What the Ordinary Form brings to the Extraordinary Form: the question of Mutual Enrichment

Since Universae Ecclesiae has been issued the subject of the “mutual enrichment” of the older and newer, the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite has reemerged.

For going on two decades now, I have been saying that – in the mind of Papa Ratzingerwere a more organic, long-term, process of liturgical growth and renewal and revision to be rekindled, there would eventually emerge a tertium quid, a form of the Roman Rite which would reflect the reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Council and the Roman Rite as received from the Church’s experiences of prayer over the centuries.  That didn’t happen with the Novus Ordo, because it was an artificial product assembled on a desk.  But the two forms, older and newer, used side-by-side, would create a gravitational pull upon each other.

I think that many years ago, Papa Ratzinger assumed that the newer, Ordinary Form, would have logical priority and that some influence of the older form would enter into producing the tertium quid.  Now, however, I am not so sure.  I sense a shift in the Force, as it were.  I suspect the Holy Father thinks that it may be the other way around now.  But, only time will tell.

There will certainly be an influence of the one upon the other, a mutual enrichment, a gravitational pull.  And that influence will grow enormously as the “Biological Solution” shifts the demographics of the clergy.  Younger men, without the baggage of the “spirit of the Council”, younger men, far more interested in the hermeneutic of continuity desired by Pope Benedict to be applied to all things Conciliar and post-Conciliar, are interested also in the Extraordinary Form.  And if they are not eager to use it themselves, they are at least open to it.  As more young priests – future bishops – begin to exercise ministry in the Church in every sphere of her life, many things will change.

But, back to the issue of mutual enrichment.

The Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form are clearly – according to the mind of the Supreme Pontiff – meant to be “one alongside the other” (UE 6).  They will influence one another.  It stands to reason.

I think that the Extraordinary Form will dramatically reshape the Ordinary Form, especially in respect to ars celebrandi, but perhaps also in the reintroduction of elements lost in the reform.  It certainly will affect how priests see themselves and carry our their role.

However, I also believe that the Ordinary Form will influence, indeed has influenced how priests say the Extraordinary Form.

First, there was the near total loss of the Extraordinary Form which has made those who desired it be all the more careful and attentive and reverent.  In human affairs familiarity can breed contempt… or at least neglect.  In the words of Joni Mitchell, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.  They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot.”  The observance of the Extraordinary Form benefited from the oppression.

The shift in focus in the Ordinary Form from the priest at the altar, to the priest and the congregation, has more than likely been a great help as well.  I think that priests today are far more aware in their ars celebrandi that there are actually people out there, which drives them to be more careful and reverent and, in their words and actions, project themselves beyond the altar rail, not in a solipsistic way, but in a genuine desire as mediator to communicate what God desires to give through the sacred actions and words of the sacred mysteries.

Another point surfaced in the combox under another entry here, which I will get to.

As far as the ars celebrandi is concerned, for years, in the dark times when merely to want the older form as a seminarian meant certain expulsion from mainstream seminaries, I heard relentless criticisms of the old Mass because of the way priests used to say it.  That was pretty awkward, of course.  If priests do stupid things on their own, that is their fault.  In some ways elements of the rite can invite those choices, of course.  But it is the priest who says Mass, not the book which says Mass.

A common way to denigrate the older form of Mass was the sneering comment that priests would be scrupulous in how they, for example, said the words of consecration or made some gestures.  Some priests were terribly scrupulous. Because of training and their own desire not to commit sins, they took seriously the old teaching that defects of celebration were mortal sins.   When that was coupled with a scrupulous character and also the Jansenism that came from some seminaries, especially those with an Irish background under the influence of the French who had a terribly rigid approach to many dimensions of human life and the material world, the result for liturgy was not always optimal.

To make my point at last, perhaps the intervening years – which were unquestionably stained by the horrors of illicit and often deeply stupid experimentation and liturgical abuses and really bad taste – served to break the grip of some schools of approach, some of the perhaps Jansentic rigidity of scrupulous rubricism against which, I fear, much of the discontinuity crowd reacted so strongly as they threw off their shackles after the Council and went nuts, taking us along with them into the liturgical hole we have to climb out of now on the ladder of Summorum Pontificum.

I return to my point about the combox comment now.   Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, left an interesting comment.  He picked up on my my point that the Ordinary Form will also exert a gravitational pull on the way the Extraordinary Form.  Heresy to some traditionalists… but the truth. Priests are men of their own times, not just of ages past.

Fr. Thompson observes:

Having been ordained over 25 years,  and having celebrated Mass on every unimpeded day (e.g. Good Friday) but one, I have celebrated the old rite (Dominican) at least a 1000 times and the new rite (Roman) many more times.  And there are things that celebrants, especially new celebrants of the old rite can learn from the new.

In particular, I have noticed that new celebrants of the Dominican Rite often try to rigidly correlate the gestures (e.g. at the Per Ipsum) with the words because the rubrics insert “make cross,” “pick up host,” etc. into the middle of sentences.  The sense of freedom that comes from the new rite (where the gestures made are generally those that come naturally to the priest), gives a sense of personal ownership of the motions.  When I urge new celebrants to just know what gestures to make and make them naturally as they read the words, they discover that the whole action is more graceful (and the gestures end up in the right place).  Now I learned fluidity of motion from constant practice — and only finally accomplished it when I stopped scrupulous attempts to rigidly follow the rubrics — and then I realized that, had I allowed myself the sense of freedom of the new rite from the beginning, this might have come faster.

Admittedly, the goal is to celebrate fluidly and elegantly, and to do so as the rubrics indicate.  But a “novus ordo” sense of freedom had help a new old rite celebrant to do this more naturally.

I am sure that there are other examples of times when my celebration of the new rite helped me with the old.  (And vice versa.)

Discuss in a thoughtful way, having first reread what you may wish to share, and then asking yourself: “Does this contribute anything useful”?

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79 Responses to What the Ordinary Form brings to the Extraordinary Form: the question of Mutual Enrichment

  1. Ave Maria!

    Father, thank you very much for sharing this post! This is very very interesting.

    Through the grace of God I have had the immense privilege of serving for many years the TLM, have served the holy altar also at the foot of the priest when the Rite of Paul VI was being said. Also, I have many times attended with joy the Byzantine Rite of St. John Chrysostom.

    Something that a one of our brothers and I were discussing the other day, was the deep spirituality of the Eastern Rite, but also its freedom. In this sense, in the Eastern Rite the people are free to move around, during liturgy to kiss the holy icons, they stand mostly, the music is uplifting, processions around the people are happening by the clergy, incense is wifting all around and this lack of order (seeming), is beautiful and reverent.

    This is one thing perhaps that came out of the changes of Paul VI, is that, where there was nothing (wacky) or irreverent going on, there is a certain freedom (spiritually) that is good, and perhaps was influenced by the East. Being allergic to any sort of rigidity myself and loving the TLM, I could understand why the Father’s of the Church wished to combine the Eastern and Western spirituality when devising the new Rite. Which should have be good! Really good! However, we know that in many places things got weird and in many cases the books were just not followed!

    Hopefully the new translation and this magnificent Pontificate of Benedict XVI will bring to light exactly what the Holy Ghost was inspiring the Roman Pontiff’s with when they gave us the Novus Ordo, and hopefully it will be applied in the precise way the Pope asks it to be, finally. Perhaps a prayer for all faithful Catholics of our times could be to see a increas of great love for all of the different liturgies of Holy Mother Church, that the true reform of Benedict may be applied and all Catholics have a sense of true joy and freedom in all that has been approved by the Church and Christ’s Vicar!

    Fra Pio Maria.
    http://allfortheimmaculate.blogspot.com/

  2. Maltese says:

    “Admittedly, the goal is to celebrate fluidly and elegantly, and to do so as the rubrics indicate. But a ‘novus ordo’ sense of freedom had help a new old rite celebrant to do this more naturally.”

    I can understand what Father is saying, supra: a Priest celebrating one rite can effect the praxis in which he celebrates a different rite, but the form of the rite, ipso facto, is not thereby effected.

    But the question of “mutual enrichment”, I think, has two dimensions. The first, reflected above, is how the praxis of Praying Holy Mass is effected. The second is how rubrics themselves may be changed. In this, and as a confessed Traditionalist, I don’t think there is any sense in which the Novus Ordo may enrich the Vetus Ordo. In no sense may a man-centered rite enrich a God-centered rite. If one were, to say, adopt the Novus Ordo’s penchant for vernacularism, and apply it to the Vetus Ordo, the latter would be thereby diminished–it’s universalism abrogated. A man-manufactured mass cannot compliment, in a permanent fashion, a God-inspired mass any more than a flea compliments the dog on which he lives. [The suggestion that there the older form is not also "man made" is so absurd as to evacuate your arguments. Keep in mind that the 1570 edition of the Roman Missal was also "created" by a team. True, it was not fabricated out of whole cloth, but it was in fact put together by men, as was every element of the Mass before that. We can argue that they were "inspired by God", in doing so, though I think concrete evidence for that might be lacking. Sure, it was a prayerfully assembled Missal, without any desire to impose a "modern" mentality, which was surely an element of the assembling of the Novus Ordo. The attitude and approach to the assembling of the two versions of the Missal were different, for they came from dramatically different periods and they were working for quite different goals. God, however, did not dictate the Roman Missal to Pius V. There were also changes made to the Missal through the centuries up to the time of the Council, changes made by men.]

  3. FXR2 says:

    Father Z,
    I am not a priest, just a cop. [And therefore not inclined to be dreamy. I grew up surrounded by cops, one of them being my parent.] This description brings to mind a progression of learning that I was taught once upon a time. I believe what Father Thompson describes is a part of that process and not the “freedom of the New Mass”.
    We learn things in a progression from Unconsciously Incompetent through Consciously Incompetent to Consciously Competent and finally to Unconsciously Competent.
    1. A five year old thinks he can drive a car but cannot. He is unconsciously incompetent.
    2. A fifteen year old has learned he cannot drive a car. He is consciously incompetent.
    3. A seventeen year old with fresh license in hand knows how to drive a car, but has to think about it. He is consciously competent.
    4. A thirty year old doing everything flawlessly without thinking about it. He is Consciously Competent.
    A fluid and elegant celebration of the mass will occur when the priest is Unconsciously Competent. I know that it is much more dangerous to relax, and let things flow naturally, while still only Consciously Competent while driving a car than while reading mass. It would be a mistake to rush the learning process and make preventable mistakes or even form well intentioned but faulty habits. Whether it takes 100, 300, or 1,000 times for something to become a part of you depends on you. Why rush it?
    Respectfully submitted,
    FXR2

    [Very sensible. This comes over time. Repetita iuvant. And age helps.]

  4. RichR says:

    I’ve heard stories of new priests throwing up in the sacristy because of nerves when preparing to approach the Altar for fear of committing a grave sin by forgetting a rubric. While having a greater freedom allows for more natural flow of things, it does require a priest to approach the altar with a responsible attitude. If he has this proper mindset, then he is set to experience the Mass in a very beautiful way, both in the OF and the EF.

    I have found, lately, in my own spirituality that if we focus too much on the forms of worship, they can become a hindrance to attaining that which liturgical worship is ordered towards: transformation in Christ. An analogy that occurred to me is this: imagine a couple on their honeymoon, and upon entering the honeymoon suite, the wife starts complaining about the curtains, or she is enamored with the floral arrangements for hours on end, or she praises the finish on the canopy bed frame. While these things are great, and they add a sense of specialty to the occasion, she is missing the point. Same at Mass. If everything is being done to assure decorum and reverence, but someone is more focused on the vestments, the use of Latin (or absence of Latin), the mediocre music, or the altar boy who is dozing off, then they are missing God’s call to unity with Himself. Likewise, a priest at the altar has certain serious responsibilities, but he should not be made to feel that he is navigating an obstacle course with judges sitting on the sidelines eagerly hoping for a violation.

    I think this should encourage more priests to explore the EF with all the allowed freedoms.

    [NB: The issue of rubrics was in the realm of moral theology. I think that is one of the reasons why it was decided in the Novus Ordo to get rid of the section on defects and the assigning of venial, at least venial, or moral sin to some defects of celebration. While this may have eliminated some of the scrupulosity, the reverse of the coin is that the wacko or renegade or those who had labored under the false impression that they were "repressed" by rubrics, had no check at all upon them thereafter.]

  5. BenFischer says:

    One of the things that I think the OF does better, possibly the only thing, is that the bread and wine are brought up from the congregation, not already present on a side table in the altar. To me, this is a good symbolic gesture that we are offering ourselves to the Father, in union with Jesus. It makes a good connection between the words of the priest: pray brethren that your sacrifice and mine may be acceptable to the Father.

    Of course, that’s rarely pointed out in a sermon, and may end up being simply another kind of “participation”, but the symbolism is there if anyone wants to highlight it.

  6. digdigby says:

    FXR2
    You’re a cop? It’s National Police Week and our Traditional ICKSP Canon integrated that closely into his homily today and invoked our appreciation and prayers to you brave men. We had our Traditional Cops in uniform with their families (Irish, but also Italian, German, Polish etc.). When I lived in NYC I remember 9/11 and how startling high were the numbers of Catholic firefighters and policemen who gave their lives. Funeral after funeral after funeral. God bless you, Catholic men are there when and where real men are needed. [Interesting... but not ad rem.]

  7. jbas says:

    I agree with BenFischer about the value of the Offertory Procession. I do think the 1958 instruction on sacred music allows for this possibility in the older form, as I recall.

  8. Quite honestly, I fear the “freedom” of the Novus Ordo in the Extraordinary Form, because “freedom” has too often meant “license.” [Along the lines of what I was talking about.] I go along with FXR2: the freedom of the priest in celebrating the Mass is really a product of habitual discipline that comes from practice. This is true for the actual participation of us in the pews as well: if you didn’t grow up with the E.F., it takes practice to make the responses and know when to stand, sit and kneel, and to follow along; and there is a beginning period where you are going to be focusing more on those things than on contemplation. But since Mass is primarily about what we give, rather than what we get, I see nothing wrong with this. [I am not convinced that Mass is all about what we give rather than what we get. We are hardly proportioned to give much of anything compared to what we receive. Furthermore, Christ is the true Actor doing the sacred action of the Mass. Mass is mostly about what He desires to give to us.]

  9. RichR says:

    While this may have eliminated some of the scrupulosity, the reverse of the coin is that the wacko or renegade or those who had labored under the false impression that they were “repressed” by rubrics, had no check at all upon them thereafter.

    No doubt, the freedoms are not limitless, and as I mentioned, the priest should have a responsible attitude when approaching the altar. I think it is frightening enough for a priest of God to approach the Altar at all, but if you are a scrupulous priest then a rigid rubricism could be a living Hell. To normal priests, the freedoms of the current laws would seem to me to open doors to exploring the EF.

    A priest without any respect for rubrics is always a disastrous situation, both for him and his sheep.

  10. I celebrate both forms. The ‘forma ordinaria’ has some very important developments (disregarding the abuses and the questionable “excising” of some very important things, the Offertory prayers, for instance).
    The “dialogue Mass” is important in the EF, I believe.
    There are three levels of participation. We are doing “level 2″ in our Low Masses. I am grateful that in Low Masses the readings may be done in the vernacular…The sung responses in the ‘Missa cantata’ are important for the congregation to participate in, I believe.
    The “enrichment” that the new Saints and new Prefaces can bring to the EF is important, as well.
    “Rubricism” is something that should be dealt with; the celebration of Holy Mass, in either form should be “from the heart” with the rubrics guiding and forming the celebration, not causing a priest to have a heart attack.
    The “ars celebrandi”, in my humble opinion, means that the priest is prepared to do the external actions properly and has interiorly prepared with prayer and meditation, he knows who he is, what he is about, and what he is to do “in persona Christi” and what the assembled faithful are about, and what they should do.
    That’s my humble opinion.

  11. joecct77 says:

    Wasn’t the “1965″ or Hybrid Mass where the changes to the EF should have gone, but were headed off at the pass by the OF????

    I remember as an Altar Boy back in 1966 that everything looked like the EF, but many parts went to English and certain prayers had been supressed. The propers were all there and sung in the High Mass. However, by 1969, the Hybrid Mass had begun to look a lot like the coming OF in the almost total audience participation and the music.

    Maybe that is the middle ground?????????? [No. Not possible with Universae Ecclesiae. 65 is not possible.]

  12. servusmariaen says:

    Father,
    I was always under the impression that the 1965 Ordo Missae was the organic development of the 1962 Missal. Was/is the 1965 Ordo Missae considered by the Council Fathers to have been the fulfillment of the reforms desired by SC? So then in essence the 1965 Ordo Missae is the “Mass of Vatican II”?

  13. BaedaBenedictus says:

    I think one of the positive effects of the Novus Ordo on the TLM is the more use in the latter of Gothic vestments :-)

  14. James Joseph says:

    “…a scrupulous character and also the Jansenism that came from some seminaries” [I have said it here many a time.]

    Deo Gratias! Finally, somebody else has said it.

  15. James Joseph says:

    @Maltese

    “I don’t think there is any sense in which the Novus Ordo may enrich the Vetus Ordo. In no sense may a man-centered rite enrich a God-centered rite.”

    My fellow, I share your concern, but please be wary where you tread. You have entered into First Commandment territory. The Ordinary Form is a monument of the Faith.

  16. Fr. W says:

    I would go even further on this point. I have felt from the very beginning of offering the EF, that the gestures, genuflections, etc. flow so perfectly and naturally with what is being said – to me it is the natural result of 2000 years of piety. I have also noticed how beautifully music often integrates with the gestures and prayers. When our choir is finishing the Agnus Dei, I am just then genuflecting to prepare for the Domine, non sum dignus… The timing of so many prayers can be seen to fit so well with how long it takes to do the ritual action. 200o years of natural piety working on the Holy Mass!
    And it has been the offering of the Novus Ordo that has helped me to just enter into the sacred actions without obsessing over rubrics – because it is clear that the rubrics flow so nicely with the words and gestures.

  17. Rellis says:

    This is a very useful commentary on the enrichment from the point of view of the ars celebrandi. I hadn’t considered it before.

    Normally, one thinks of these things in turns of texts, etc. The areas of enrichment here could be:

    1. New prefaces and commons
    2. New saints and blesseds
    3. Offertory procession (already mentioned above) at High Mass
    4. Richer selection of Mass readings, especially on weekdays
    5. Readings in the vernacular at Low Mass
    6. Homily as part of the Mass order on Sundays and solemnities
    7. Proclamation of the readings from the ambo instead of at the altar at High Masses
    8. Celebration of EF Masses on Saturday evenings as anticipated Sunday Masses, perhaps formally connected to EF First Vespers (see below)
    9. If practical and at the communion rail only, both species communication (probably by intinction) as an option for the faithful
    10. The introduction of formal preces at High Masses, chanted by the deacon or subdeacon
    11. In order to promote a greater devotion to the 1962 breviary, the possibility of a greater integration between the Hours and the Mass, similarly to how the Liturgy of the Hours general instructions envisions (though this hardly ever happens in practice). This is done in Eastern liturgies already, and is a good way to promote the Divine Office in parish life.

    [These seems to do with changes to the rite, rather than the manner of the celebrant and ars celebrandi.]

  18. JohnRoss says:

    If haste in celebrating Mass is a concern, why not take a page from the Eastern liturgies and make the High Mass the norm even without a choir?

    Most Eastern Catholic parishes in the U.S. do not have a choir and everything is sung in plain chant with the faithful doing the responses.

    I’ve been to Orthodox parishes and observed a key difference between them and Byzantine Catholic parishes — the people in the Catholic parishes are a lot more engaged in the sacred mystery because they do the responses instead of the choir.

  19. JohnRoss says:

    If haste in celebrating Mass is a concern, why not take a page from the Eastern liturgies and make the High Mass the norm even without a choir?

    Most Eastern Catholic parishes in the U.S. do not have a choir and everything is sung in plain chant with the faithful doing the responses.

    I’ve been to Orthodox parishes and observed a key difference between them and Byzantine Catholic parishes — the people in the Catholic parishes are a lot more engaged in the sacred mystery because they do the responses instead of the choir.

  20. JohnRoss says:

    It’s hard to rush when you are chanting without being completely obvious.

  21. JohnRoss says:

    Could Vespers be introduced in the Latin rite the way it is in the East as an anticipation of Sunday? [Introduced? The Latin Church has vespers. Has had for a long time.]

    In fact, a Latin-rite Catholic would satisfy his/her Sunday obligation by attending Vespers in an Eastern Catholic Church on Saturday evening according to interpretations of canon law I have seen.
    Unless, that’s just the CCEO.

  22. Mundabor says:

    If all the Novus ordo can bring to the enrichment of the Tridentine is not obsessing over rubrics, I’d say that it is a very welcome development. But I can’t imagien that this be anything different from what has certainly been made by countless priests, in countless years past.

    Personally I do not even feel any need for a Tertium Quid. [You won't be here in 100 years or so.] The Primum Quid is all I need and what was good enough for my grandmothers is good enough for me, too. I hope (and think) that the progressive diffusion of the Tridentine and the biological factor will naturally cause it to become the liturgy of choice again.

    Mundabor

  23. “Most Eastern Catholic parishes in the U.S. do not have a choir and everything is sung in plain chant with the faithful doing the responses.”

    I have attended the Divine Liturgy when it was chanted like this, and although I love the way the latin language adds to the mystery and sacrality of the Roman Rite , even when the Divine Liturgy is chanted like this in the vernacular, it is quite beautiful and uplifting.

    Fr. W., it is this flow or freedom that you speak of in your very fine comments above, that I was mentioning in my initial post, and that this freedom of the celebrant is evident to all the faithful who are uniting with the priest in offering up the holy sacrifice. Attending Mass should really be a deep and joyful event, and uniting with the Lord in the Fruit of this sacrifice should be the greatest day of a Catholic’s life. Each time.

    I remember Fr. Mateo Crawley (in Jesus King of Love) speaking of priests who would say their Mass mechanically, and perhaps some who would rush. He said that they rush thinking they may bore the people, but in fact they are boring the Holy Trinity. Fr. Mateo savoured his Mass, and if you see pictures of him and Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria whose cause is being considered for beatification (and who offered in a wonderful way the rite of Paul VI), they look enamoured as they offer and touch with their priestly hands the most Blessed and Holy Victim. This is reflective on all who attend.

    How beautiful are the liturgies approved by the Church, said with reverence and devotion!

    Fra Pio Maria
    http://allfortheimmaculate.blogspot.com/

  24. jbpolhamus says:

    The arguments in this thread are so widely scattered about the shop that it is difficult to find the center from which to answer comprehensively. So here are replies to various assertions, correct and incorrect.

    First, the object of Rubrics is to free the celebrant from self. It’s not about you, celebrant, it’s about Him whom you represent in persona. There is a wonderful quote in Martin Mosebach’s book “The Heresy of Formlessness” to the effect that “Prior to the council, priests did not fear the rubrics, they floated on them. It is a priests job to obsess about rubrics during his formation, and after that he will never have to obsess about them again. And if the object is to be free to pray, you need a guiding structure (which you have obsessed about in order to free yourself from it) or your deep, earnest, and forthright state of prayerful and mystical union will be couched in nothing but your own subjective expressions of liturgical rapture, and believe me, absolutely none of us want to see that in the slightest.

    As to the offering of the gifts in the “OF”, that’s actually from the “EF” Ambrosian rite, which bears no comparison at all to the Roman “OF” camel (an animal designed by committee). Oh, and the classical Milanese rite is just as packed with the necessity of rubrical obsession (as a path to liturgical freedom from self) as the Roman rite. Also, the Missal of 1570 and the rite of 1570 are two different things. Yes, the missal – the largest part being the calendrical observance of feasts – was put together by committee, but the rite itself was hardly changed at all, virtually unobservably by comparison to the mutilations, mutations, and inventions of the Missal of 1969/70.

    About Vespers satisfying the Sunday obligation, the Roman rite in the EF and the OF already has a prescribed Vesper service, which the unwanted and unnecessary (and mis-named) “Vigil Mass” (what kind of vigil is it that occurs once the liturgical day has apparently started? We’re not waiting anymore, it’s HERE!) displaces and tramples underfoot. No one does the First Vespers of Sunday in the Latin Rite – show me a Roman diocesan parish anywhere which celebrates the beginning of Sunday with Vespers – but even if they did it would not satisfy a Sunday obligation for mass. I suspect that you mis-interpret your Eastern canons, as the Divine Office is a sacrifice of praise, but certainly not equivalent to the unbloody Sacrifice of Christ in the Mass. Mass attendance does not equal Divine Office.

    I too sense a shift in the gravitational center, but I doubt very much whether there is a traditionalist in the world who is going to accept the kind of mutual enrichment which the reform is poised to bring to the traditional mass. Fortunately the new instruction rules out altar girls, so the situation at Fisher House in Cambridge is quashed as it was beginning. The possibility of communion under both kinds is out; and I’d be surprised if very many traditionalists are going to tolerate vernacular readings, or jury-rigged prefaces. We already know that Instituted Acolytes can act as straw sub-deacons, but the new instruction prevents women from taking that role as was previously mooted as a possibility. So it is difficult to see what the “OF” has to offer…at all. In worship there is no innate virtue in simplicity, in fact it becomes – as we have seen – an open door to abuse of all kinds. Ask Msgr. Bux. There are, however, many inherent virtues in the expressive and doctrinal safeguards of sacred liturgical tradition. That is the future.

    And speaking of my sense of gravity, I see a wholesale shift not to the centre, but to the liturgical right. I anticipate a broadening of the discussion concerning the wider use of the pre-1954 Holy Week, and a recovery of a truly full, un-mutilated, and sensible expression of the church’s most sacred season. I sense that the “OF” is going to be reigned in, and that within the next decade we will see the Traditional Roman Rite mandated at least once per Sunday in every parish. If the object is to keep the SSPX in a compromised position, and the SSPV – sede vacantists – in business (not many people know the situation on the ground in the American mid-west), dicker with the “EF.” But in my humble opinion, everything old is new again, and getting newer. Time will tell the accuracy of my foresight.

  25. Maltese says:

    “My fellow, I share your concern, but please be wary where you tread. You have entered into First Commandment territory. The Ordinary Form is a monument of the Faith.”

    Thank you, James! Not sure I agree with you that the Novus Ordo is a “monument of the Faith”, but I appreciate your concern for me, nevertheless!

    “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

  26. anilwang says:

    Relating to naturalness of the liturgy, I remember reading a conversion story from an Anglican priest to the Orthodox faith. He commented that occasionally, a priest would forget his book with the rubrics on the other side of the room during a mass and he’d have to orchestrate an elegant way to go across the room to retrieve his book and return back to where he was that was in keeping with the rubrics. (I’m not Anglican liturgy expert so I might be explaining the situation correctly) He asked the Orthodox bishop what they do in such a circumstance. He commented that he would just walk to the other side of the room, pick it up, and continue where he was supposed to. The purpose of the liturgy was not to put on a show for man — the liturgy was directed at God. Fine details show attention, reverence, and care, but sometimes focusing too strongly on the fine details can cause one to forget the big picture.

  27. jbpolhamus says:

    “[The Orthodox bishop] commented that he would just walk to the other side of the room, pick it up, and continue where he was supposed to…Fine details show attention, reverence, and care, but sometimes focusing too strongly on the fine details can cause one to forget the big picture.”

    Well, of course. All one has to do is watch the Coronation of John XXIII and one can see plenty of untoward to-ing and fro-ing in St. Peter’s itself. When things get forgotten, they have to be retrieved. But then, the same can be said for liturgy. I think the difference is that the XXth century reformers, like reformers throughout the Church’s history, operated from a presumption of incompetence, that “the big picture can’t possibly be kept in focus or remembered! It’s impossible! You can’t do it! Chuck the whole thing!” To which I, like average and capable people everywhere, say “balderdash.” Actually I say a lot of other things along with “balderdash.” But those little emporers have been running around naked for too long, and I KNOW balderdash when I see it! ;-)

  28. From INTRODUCTION TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY

    Vatican City, January 6, 2010
    A Conference for the Year of the Priest

    by Msgr. Guido Marini,
    Pontifical Master of Liturgical Ceremonies

    “The authentic spirit of the liturgy does not abide when it is not approached with serenity, leaving aside all polemics with respect to the recent or remote past. The liturgy cannot and must not be an opportunity for conflict between those who find good only in that which came before us, and those who, on the contrary, almost always find wrong in what came before. The only disposition which permits us to attain the authentic spirit of the liturgy, with joy and true spiritual relish, is to regard both the present and the past liturgy of the Church as one patrimony in continuous development. A spirit, accordingly, which we must receive from the Church and is not a fruit of our own making. A spirit, I add, which leads to what is essential in the liturgy, or, more precisely, to prayer inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, in whom Christ continues to become present for us today, to burst forth into our lives. Truly, the spirit of the liturgy is the liturgy of the Holy Spirit.”

  29. dominic1955 says:

    To me it seems that the “Extraordinary Form” really cannot be enriched by the “Ordinary Form” in any substantial way. What I mean by this is that there is nothing really essential in the OF that is not already in the EF. Fr. Augustine bring up a good point, but it seems to me that one reads the old forms incorrectly if they see the rubrics as an imposition that has to be rigidly done, as almost an interruption. It seems to me that this was never the intent of the Church to say, “OK, right at this point you HAVE to do such-and-such at precisely this very time with these very words and any slight imprecision sends you straight to hell.” The NO “freedom” to me just seems like common sense-and something that really isn’t a “part” of the NO but rather just a slight redoing of the style of rubric wording.

    The NO is a universal Neo-Gallican Rite, something imposed and created basically carte blanche. Thus, I think it is inaccurate to say that the NO Rite itself brings anything good to the table but rather it was the medium in which certain common sense things found their expression.

    For instance, new saints, new commons, new prefaces etc. were added to the Mass in pre-Conciliar days-thus not an enrichment from the NO. An Offertory procession was something that was also present in pre-Conciliar days (albeit many years/centuries ago) so thus not from the NO. More readings were introduced before the NO, so again, this isn’t a particular NO thing and the NO lectionary to me is a mess. The EF Mass and Breviary go much more hand in hand that the NO Mass and LOTH. Actually, does the LOTH really have much of a connection with the Mass of the day that much? Sometimes, yes, but not near as much as the TLM. I never got the impression that the Mass and the Office were so interconnected when I used the LOTH and went to the NO but I certainly did see the connection between the Mass and the Office when I switched to the old Breviary and Mass.

    This whole “mutual enrichment” thing is a face-saving gesture. It would be exceedingly difficult to just come out and say that the whole NO birdwalk was a massive failure and we need to ditch that experiment and go back to the traditional liturgy. So now we have to come up with good points that the NO has and say they can enrich the TLM. Fine, but we’d be better off with not using the NO as any sort of reference point. Easier said than done, of course.

    Also, to me it seems that there is no point in “tradding up” the NO. I applaud such efforts in the way that Mass should be said with dignity and reverence and the NO is what is in general use throughout the Roman Rite and thus for the good of the Church since this is what we have to work with it should be done as well as possible. However, the more you add TLM things to the NO, you just have to wonder why one doesn’t just do the TLM. With all that lacks in the NO, if you have a priest with the sense to know how to say Mass well (especially with a good deal of Latin) and people who are willing to go that far, just go whole hog.

  30. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    Father Z,

    I rank this among your best posts over the years, and pray that the mutual enrichment moves forward.

    Can you (or someone else) say more about the 1965 Ordo as a possible solution? I have seen it referenced elsewhere, and from the descriptions offered it seems that by shelving it so soon there may have been a missed opportunity.

  31. Fr Deacon Daniel: I’ve studied the ’65 Ordo.
    It is and was the Mass envisioned by SC.
    Unfortunately, this was “hijacked”…the history bears it all; I cannot even begin to recount it all…Byzantine (pardon me!) intrigue, if you will.
    If the ’65 Ordo was left in place, we would not be discussing this, at all, in my opinion.
    Even Archbishop LeFebvre was in favour of limited use of the vernacular…won’t go any further than that, I’ll leave it to the experts to expound.
    Vernacular, in parts, is not the issue.
    Change of the “forma”, I believe was, and is, still the issue.

  32. JohnRoss says:

    I think I was referring more to the Eastern custom of exclusively having Vespers on Saturdayevening in preparation for the Sunday Divine Liturgy instead of having a vigil Mass Saturday night.

    Some like the Ruthenians and Ukrainians unfortunately have adopted the post-Vatican II practice of having the Divine Liturgy on Saturday nights, which is a no, no in our tradition. I hope that changes.

  33. o.h. says:

    Many think the EF, or at least parts of it, in the vernacular would be an enrichment. But by “vernacular,” I suspect they mean “English.” In this diocese, and in many in the U.S., the “vernacular” is, increasingly, Spanish. Changing the EF significantly to English would define it as just another Mass for the Anglo population, and throw away one of the EF’s strongest features in the Southwest: its potential to unite parishes that are, de facto, divided by language into two parishes that have little to do with each other.

    To add: I teach CCD, and when we learn Latin prayers and hymns, the children who speak Spanish at home are always quite excited by how similar the languages are, and pleased by their ability to master the prayers much faster than the English-speaking children. It’s time to start thinking about taking advantage of the EF’s Latinity, given the changing demographics of the Church in the U.S., rather than thinking about throwing it away.

  34. “However, the more you add TLM things to the NO, you just have to wonder why one doesn’t just do the TLM.”

    Dominic,

    Couldn’t a “tradded up” NO serve as a stepping stone to the TLM? By gradually adding traditional elements to the NO (i.e. ad orientem, Latin, communion rail), non-trad Catholics in the pews will become more and more familiar with aspects of the TLM so that when they’re finally introduced to it, they’ll be less likely to feel uncomfortable or repulsed.

    I agree with you that the TLM should be the ultimate goal. But can’t increasingly traditional celebrations of the NO serve as a means to that long-term end?

    God bless!

  35. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    “If the ’65 Ordo was left in place, we would not be discussing this, at all, in my opinion.”

    Very interesting, Father. Is the text available anywhere?

    Perhaps this is Pope Benedict’s endgame…?

    Regarding Byzantine intrigue, I know enough Byzantines to know that no pardon is necessary! ;-)

  36. Fr Deacon Daniel: We have a ’65 Ordo, Sacramentary and Roman Missal, in fact.
    It was a truly confusing time…only a short space of time.
    But what was given (unfortunately the Ordinary was mostly in English) lasted only a very short space of time.
    The Prayers (Collect, Secret, Post communion) were in Latin, as well as some of the other prayers.
    (including the Eucharistic Prayer, Roman Canon)….but the “Gloria”, “Sanctus”, “Pater Noster” were in the vernacular. Don’t get it.
    Anyway.

  37. dominic1955 says:

    It could, but through experience it seems that a “tradded up” NO is just an excuse to not go all the way to the TLM. By my observation (take it for what its worth), people who know there is something screwy going on take refuge in a “tradded up” NO but will avoid the TLM. That is not to say that the effort is not worth it, but without marching orders from the top, it will always be a matter of silly neo-ultramontanism to try to be on the same page as the Pope and for reasons unknown avoid the TLM because it is not what he celebrates (which he needs to do). Like I said, I certainly support priests who try to make the NO as “traditional” as possible but the rite itself is a problem. Even with all the fancy things you can add in, it falls flat when the subpar prayers for Good Friday come into play (for example).

    ["tradded" up... I am reminded here of the point that, if the more the Novus Ordo is observed like the Extraordinary Form the better it is, then why not just use the Extraordinary Form? ]

    In my own experience, I find “tradded up” NO’s just more aggravating because you see what it could be and what is definitely lacking. The lack of rubrics for the movements of the Sacred Ministers (in that case, usually two deacons) is one example of how bland it is. Basically, there was nothing “wrong” with the old Rite and now trying to “fix” the new Rite by making it sorta look like the old Rite just grates against traditional sensibilities because you see exactly what is lacking and what carelessness or lack of finesse went into formulating the new Rite.

    Again, at the end of the day, make the NO more traditional because that is what we have to work with. But I don’t see that as a real solution and I also don’t see it as terribly useful without orders from the top directing that we need to get back to the traditional liturgy. In fact, the ’62 liturgy is lacking and those “reforms” which happened in the ’50s need to be looked at again. The ’62 should be a stepping stone back to a more properly traditional liturgy and not seen as an end unto itself.

  38. servusmariaen says:

    Here is the 1965 ORDO MISSAE

    http://www.coreyzelinski.8m.com/1965_Mass/

  39. servusmariaen says:

    Here is the 1965 ORDO MISSAE

    http://www.coreyzelinski.8m.com/1965_Mass/

  40. woodardj says:

    –The “organic development” I remember as a child in the late ’50s was reading the propers in the vernacular, the “dialogue mass” with a congregational Pater Noster, eliminating the second confiteor… and I think that’s about it. We might have ended up “organically” with the vernacular up to the Sanctus, the Latin Canon, and then the vernacular after the Minor Elevation or Agnus Dei, and that would have been fine.
    –Improvements from the OF? Having a normal Old Testament reading in addition to the Epistle could well be considered an improvement; also the greater use of prefaces. But only malice could have eliminated the prayers at the foot of the altar and introduced that awful Offertory prayer.
    –Am I wrong in thinking that the original intention of the liturgical movement from St. Pius X onward was reviving the chant (or versus polyphony?) and getting the Liber Usualis into the pews?

  41. stpetric says:

    I wish I were as deeply in love with the EF as many of you seem to be. But despite having been present for its celebration several times now, in various places over the last few years, I can’t honestly say my pulse quickens at the prospect of attending an EF Mass.

    I deeply appreciate the attentive devotion that is normally apparent on the part of both priest and people. And I appreciate the use of “sacral” Latin — especially in contrast to the banal but now moribund ICEL English. And God knows I prefer to receive communion kneeling.

    However, what I miss about the OF is participating in the congregational responses. Practice has not been uniform in the EF parishes I’ve visited — in most the congregation’s part is taken by the choir and I feel conspicuous if I respond, too, but in some the congregation makes its own responses. I find the latter far preferable.

  42. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    I think the most important enrichment so far is due to the “grassroots” movement to get the EF back. Priests have become more aware that there a people “behind them” who care about what they are doing. Who want to see it done right, reverently, and carefully. This has likely slowed down masses, caused them to be more audible, and probably improved preaching.

    Secondly, I am one of those people who would probably not attend an EF every week if a “tradded up” OF was available at the same parish. There are times that I would rather hear the Mass in vernacular, at least in part. A la the 65 missal, I like the idea of having latin ordinary and vernacular propers. I know what “Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus” means. I don’t generally know what the introit means, barring Fr. Z’s blog and a missal. Understanding through hearing allows me to participate in a different way than understanding through reading. The first can be done rather in the background, allowing me to be doing other things. Reading takes the front, and “forces” (used lightly) me to participate only through the prayers of the mass, or completely separate from them.

    If the OF is “tradded up”, with the use of some latin, EP I, incense, bells, proper reverence, and a good schola, it would be something I would probably attend in equal amount as an EF.

  43. Gregorius says:

    I’m of mixed opinion regarding the mutal enrichment. From one standpoint, I can say on a personal note as a young Catholic that I would prefer Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form if that was available (unfortunately, it is not for me). On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder what planet authors who claim something along the lines of ‘the NO is ending’ are writing from. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the matter, the NO still is and most likely continue to be the Ordinary Form and expression of Holy Mass. Furthermore, in my diocese neither priests nor laity see a need for a return of the Traditional forms of liturgy, as the faithful seem by all intents and purposes to be nourished by the Ordinary Form. It is true that the diocese to the south reportedly has more than half of its parishes offering a TLM, but the faithful in my diocese are just as active in parish life and striving for holiness as are those faithful who have the EF available to them. Even the few around me who have experienced the EF simply find it confusing and alien, and to those uninformed, inimical to their spiritual life. I as a simple laymen can list as many reasons as I want to promote traditional devotions, but people simply dismiss me. In my unimportant opinion, pehaps the best way to promote the EF worldwide and apply the Motu Proprio evenly in all dioceses is to have a Missa coram Summo Pontifice, if you get my drift…

  44. jbpolhamus says:

    “If the ’65 Ordo was left in place, we would not be discussing this, at all, in my opinion.”

    You’re right, because not only did the SSPX make it clear back in the ’70′s that ’65 was an unacceptable option, but as recently as early this decade, the English hierarchy suggeseted ’65 to Una Voce and the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, and were told point blank that if they imposed it they would go lock, stock and barrel to the SSPX. Nothing has changed in that regard ’65 is no option at all, in fact the trending interest would seem to be a return to pre-54 if anything.

  45. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    What rationale did Una Voce give for rejecting the ’65 Ordo?

  46. BaedaBenedictus says:

    The BIG development in the future for the flourishing of the TLM is the allowance for vernacular in the prayers.

    I talk to octogenarian members of my family, good orthodox Catholics, and they all tell me that they really dislike the crap music and irreverence and everything in today’s Masses. They tell me that they miss the old Mass, that ALL they wanted changed was to have more English so they could understand it more easily.

    Allow for more vernacular, and mark my words, people will move to the Extraordinary Form in much greater numbers than now.

    -

    I have an old hand-missal from the late 1950s. It belonged to my great-grandmother, who was a devout and attentive Mass-goer. It truly is a “Vatican II” missal I think. Each Sunday Mass’s complete texts (Ordinary and Propers) are printed for each Sunday, so no flipping back and forth is necessary. The introduction talks about the purpose of this missal, stating that it is a response to the Liturgical Movement’s (and Pius XII’s) call for more “active participation” by the laity in the liturgy. Active participation indeed! Not “doing stuff” but increased attentiveness and interior receptivity!

    So, yes, I hope for the allowance of the vernacular in parts of the Extraordinary Form in the future. There are historical precedents, and like I said, it would open up this Mass, with its much superior texts, to Novus Ordo Catholics.

  47. Mundabor says:

    “I can’t help but wonder what planet authors who claim something along the lines of ‘the NO is ending’ are writing from”.

    Gregorius,
    they are writing from the same planet of the very high member of the Vatican hierarchy who said as much to bishop Fellay not many months ago.

    And in truth, it makes a lot of sense. Once the sacredness of the Mass is rediscovered and put again at the centre of the liturgy, the movement can only be toward that Mass that is best apt to represent it. As others have pointed out, “tradding up” the NO will only make more and more people realise that instead of trying to make the copy more and more similar to the original, it is better to revert to the original.

    It can go very fast, too. How many would have said, on the day of Bl JP II’s death, that in six short years we would have both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae? And when the V-II, “tambourine-friendly” generation is gone, who will stay and defend the NO? The NO was born out of the false conceptions of the Sixties, not out of intrinsic faults of the Tridentine.

    I compare the Novus Ordo to the Papacy’s Avignon years; an event which didn’t impact the legitimacy of the Church, but is remembered to this day with shame. Similarly, the Novus ordo is certainly sacramentally valid, but I personally think that in 100 years time Catholics will look back at it and say: “what were they thinking!?”

    If I were in a pub with you and had to bet my pint as to how long the Novus Ordo will last, I’d say “the next two Popes perhaps; more probably three; four at most”. I am in my Forties now and will probably never see the day, but I think I’ll see further encouraging signs before I go.

    Mundabor

  48. Mundabor says:

    “Allow for more vernacular, and mark my words, people will move to the Extraordinary Form in much greater numbers than now.”

    Isn’t a good missal able to do the same, without changing the TLM? I think this is what people did in pre V-II time.

    Also, the advent of IPhone, IPads, Kindle and the like will soon allow everyone to have their missal in their pocket, instantly at their command all day long. The electronic media will also allow missals with ordinary and proper and no “back and forth”, thus making things even easier.

    To me, a churchgoer must come to term with the fact that the mass is in a universal language. If one asks to have the readings in vernacular, why not all the rest too?

    I am Italian and by us millions of people listen to and sing songs in a foreign language all day. Doesn’t seem to be a problem at all. If this is so in profane things, how much so in sacred ones?

    Mundabor

  49. kallman says:

    It actually brings very little to nothing at all. The main issue would be for the prayers at the foot of the altar to be said loudly enough so all the congregation can hear them. The reason is that we get over the idea that it is the “priest’s Mass” and that the congregation are mere bystanders. We are all participating, Mass with a congregation even if it is only one person is no longer a “private Mass”. Today, saying these prayers silently may be interpreted as a sign of arrogance on the part of the celebrant, ignoring the congregation. The silent Canon is entirely different and should not change. The TLM rubrics otherwise should never change: no altar girls, no liturgical dance, no spontaneous clowning from the altar. Vernacular readings are also to be abhorred unless read in Latin at the altar but in the vernacular only from the pulpit subsequently.

  50. Maltese says:

    If you dig deeply into it, SC really did envision this:

    http://www.therichardjessedavis.com/bluegrass/glorytogod.mp3

  51. benedetta says:

    I think that the forms mutually enrich, and will do this more and more, through those who pray through either form practicing the fullness of the deposit of the faith and living in harmony with the deposit of the faith. The presence of those who pray according to both forms and their ways of life as a response is significant.

    Not sure if “tradding up” an NO is what is paramount in order for there to be mutual enrichment. An NO offered in different parts of the world may be quite simple, reverent, even with little music or chant. I believe that when this sort of NO is offered and prayed from the heart, and adding the strength of the prayer’s faithfulness and assent to the full deposit of the faith as proclaimed, without omitting basic truths, then, that enriches the entire Church and believers everywhere.

    Where the Mass is celebrated because using great resources and with deliberation and care we conclude that it best fits our desires for how we at that moment in time and with that particular group think that is how it must look or appear, while simultaneously fortifying outright rejection of the truths of the faith, then, perhaps the possibilities for mutual enrichment are somewhat more limited, by our own design. This unfortunately could happen with or without the incense, before 1962 or in 2011, etc. The sources of the deposit of faith are trustworthy and we can be led by these.

  52. Pachomius says:

    bpolhamus: “In worship there is no innate virtue in simplicity”

    “orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici putant enim quia in multiloquio suo exaudiantur” (Mt 6:7).

    “The NO is a universal Neo-Gallican Rite, something imposed and created basically carte blanche.”
    Which is so unlike the 1570 MR, which was given to parishes as an option that they could choose, you mean? And I suppose Gregory the Great’s alterations of the liturgy were super-organic, too. Or do they not count simply because they were a long time ago?

    “Also, to me it seems that there is no point in “tradding up” the NO. I applaud such efforts in the way that Mass should be said with dignity and reverence and the NO is what is in general use throughout the Roman Rite and thus for the good of the Church since this is what we have to work with it should be done as well as possible. ”

    It’s not a question of “tradding up” the 1970 MR. It’s a question of using it according to the letter and the spirit of the rubrics. Oh, and calling the 1962 MR “TLM” is unbelievably inaccurate – both missals are in Latin, and indults for Mass in the vernacular came in before the 1970 MR – hence the 1965 Ordo and so forth. The 1962 MR isn’t even really the “Tridentine” Mass, or particularly “Traditional”, since it dates to 1962.

    EtVerbumCaroFactumEst: “By gradually adding traditional elements to the NO (i.e. ad orientem, Latin, communion rail)”

    THESE ARE NOT ELEMENTS EXCLUSIVE TO THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM.
    THESE ARE NOT ELEMENTS EXCLUSIVE TO THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM.
    THESE ARE NOT ELEMENTS EXCLUSIVE TO THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM.

    How many times does it need to be said?

    1. Ad orientem is a perfectly acceptable way to celebrate the Mass in the 1970 MR.
    2. Versus populum is a valid way of celebrating, envisioned in the 1570 MR*.
    3. The 1970 Missale Romanum is IN LATIN. It is in no way forbidden for the Mass of Paul VI to be in Latin. If a priest wishes to celebrate the Mass of Paul VI in Latin, he is perfectly at liberty to do so**.
    4. Communion rails are not forbidden in the 1970 MR, and there is no reason to remove them.

    I have been to plenty of Ordinary Form masses with all of these elements.

    I find this idiotic phrase “tradded up NO” very irksome. It’s not tradded up – it’s just celebrated according to the 1970 Missal’s own rubrics. I know – the Ordinary Form is frequently celebrated badly. I know – you don’t like the Ordinary Form. But for goodness’ sake, if you don’t like it at least come up with some valid arguments against it, rather than playing these oh-so-tired games of golden-age-ism.

    As for why not to use the EF, simply put if the OF is deficient, so is the EF. I hope I do not need to repeat here Fr Vaggagini’s extensive critique of the pre-1970 Canon Romanus and its deficiencies and peculiarities (e.g., the bizarre placement of the phrase ‘mysterium fidei’, the positioning of the prayers for the living and the dead on either side of the consecration, the frankly weird abruptness of the institution narrative, and so on). Suffice to say, they vary from the trivial to the very grave.

    The older Mass has several peculiar phantom limbs – stray “oremus”-es and “orate fratres” which occur and pass with no recognition that something is meant to happen here. Something, that is, aside from the priest reciting more semi-silent prayers, that is.

    There are aesthetic problems surrounding the older Mass, though, too. Perhaps they aren’t serious, but they do need looking at. The fetishisation of the baroque, for example, and 18th and 19th century settings of the Mass (despite, as I recall, strictures against this issued by Pius X or XI, recommending Masses from no later than the 16th Century). There’s also the virtual reduction of the Kyriale to the (awful, soul-crushingly banal) Missa de Angelis. The obsession with lace, and a general overenthusiasm for frilliness, which is fundamentally at odds with the somewhat ascetic spirit of the Roman Rite.

    And the love of the Low Mass – a form which, according to the rubrics of the pre-1970 Missals, is not the normative form, which is the Solemn Mass. I recently saw on the website of the Latin Mass Society that they got permission to celebrate a Mass in York Minster. Looking at the pictures, they decided on a Low Mass with dozens of altar-servers. This strikes me as wrong-headed. The normative is the Missa Solemnis, not the Low Mass, which was designed to be an ‘exception’ for occasions where a deacon and subdeacon were not available.

    Personally, I have come to view the baroque aesthetic as being as anathematical to the celebration of the Mass as the happy-clappy-tambourines brigade.

    *Admittedly, the provision in Pius V’s missal seems to tacitly assume that it is for use in those churches where versus populum and ad orientem are the same direction – e.g., St Peter’s, or St Paul-Without-The-Walls. The CDW in 2000 took the phrase “desirable wherever possible” in reference to altars as referring to them being built away from the wall, not the Mass’ direction of celebration. Furthermore, you will note that the phrase “ad orientem” and the phrase “versus populum” do not, grammatically, exclude one another.
    **Assuming no additional restrictions on this have been introduced by the local bishop.

  53. dcs says:

    As far as “organic” is concerned — I don’t see how the 1965 Missal could be considered organic. The point about organic change is that it takes place slowly, almost unnoticeably, over the centuries, and is not imposed from the top. So the 1965 Missal is not “organic” by that definition (nor, in all honesty, is the 1962 Missal or the 1955 Missal or the 1911 Breviary … but I digress). Frankly, when I read 1964′s Inter Oecumenici imposing the changes on the Missal and other sacred rites it seems ghastly.

  54. Gaz says:

    I think mainly due to the influences of the Liturgical Movement, the OF is well-suited to an intimate abbey chapel where the congregation is the monks’ choir. I think the “participation” that the OF perhaps sought works well in small groups where the common recitation of the prayers at the foot of the altar works well.

    In large cathedrals, common recitation of prayers doesn’t have the same elegance. The EF is a more fitting ritual for large congregations where the vocal offerings of the faithful are either sung or silent.

    The overuse of microphones in the OF is vulgar and an offence to the rite.

    The over-use of microphones in large churches is somewhat vulgar and detracts from the importance of noble silence in the rite.

  55. Gaz says:

    I’d like to see 3 things flow to the EF.

    1. Deacons in dalmatics undertaking liturgical actions proper to them at Low Mass.

    2. Incense optional at Low Mass.

    3. A wider choice of music permitted at Low Mass. Perversely, a 4-hymn sandwich is permitted at Low Mass but a fledgling congregation is not permitted to just sing the ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Angus Dei). Nor is it proper for there to be singing at Low Mass if the priest doesn’t also sing epistle, gospel etc. Perhaps you have a keen congregation but a tone-deaf priest. No music for you!

    That said, High Mass is pretty good. The only thing I’d add is explicit permission for the use of a processional cross.

  56. dcs says:

    I hope I do not need to repeat here Fr Vaggagini’s extensive critique of the pre-1970 Canon Romanus and its deficiencies and peculiarities (e.g., the bizarre placement of the phrase ‘mysterium fidei’, the positioning of the prayers for the living and the dead on either side of the consecration, the frankly weird abruptness of the institution narrative, and so on). Suffice to say, they vary from the trivial to the very grave.

    Those who have read Fr. Fortescue already know of the “peculiarities” of the Roman Canon; but as for “deficiencies”? That sounds a bit too close to saying that there are errors in the Canon. And that is heresy (Council of Trent Session XXII Canon 6).

  57. benedetta says:

    This is a very interesting post as well as the comments.

    I would also just add with respect to the notion of the historical influence of Jansenism. Now I have certainly heard it referenced on occasion. I have looked into it as well. I would agree that one could view what has happened in the light of a reaction of a perception of what Jansenism was or a reaction against elements of it which remained. I think that it is safe to say that most people in our day can’t really grasp it or define it with any sort of precision. Further I would hazard that a majority of people who reference it as justification for myriad things really at the end of the day sort of comprehend it as something along the lines of a repression that, you know, Woodstock militates and innoculates against recurring amongst us. Most probably do not realize the complexity of the actual heresy or even that those who countered it even at that time themselves were often guilty of other heresies. Those who cite to it as justification further would launch it vaguely as consistent with the Church’s treatment of Galileo without comprehending, perhaps, and if comprehending never adding that in fact the Church (the Pope) did condemn it as heresy and that in that instance the much scorned hierarchy responded appropriately to condemn and attempt to counteracy. Or that the heresy caught the attention of Bishops, priests and laity and did in fact need the authority of the Pope to address the problem.

    Would also say that if it is Jansenism which worried those who dismantled the Mass or renovated it in so many ways perhaps this is a good time to look back into the whole matter. Perhaps there were much better, personalist approaches that clergy could have employed to freshen things up for Catholics in this regard then to in a brutalist and condemning way rework liturgy and doctrine. The examples of scores of joyful and friendly saints would have been instructive and more helpful towards this task.

    Instead in the NO oftentimes we are left with celebrating a reactionary impulse which is neither here nor there.

    I would say that the time for celebrating dissent in the context of the liturgy has passed. It is a Church composed of sinners and we also affirm the one holy apostolic Church in the creed which we pray together. The liturgy is simply not a forum for expression of all that we despise about the Church, not an instrument for battle in the culture war, not an implement for political activism and community organizers. I think the time is right to just permit people to honestly and openly pray and see where God then leads. If God leads us in a direction which one in power would be inclined to prohibit, at all costs, then, them’s the breaks….

  58. dcs says:

    Allow for more vernacular, and mark my words, people will move to the Extraordinary Form in much greater numbers than now.

    That may be, but those who are there now might well move elsewhere.

  59. Pachomius says:

    “but as for “deficiencies”? That sounds a bit too close to saying that there are errors in the Canon. And that is heresy”
    Ah, so if one dares to criticise the Extraordinary Form, one is a heretic; if one criticises the Ordinary Form, one is perfectly orthodox. Nice doublethink in operation there.

  60. Apparently, the Holy Father’s long-term goal is to move toward a “common rite.” According to this CNS article, SP and UE are only the very beginning of the “reform of the reform.”

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1101922.htm

  61. dominic1955 says:

    “Which is so unlike the 1570 MR, which was given to parishes as an option that they could choose, you mean? And I suppose Gregory the Great’s alterations of the liturgy were super-organic, too. Or do they not count simply because they were a long time ago?”

    By imposition I mean that it was imposed on the Latin Church as something new. The 1570 MR is practically identical to the pre-Tridentine MR and the Missal of the Roman Curia. The 1970 MR was totally different than even the ’62 MR. As to alterations, they can be good or bad even if legitimate. The Quignonez breviary was official for a while until they later decided that it wasn’t in harmony with the tradition of the Office and it was discarded. The NO should get a similar treatment-something that was changed with official capacity (and thus legitimate) but, as can be clearly seen, is not in harmony with what came before and what should be.

    “It’s not a question of “tradding up” the 1970 MR. It’s a question of using it according to the letter and the spirit of the rubrics.”

    If you read the GIRM, there is nothing in there about making the celebration of the NO look anything like the TLM. Priests who want to do the NO with some of the patrimony of the Roman Rite invariably add on accidentals that are/were common in the TLM and are allowed or in some way justified for use in the NO. So yes, its just getting “tradded up”.

    “Oh, and calling the 1962 MR “TLM” is unbelievably inaccurate – both missals are in Latin, and indults for Mass in the vernacular came in before the 1970 MR – hence the 1965 Ordo and so forth. The 1962 MR isn’t even really the “Tridentine” Mass, or particularly “Traditional”, since it dates to 1962.”

    Oh please, its called shorthand. I’m not typing out “Extraordinary Form” every time I want to refer to the “Old Mass” the “Traditional Latin Mass” or whatever else people are want to call it. Secondly, do not presume to school me on matters liturgical. Yes, both are in Latin in their typical editions but a totally Latin NO is about as rare as hen’s teeth. Secondly, indults to celebrate the old Mass in other languages than Latin came out even before the time of Vatican II so yes, even the TLM in whatever typical edition it would have been was celebrated in Greek, etc. Third, I am very well aware of the fact that the ’62 is not that particularly traditional. I personally think it should be seen as a stepping stone BACK to our older Roman Rite traditions. However, the ’62 is the closest to those traditions, much more so than the NO. Thus, really, calling the Mass celebrated with the ’62 MR the TLM is not that terribly inaccurate-especially considering its use as a SHORTHAND phrase!

  62. dcs says:

    @Pachomius,

    Ah, so if one dares to criticise the Extraordinary Form, one is a heretic; if one criticises the Ordinary Form, one is perfectly orthodox. Nice doublethink in operation there.

    I did not say that criticism of the traditional Mass is necessarily heretical nor that criticism of the Novus ordo is necessarily orthodox. You are reading things into my words that simply aren’t there. (Also, I think you mean a double standard rather than “doublethink” which is something different — at least as it was described in 1984). My point was that certain criticisms of the traditional Mass (namely, to say that the Canon of the Mass contains errors) are heretical. I don’t see how this could possibly be a point in dispute — it is spelled out in black and white in the canons of the Council of Trent.

  63. Centristian says:

    Father Z wrote:

    “I think that many years ago, Papa Ratzinger assumed that the newer, Ordinary Form, would have logical priority and that some influence of the older form would enter into producing the tertium quid. Now, however, I am not so sure. I sense a shift in the Force, as it were. I suspect the Holy Father thinks that it may be the other way around now. But, only time will tell.”

    Perhaps not only time, but the Pope’s actions. In the end I don’t know if it actually matters which form of Mass is imagined to have the greater influence upon the other; the resulting “tertium quid”, I think, will be more or less the same whether it is the Ordinary Form that opens up the Extraordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form that disciplines the Ordinary Form. I say “more or less” because the result will not be exactly the same, either way, I think, but very similar nonetheless (and similarly satisfying to Catholics of either perspective). In any event, it seems like those coming from either perspective manage to have essentially the same goal in mind, whether or not they admit as much or even recognize as much.

    The fact that the Pope only ever celebrates the Ordinary Form of Mass would seem to indicate that he is coming from the perspective of the reform of the Ordinary Form by means of lavishing upon it the ars celebrandi typical of the Extraordinary Form. Rather than attempting to update the Extraordinary Form, therefore, he seems to be trying to rescue the Ordinary Form from the deformations that it has been plagued with nearly from its inception. It seems that the Holy Father is trying to show the world what the Ordinary Form of Mass might have looked like all these decades had the clergy (himself included) not lost their grip on the Catholic sense of beauty and tradition in liturgy.

    To that end, the Holy Father returns to the Latin language when reciting the Canon, he eschews popular music for his Mass, and returns instead to Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony. He has at last put an end to the suffocating reign of modern art and avant-garde vesture that was heaped upon the papal liturgy by Pope Paul VI (a trend continued by Pope John Paul II, and even briefly by Benedict, himself). Rejecting such tastes and preferences at last, Pope Benedict XVI restores traditional altar appointments, sanctuary furnishings, vestments and paraments, when at Rome and, now, even when abroad. Novelties, such as dancers and banner-twirlers and heaven only knows what else, find no longer any place in the Pope’s public liturgies.

    Observing the Pope’s example, it turns out that what the Ordinary Form might have looked and sounded like, had the liturgical disruptions and deformities not been permitted to emerge and thrive, is the Extraordinary Form. It’s not the same, of course, but to observe the two (particularly when the Ordinary Form is celebrated ad orientem), there is much more that is similar than different. The similarities are glaring, in fact, whereas the differences are relatively subtle. A non-Catholic attending the one form one week and the other form the next (both celebrated ad orientem, in Latin) would perceive no difference at all. I know my own reaction, back in the days when I was what one would call a “traditionalist”, when I first saw the Ordinary Form of Mass celebrated solemnly in Latin, ad orientem, with chant, incense, magnificent vestments, and all the rest. “If this is what had resulted after Vatican II instead of what did result,” I thought to myself, “there would be no traditionalist movement, today.”

    The absence of the conversations (or arguments) that occur today between liturgical traditionalists, centrists, and progressives would, I think, have been, in a way, a loss for the Latin Church. Think of how much more liturgically-informed so many of us are because the reform didn’t produce something that looked, sounded, smelled, and felt just like what we had before the reforms. Because what resulted from the reforms was packaged as something that, in fact, was nothing like what came before them, many of us have felt a need to be educated on matters that, prior to the Council, Catholics simply took for granted and would still take for granted today. Catholics, perceiving no profound difference between the Mass of 1962 and the Mass of 1972 (or 1982, 1992, 2012…) would not consider that the resulting reform was less than authentically-arrived at, and that what they received was a liturgy that was perhaps not reformed as well as it could have been. We would, as a Church, simply have continued in our general liturgical tone-deafness and, for many of us, oblivion.

    The fact of the matter is that both forms of the Mass can be celebrated the same “way”; that is to say, they can both be celebrated ad orientem, in Latin, with traditional altar appointments and vestments, using traditional sacred music, and all the “smells and bells”. One form does not have to be so dramatically different from the other. I know that what I am speaking of, here, is the typical Sunday “solemn” form of Mass, and some may argue that there is no comparison of the “EF” Low Mass to a weekday “OF” Mass. Granted. But I’m glad of that. Celebrated ad orientem, with (at least) the Canon in Latin, what the Ordinary Form offers for a simple weekday celebration is a much better solution than the Low Mass form of the Extraordinary expression. Abandoning private expressions of the liturgy in public is a good influence that, I think, the “OF” must have on the “EF”.

    In any event, I think that the Ordinary Form of Mass should be celebrated in such a way that it seems to Catholics like a reform of the pre-Conciliar liturgy, which, indeed, is what it was conceived as and what it is meant to be. There are, nevertheless, aspects of the Conciliar liturgical reform that, I believe, did not go as well as they might have, which are not really the result of a truly authentic, organic development (and that’s apart from all the aberrations; I mean the reforms, themselves…some of them, anyway).

    I do not believe, therefore, despite what good must surely come of it, that simply and merely celebrating the Ordinary Form in the same manner in which we celebrate the Extraordinary Form presents the final conclusion to the Church’s 40 year-long journey through the liturgical wilderness. I believe there are still genuine reforms that need to be considered for either form of Mass–more accurately, I should say, I think, for the Roman Catholic Mass, considering both forms and neither–before we finally arrive at a “tertium quid” that the Church can be satisfied is the authentically developed liturgy of the Latin Church.

    It seems to me that we progress toward that longed-for “tertium quid” (I long for it, anyway) by, on the one hand, as mainstream Catholics, imagining liturgy once again from the perspective of tradition and embracing tradition even as we celebrate the Ordinary Form of Mass…and as traditionalists, on the other hand, by coming to terms with at least the notion that liturgy does not stand still forever, and has not stood fixed from its very origins, but that it may develop, does develop, and must develop. On the one hand, we do not reject all of our pre-Conciliar traditions and imagine that our Church and our liturgy are only authentically defined by what emerged after Vatican II. On the other hand, we do not reject every reform that came after Vatican II simply because it came after Vatican II, regardless of the actual merit of any given reform.

    Whether the Church seems to use the Extraordinary Form as her starting point and reforms the “EF” using the “OF”, or whether she reforms the “OF” using the traditional example of the “EF”, in any event, the emerging liturgical result, I think, will end up being something that seems more authentic than the “OF” and more relevant than the “EF”. It will seem like a wholly Catholic liturgy, unable to be mistaken for a Protestant one, but it will also seem to be today’s liturgy, rather than merely a return to yesterday’s. It will be rather more disciplined than the “Novus Ordo”, but rather more flexible than the “Tridentine Mass”. Traditionalists cannot insist that the whole of the liturgy be in Latin except for the “Kyrie” and “Amen”. Progressives must come to terms with the notion that there must be enough Latin preserved in order to define the Mass as the traditional liturgy of the Latin Rite. The “tertium quid” will adapt to contemporary expectations that worshippers actively participate at Mass (as indeed the pre-Conciliar “Dialogue Mass” began to), but it will not yield on the other hand to the embrace of popular culture, popular music, and fancy.

    Whether what results in the long run seems more to some like a reformed “OF” and more to others like a reformed “EF”, I think will not matter. Whatever emerges, it seems to me, must necessarily be something that we can all, as a Church, simply call “Mass”, again.

  64. dominic1955 says:

    “I find this idiotic phrase “tradded up NO” very irksome. It’s not tradded up – it’s just celebrated according to the 1970 Missal’s own rubrics.”

    There is nothing in those “rubrics” that lay down a celebration in a traditional manner. Many things (i.e. ad orientem) are in there or can be teased out but there is still so much room for about anything. Thus, again, when priests try saying the NO in a traditional manner its the NO with TLM accoutrement. This style is not found (and certainly not mandated!) in the GIRM, its found in traditional praxis.

    “I know – the Ordinary Form is frequently celebrated badly. I know – you don’t like the Ordinary Form. But for goodness’ sake, if you don’t like it at least come up with some valid arguments against it, rather than playing these oh-so-tired games of golden-age-ism. As for why not to use the EF, simply put if the OF is deficient, so is the EF. I hope I do not need to repeat here Fr Vaggagini’s extensive critique of the pre-1970 Canon Romanus and its deficiencies and peculiarities (e.g., the bizarre placement of the phrase ‘mysterium fidei’, the positioning of the prayers for the living and the dead on either side of the consecration, the frankly weird abruptness of the institution narrative, and so on). Suffice to say, they vary from the trivial to the very grave.”

    I am aware of Dom Cipriano Vaggagini’s critique. He’s one of the avant-garde Benedictines that wanted to rewrite the Canon and write new ones back in the ’40s. First of all, there can be nothing actually wrong with the Roman Canon. Sure, there are probably stylistic oddities and this or that thing that seems odd or “out of place” but it had been the Canon of the Roman Rite for centuries. Nothing was lacking with it other than that which can be used by busy-body liturgists clamoring to make themselves needed.

    “There are aesthetic problems surrounding the older Mass, though, too. Perhaps they aren’t serious, but they do need looking at. The fetishisation of the baroque, for example, and 18th and 19th century settings of the Mass (despite, as I recall, strictures against this issued by Pius X or XI, recommending Masses from no later than the 16th Century). There’s also the virtual reduction of the Kyriale to the (awful, soul-crushingly banal) Missa de Angelis. The obsession with lace, and a general overenthusiasm for frilliness, which is fundamentally at odds with the somewhat ascetic spirit of the Roman Rite.”

    Where exactly is this “ascetic spirit” of the Roman Rite? Many people throw this sort of catch-phrase around to make their points, however, it should be remembered that the Roman Rite is “simple” or “severe” compared to the Eastern Rites which are much more gushing and, well, “Eastern”. This doesn’t mean that the Easterners get to have all the fun and we have to sit in a whitewashed barn.

    These “problems” (if we are going to admit there are such) are present throughout the Roman Rite in the very way that I’ve been saying the NO gets “tradded up”. Priests who want to make the NO look more “traditional” are the ones pulling out the lace and the fiddlebacks and having their choirs sing in Latin (usually the Missa de Angelis or the Requiem settings, both of which have their proper places and they aren’t every single Sunday!). Personally, I do not see these things as problems other than the improper Mass settings. However, at least in my environs, we do not do the Missa de Angelis or the Requiem settings outside of their proper place. If one wants to hear the Missa de Angelis, their best bet is to go down the street to the traditional NO parish.

    “And the love of the Low Mass – a form which, according to the rubrics of the pre-1970 Missals, is not the normative form, which is the Solemn Mass. I recently saw on the website of the Latin Mass Society that they got permission to celebrate a Mass in York Minster. Looking at the pictures, they decided on a Low Mass with dozens of altar-servers. This strikes me as wrong-headed. The normative is the Missa Solemnis, not the Low Mass, which was designed to be an ‘exception’ for occasions where a deacon and subdeacon were not available.”

    The Low Mass certainly has its place. Solemn High’s are for some Sundays and Feasts, but not (generally) for daily Mass. The same goes for the Missa Cantata. Of course, the higher forms should be encouraged because this is, truly, the normative form that Mass is supposed to take when possible.

  65. jbpolhamus says:

    Ah, Pachomius, as all Catholics know, the worship of the Church based on her experience is accretive over time, and sacred tradition holds as much authority within her practices as the bible itself. We do not worship the Bible. To go by Our Lord’s own rubrical instructions, we might well say only the Pater Noster and the words of institution, but we’re not in a make-believe Bible-Land amusement park. Things have happened since, requiring elaboration in liturgical expression. Calvary hadn’t yet happened, nor had 2000 years of doctrinal development and understanding.

    So, I repeat, there is no innate virtue in simplicity of worship, especially if it fails to respond to known mis-interpretations and doctrinal distortion. Tradition doesn’t imply rote repitition, but rather the logical continuance of known and salutory practices.

  66. jbpolhamus says:

    Fr. Deacon, the rationale as I understood it was no different than all objections to the ’65 rite, which was that it was a brutal mutilation, and that they weren’t going to have it. I can’t say that I blame them. In fact I support the position.

    For instance, one might condone doing without the second confiteor, except that a very good case can be made for it on two grounds. Firstly that, going by the terms of modern liturgists who like to divide the mass up into manifold miniature rites and segments (The Rite of Sitting Down; The Rite of Looking Up; The Rite of Opening the Hymnal), the first confiteor is appropriate to the Mass of the Catachumens, and the second confiteor is proper to a whold separate liturgy (according to their way of thinking) the Mass of the Faithful, the eucharistic portion of the liturgy. Now technically they are right, but their thinking is deliberately exaggerated in order to disrupt the concept of the Holy Mass as a whole.

    Secondly, the second confiteor provides an opportunity for those who come to mass late, and we know that that is quite a common occurrance for a variety of reasons, and have not participated – actively or otherwise – in the first confiteor, to receive a general absolution before receiving communion. A fairly important, considerately accomodating, and very appropriate safeguard at that particular moment.

    Having compromised that far, however, the loss of the prayers at the foot of the altar and the “sending” of the Last Gospel, the reinforcement of the idea that the Christ of the Logos which now dwells physically in the faithful following communion, will now be carried by them out into the community and world following the words of the “Ite,” these cuts are arbitary amputations which fundamentally alter the rhythms and proportions of the mass and deprive it of important symbolism, and they’re simply not countenancing it. And they’re not the only ones.

    ’65 is a moot point in any event. What has been proved is that there is a life of growth for the Sacred Liturgy in its fullness both with the hierarchy’s permission and without it, and it isn’t going back onto the Consilium’s “Island of Doctor Moreau.”

    That has been apparent for many years now. Now, I’m not advocating disobedience, I am merely recounting the reality of the situation. It’s interesting, that many of those – not necessarily you, understand please – who comprehend the monstrous moral violations and implications of genetic experimintation, do not see liturgical experimentation as the practicing of similar monstrous violations on the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. If the Mass is in fact the “doing” of the word, his physical embodiment upon the altars of the Church, then we must be very wary and vigilant of the manner in which we express that embodiment.

    Consider the implications of genetic experimentation gone awry, I won’t list examples, and apply its horrific Boschian visions to the Body of Our Lord. That’s why Una Voce aren’t having any more of the ’65 option than the SSPX, or anyone else that I know.

  67. jbpolhamus says:

    Fr. Deacon, please also understand that even if I sound doctrinaire on the subject of the ’65 v. ’62 rite, it is only out of objective analysis. I am a practicing diocesan Catholic, I love the traditional rite and seek it out, but I make music in a Novus Ordo parish out of a hymnal not particularly to my taste, but that decision is out of my hands. I needed a job and the local traditionalists weren’t hiring. So as this is the work which seems to have been offered to me I will do it until God sees fit to provide me with a different assignment. I have been told that I have made an improvement to the situation through available choices and my classical manner of performance, compared to what it could be and has been in the past, but I simply try to make the best of the situation for the sake of the liturgy as I find it. You see, even small and subtle influences on the liturgy may have their effect on the Mystical Body.

  68. Traductora says:

    I’m late to the party, as usual – but I have a really good excuse this time (I’m moving…all of about 1/2 mile, but still, moving is el infierno)!

    I was thrilled to see that other people remembered the 1965 missal. I agree with joecct77 and Deacon Daniel that probably if the VII changes had continued in this direction, we would have a really nice mass now (mixed vernacular and Latin) and most of the horrors of the last 40 yrs would not have occurred. I think this was probably what most of the Council Fathers had in mind, and I have never entirely understood how the bait-and-switch process happened.

    But be that as it may, only a handful of us remember the 1965 missal. All Catholics my age lived through it, but it’s possible that it wasn’t really enacted in some parts of the country (I grew up in New York City) or that most of the Catholics who would be old enough to remember it have either left the Church themselves or simply ceased to have any interest in things liturgical. They just did what they were told and wiped the slate clean every time a new version came up.

    But I think probably the best thing to do now is to start over with the two forms, which is obviously what the Pope is trying to do. I think he wants to attract people who will create a feedback effect between the two forms, and I do think that the OF can help a priest in celebrating the EF. While the OF has way too much emphasis on the “people” (i.e. , the congregation), in practice the EF had become a very solitary thing that belonged to the priest alone. There are certainly mystical reasons for this, and it’s not a bad idea for monastics. But the mass should be no more a personal devotion for the priest than should be background noise to the laity. I remember how it got in the way of the devotions of the old ladies who came to church only to say the Rosary or do some other devotion during Mass – they regarded that 20 minutes (masses were faster then) as their special time, and seriously resented being told to pay attention when the 1965 missal was introduced.

    That said, I’d love to go back to 1965 as a starting point. But I think the Pope wants to stay clear of it, and I think he is hoping to avoid conflict and bring together a real fusion of the 1962 and current NO rites that will create the thing the Council probably wanted in the first place. Well, except for its evil geniuses such as Bugnini…

  69. Ave Maria!

    “While the OF has way too much emphasis on the “people” (i.e. , the congregation), in practice the EF had become a very solitary thing that belonged to the priest alone.”

    I think this unfortunately depends on where and how the OF is being celebrated Traductora. For example, the Oratorians in Toronto offer the OF in latin every Sunday. The worship is ad orientem, there is a magnificent choir which mingles the melodic chant with the clouds of incense and raises on high a prayerful atmosphere that matches many of EF Masses that I have attended. The square Roman vestments, Communion rail and males only on the altar combine to make the liturgy one that is quite uplifting. Of course the people join in praying (in latin) the confiteor, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Domine Non Sum Dignus, but there is not that seeming emphasis on the people you may see in other parishes.

    But this atmosphere that I describe above is really what the books instruct to offer as the norm isn’t it?

    In no way am I wishing to diminsh the greatness of the EF, but only wish to demonstrate that, done by the books, the OF is really a beautiful rite. The new translation combined with the many things I stated that are done at the Oratory in Toronto, if duplicated in all parishes would see much fruit, in my worthless opinion.

    Praised be Jesus and Mary!

    Fra Pio Maria
    http://allfortheimmaculate.blogspot.com/

  70. jbpolhamus says:

    “…the EF had become a very solitary thing that belonged to the priest alone.”

    That might be true for a generation who were subjected to ideologically influenced chatechism, or chatechism inculturated by the proliferating media of the day and an agenda promoted by activist priests seeking to ride the social trends of the 1960′s, but from the late 1980′s on, my experience among those with whom I have worshipped in the Traditional Roman Rite is exactly the opposite of that statement. In fact it couldn’t be more obverse.

    In England, Europe, and in the United States I have only experienced a focused fervor on the part of laity of all ages, based on a sound explanation and solid liturgical catechism which refocused itself on Christ’s sacrifice in the liturgy, not on our personal tastes. And I really doubt that that was the case prior to the wreck. Even if a multitude have lost their taste for the savor of the liturgy and reject its quiet gift, it does not any more belong to the priest because of that than it did before their sense of dis-satisfaction set in. You know, hand-missals in translation have been around for two hundred and fifty years, or more. If the generation of the ’50′s and ’60′s couldn’t be bothered to read them, that was their rather unfortunate problem, which they then foisted onto the rest of us. Well, we’re unfoisted of them now, and shut of their dis-satisfaction. The mass in its traditional form belongs to priest and people once again, just as it always did despite their ingratitude, thanks be to God.

  71. Mundabor says:

    “I think this was probably what most of the Council Fathers had in mind…..”

    Well if they had, they changed their mind afterwards as the “horrors” (as you rightly call them) happened under their tenure.

    It is in my eyes absurd to attribute what happened in the first post-Conciliar years to any one other than the Pope and the bishops, as if they had collectively moved on Mars after the conclusion of the works.

    The truth is that a dynamic developed, which the bishops first encouraged (with all the rhetoric about “aggiornamento”, meant to please the masses and to look hip and modern) and when it became extreme either hadn’t the courage to oppose, or actively approved.

    Revolutions always eat their own children and if you start to say around that a vast process of “aggiornamento” is necessary – so vast in fact, and so necessary, that you start an ecumenical council to accomplish it – you really must not be suprised if all kind of revolutionaries come out and say that everything must now be made anew.

    If you look for the responsible of what has happened, look no further than the Popes (particularly Paul VI) and the Bishops who were in charge.

    Because they were the ones in charge.

    Mundabor

  72. Dear Fr. Z: (Father, bless!)*

    The question you have raised, if I understand it correctly, is whether there is something about the Novus Ordo which can inform and improve the Vetus Ordo (or if you prefer, the EF). More particularly, you have cited Fr. Thompson’s comment that it was the “novus ordo” freedom that gave him the ability to perform the Dominican Rite (one several centuries older than the Vetus Ordo, by the bye) with grace and fluidity.

    I would suggest instead that there are certain essentials that a priest or a server must learn, experience, and be, before bringing grace and fluidity to ANY liturgical rite. Those essentials are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as stated by the Prophet St. Isaiah: knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and the fear of the Lord.

    Please allow me to explain what I mean by that, making use of my twenty-some years of experience as a choir singer and director in an Eastern Catholic church, and my observations of my parish priest, Fr. Alexei Smith.

    By knowledge, I mean something that is memorized “by heart”. There are two exemplars of such “knowledge” in the Hebrew Scriptures. The first is the example of the prophet (Ezekiel) and the apostle (in Revelations) who were bade to eat the scroll of Torah; they were asked to make Torah a living part of them. The second is in the very Hebrew verb yada, which is used both to mean to know and that most intimate act between a man and a woman. I would assert that the knowledge necessary to serve the Divine Liturgy correctly is more than a “reading knowledge” (as it seems to have become in the West): it must be far more intimate than that.

    But, as the apostle of Revelations has noted, knowledge without understanding is bitter. And as people have noted, both in the old and new rites, that priests who do repeated ritual acts without understanding what they are doing, are engaged in mere fetishism. While it is my hope that God will and does supply all needed grace in those cases, the priest or server is doing little to help.

    While knowledge and understanding are necessary, they are by no means sufficient to serve the Divine Liturgy well. One needs to bring to the Holy Table all of one’s experience with the treasuries of Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the whole Teaching Authority of the Church. In short, one needs wisdom. Finally, in the writings of the Prophet St. Isaiah, we learn that Satan, the morning star, was the leader of the heavenly choir. He had all gifts in himself. But he fell when he regarded only himself, and lost the fear of the Lord.

    (I note in passing that for the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, they are guided and guarded by a verse from the prophet St. Jeremiah: “God’s curse is on those who do the things of the Lord carelessly.” It seems to me a great pity that western priests seem to have lost that knowledge. It is my fear that at the dread and final Judgment, they may learn, to their great cost, the consequences of their ignorance.

    While I suspect that Fr. Augustine gained something by serving the Divine Liturgy in a form which helped him better to understand it, I strongly suspect that what he also brought to the table those four gifts of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and fear of the Lord. I know that my parish priest, Fr. Alexei, has done so, and with those gifts, and his decades of experience with the Eastern Divine Liturgy, he has been able to serve even the Novus Ordo with grace and reverence.

    For my own part, I made use of Fr. Alexei’s excellent example in my own life as a choir singer to learn by heart every hymn that the choir sung, in every part. I then started to memorize and to understand the hymns, their order, and the ‘shape’ of the Divine Liturgy. From there, I went on to teach myself the fundamentals of music theory, choral conducting, eastern liturgical theology, church history, and the treasures of sacred scripture and holy tradition. And I would listen to the excellent sermons of Fr. Alexei, who helped to teach me the meaning of the things that I studied.

    As a result, even though I am no longer the main choir director at St. Andrew’s, I am still asked to direct on occasion, and can do so with ease and grace. But I give all the credit for my ability to do so to my church and my pastor, who by their presence and example, have shown me the importance of the gifts of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and fear of the Lord in order to do any good work in general, and the work of the Lord in particular.

    (*P.S., I begin any letter to a priest with the words, “Father, Bless!”, because it is the Eastern custom for a layman or woman to begin a conversation with a priest, either in writing or in person, with a request for blessing.)

  73. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    Bernard,

    Christ is Risen!

    Very well said.

  74. robtbrown says:

    Maltese says:

    But the question of “mutual enrichment”, I think, has two dimensions. The first, reflected above, is how the praxis of Praying Holy Mass is effected. The second is how rubrics themselves may be changed. In this, and as a confessed Traditionalist, I don’t think there is any sense in which the Novus Ordo may enrich the Vetus Ordo. In no sense may a man-centered rite enrich a God-centered rite. If one were, to say, adopt the Novus Ordo’s penchant for vernacularism, and apply it to the Vetus Ordo, the latter would be thereby diminished–it’s universalism abrogated. A man-manufactured mass cannot compliment, in a permanent fashion, a God-inspired mass any more than a flea compliments the dog on which he lives.

    Although I think there are deficiencies in the Novus Ordo, I have attended NO Latin masses said ad orientem–they didn’t seem man-centered. Are they usually vernacular versus populum and man-centered? Yes, but not intrinsically.

    To re-state what I have said often here: The war is not over the 1570 Missal vs the 1970 Missal. but rather it is between Latin ad orientem and vernacular versus populum.

  75. Jitpring says:

    One thing’s for sure: for years to come we’re going to be hearing the phrase “mutual enrichment” ad nauseum.

  76. I’m sorry… “fluidity of motion”… O, my… sorry, can’t stop laughing… hard to type… hilarious.

    OH, wooo. Wow… thanks, Father. Needed a good laugh. “Fluidity of motion”… heeeHEEE.

  77. MichaelJ says:

    Pachomius,
    Would you mind expanding on this comment:

    the bizarre placement of the phrase ‘mysterium fidei

    Just what, precicely, is the Mystery of Faith?

  78. Supertradmum says:

    Mutual enrichment could happen if the people in the pew were open to such. I was teaching at a study day on the EF. During the Q and A, people were clearly upset about the lack of lay participation as EMs, readers, altar girls. As I am in England now, I have heard a great resistance to Latin in the parishes. There is some obvious mutual enrichment in isolated places such as Buckfast, where the NO is beautiful and reverent.

  79. frangelo says:

    It seems “mutual enrichment” is simply a bit of Roman Catholic realism in matters of universal governance, which just happens to be the competence of the Holy Father. It is also his competence to judge what does and does not belong to the organic development of the liturgy.

    It is not simply a matter of what might be the best outcome of development from a purely historical assessment of the liturgy, but of what discipline within the requirements of organic development is prudently judged by Roman pontiff to be in the best interests of the universal Church. It very well may be that, regardless of what various liturgical experts believe to best, a tertium quid is, in the long term judgment of the Church, what is in the best interests of the faithful because it both meets the standard of organic development and is simply the most realistic solution.