Catholic Herald: editorial on seminaries training for the TLM

The Catholic Herald, in addition to the article by the diligent Anna Arco, has an editioral about the older form of Mass and training of seminarians.

Shall we parse it in our Usual Way?

Training seminarians to serve the Church of the future

February 22, 2008

It now seems very likely that all seminaries will be required to teach students to celebrate the classical (“Tridentine”) form of the Roman Rite as well as the post-Vatican II Mass. A letter from the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei commission says that the provision of instruction in both forms will be included in the long-awaited clarification of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum. This is very welcome news, for several reasons.

First, if Ecclesia Dei effectively orders seminaries [I don’t think that is quite the right way to put this.  The Commission, I am sure, doesn’t want to "order" anything.  Remember also that the Supreme Pontiff will issue clarifying document and this issue should be included.] to teach the extraordinary form, that should clear up once and for all any confusion about the Holy Father’s intention in issuing his Motu Proprio. [Right.  I also think that his replacing the 1962 Good Friday prayer for Jews was a signal that he intends that this Missal be used.] The Pope believes that the Missal of Blessed Pope John Paul XXIII, while not the liturgical norm, is every bit as valid as the 1970 Missal containing the Novus Ordo usually celebrated in the vernacular. If young priests everywhere are to be trained to use the older liturgy, then the argument that Summorum Pontificum was intended to mollify a Lefebvrist rump is seen to be the nonsense that it always was.  [Or that this is just for old people suffering from obtuse nostalgia.]

Second, and irrespective of the fine print of the Motu Proprio, the Mass of the 1962 Missal, codified in 1570 but drawing on much more ancient patterns of worship, is a glorious thing in itself. [Yes!  Before and after the MP was issued I hammered the point that, aside from the practical benefits, derestricting the older form of Mass was simply the right thing to do.] To deprive seminarians of the opportunity to learn to celebrate it is to alienate them from a wonderful aspect of their heritage. [to which they have a right.] Likewise, it is only fitting that priests learn to celebrate the Hippolytan canon that forms the basis of the modern Second Eucharistic Prayer: that, too, is part of their heritage.  [This would, perhaps, apply to seminarians in traditionalist seminaries,… perhaps.]

Third, as we report today, several seminaries of the Church in England and Wales have signified their readiness to provide the necessary instruction. One might imagine that they had no choice in the matter; but opponents of Summorum Pontificum are great exploiters of loopholes, and it is a relief to learn that some seminary rectors are not prepared to waste their energies trying to sidestep any new requirement. Like many Catholics, they have reassessed their attitude towards the classical form of the Roman Rite; they are looking forward to the challenge of teaching seminarians to celebrate this most beautiful and numinous of liturgies.  [The tide has shifted.]

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  1. C says:

    ‘Hippolytan canon’ – What tosh! Their is no such thing! It is based on outdated scholarship, and has not been part of the tradition for the best part of 1500 years. Why do we want to go back to that? It died for a reason! Probably because it is so short. I am preparing to be a priest in the who will mostly be saying the New Rite but I can tell you that I have no intention of ever using that Canon. I suppose I might have to while concelebrating… I hate concelebration so much.

  2. TNCath says:

    This is a good article. What remains now is when will the bishops of the U.S. get on board? Fr. Z., do you think the Pope will even make mention of the use of the TLM on his visit to the United States? Or will he simply let the clarification document speak for itself?

  3. TNC: I have no idea what the Pope will say in the USA. I wasn’t asked for input. How long will it take US seminaries to get on board?

    If I have anything to say about it, they’ll get on board sooner, rather than later. The more information I am sent about what is going on, the better lobby WDTPRS can be, both on the internet and in print.

  4. Father G says:

    Likewise, it is only fitting that priests learn to celebrate the Hippolytan canon that forms the basis of the modern Second Eucharistic Prayer: that, too, is part of their heritage. [This would, perhaps, apply to seminarians in traditionalist seminaries,… perhaps.]

    With all due respect Father…what planet are you living on? Maybe there lead baloons float but on earth I can assure you they definitely do not…

  5. Diane says:

    At the end of the second paragraph, Fr. Z says, “Or that this is just for old people suffering from obtuse nostalgia”

    The only old people suffering from nostalgia is the aging hippy generation lamenting over the loss of some ficticious freedoms.

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    Father G: Your response sounds interesting, but I’m not sure what you mean. Are you referring to the many priests who almost exclusively use EP II, many of whom would never, ever use the Roman Canon?

  7. Father G says:

    No…I’m refering to Father’s comment suggesting that traditionalist seminaries should teach EPII to their seminarians. If I read his comment right, that’s what I understand him to be intimating(correct me if I’m wrong). For what possible reason since they will be offering the TLM not the NO…I mean that is why they’re in a traditionalist seminary in the first place, right? I don’t know of any traditionalist seminarian who would go to a traditionalist seminary to learn the new mass…doesn’t seem logical to me and to suggest that they should is(IMO)ridiculous. I say the TLM exclusively… if I had wanted to say the NO, I wouldn’t have left the NO seminary where I began my studies for the priesthood. In the seminary where I studied Father’s suggestion wouldn’t go over at all and the others out there…I don’t think so…now if he means that they should study the new mass to know its history, its structure, the thelogy and ecclesiology behind it, then that’s a different question.

  8. Tom says:

    Hippolytan canon…

    Having assisted at Mass at at least five Dallas parishes, with the exception of one Mass, I cannot recall having encountered Eucharistic Prayer I. (I am sure that Father Weinberger of Greenville prays EPI.)

    Other than the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation during Lenten seasons, my parish has used EP II exclusively for decades.

  9. Rudy B says:

    Indeed the tide is shifting. Deo gratias!

  10. Tom says:

    “It now seems very likely that all seminaries will be required to teach students to celebrate the classical (“Tridentine”) form of the Roman Rite as well as the post-Vatican II Mass.”

    My diocese would have to be ordered to do so.

  11. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “I also think that his replacing the 1962 Good Friday prayer for Jews was a signal that he intends that this Missal be used.]”

    Father, who doubted Pope Benedict XVI’s support for the 1962 Missal prior to his elimination of the traditional prayer in question?

  12. Patrick Rothwell says:

    While seminarian C may think that he can get away with never, ever using EP II, I’m sure he’ll run into trouble if assigned to a parish where the faithful daily mass contigent are hearing mass before catching a train or bus to work, or are hearing mass during their lunch hour. While he’s at it, seminarian C should keep his homilies short, too.

    That said, the EPII-all-the-time-including-Sundays parishes are a serious problem, every bit as much of a problem of the clickety-clack 15 minute Sunday mass wonder of preconciliar tiems.

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    every bit as much of a problem of the clickety-clack 15 minute Sunday mass wonder of preconciliar tiems.

    In attending several parishes in different states and dioceses for some years before Vatican II, I never saw or even heard of that mythical 15-minute Sunday Mass. For my first couple of years as a Catholic, I probably wondered whether some rubric specified that Sunday low Mass had to be exactly 42 minutes long — for the obvious purpose of allowing enough time to replace one packed crowd with another (in church and parking lot) before the next Mass starting on the hour.

    I can only assume that, with a surprising number of folks of a certain age and disposition, remembered Masses get shorter as memories fade. When this starts happening to you, it’s probably time to start trying to remember something else.

  14. Richard says:

    I’m too young to know about 15 minute Old Rite Masses, but at school in the 1980s we used to have 12 minute Novus Ordo ones every morning. One priest could get it down to 8 minutes (yes, we did time them; that’s what schoolboys are like).

  15. TNCath says:

    We had a priest in our diocese who was infamous for his ability to “bark out” a TLM or Novus Ordo Mass in less than 15 minutes. His recitation of the Eucharistic prayer (in English) was as fast as the fast talking man on the old FedEx commercials. Believe me, I witnessed it. He was an orthodox, saintly, very intelligent and amusingly eccentric man, but when it came to ceremonies, he was unbelievably fast. Nonetheless, I’d take his “clickety clack” Mass over an hour of “We’d like to welcome each and every one of you for being here this morning on this beautiful day! We extend a special welcome to our visitors! How happy and proud we are to have you with us!” any day of the week.

  16. jack burton says:

    EP II is not the Hippolytean anaphora apart from a few unremarkable phrases that were lifted from it. I’m convinced that this lie is spread to somehow validate the “short and simple” EP II which was no doubt scandalous to many during its debut. I’ve heard people charge that EP II is “more traditional” than the Roman Canon. This is all hogwash.
    The so-called anaphora of Hippolytus is a reconstruction based on a slew of contradictory source material and it was never a normative or traditional prayer of the Roman Church. It was quite possibly a fantasy anaphora crafted by a redactor or redactors within an immigrant Christian community that was not fully integrated with the larger Roman Church in the third century.
    In any case it is funny that mention of hell, Satan and other such things were excluded by the fabricators of EP II. According to Bugnini EP II was only loosely inspired by Hippolytus and was meant to be a very short prayer that is simple in its ideas (immediately understandable by the rabble) and inoffensive to the mentality of modern man. I doubt that Hippolytus would be proud of having his name attached to this banal and in fact anti-traditional creation.

  17. ““We’d like to welcome each and every one of you for being here this morning on this beautiful day! We extend a special welcome to our visitors! How happy and proud we are to have you with us!” any day of the week.” (I heard that every week at my old parish)

    There is some basis for EP II to be on the St. Hippoclytus canon. However, very little of it remaind.

  18. Mark says:

    Question: Is it really even appropriate to consider a prayer from that early as a genuine manifestation of the Roman Rite (in the sense that we mean when we say Roman Rite today)?

    …of course we still have the perennial question: is tradition what is recieved (handed-down) and modified when necessary little by little, or is it a hodge-podge of various texts and practices from all the ages of history that we use as raw material for construction and repairs on the recieved liturgy (I hope we would never just piece a liturgical collage together ourselves in its entirety). (I do not suspect that this is an either/or question…but still…)

  19. Joseph says:

    At our parish, I think the Sunday mass only takes about 15 minutes, the other 56 minutes is spent singing multiple hyms, with multiple stanzas, turning the gloria and Agnus Dei into a responsorial hymn, and the homily. So we get 15 minutes of meat and 56 minutes of screeching and howling (“singing”), and sometimes a good homily. Sheesh, do I miss the TLM.

  20. jack burton says:

    Eucharistic Prayer II:
    “The aim was to produce an anaphora that is short and very simple in its ideas. The anaphora of Hippolytus was therefore taken as a model. But, although many thoughts and expressions are derived from Hippolytus, Eucharistic Prayer II is not, as it were, a new edition of his prayer. It was not possible to retain the structure of his anaphora because it does not have a Sanctus or a consecratory epiclesis before the account of institution or a commemoration of the saints or intercessions. All these developed after Hippolytus and could not now be omitted in a Roman anaphora. In addition, various ideas and expressions in the anaphora of Hippolytus are archaic or difficult to understand and could not be taken over into a contemporary anaphora.” – Annibale Bugnini, “La riforma liturgica”

    Easton’s rendition of the Hippolytean anaphora:

    We give you thanks, O God, through your beloved Servant Jesus Christ, whom at the end of time you did send to us a Saviour and Redeemer and the Messenger of your counsel. Who is your Word, inseparable from you; through whom you did make all things and in whom you are well pleased. Whom you did send from heaven into the womb of the Virgin, and who, dwelling within her, was made flesh, and was manifested as your Son, being born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin. Who, fulfilling your will, and winning for himself a holy people, spread out his hands when he came to suffer, that by his death he might set free them who believed on you.
    Who, when he was betrayed to his willing death, that he might bring to naught death, and break the bond of the devil, and tread hell under foot, and give light to the righteous and set up a boundary post, and manifest his resurrection, taking bread and giving thanks to you said: Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you. And likewise also the cup, saying: This is my blood, which is shed for you. As often as you perform this, perform my memorial. Having in memory, therefore, his death and resurrection, we offer to you the bread and the cup, yielding you thanks, because you have counted us worthy to stand before you and to minister to you. And we pray you that you would send your Holy Spirit upon the offering of your holy church; that you, gathering them into one, would grant to all your saints who partake to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that their faith may be confirmed in truth, that we may praise and glorify you. Through your Servant Jesus Christ, through whom be to you glory and honor, with the Holy Spirit in the holy church, both now and always and world without end. Amen.

    Pertinent text of EP II:

    Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He took the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you. When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.
    Let us proclaim the mystery of faith. [Four options for response.]
    Remember our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; bring them and all the departed into the light of your presence. Have mercy on us all; make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, and with all the saints who have done your will throughout the ages. May we praise you in union with them, and give you glory through your Son, Jesus Christ. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

    And of course we can’t forget:

    “The composite character which the document [Apostolic Tradition] displays extends also the individual ritual units within the text, such as ordination, baptism, and even the Eucharist itself, which appear to be artificial literary creations, made up of elements drawn from different local traditions rather than comprising a single authentic rite that was ever celebrated in that particular form anywhere in the world…
    This church order therefore deserves to be treated with greater circumspection than has generally been the case, and one ought not automatically to assume that it provides reliable information about the life and liturgical activity of the church in Rome in the early third century.” – Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, 83.

    “It would be naive in the extreme to read Apostlic Tradition as a simple description of Roman liturgy in the early third century, though this is the manner in which past commentators have tended to view the work…
    This opens up the question, however, of the extent to which the liturgies described and directed really reflect the conduct of the Hippolytean church, or whether they are simply idealizations of an armchair liturgist.” – Stewart-Sykes, On the Apostolic Tradition, 50; cf. Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, 104-109; Brent, Hippolytus, 458.

    The Dollinger hypothesis currently reigns in the critical appraisal of the social context and redactional history of this text and I would suggest “Hippolytus and the Roman Church in the Third Century” by Allen Brent for the necessary background on this discussion. The bottom line is that the Hippolytean source is dubious and even if EP II did resurrect this anaphora we would simply be dealing with a case of archaeologism at its worst; as it turns out we are dealing with fabricated and impoverished liturgy.

  21. jack burton says:

    My only point is that EP II is an offense to authentic Catholic Tradition and a betrayal of the liturgy.

    “It is only fitting that priests learn to celebrate the Hippolytan canon that forms the basis of the modern Second Eucharistic Prayer: that, too, is part of their heritage.”

    If you want to actually “celebrate” something that substantially reflects the dubious Hippolytean anaphora you must join the Lutheran ecclesial community.

    EP II is not a part of Catholic heritage comparable to the Roman Canon (this is madness) but is better described as the legacy of the heterodoxy, dissent and liturgical anarchy of the late 1960’s kicked off by such figures as Hans Kung. If you don’t believe me read Vagaggini’s book followed by Bugnini’s famous account of the reform.

  22. I don’t remember any 15 minute Masses in pre-conciliar times.

    When I was a boy in the 1950s, Low Mass on Sunday, which included the reading of the notices, the sermon, and distribution of Holy Communion (by two priests), ended after approx. 35 minutes.

    Weekday Mass was shorter, but not that short !

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    Joseph: At our parish, I think the Sunday mass only takes about 15 minutes, the other 56 minutes is spent …

    Actual timing of an OF Sunday liturgy I attended a while back:

    16 min – Opening prayers and readings
    22 min -­ Sermon
    10 min -­ Creed through the Sanctus
    4 min -­ Eucharistic Prayer II
    15 min -­ Lord’s prayer, communion, conclusion

    I suspected that the 4 minutes devoted to EP II (out of 67 minutes total) had communicated a lesser sense of Holy Sacrifice to most present than would have a 15 min EF Mass — though, in fact, the only sub 20 minute Masses I’ve ever seen have been Novus Ordo.

  24. jack burton says:

    Having mentioned Brent’s important study I should also mention Cerrato’s more recent work: “Hippolytus between East and West.” This is the best presentation of the eastern hypothesis that I am aware of. My own current “take” on Hippolytus and the Apostolic Tradition is based largely on the theories of Brent, Cerrato and the observations of Stewart-Sykes. A good summary of the issues can be found in “Theological Studies” Sept. 2004, “Hippolytus and the Apostolic Tradition: Recent Research and Commentary,” by John Baldovin. Also of interest is the recent study of the Apostolic Tradition by Bradshaw, Johnson and Phillips published as part of the Hermeneia series in 2002 which I have not yet had a chance to read but you can’t go wrong with Bradshaw and Johnson is also a serious player.
    I only hope that the legacy of Dollinger will be purged from general consciousness and that the asinine talk of EP II as some sort of heritage of the Roman rite will be seen as the sick joke that it is.

  25. Peter Tetzel says:

    On Bradshaw, Brent, Stewart-Sykes and Cerrato (and the anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition):

    The four of them debate in St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 47 (2004).

    Bradshaw and Stewart-Sykes don’t agree on much about AT (or anything else!), but the one thing on which they do agree is that the so-called Eucharictic prayer of AT is a fabrication. The only issue is the date of the fabrication. For S-S it is mid third century, for Bradshaw it is even later.

  26. jack burton says:

    Peter Tetzel,
    Thank you for drawing attention to so fascinating a debate; unfortunately I don’t read that particular journal but perhaps this is something that should change. I’ll certainly be visiting the SVTQ website soon to acquire that back issue. :-)

  27. jack burton says:

    I think it was actually volume 48 and unfortunately it appears to be unavailable, at least from the SVSP website. I’ll keep digging.

  28. jack burton says:

    I just got it for 8 bucks on amazon. lol.

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