From a reader:
A priest has started saying the Extraordinary Form Mass at a local church. The congregation is very thankful, and we make sure to let him know. [Excellent!]
Unfortunately, even though he is enthusiastic about the Extraordinary Form, he doesn’t know the Mass well. It’s difficult for the servers to correct him. He insists he’s right. It obviously embarrasses him, so we just try to ignore it.
The difficulty comes when he starts to give the servers new instructions.
Is there anything we can do to fix the situation without embarrassing him?
Without embarrassing him.
Well…. this is not really a situation of fraternal correction, unless you are priest.
First, don’t do it in front of anyone else.
It seems to me that, above all, you are rights that he is wrong. That is to say, be sure of your position before attempting to correct him.
Then, provide proof. You need evidence. There is an old phrase: gratis asseritur, gratis negatur… something your assert without evidence is just as easily denied by the one you are telling.
Off the top of my head, perhaps you could offer to pay for a refresher workshop with the FSSP or with the guys at St. John Cantius.
In lieu, I suggest you get a reliable source such as The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described by Fortescue and O’Connell reworked by Reid after Summorum Pontificum. Double-check everything. Then make a private appointment with Father and bring the book. As a matter of fact, you could give him a copy of the book! At the very least, you could bring photo copies of the relevant pages.
You also need to be familiar with the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum issued by the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” entitled Universae Ecclesiae.
Universae Ecclesiae clarifies that (my emphases):
24. The liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria are to be used as they are. All those who wish to celebrate according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite must know the pertinent rubrics and are obliged to follow them correctly.
In approaching him I wouldn’t be aggressive. Neither do I think you need to avoid eye-contact as you would when encountering a tiger. Like a tiger, however, Father may aim an initial blow at your hamstring to immobilize you before he suffocates you with his jaws and subsequently guts you. Don’t panic. Remain cordial. Don’t lash back. Give
Shere Khan … er… Father an honorable escape route. Thank him for the meeting and leave the materials you brought. After a couple days call and ask when you might be able to see him again.
Do these things, Mowgli, and you probably get some results.
Meanwhile, make sure your will is in order.