offered a TLM” -no, just disappointed – and wary!
    Re. “such a person has interiorly morphed into a Reformation Protestant who just happens to like the TLM” – who could tell? But at least not exteriorly morphed like someone who repudiates the TLM. Strong words; but isn’t the repudiation of Tradition that’s inherent in repudiation of the TLM so disgusting that it puts the onus on the repudiator to show how they can credibly claim still to be Catholic?

    Cheers
    Paul

  40. Roland de Chanson says:

    Well I must say that for the Rosaries and Asperges, I am indeed grateful. One can never have too much of either.

    As for the kick in the butt, (nazarethpriest, I am truly shocked at such salty Obamaesque cussing), that should be saved for those bishops who are enemies of the True Mass and who threaten to ruin the career of any priest wishing to exercise his right to celebrate it. True, it should be the papal foot doing the kicking, but in the default, the lower clergy and laity bear the burden of the boot.

    Factis non dictis duc, Sanctitas!

  41. Jason Keener says:

    I believe the Holy Father values the Extraordinary Form and wants it made more available; however, I don’t believe the Holy Father envisions or even desires the Extraordinary Form as it is currently celebrated to emerge as the predominant form of the Latin Liturgy in the decades ahead. Liturgical thinkers in the mode of Pope Benedict seem to favor more of a hybrid Liturgy as the way to go, one in which the best elements of the Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form are used together in a newly Catholicized form of Liturgy focused on Jesus Christ. This Liturgy would be more along the lines of the kind of Liturgy the Council Fathers really intended when they sought out to reform the Traditional Roman Rite in the first place. It will take decades for this new form of the Liturgy to emerge in its final state, but we are seeing small steps already. Wisely, the liturgical life of the Church has been re-anchored through “Summorum Pontificum,” and the Ordinary Form is slowly being cleaned up with new translations and a general reenchantment.

    Also, I do question those on this blog who believe that the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy needed no reform at all. Moreover, I don’t think we should delude ourselves into thinking that the 1962 Missal is going to be the main feature of the Latin Liturgy in the decades and centuries ahead. In the end, I think most Catholics will be happy with a reverently celebrated and traditional looking Mass in the vernacular.

  42. asperges says:

    I trust entirely the Holy Father and his judgment. What may have been said applies to now. Tomorrow things may be different. Personally I pray and wait for the Holy Father to celebrate Mass in the EF at the RIGHT time. That time will come.

    It makes no sense to urge and encourage its restoration and then somehow to exempt himself from it. I do not believe this is what is happening. It would only encourage those who oppose Summorum Pontificum to continue their insolent opposition to it. As it is, most parishioners have never seen or heard of it nor it been mentioned or put into practice. Heaven knows, many parishes don’t even see an acceptable novus ordo half the time, so how can it improve?

  43. MichaelJ says:

    Jason,
    Given that the Traditional Mass served the Church well for nearly 500 years (at least) you will have a high standard to meet if you desire to convince me that the Extraordinary Form is or was in need of reform.

    If you manage to do that, you’ll have another high hurdle if you want me to trust a vague, laissez faire “it needs reform so lets change it” approach. We’ve been down that road before with healthcare, taxation, immigration, deregulation, reregulation, reform of the Mass and the reform of the reform and it’s been disasterous.

    Hope you’re prepared.

  44. Roland: The traditional faithful accuse us priests of being “too lenient” in the confessional or in our penances…thank you for your “kind” comment upon my most “intemperant” post…I’m sorry.
    Just love our Holy Mother Church and give our Holy Father the benefit of the doubt.
    God love you!
    And, I realized, to my horror, that I almost quoted POTUS in that unfortunate comment…I didn’t use the a^^ word, though. Thanks be to God!

  45. Roland de Chanson says:

    nazarethpriest: I was just pulling your leg with the Obama reference. No chastisement intended. I’m sorry if my little joke didn’t come across as intended. I thank you for the Rosaries, too.

    I do try to give the Pope the benefit of the doubt. It is just frustrating to see how mere words are bandied about and no action taken. One expects leaders to lead. I do think though that the Usus antiquior is a dead issue. The OF adherents own the parishes and the chanceries. They are the crypto-piskies who want their birth control, abortions, wymyn priests, queer bishops and their live-in catamites and the Sistine Chapel ceiling all thrown into the mix.

    Dark days are coming for the Church. The prods and the masons put the lance a second time into the side of Christ at Vatican II. I had great hopes for Ratzinger but it turns out he prays better in mosques and temples than atop the bones of Peter.

    I don’t for a moment accept the vacuous exuse that the participants in a pontifical liturgy haven’t the time to learn the choreography. If the pope says learn it, they learn it. But above and beyond that facetious argument, why would the pope not celebrate a low Mass in public with a couple of cherubic altar boys as acolytes? The rôle of the Vicar of Christ is to teach all nations. It is not to wait for instruction from his dicasteries as to the opportune moment. This is cravenness of the most pernicious kind. One might as well deny Christ thrice.

    God bless you and your ministry. You are one of the good guys in my book. Domine, refice Ecclesiam tuam.

  46. Jason Keener says:

    MichaelJ,

    Five hundred years or longer without any kind of liturgical reform is exactly the reason why the overwhelming number of Council Fathers at Vatican II felt the time was opportune for some reform of the existing rite. For example, I can see why one would have wanted to simplify the calendar used with the 1962 Missal. I’m also in favor of the laity being able to play a somewhat greater role in making the responses and doing some of the singing at the Mass. Why should altar servers and a choir do the work of praying and singing the entire Liturgy on behalf of the laity when the laity have a right through their own baptism to participate outwardly in the praying of the Holy Mass? Of course, I am all for interior active participation, but when humans, who have physical bodies, participate in the Mass, that participation will necessarily have some outward manifestations. A human will not particpate at Mass as a angel (with a purely spiritual nature) would.

  47. MichaelJ says:

    So… The Mass was in need of reform because it hadn’t been reformed? This seems to presume that some form of change is always necessary and desirable, and I just cannot accept that yet. When you are driving to work, for example, do you change lanes simply because you have not done so in a while, or do you change lanes to address a specific and immediate need?

    The Mass should be no different in this respect, and your example of simplifying the calendar is a great place to start. What are the problems with the old calendar? Obviously somebody thought that it was complex, but what real-world problems does a complex calendar cause for the faithful? How would simplification of the calendar address those problems? Was simplification successful in overcoming the problems? And finally, could the root problems associated with a complex Liturgical calendar have been addressed in a less intrusive way that did not include wholesale abandonment?

  48. Jason Keener says:

    Hi, MichaelJ.

    What I meant is that after 500 years of having a Liturgy that had not undergone any pruning or reform, the Council Fathers believed some things in the Liturgy were ripe for an updating based on the Church’s fuller understanding of the rightful role of the laity in praying the Liturgy, etc. I don’t necessarily agree with the Council Fathers on every aspect of their wishes for the liturgical reform. For example, not all repetition in the Sacred Liturgy is useless or a bad thing. Of course, Bugnini and company went way beyond anything mandated by the Council Fathers. Also, no one here is arguing for change for the sake of change.

    One problem with the Calendar of 1962 is that it does not include the newer saints. Also, the problem with an overly complex calendar is that the complexity of the calendar can distract the laity from seeing the clear connection between the events of the Life of Christ and how the Liturgy is lived out and celebrated in the parish setting. Number 108 of Sacrosanctum Concilium also pointed out, “The minds of the faithful must be directed primarily toward the feasts of the Lord whereby the mysteries of salvation are celebrated in the course of the year. Therefore, the Proper of the time shall be given the preference which is its due over the feasts of the saints, so that the entire cycle of the mysteries of salvation may be suitably recalled.”