From a reader:
Can the Last Gospel and the prayers at the foot of the altar be a part of the Ordinary Form? Also, can the priest say, “May the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting” instead of the theologically bland, “The Body of Christ”?
Regarding the Last Gospel and the Prayers at the foot of the altar… I think so. Given the fact that, in the Novus Ordo/Ordinary Form, they would technically be before Mass begins and after Mass concludes, you could probably do them as a sort of devotional practice. However, people in the pews would not see the distinction I am making and would, more than likely, see them as being part of Mass. I would therefore hesitate to do this.
As far as the form for distribution of Communion is concerned, I think that the older form cannot be used. The form for distribution of Communion is laid down explicitly in the Missale Romanum and there is no indication for any option.
One of Pope Benedict’s intentions with the provision of Summorum Pontificum was, through a wider use of the older form of Holy Mass, to kick-start the organic development of Holy Church’s worship. He was aiming to create a “gravitational pull”, as I call it, of the forms on each other. I believe that the older form will eventually have the greater pull in the long run. This gravitational pull is going to have to be slow. I don’t think we will necessarily see the results in our lifetime. We need stability in using the older, traditional forms so that they can be well-known and widespread. Only then might there be room for adjustments.
These questions, however, bring up another question. If it is desirable to make the newer form, the Ordinary Form, more like the Extraordinary Form, why not just use the Extraordinary Form? Sometimes it is said that the more the Ordinary Form is celebrated in the style of and with elements of the older form, the better it is. If that is the case, then I have to ask why not simply use the Extraordinary Form? It would take some patience and catechesis to establish it in a parish that hasn’t had it, but it can be done with the aid of some dedicated lay people and, of course, willing priests.