Remember how once the intrepid vaticanista Andrea Tornielli posted about the proposals of the plenary session of the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Holy See Press Office issued its non-denial denials?
Tornielli said that the members of the Congregation were asking for measures to foster greater reverence during the Church’s worship.
The Press Office said that nothing was official yet. Of course, the Congregation studies things for a while before putting the formal proposals on the Pope’s desk… but they are working on them nonetheless.
Now we read in the National Catholic Register:
‘Reform of the Reform’ Update
Posted by Edward Pentin
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 10:02 AM
The Congregation for Divine Worship is declining to comment further on reports that the Vatican is considering a “reform of the reform” of the liturgy, but a formal statement on the matter is expected soon.
An official told the Register this morning that “everything is under study and is progressing” but added that he could say no more until Cardinal Antonio Llovera Cañizares, prefect of the congregation, or the Holy See Press Office, issues an official statement.
At the end of August, veteran Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli reported that cardinals and bishops of the CDW voted almost unanimously at their plenary meeting in March “in favor” of 30 proposals aimed at increasing reverence in the liturgy.
Tornielli said the bishops also reaffirmed the importance of receiving Communion on the tongue rather than the hand, and that Cardinal Canizares was studying the possibility of “recovering” the practice of celebrating Mass with the priest facing east. However, there are conflicting reports over whether these last two proposals were included in the propositions that Tornielli said were delivered to Pope Benedict XVI on April 4.
The deputy director of the Holy See press office, Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, played down Tornielli’s report, saying there were “no institutional proposals in existence regarding a modification of the liturgical books currently in use.” However, Tornielli stood by his story, saying that he didn’t mention “institutional proposals,” but had reported instead that a period of “study had begun” on what will probably amount to long-term reform after plenty of consultation.
The lack of clarity over this story is partly due to the absence of senior officials, most notably Cardinal Cañizares, who has been on holiday and returns to Rome later this month. Also the Congregation for Divine Worship’s new secretary, American Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, has only recently been appointed and is not prepared at this time to comment on the cardinal’s behalf.
“We’re waiting for the cardinal to return at the end of the month,” the CDW official told the Register today. “Then there will be a statement from the press office or the cardinal himself.”
When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents what they got you for Christmas and as an answer they said they couldn’t tell you, but that they knew you’d really like it? That’s kinda how I feel right now after reading this article.
I couldn’t have put it any better than Jayna just did!
We can only hope and pray!
1. Latin for Ordinary
2. Ad Orientem
3. Suppression of Sign of Peace except for clergy, and the interior wish on the part of the laity.
4. Communion on the tongue
5. Kneeling for Communion
6. An Extraordinary Form Mass every Sunday for those who wish to attend
7. Gregorian Chant with the allowance for 1 or 2 hymns
8. Greater use of incense
9. Greater use of Antique or Pre-Conciliar Vestments
10. No more EMHC’s
11. Return to all male Altar boys (the name says it all)
12. Mandatory institution of Cathecism classes for the enrichment of the laity on Latin and Church tradition to any that wish to attend
13. Return of the Last Gospel and Prayers at the Foot of the Altar.
14. Black re-instituted as the only liturgical color for funeral Masses
15. Referring to the Mass as Tridentine, to emphasis the continuity with the past, its’ origins and organic development. (also not to give the impression that there is yet another “new” Mass….
OK that is probably a more personal list or request form but anyone wishing to add to the “wish list” of the 30 points that may be covered, please do so. I am sure I will learn a thing or two more than what I have already learned on the increased wishes for more reverant liturgy.
If the “formal statement expected soon” moves as quickly as the clarification of the MP then I’d say don’t hold your breath!
This all makes absolute sense… this is something that has been supported by B16 from the beginning in his writings and speeches… it is something that is in line with his reasons for Summorum Pontificum…It was first aired in Sacramentum Caritatis…some elements have been enacted by various Bishops in the last year or two…this is a definite direction that things are going, and many have lamented that there has been no official “statement” on these issues. Perhaps now is the time for that.
I wish to add on your list:
16. Return to the Confiteor in the pre-NO version.
17. Return to the prayer to St Michael the Archangel on the end of the mass.
For this last one, I never, NEVER, understood why the NO cancelled it. Nobody could give me a good explanation, if not that there was something very suspicious behind.
Anyway it is not forbidden to say it. Our parish priest says it every mass. Nobody protested.
Interesting coming so close to the Holy Father’s oral pronouncements concerning liturgy at the Brazilian bishops’ ad limina and his homily on Sunday. I think New Liturgical Movement has info on both of these.
Personally I’m still very very skeptical about a reform of the reform – why not just accept the Mass in the extraordinary form as THE MASS and let it evolve slowly, as it has always done throughout the centuries, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I should like to add to Mitchell NY’s list:
1) Return of the 3 Kyries either in Greek or English. Having only 2 misses out on the symbolism of pleading to the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2) Return of the beautiful prayer for the departed at the intercessions accompanied by the making of the Sign of the Cross.
‘Eternal rest grant unto them Oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.’ +
3) Return of the genuflexion at ‘ET HOMO FACTUS EST’. I know this was supposed to be replaced by a reverent bow but how many of us have seen this gradually disappear over time.
4) Return of kneeling for the Priest’s blessing after Mass.
Since we’re making wish lists here, I’ll second all the above items, although personally I don’t mind the “extraordinary” over “Tridentine” terminology.
Additionally, as a classical musician, I’d like to know why the USCCB approves bad music and why hymnal publishers continue to incorporate poorly-composed works of bad taste and questionable theology into our hymnals. Bravo to Adoremus for publishing a great hymnal! Let’s adopt it! So much of what is in our hymnals now is terribly dated and makes me feel as if I ought to be dressed for a square dance, Woodstock, or a pseudo-religious coffee house. It is time to return to the historic practice of having music ministry under the baton of a degreed conductor with certifications in sacred music, choral conducting, and organ. Yes, this means they’re going to have to be paid and benefited, but this is our artistic heritage, and this is what helps produce good liturgy. Music schools all over the country would be happy to expand their sacred music and organ programs to meet the increased demand for qualified sacred musicians. Believe me, I attended a Catholic conservatory of music, and folk music and praise and worship music were the punchlines of jokes in Western music history. However, chant and polyphony were universally lauded.
Sorry about the rant, but if we’re making liturgical reform wish lists, then that is probably my #1 wish: serious conductors/organists in our parishes again!
“why not just accept the Mass in the extraordinary form as THE MASS”
Because G., the church in many ways acts like a big corporation. When a mistake in policy is made a corporation doesn’t usually just say so.
Instead one claims that the policy is working, and has been modified in light of experience. The modifications of course tend to bring one back to the original (and workable) policy.
The organization then declares success for the new policy and moves on.
As far as “lists” go, I think it would be helpful if someone could formulate a list of the proposed reforms which have (supposedly) actually been forwarded by the CDW. I would appreciate it if someone could put that together.
I thought it was interesting that Cardinal Bertone’s statement on this subject was couched in terms of “the Pope intends no rollback of Vatican II”, particularly since none of the issues highlighted by Andrea Tornielli (communion in the hand, “ad orientem” worship, etc.) was the result of a decision by the Fathers of the Council. Non-denial denial indeed….
Seeing as how ad orientam worship and Communion on the tongue are already the norms (even if not in practice), will a document come in the form of mere suggestions, or could we see something more forceful, such as an abbrogation of versus populum and Communion in the hand?